Shoelaces

Our dinner
conversation–

tangled shoelaces,
spaghetti stranded

words thickened
with marinara.

 

(originally published in Street Light Press, Summer 2017)

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Temporary Treasures

my father once mowed a rabbit into the lawn–
perfection leaves corpses

the tractor drones loud radio static

I never want to be someone
who compares pop music
to a limping tornado

autumn’s kaleidoscope leaves
the crumpled xylophone

black bags the scattered records

a taut-needled march to old age
I say these things now
but Eugene Delacroix said it best:

he was like a man owning a piece of ground
in which, unknown to himself, a treasure lay buried

music of the ether
of shifting chatter
fang-laughs from the teenage zeitgeist

when else has our unity
hinged on the city’s mustard smell

whether it’s there
or there isn’t

vapidity is DNA’s rapt curse

relinquishing joyrides for dimes
is our chosen profession

I prefer cremation to cream
and commitment to half & half

ambulances shriek when people talk
I never hear the atmosphere’s shrill
nor slow warmth of glaciers

in the spring of mottled souls
what is that frozen world?

we should unearth its hardened treasures

blue ice
and hammer

 

(originally published in Jokes Review, Summer 2017)

Look Up in Summer

give me cloud weaved tan
& brown & pill yes
to gulp down my throat
& make will the ill of my body

give pasture & clay &
another day to call mom
she walks dusty trails alone
in May in wind in sigh
& goodbye

give ghosts to call clouds
& memories of dad proud
of young farming days
me sitting in the plow

along the way the sky changed
& cast fishing nets to catch
the dead alive in my head

 

(originally published in The Blackstone Review, Summer 2017)

Syzygy

We collected enough spacedust
to build a story, and so began
ours. I sought ways to learn
you: almanacs, online astronomy
classes, science fiction novels.
You were a constellation
to call my own. Time wore
on, and light from an ex-lover
reached you. Your position
in the sky changed. You
moved no closer. I bought
a telescope you admired
for awhile. Said you liked
the way I looked at you. Here
I thought I was the only one
you gleamed for. I asked
for your coordinates. You said
no matter where you went,
you would always be brighter
by the other star.

 

(originally published in Halfway Down the Stairs, Summer 2017)

Time Apart

The potential is sunrise & I refuse
the window’s jewels

I scalp the earth
for my own voice

I feel full of shining & sun
& so, money. I am envy &

the clock, gales of fingers
no longer keeping time,

rustling through my formal shirts,
wondering which will suit me best–

whichever will shatter
my edges & begin

at the origin of roses, from where
they were abandoned

& wonder,
the why I’d never give.

 

(originally published in Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry, Summer 2017)

Storage Space

If time isn’t infinite,
why do memories
linger?

Fifth-grade science
with greased black hair,
and this whiny voice
like pipe hitting gravel,
tectonic shifting
to leave
a gaping core
longing
for earth.

The shovel
won’t go away.
It works
to bury you alive.

You can’t dig
beyond the dirt
beneath your fingernails.

 

(originally published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Summer 2017)