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Two Poems by James Diaz


Your Muse is Trash

but i think of you as light

caught between fingers

shadow dancing on your bedroom wall

how far you've fallen, from plastic stars

to real ones, i see what you've been carrying

all these years

strapped to your back

like a second body

honey, that weight isn't yours

are you looking for some sweet spot

where it all went right

instead of wrong,

where every move you made was weightless

and graceful? The thing about the dark is this;

we only know it because of light

reach up

into your body, those several selves / scar line

and skin torn, rough in the diamond-centered soul of you,

a smile is so much more than muscles pulling at the flesh

there's a difference between what we've been given

and what we choose

listen to your breathing

it is not nothing

that brought you here

it is everything

and it is waiting for what only you can bring you,

one day, who knows when,

you will open your mouth softly

and the words will come

I love you, you'll say,

to the girl on the inside

the one who was born light

nothing about her crooked, playing gently with shadows

on her bedroom wall and in between sweet-sweaty breaths

laughing, falling to pieces

and loving every single one of them

her dark & holy selves.


Hurts Like Hell

teach me to breathe

pull tiny dots of forest green

from my palm to your palm

tell me where it is I belong

it's sometimes heaven to be so small

you could be carried away by wind

the heat of the room

and how crowded you are now

body oh body oh body

under snowfall like ivory ghosts

fleeing their homes

at night wasted

have I lost enough

can I be broken in just the right way

so that I bend but not so low

as earth, teach me sky

and how it falls on me

like hate, you can smell gravity

under your toes, it is hard work

to be born and nobody really

knows what you're made of

oh body oh body breaking

tear me limb from limbic

put my hunger to good use

my sex to pasture, say it rains

and I am wheelbarrow to hold

oh body oh body oh brother

this won't be what you need

but I love you even as you bend

with wind and into silence

you break like it's what you're born to do

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018) and founding Editor of the Literary Arts & Music mag Anti-Heroin Chic. His work can be found in Occulum, Bone & Ink Press, Moonchild Magazine and Philosophical Idiot. He lives in upstate New York.

Image by Andy Price, found on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/5Z1iqt

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