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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”
(via siilentiary)

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Mariana, you may be the deepest trench,
but there is still life in you.
Whatever is resting in the pit of your chest is
foreign, strange,
but maybe this change is okay.

The pressure is crushing, relentless,
may we beg forgiveness for the conditions
in which you had to suffer.

Titanic, the way the pain drops,
oceanic, the way you swallow and swallow
and do not stop.

You cannot teach what you have learned,
and maybe now you must imagine the value
is in your belly, your heart, your throat,
the way you learned to sink and float.

Power in the lilac blue of your skin,
the tred of all that sticky sea foam,
you meet the land and sky and,
do not choke, do not choke.

am kennedy, “Mariana: broken bottle letters to the sea floor”

Format Quote

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”

Untitled

The breach is small,
the eye of a needle through which
everything begins to cascade.
I slip, you slip,
we lie on the floor
with the ocean above our heads
threatening to drown us.
If I could believe in you,
we could learn to breathe
with each other instead of against.
Defensible, this position on the low ground,
but what does it cost to let
the leak become a drip, a pour, much more?
Every ship has holes in the shape of my doubt,
and I wonder why we never get to shore,
why we are always lying on the floor,
imagining places where our kisses
do not taste of salt.

-am kennedy, “The Indefensible breach”

Untitled

In the fall everything was about fire,
the sticky molten burn of collapsing floors,
how the smoke filled up my lungs until everything,
all of me, was ash and gray.

And now we are in the season of water,
a float and drown,
a blue shimmer of Atlantic dressing,
ice cold and cleansing,
where the shoreline washes soft my bleached bones.

My, oh my, the salt and soot,
I must be almost through, almost done, almost new.

I must be on doe tender toes,
standing among the solid ground
learning what life is like outside
a disaster zone.

am kennedy, “The Crisis”

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In the month of the monsoon,
we hide in the garden behind the moon,
pulling petals off daisies and
wishing,
wishing,
with half empty hearts.
Parched,
all of that water but none for our throats,
not enough so we begin to choke
on chalk white dust and pollen shavings.
Saving,
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”

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I have spent a lifetime in the bathtub with Fear,
trying to drown her before she drowns me.
But all I have learned since we started
is how to displace a great deal of water.
Fear, the animal,
and me, maybe
should try instead
learning
in the bathtub
how to breathe.

am kennedy, “Clawfoot Batterskull”

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Blue boy runs for the horizon,
trying to catch the sun before it slips
over the edge and disappears
into the sea,
and too slow,
always too slow is he.
His chest bleeds saltwater
from all the trying to tread,
and it never gets the time
to completely dry.
The mold grows in eventually
around his waterlogged heart,
black and thick like tar,
like a two ton sleeping monster.
It’s not sink or swim when
you spend your whole life running,
it is the slow growth of death
in your chest, the creeping smell of rot-
Boy, when are you going to stop
being afraid of the dark,
and start being afraid of what
is actually killing you?
When are you going to stop
running with open arms
into the sea?

am kennedy, “Blue Boy You Cannot Swim”