national poetry writing month, week 2+

april 8

(prompt: chronic)


april 9

(prompt: it’s giving)

the phone in my hand is a battleground

i cannot sage away the faces of gaunt babies excavating raw material from rich earth, rows of the final children killed by colonizers as they hit a historic third rail

its giving nightmare

orphans in a world of trafficked children i know i am supposed to focus on everyone not just the children but i have never been disappointed by a child’s love and none of their lies hurt me and my moon in scorpio

its giving despair

the phone in my hand is full of delusional texts from politicians who don’t mention the genocide in the room but who crack jokes and ask me for money like i can’t see blood smeared across their palms

it’s giving poison

it’s giving how dare you

the phone in my hand is my tether to the words of the dead inked on the walls permanent, to the storytellers who are threading us back to the root beyond all evil in this sacred world, we, the survivors

it’s giving proof

the phone in my hand is a portal of testimony from people i learn to love because they are imperfect and emotive and honest and growing in public and escalating justice and paying attention

it’s giving heart medicine

the phone in my hand takes as much as it gives and i know i am scrolling too far but i still need to find one perfect meme that will break everyone free from the disaster we have made of this perfect earth

it’s giving truth and fantasy

it’s giving nudes and love and group chats

its giving go the fuck away

its giving come on home


april 10

(prompt: lifetime work)

when to speak the truth out loud

when to hold it, with love

when to let them hold my precious parts

when to carry my own precious weight

how to hold an intimate border

how to receive an ugly lesson

how to fill out into my sweet time

how to show up for existence

letting go of people who only see my love when they are being saved

letting go of the people who let go of me

letting go of everyone else’s plan

for the years i have left

letting go of any shame for my small joys

each of the portals back to earth

the songs of a justice siren

if we will ever stop apologizing for each miraculous difference between us

accepting that limitations make me human

i know none of these things

but i’m studying


april 11

(prompt: ice cream)

when i say i can’t get over the ice cream

what i mean is

i have seen things i can’t release

faces and missing faces that haunt me

skeletal hunger, people in scattered pieces

i know you have also seen these things

it is your job to look

i (sometimes) wish (sometimes) i knew how to turn away

ashamed to need a break from

finding myself inside a stranger’s ribcage

and then seeing your smiling face,

your cone

the transposition of guilt and innocence nauseates me

you know how lemon makes the cut burn?

you make each death sear into my memory

your nonchalance so violent

how will you ever atone for the ice cream

apologize? maybe soon?

not to me, not to us

to them

to all of them


april 12

(prompt: take a trip)


i want to pour golden light into your palms

whisper holy secrets against your neck

show you the star code to every realm

where you can take a deep breath

play for you the rhythm of your longing

did you know it pulses

a living system within you that

understands you really want (more)


you won’t shortchange your calling

god only gives you gifts meant to share

let everyone taste from my river

if you love me, let everyone else

let them feast on the ripe fruit of my thighs

let them hear the songs echoing eternal

through my cave system

your name, your chord


i was made to love you

i promise, take a trip in any direction and

i’ll be your welcome, respite, wonder

treat me like home, wear the key to my

door around your neck

and if your species doesn’t understand

how precious you are

if they come for your body, i will be the dirt

that keeps you warm


april 13

(prompt: friends forever)

  • nations cannot be friends forever
  • real friends don’t need walls or domes
  • friendships rooted in spilling blood together never last
  • you cannot be my friend and my oppressor
  • friends don’t let friends bomb the earth, or the earthlings
  • soulmates are first friends forever
  • forever friends bend so they do not break
  • friendships seeded in the study of love grow, widely rooted
  • if you love the earth be my friend, let’s get free together
  • sloth, heron, whale, human say revel together, wild beings of earth


april 15

(prompt: get free)


nobody told you the thing

about getting free?

they were supposed to tell you

hold that sticky joy like kid fingers

how precious it was

to have your hands free

but you’ve been accepting every gift

no matter the weight


nobody told you the truth

about staying free?

— not escaping the present

but finding that constant thread of light

how brief the tastes are

between cages of comfort or crisis

we cannot get free

holding tight to anything that isn’t love


nobody told you?

sometimes getting free

is taking flight with a broken wing

rejecting the insulting offer

calling out the polite lie

and accepting the inevitable

no one has to die this way

that binds us all together


nobody told you…sometimes

getting free is getting so quiet

and the rude interruption

and spilling the secret

and leaving it all there

and the soft no

and the collective scream

until the cycle. finally. breaks.


april 16

(prompt: expiration date)


every nation has an expiration date

every empire too

especially yours


sold out by sunrise

left to fester so long

caught up in curdled thinking

and poisonous behavior

even a child can smell it

the rot too heavy for any house


when all you produce is death

you become the earth

into which the next generation

plants their seeds


april 17 

(prompt: steadfast)


steadfast as dandelions

knowing our truth is medicine

we grow where we aren’t wanted

our roots wider than your nightmares


we pitch our tents

in the heart of what you call mine/yours

it’s all ours-ours, all of it

so we practice sharing tomorrow


we soften into mass

every day love guides us

imperfect, terrified, overwhelmed

sure — but unflappable, we grow on


superheroic devotion

like parents, themselves in danger

holding buildings in the air as the babies run under

we feed the future under the fray


we don’t have to argue

you are not god, you cannot say otherwise

you are no more holy than the weeds

holding together the world


all prompts from the poet beau sia for national poetry writing month