God Ain’t Here & Tourniquet


God Ain’t Here

This house we built with its abundance

Of suffering, a hundred sealed windows.

Where do your prayers find you? No, no!

The waters keep on running in this hell &

The birds were all plucked of their tongues

As if saying to all the quiet, tongue-less birds

Who’s to save you now when your rituals

Are plunged deep into the tall, red ground?

He walked for miles down a narrow hall

With no doors. His feet grew tired. He fell

To his knees without a tongue to give voice.

Foreign body, those aren’t his hands no more.

He’s building this house. God ain’t here,

Just a procession of breathing wings

Trying to find their way out. There’s no escape.

Prayer by prayer trapped in a wooden box

& spilled over Just one more time, one more.

He’s breaking a nail into his wood, one by one.

The waters keep on running, spilling into him,

One by one. He continues to drown with his

Sealed off mouth. Not a prayer to let go of.

No. Not now. Not ever. He’s too tired

Building a home with broken glass & raw hands.



Not quite out of the woods, he’s got a funny

Walk. Tender was the word I ought

Not to have used but I’m here with twigs

Scattered throughout my hair like a myth.

Wanted dead, I coughed up blood while

The man fucked me with a handful of Lubriderm

& a pocketful of change.

My voice sounds different with so many

Tongues locked inside of my mouth.

This isn’t about sex. This is about the tender

Crunch of each step I make moving toward

Something. But, first, more spit.

After, I zip-up my pants. How’s that for conclusive?

I have a pocketful of coins: the fruits

Of my labor. My thighs, mango puss.

See me differently. This tourniquet hurts.

Stop, you’re hurting me. There’s the clearing.