Falling, Flying

featured in the poetry forum March 26, 2014  :: 0 comments

Strapped to her body, weighing not nearly enough
to make the sunrise it did when she hit
the mushroom cloud that lit up the desert for miles around
it would have been beautiful if anyone
had been left to see it.

She opened her eyes
just as the dots became cars on the road
people in the street
tiny, white blocks became buildings and houses
an end she did not want to see.

The wind dragged against her, but not enough
to stop her fall, just enough
to pull roughly at her hair, to open the top button of her shirt
with fingers as cold and rough as death.
It was like sunrise when she hit, if the sun
could erupt from the middle of the earth, instead of rising around the edge of it
could pour out of broken concrete like a an angry phoenix

this was the end she would never see.

editors note:

A suicide bomb’s view – breathtaking. – mh


November 19, 2013  :: 0 comments

I can almost see you through the fabric between us, can almost
feel your warm skin through the cloth. I can feel the wet spot where your mouth
is trying to reach my lips, I can taste your saliva mingling with
with the residue of scented detergent and bleach.

You thrust and I come and it’s almost too quick, I grab your hands
wrap fingers in rough cotton, wrap hands around your body, strain against you
in brief claustrophobia, then I’m done. You’re still moving, and I wonder
if it’s because I can’t see you, can’t really touch you

that I want you so much, if I want you so much because
the only place we can reach each other is through
a single hole in a sheet, this one place we can always connect.


featured in the poetry forum November 19, 2013  :: 0 comments

he climbed inside me even though i told him i was
much too small, found a way to get under my skin
past the angry bones and red, wet flesh. there was not enough room
to move, but he did anyway.

i was a monk curled up in a cave
a book and a loaf of bread tucked against my chest, but then
i was the cave, and there was no room for god
there was no room for anything but angry, red flesh.

he moved against me like god and bread, like
monks and blood, like bones and books
ripped through my folder of soliloquies
took this flesh and made it read.

editors note:

Let’em in the lobby an’ they’ll fill up to the altar an’ all, any way you read it! – mh


featured in the poetry forum March 17, 2013  :: 0 comments

the flowers in the garden are screaming, screaming at the sun
morning glories uncurl, unfurl, split wide in their song
mouths and tongues laid bare against the pink of the morning light
an opera for the insects uncurling beneath the soil

leaves unfurling beneath the sudden lightness of evaporating dew
the vines rustle against the brick of houses in a clockwork tick
that follows the flickering sun as it moves across the sky
steady as the heartbeat of a pianist’s metronome

editors note:

A grandly blooming garden is the height of horticultural horology. You can set your watch by one. – mh


featured in the poetry forum July 22, 2012  :: 0 comments

I waited for a week for the pens to arrive
anticipating the fantastic poems I would write
because, really, the best poems I ever wrote
were done with black gel pens, 20 years ago.

Poems festered in my head, unborn, but waiting
for those pens to arrive. It would be a literary
hurricane at my desk when those pens showed up
all the poems in me, trying to get out.

Another week passed and the pens still hadn’t arrived
hundreds of poems pushed against me, single words,
whole phrases, I could picture myself writing
in the back yard under the tree
I could picture it perfectly, but not without the pens.

When week three had passed, I started to panic
could feel poems from the weeks before fading, replaced by inferior ones
I called up the vendor, who couldn’t understand my panic
said he’d send out a new shipment—
it’d be here in a week.

editors note:

Considering the writing implement choices of some, e.g., the Marquis de Sade, I’d wait for the pens, too. (But, the recording app on that smartphone could help in the interim.) – mh


April 26, 2009  :: 0 comments

at 3 a.m.
you will rise
and come to me

the computer
will stay on, and say
this to me before I
go to bed my husband

says I
am wasting

it takes one recycled cola can
to equal the production energy
of two hours of leaving
the computer on, idle

if I don’t get up from the bed
right away

I am bad
I am killing the planet
slowly, these hours and minutes
add up.

El Castilla

featured in the poetry forum April 26, 2009  :: 0 comments

she/I says
fuck you, pay attention to me
this, I am, we are
standing before you

invisible, the voices
never loud enough to be heard above
the tiny hole inside me filled
with screaming, you, you are

oblivious to the delicate flower
of my trembling heart
these frightened bloody clues I leave
spell L-O-V-E. always for you.


April 26, 2009  :: 0 comments

I have given my father exactly what he wanted since me and my sister were teens–
a baby boy. My father watches my son with eyes so close to love it hurts, the
way he watches my son as if he was the true treasure
that my own participation in the child’s creation and rearing is
inconsequential. I remember his love,
the weeks we were abandoned for band practice, school, anything, while we
found love with other men, just as suitable as him. We got
nothing growing up. Two girls, we tried our best to fit in his dreams, got
involved in sports, joined track and soccer and still we
found his affections lacking.

My son squeals crazy when Grandpa walks in and I am sixteen
again, fading into wallpaper, old furniture, watch the
man too tired to teach me to read playing horse with my treasure,
a child I’m trying desperately not to hate right now. This is
even worse than childhood–my heart cramps again, this is mine to love,
“He’s my son!” restraining, again and again, we
me the adult and the little girl inside me–claps along with glee, finally,
Daddy isn’t mad.