gives birth to baby in bombed kyiv metro station

When you came to be inside me,
our bodies decided we would survive,
and we chose a supporting role in all their mysteries
when survival meant nurture and shelter.

Our bodies decided we would survive
when survival meant expulsion.
When you came to be outside me,
we chose a supporting role.

My sideline blood, tears,
sweat, scars, and screams could fill
a lifetime’s worth of dreams for the exiles 
who welcomed you here, even as their own will fill mine.

You rivaled our shouts, 
like you’d yet to forget what the rest of us
had suddenly been forced to recall-
That to survive is always to be a casualty.

Still, we decide,
and you clench your hand around my finger,
as if in thanks, as if in love,
as if in solidarity,

Read More »

Counterproductivity

Only five times each day, I play like my bed frame
is a tweed lounge seat, my shelf is a welcome desk,
you are my friend by choice, and things are like they used to be-
You here to pay attention like you would have better things to do,
if it weren’t for the fact that I am your best.

Behind closed doors, I mime conversation with transparent friend,
all for imagined your strong, silent type observance.
This poem wasn’t supposed to be embarrassing, but I am
Read More »

Love you forever

You called like a god, celebrity
or college freshman,
so I put my Nair down, wrapped a towel around my shame,
glued my wet ear to the fragile phone, said hello
instead of, “Why me?” and let you worship, effuse like I
was way more than the wallpaper at my brother’s parties.

I’d been the entertainment once, back before the parties-
whispering nicknames and manipulations, like a kid sister alone can.

That was back before you, drivers licenses,
meet ups. But you were not before forsaken plans,Read More »

Siempre

The sands of time are falling,
and the weaver, she is calling
us to this quilt she’s sewn sublime,
and I’m trying to step in time.

The hands of time keep ticking,
and I’m finding myself wishing
that I could just slow it down,
or at least keep you around.

I will hold the hands of time
if you will hold mine,Read More »

Enemies

You don’t want to lay down, but it’s not time to run, so you arch,
throw yourself, scream, dive, and you hate me.
I bring you to myself and calm your body down.
You tire out but wake slightly, give me side-eye like you trust me,
and I slide you to your crib as seamlessly as I can,
deep-breathing in your ear until you’re
long-down. And you sleep long enough to little more than
recover, sit up in your bed and smile, start whining for me.
I say, “Come here,” and you stand between my thighs,
happily rest your head on my leg, and you need me.
I pat your back. Soon you change your head to my stomach.
You’ve forgiven me. Oh, you see your twin has the doll you like,Read More »