(turin, september 2023)

i just wanted to say
you looked sublime today -
in the river, peeking through
the open window,
hidden behind the chapel.
you looked sublime
against the fire sky,
patient as ever.

the windowless room
(turin, july 2023)

i quite enjoy the stillness. i quite enjoy distancing myself, finding enough comfort between four walls to become enough myself. it’s all out there, the abandoned promise, the aspirations that hang like victorian chandeliers - but out there requires work. it requires putting the hair up in a ponytail and fighting flyaways, it requires clean shoes and clothes that were not thrown into a pile after my last battle. it requires being silent to gauge their movements, deciding when to run in hopes i don’t have to smile. it requires stepping out of the building, into sunlight, into feeling like i haven’t been here in years and maybe that’s a good thing; do they know? it requires deep breaths, my therapist saying it’s all in my head. it requires not wanting to die today. in fact, it requires wanting to live. it requires living, but i’m not quite there yet.

(turin, july 2023)

and just before we burned out,
we burst into flames —
the world around us glowing
a brand new shade of red.
how lovely it is
to come undone.
sun drips onto life
as we know it
and i, owner of reality,
walk head held high into
the velvet restaurant, bow tie
and scotch on the rocks —
and i, barefoot,
how lovely.
simplicity hides
in the crevices of their creamy hands,
in the hidden pockets of their wool suits,
in the welcome mat
that feels a little too rough
on the feet.
yet i linger — 
and i’ll tell you i see red
and broken ankles
and tragedy

OLD glitter
(turin, july 2023)

it is the calm
after the storm
that terrifies me
the most.
a silence that barely fits
within the confines of my room,
its walls stretching out
and giving in.
the restless trembling of my foot
as my mind thumbs through
a vast catalogue of had-you-dones
and zeros in
on the next sovereign thought.

what will we make of life

(the ugly clock —
the looking at the ugly clock,
at the old books,
at my bruising skin —
the immobility of it all.)

today we will

the way we did when
the distant honks of
a passing car
stirred us awake
and our eyes met mom’s
in the rearview mirror.
when we sprinted
to the communal pool
holding brand new polly pockets
and invincibility
in our chest.
when the sun made our hair
a lighter shade of gold
and was infinite
for a day.
the way we did
when stars aligned
for the perfect plan
or showed the way
to the unexpected one.

today we will


so what will we make of life
when no eyes in rearview mirrors
or pools or suns
or deterministic alignments of stars
hold our hand
with stronger grip
than the heavy longing
for something more?
when time turns into sinking
sands, swallows the remains
of every abandoned plan
and persists the way a scent does
in a newly empty home?

it is the calm
after the storm.

(turin, february 2023)

i am so annoyed by your winning stories
and what you call innocent eyes.
so annoyed by the state of things,
the way we put on a show
and hold our phones against the sun 

and smile and call it life,
call it authenticity, call it

i am so annoyed by angry men
with crafted excuses
and blood on their shoes.
so annoyed by i-would-never's and so-glad-
i-have-you's and please
please don’t forget to hit that like button.
i am so annoyed by perfection
and purity
and the messy bedrooms
of those who never sleep in.
by their reading habits,
their fresh manicures,
their every thought on display
and their disciples.
i am so annoyed by artificial depth
and even the very real depth
of those who feel too much
and cry out when things get a little
out of line.

the void
(turin, november 2022)

it takes one stranger’s passion
to get my stubborn drive
to do its job and get me up
from bed, out
of the room, into
the realization
that maybe
one has got to talk
to be listened to.

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.

(sao paulo, may 2021)

I believe that no matter how many years pass
and what language I hear when I my open my windows,
I will sometimes close my eyes
and see you
and want to live again.

(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, can i hold them? i believe i can, but now caresses my fingers, tiptoes on my cold palms. i believe i can. we will be hidden between nows and never found again. now dances lightly with ideas. i wrap my hands around it but they don’t move.

(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.

(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 your scalding skin,
a quiet dissolving of a nighttime lullaby
under your technicolor sky.  
forget breakfasts and dreams, 

we'll hope for the bare minimum in life. 

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.

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.

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. 

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

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

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?

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.

(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.

(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.

breaking waves
(los angeles, august 2018)

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

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.

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.

(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.