(los angeles, november 2017)

I can almost feel the pressure around my neck
my lungs spasming, head swelling, numb
senses burning

the metallic taste in my mouth as I am set free. 
I can almost feel these incessant voices melting
one by one
and for a moment I am as tranquil as those who are not me.
I can picture tears
some insincere
some I selfishly crave.
I hear the romanticization of my silence
the praise for what was never quite grasped
the false guilt.
I look around and nothing (not the blue sky,
not the inconceivable existence of my own hand)
lessens the dense numbness that travels every inch of my body
and takes shelter under my chest.
I watch it rise and fall
a reminder of our inclination towards letting be. 

graphene realities 
(los angeles, march 2018)

i saw the pain behind your eyes
as you erased your lines from the holy writ. 
the life you seek calls for more 
than your folded hands 
but i will keep you company. 
so bring on the rain or let me perish
like a naked child in a barren land
watching flickering souls on the dark oblivion
and running endlessly towards the light.
awakened by the blink of an eye
on the azure that blankets the earth.
lost in the numb nothingness 
searching for you
or anything at all. 
i collect wounds on my back
from arrows that were once mine
and though i bleed
i am here
like the seas of our despair.

cut-throat survival
(los angeles, august 2018)

hell-bent desires, thrown into the ashes of another day
shatter sea-girt dreams on the ellipses of a drowning fate;
his eyes are slit open by the shards before me 
and i’m left with the carcass of an untold story.

my bloodied hands forage for the holy grail 
as nine valiants yield to the lambent hail;
i call his name but sun knows not how to speak 
star-crossed insane on this mountain’s peak.

pulsating flesh of an open mind
dances to the rhythm of a heart ajar;
dim reveries tarry, begging me to abide 
for a goodbye’s a farewell as is the sight of a falling star.

breaking waves
(los angeles, august 2018)

you were ocean and i was not wave in your raging sea but still broke 

(los angeles, december 2018)

arrancada a máscara ubíqua 
dos tolos que todos sentavam à mesa
— ordem de amor à míngua 
ao progresso da caça à presa —
a suposta honradez de populista calouro 
pintada de amarelo ouro 
e verde mata
amor mata
pele mata 
a miséria sistemática nata de um Estado febril
aqui jaz tu, entre outras mil
o epitáfio umbrático da covarde ameaça
— meu passado em cinzas
futuro fumaça

(los angeles, january 2019)

the phantom roams the torpid stage; 
all eyes on its form, faithful slow.
breath-fueled nauseous routine – 
kiss me now, or kill me pure.

awestruck lamb gazes glued,
hopes high and hearts alight,
but I am no stranger to this act
nor to the dusk that awaits outside. 

evanescing with every misstep,
we’re snowflake on its tongue – 
my body trembles at each turn;
predicted, yet carefully rehearsed. 

the applause begins amid hectic cries, 
the figure’s eyes resting on mine. 
it drifts off stage into the darkness;
and the curtain comes down on a silent catharsis.  

triangle eternal
(los angeles, march 2019)

go ahead and kiss her.
marry her, if you must.
let her mimic your every move
and let her consume you: 
heart first — indolent red meat
then brain, yes,
the cerebrum — a burnt-out bulb 
over the kitchen sink.
the black hole of all things.
lethal butter knife, the humdrum 
pierced by the grand droplet — 
heroic specimen.
the tiles live,
the table immaculately constant — 
but your frozen fingers around the mug,
and your glimmering eyes
melting by the doorway.

she and I, we had a pact:
the wingless angel, Lethe’s catapult —
to the stilly thing,
she promised,
the stilly thing at last. 

Just watch the clock. 

I obeyed — her servant, 
her slave — 
but time split and from it you arose, 
carrying the sun, 
my Atlas. 
amaranth envy, triangle eternal —
go ahead and kiss her,
but know that she wants me, too.

my mind, yours
(los angeles, june 2019)

If I were sky, would cold breezes sing
like your words hum in my ears?
Would the stars shine brighter 
in the midnight dark
than your eyes do shine in my dreams?
Would sunsets glow like your mind?
If I were earth, would a forest bloom
with the fervor of my care?
Would sparrows gather twigs
to set up their nests
like I gather fragments of you?
Would flowers glow like your mind? 
If I were ocean, would waves shatter
louder than my breaking heart?
Would fish travel farther 
across the waters
than you have traveled without me?
Would tempests glow like your mind?

i do love you, after all
(los angeles, august 2019)

I have seen the sun take
as many days as it has given,
but not once did I doubt its truth. 

nightly ritual
(los angeles, november 2019)

Comes now the sooty dusk, 
its familiar grip on the back of the head, 
the febrile stupor that stuffs the wrists. 
Let us welcome the wounded stars 
that wake wearily against the ashen sky —
shimmers that wobble like a moribund child
whose hope drags its fingers across my cheek 
and disperses.
The hasty working of clocks 
pins bodies to space and space to itself; 
I want to be so free in life I’m free of it,
but my blood is still warm when I drink it
so I linger.  
The conglomerate of hours --
undrunk spirits sinking to the barrel’s bottom, 
rotting flesh lying in the bed it made --
drinks my veins dry, etches my bones,
struggles to pass.
But let the day come if it must, 
let the sun shine for those who will own it,
and let them rejoice in the glow of being. 
I was never one to play my role in acts of life;
I watch instead. 

there is too much of the world outside
(los angeles, february 2020)

there is too much of the world outside.  too many pebbles to be picked up, too many pebbles to be picked up and put in my pocket or too many pebbles to be thrown into the lake never to be seen again. there is too much water in the lake, too many drops of water in the lake, drops of water that come and go, and go, and go, and they have all gone by the time I get to see any of it. there is too much emptiness between the lake and my house, between 2002 Chevrolets and bakers on their way to work, too much emptiness under our heads and above them. there are far too many faces to be seen and thought about, too many faces to one day remember unknowingly, too many faces to regret looking away from when the light turns green. there are too many streets that I have walked on when the sky was darker or my shoes heavier or the air a little colder, there are more streets still that I have never seen, and even if I could see them all, I could never truly see any of them. there is too much of the world outside, so I close my windows and stay in.

I don’t give a fuck
(los angeles, june 2020)

there is nothing more traumatic to the will of survival than dying and not feeling a thing about it. there is laughter, sure, and the purple gradient of a sunset on hollywood boulevard... but then you’re dust, and you don’t give a fuck about it. all the nights forcing whiskey bottles into their wet mouths just vanish. all the love that once deafened you goes silent. guess what, Fernando Pessoa was not like the others, but you are. another window being looked at from the highway, lost in the city line. good thing you don’t give a fuck.

(caraguatatuba, november 2020)

tell me all about the missed
turns in which you dropped me. 
yearning for the following morning,
a hotter sun than we were ever allowed. 
tell me about the dried out tears
on the scalding pavement. 
forgetting breakfasts and dreams,
hoping for the bare minimum in life. 

(caraguatatuba, december 2020)

I wake up and get out of bed and my bones bend backward
awkward like loose teeth at the tip of a forceful finger 
sour almost pain, itchy almost pleasure 
always almost anything but nothing — 
nothing but the weight of the sun’s every arrival.
oh, pretty lilac sky and the deft morning air   
oh, hand-woven cloth on marble
oh, the physics of unlikely encounters
enchanting like magic, warm like catholicism 
oh, the 
so much — 
yes, I’ve made nothing out of everything 
and now birds sing with sarcastic contempt
and the sea comes and goes because it can
and stuck I always watch, bone-dry like stardust

(sao paulo, march 2021)

i wrap my hands around now but they don’t move. now caresses my fingers, tip toeing on my cold palms but i wrap my hands around it and they don’t move. now dances lightly with ideas of desperate limits and i wrap my hands but they do not move. there was laughter lost in bright lights and small words thrown awkwardly across the dinner table, and i can hold them. i believe i can, but now caresses my fingers, tiptoes on my cold palms. i believe i can. this will be hidden between nows and never found again. now dances lightly with ideas. i wrap my hands but i don’t believe i can.

think of me then
(sao paulo, october 2021)

to think of all the people with voices that also sang themselves a lullaby before falling asleep after drinking too much, and of all the people who held pens or feathers or phones and stared blankly into space to find just the right words. i do think of you, if you ever wondered. i think also of the hands who will feel the bump on my bedroom door, and who will struggle to close the window when it’s windy out, when I am away and when I am no longer. think of me then.

It stared at me, endless like time itself -
(sao paulo, february 2022)

holding onto dear life, crumbling. 
Had I been awake then, had I been more
Or more desirable
Or more willed, at least - 
I would have survived 
And I would be here to tell you all about it. 
But I lied like they teach you to love,
I tore myself open the way you step on a wildflower 
as you run to the water. 
Had I been awake then, I would have cried out loud. 
I would have survived.

all that is living oozes time with its every sigh
(sao paulo, april 2022)

The shadow of aeons is Mother’s pulse,
the river-like blood from the extant now
that flows furious to a glorious gone. 
The soil upon which I rest 
tells stories louder than my pounding heart,
and the gentle humming of winds I hear
has coated ghosts like it’s coated here;

All that is living oozes time with its every sigh.

Skin bare on vines and air, 
a quicker throw to a Spartan throne
than to a blue-light lover’s tryst. 
So listen for thunder of horse’s gallops
and drips of tobacco’s smoky laughter 
harmonizing with the earth and the everything. 
Do look for the red-haired boy running among
the dancing colors of cloths and bears -- 
Someday somebody when I am dust
shall touch this and maybe think of me.