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You give me clutter-rust,
my heart chokes on gasoline fumes,
these lungs flutter like broken birds
beneath Pisonia trees.

Am I hunger or am I food?
Are we lovers in the end,
or just codependency?

am kennedy, “The flutter”

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The perfect girl is an illness,
needless, and cotton-candy thoughtless.

She says, yes, it’s fine, okay.

With a laugh like an empty box,
Schrödinger’s girl is both
dead and alive,
existing only the moment
you need her.

The perfect girl is a hollow space,
ready to be filled,
ready to be discarded,
object impermanent.

And what a pretty way to die,
slowly in sinched-waist-inches,
and then all at once
on her thirtieth birthday.

am kennedy, “The Hollow Women” (via siilentiary)

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Let it go, you know,
that woman has never tucked you
into anything so safe as a bed.
She said, i love you,
but that’s not what she meant.
The cement in the bottom of your heart
means that sometimes you
sink faster than you swim,
but then again the brine
tastes better than tears,
better than all the fears
she read you as bedtime stories.
You’re a bad buoy but a good sailor,
a turn of tides that would
make a grown man weep
could he see how carefully you keep
your head above water.

am kennedy, “The anchor tattoo”


Today the shelter, the hunker, bunker,
the storm squall.
It rains
for three days
as the winds rise up
the backs of our necks
and we crack,

we pack electricity.
In the dim hours we bow to the earth,
hold the
sun in hand
and peer into the gloom.
And she, Mother, screams at the
batters the backs of
all we have tried to build.
Apologies to the sky, to the dirt,
to the doom  and boom of the falling trees.
A cascade of water, hail, tornado.
Forgive us, forgive us, foolish and small,
we crawl and crawl away
from the rising sea.

-am kennedy, “Hurricane”

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What is a glass, a bottle,
a throat and belly burn
in the wake of all this cold water?
If this is a rescue,
which one of us is in distress?
I digress, regress, remiss, dismiss,
it’s just that the way the sun rose this morning
looked more like opportunity than light-scour.
My love, a burden,
and you, the witness,
and we, and we,
swallow down the burn
as if it makes us

am kennedy, “Solidarity”

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It’s tragic, magic, the sallow yellow light sifting through roughshod crabgrass, and that woman who never smiles is lying at the moon, grasping at wishes, waiting for twenty and thirty and fifty.

Sweet tea thick like syrup, swallowed biscuit, there’s nothing to be wasted between mouth and dirt, your mother used to have better manners than even the plantation.

A hundred years of rot in the thick leather boots of boys on the ground, they learn to roll tobacco before their R’s, to tell folk tales they’ve never heard but already know.

Who knows how the rains roll up along the river, they swell the catfish and strawberry, strikes a bright fist to the tin roof, the lightning rod, an every afternoon stormhead brawl.

We are proud, we are afraid, we are sinking, drinking, down into the mud.

am kennedy, “Southern Gothic”

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In the month of the monsoon,
we hide in the garden behind the moon,
pulling petals off daisies and
with half empty hearts.
all of that water but none for our throats,
not enough so we begin to choke
on chalk white dust and pollen shavings.
that’s what we said we were doing
when we climbed the rope up.
Two sticky feet afraid of the mud,
now too dry to even greet the sun.
All of the garden in bloom,
but we have more in common with
dust bowl children than a lagoon,
how has it come to this?
If we are anything,
let it not be fear,
let this merely be a moment of rest
before we peer out from behind the lune,
before we touch our toes,
test our soles,
into the cold overflow.

am kennedy, “The Weak & Weep” (via siilentiary)

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He’s so in love with his own ruin.
Suffering is a rouge he wears
high on his cheeks,
the imitation of life,
the kiss of death.
He puts the worst foot forward,
anticipating the fall, the crash,
the rock and the hard place.
He’s a running collection of scars,
that you don’t want to be apart of,
you really don’t.
But maybe,
the way you want to fall into him,
every time you see his bleeding heart,
you kind of do.

am kennedy, “An Imminent Disaster” (via siilentiary)