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Sometimes the weight of living
Will shove you to your knees
In muddy, wormed graveyard dirt,
And ask if you’ve had enough.
It is then that you will get up
And ask for more.

am kennedy, “Serving size may vary” (via siilentiary)

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The ache is an indeterminate shape,
without fill or match,
the rest of you bends around the gravity of loss.
The crush of weight, the cavity of empty,
an ocean so great but it cannot fill
the bucket of your chest.

All that’s left is the rest of living,
the doing that must be done, done well,
despite the capsized swallowing star
demanding you feed it the rest of you.
There is more, there is everything left to love
outside the indeterminate shape,
if you can learn how to live with such an ache.

am kennedy, “Loss and other L words”

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The trap door is not a trick of light,
but a dark pit all the same.
The bathtub fear,
I sing to sirens beneath the water
who never came up for air.

Does it matter that I drip everywhere I go?
That although I get there I am shaking,
quaking on a measurable scale.

On the stage my primary motivation is Fear,
the way it shears off bits of me
until I am only the hardest parts
that can take a spotlight.

My heart, so soft, I keep on the highest shelf.
Fine China for only special occasions,
I collect dust until it clogs my chest,
afraid the only way to rest will be a hospital bed.

The black door darling croons from the corner
giving me what ifs until the sun has gone and come.

Knock three times and then salt the floor,
I just need to know what it’s like
not to have this specter at my door.

Open the basement and
shove the Fear in,
again, again, again.

am kennedy, “No one’s afraid of wolves anymore”

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Almost is the crush, velvet and warm rose,
we sit on the rooftop trading time in pocket memories,
and if we buzz where our fingers are almost but not touching,
there’s no one here to see the spark.

In the elliptical orbit we are almost,
we are potential with a leash around its throat,
the imminent choke.

Forgive us the timeline we never make,
the things we never create,
the way our hands never fold into each other.

In a thousand years
we spill so much inevitability into the coffee,
dilute it to a brown cosmic swirl
of unidentifiability.

We unfurl, fall apart to paper memory,
trace each other’s palms in dreams that are
almost, almost,
but never really there.

am kennedy, “Almost”

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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” (via siilentiary)

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She’s a moon curve,
in turns dark and light,
a fright with blood-red lips,
and when she comes for the heart
it’s with two fists,
a bone-cracking grip,
a kiss that kills–
quick drop,
sudden stop,
and always gone
by dawn.

am kennedy, “The Nocturne”

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The hollow eve wanes thin, Persephone–

Oak smoke and syrup brittle,
there is no fire but we huddle around
in the orange drizzle awaiting a sign,
a sip, the pomegranate drip.

Kiss with a blood and chocolate mouth,
and part with the October crush of sky.
There’s something to be learned about
living in the dark,
but first you just have to try.

am kennedy, “Persephone”

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In the middle of the night
it’s the sound of your mind,
the way it hums off your tongue,
that puts me to rest.
The deep abyss,
how you slip from one dress to another,
climbing through sheep and cloud to settle,
the sparkler of ideas fizzle
across my skin like dreams.
You’re a fiend, a wonder, a champagne in a bottle
just waiting to be sipped,
and I am nothing but parched, inspired,
a slow-stoked fire that lives
to listen to the static in your head.

am kennedy, “Sparkler”

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If you are the fire,
then I am the fool with dripping wings–
we kiss molten, clandestine,
and during the fall our regrets
burn up in ash and smoke.

am kennedy, “Icarus”