Adulthood

Adulthood is an audience-less sizzling omelet
show in a tiny comedy theater (not an age nor funeral

procession of lust lost through losing virginity to losing
virginity (sex without Olympics) after a balmy sauna

packed with strangers’ Spaghetti-o’s);
it is a profession of love to long-curdled milk

and similar to childhood:
a surfeit of waiting

 

(originally published in White Stag, Vol. 1, Issue #2)

What We Pieced Together About Our Father After His Death

A father needs to have a secret room to do whatever it is that a father does in his secret room, so ours turned the oil-changing pit (six feet deep, eight feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide) in the garage into his secret room. It is covered up by three long wooden boards, the outer two of which he would carefully place on the edges at the pit’s opening. The center board he never removed, only shifting just enough to fit himself. He filled his pit with National Geographic magazines dating back to 1936, rudimentary pencil sketches of our mother, dried walnut husks, hideous gremlin statues, various hand tools, and two inscribed World War II-era accordions. He used an aged kerosene lamp to read A Farewell to Arms, the only book we ever caught him reading. If the power went out during a storm, he would manually crank open the garage door, climb into his beloved 1989 red Ford Probe, flip on slick headlights which jutted out from the hood, reverse into the driveway, and park directly beneath the shoddy-but-sturdy plywood canopy he built himself just so he could manually crank the garage door closed and slip into the dark privacy of his oil-changing pit while rain and lightning raged beyond its cozy confines, to do whatever it is that a father does in his secret room.

 

(originally published in Dual Coast Magazine, Issue #2)

k.k.

in my skin on my skin marks invasion
when you ask me in strange regarded
terms like what it’s like to have a multi-
colored albatross sprawled on my chest
so i tell you this is what it’s like to be an
invader in your own body, this is what
it’s like when metal is the only if-you-could
just-crawl-into-me thing that makes me feel
whole. needles drive nakedness into the
nail. we skip memories like stones with
rippled laughter. we were asleep in class.
at five below everything was below five.
deals are deals but we can play tetris on
our phones for free. on the walk by the parking
meters (in six months i’ll see you again) decorated
with mistletoes. in math we failed to communicate.
minusing numbers count down marriage. you can’t
apologize for that. we’ll get coffee when you come
home but don’t look at me. i want to be inside your
skin. we twist glances like sharpened knives away
from reflective surfaces until we become dull and
watch short cycling documentaries in less-than-
cyclical motions. in rain i paid for your check,
bore my snakelike tongue. when we get coffee
you must make a decision. the psychic said
“you will find happiness”. just wait. you
will have two kids. slither into me.
whether we stay or go, my brain
is human, my body cold steel
slung on your shoulders
alongside film-cliche
birds. whether we
stay or go, forget
about me. until
you are steel,
forget about
me.

 

(originally published in a slightly-altered form in White Stag, Vol. 1, Issue #2)