This Bestiary of Us

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

We nest in waystations,
half split between lairs,
two larva devouring each other
to become a single beast.

We meet.
We crash desperate —
no hestitation before we
skin ourselves and unhinge.

This is the monster of us:
a spider of limbs, a knot of pythons.
We have too many teeth
and too many nails.
We are Chimera.

We predator and prey ourselves.
We crush sex until it pops,
a bubble red and full
of throbbing. We writhe wet
into each other. Too hot,
too steam, too slick —
we are half circles fulling,
fused at crown of mouth
and tangled genital root.
We suck air and thrust
swallows of fire down
into our needy belly.

We have a beard full of blood.
We have a throat raw,
a vessel wrestled empty.
One mouth gasps, the other growls,
we hoard our clenches; we worry
holes into our shoulders to stash them in.
We slip free, we scrabble back.
One mouth wails, the other shushes.


Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

This morning, the sun on the porch
is just the cool side of warm,

and the little hula girl on the patio table
drinks light and shimmies her toy hips
while the crows bicker about us,
while the cats curl through our legs
and I tell you about yellow ginko leaves
and why they remind me of you.

You aren’t here, not today.
Today, you tell me you are imaginary.
You are a wisp of an image
swaying like the hula girl
in the steam that curls
off my coffee cup,
and vanishes just as quick

but I wish you were.

I imagine the spring light
in your wild hair, the music you make,
the poetry you fill my mouth with,
my fingers and my mouth,
I imagine my mouth
full of yellow ginko, full of your tongue.
If I imagine you
real, would you be real?

Be real, so I can tell you of the poem
I’ve picked out for your hip.
Be real, so I can translate the debate
and bicker of crows to you.
Be real, unbrushed and wild, be real
so when I cease to imagine and start to long,
you are what my fingers can grasp.

Broken People and Whole

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

Your mother wrung her hands
at the kitchen table, said,
Honey, you ought not keep that retard baby.

Your doctor frowned at his clipboard,
flipped papers to avoid your eyes, said
In all likelihood, he’s never gonna talk. I’m sorry.

Your husband slammed the storm door, said
I ain’t signed up to raise no freak,
and you’ve never seen him since.
Never wanted to.

Thirty years later,
your son grins at you,
after singing in the Easter choir.

His knob-knuckled hands flutter,
grasping at spasms of joy,
and you can’t help but think
that the best he can do,
little as it may be,
is more effort of love
than those unfaithful people
could muster up for him.

Fuck what broken people say
about what a whole child can be.

Fuck what broken people say
about people they think are broken.