Ouija Board

we’re summoning the dead by candlelight out of a Hasbro board
and there are so many ghosts in my head haunting every home

I find myself in so much history in every intimate space of belonging
but the cat doesn’t have to meow after we ask a spirit to reveal itself to make

us scared there’s a bat hanging on your door and we fall asleep holding hands
I never know what to make of you, how to call something beautiful

and I don’t think to ask the Ouija board that instead asking stupid questions like
will we ever grow tall enough to dunk a basketball and will we pass history class

instead of saying things like reveal yourself and show me who you really are
but maybe we were never really searching for spirits to begin with maybe

we just want any warm body to haunt our beds you don’t even have to say anything
to let me know we give thanks to all the ghosts that haunt us


(originally published in Here Comes Everyone, Spring 2017)


Ephemeral Garden

The map leads from bloom to wing
to sky– we followed gracefully before
black swan wings haunted our spines.

I was tangled in the garden of words
and you did not believe a thing
I said. I cowered in sagebrush

to study flying squirrels (the wingless
claim the sky). I told you I would never tell
another lie because what is truth

in an ephemeral garden, where the birdsong
of thrashers becomes language?
I attempt to look away from truth

but the truth is, nothing in this world
shocks me any more than when I crane my head
to see the nightmare we have become.


(originally published in Zany Zygote Review, Spring 2017)


she is a delicate
vocal who sings
on an axis

in an orchestra
we never talk about
and rarely attend

it is not enough
to hear her tones
encircle us

we will watch
her cords wear
as she forgets

how to sing
with fire
her notes softening

until she becomes
a silent


(originally published in #thesideshow, Spring 2017)

This Sky / This Room

We built a blanket fort
with tattered sheets
to hang from tacks
when Ohio clouds
obscured our view
of the meteor shower
we planned for
that August night.
You were to move
to Florida soon,
bask in sunshine
and clear skies.
Thus we adorned
my Da Vinci-blue
ceiling with glow-
in-the-dark stars
we promised to make
real if you stayed.
We wanted the
burning gravities
of our galaxies,
went to push-pin lengths
to achieve this.
We stabbed fabric
into walls until
gazing through thin
thread up a little
dimmer now.
You stayed– now
we find the glow
we planted
in the stars.


(originally published by Twelve Point Collective, Spring 2017)

School Bus in the Blizzard (Supper Waits)

The chicken soup swirls with the ladle.
Garlic and pepper steam the kitchen.

Limp horseradish soaks
at the pot’s silver bottom.

White meat swims laps in the yellow broth.
Animals do fine without bones.

The clock strikes a new hour.
The oven timer goes off

(or does it). Outside,
snow blinds the world.

Shovels conceal pavement.
There is no good way home.


(originally published in Freshwater Literary Journal, Spring 2017)

Fast Love

we ran headfirst into love
bricks stone cement
& blood
no glass in that window heart
the rhino’s horn
sharp and rare
I write about what’s not there
headlights foglights
I write to explain this love
this fast love
this rabbit-run hole deep dug
& shovels & shoulders
& salty skin drowned in tongue
somewhere over this hill is a burial plot
with our names on it
x marks our naked bodies
drunk on desire
& gin & no one
knows where our mouths have been
so restore the reservoirs
reserve a seat for me at the theater
let’s sit in darkness
watch the actors eat rare steak
& show love without talking about it
o how to enjoy your teeth sunk in blood
o how to finish what you started


(originally published in Jenny, Spring 2017)

Symbolism for a Millennial Breakup

I cracked my phone screen
on my first date without you.

I carried it in my back pocket, like always,
though maybe I postured myself differently,

finally sitting up straight enough
to carry my own weight.

I didn’t look at my phone
until after the date. By then,

I could no longer remember you
without the shattered glass–

the flawless screen was not made
from our blazing beach days

of black seaweed and slithering kites
that begged the wind to let go,

where footsteps parted sand
to lead the tide into ourselves,

to let the moon drag our bodies
into the ocean’s boundless mirrors

where, enveloped in reflections,
we could only gasp for air.


(originally published in Metonym, Fall 2017)