The chairs we sit in are steel
horses, sad and dead. What you said
at the gallery in the warehouse was
to you, I have only given death and cookies.
Or corpses confused with candy.
Your cheeks puff, withdraw.
You’re silver in ceramic.
If I were a romantic I’d say
you belong in the painting.
Longing, always. But I am
a romantic. When we strolled
the botanical gardens we found longing
in the plants deemed poisonous.
How close I get to each sweet thing.
How close each is to death.
(originally published in Pif Magazine, Winter 2018)
umami fish in dead cold
sticky rice clings to
gum. take another slab– tell
yourself you are the
ocean, that you will
chew through sea-
(originally published in Hobart, Winter 2018)
& when you sleep (waking
life is not cheap)
I know our love’s worth
out on our back patio
drinking bad wine on Tuesday
& the dog can’t decide
which side of the glass
he wants to live
on, the wild & murk
or the safe & stone.
I’m living life under
fluorescents or artificial
light, got a wallet made
of air I’m thumbing through,
somehow living & learning
despite the change
or lack of– glass
clinks on bronze floor.
I’m saying I love the sundown
& evening air, my fingers
locked in yours, unloose.
(originally published in Panoplyzine, Winter 2017)
Rather, it’s about the void she left
behind– no dirty dishes in the sink,
no hand to move the plates out
from the coffins of the cabinets.
Used to be hot soup was what
we wanted to come home to
when we wanted to come
home, but the chicken rots
in the fridge and even its
memory chokes on
cold forever air
(originally published in Poetry Pacific, Fall 2018)
the sacred land
pipes and protestors
clank and clash
God in front of the lens
smiling gold teeth
cup of reservoir water
in hand (with straw)
I did this
isn’t it beautiful
the way people rally
a river knows
only the land
it flows through
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2018)
I add more
I add more
(originally published in Misty Mountain Review, 2017)
or is it clay or is it ghosts I remember
muddy footprints you walking in from
rain white plate of cookies in sweat-palms
mud on floor you said sweet, sweet, sweet,
sweet children all those black nights the salty
wind knocking its way in through shut
windows the dead flowers in vases
received sunlight their daily bread
give us ours the ramshackle trinity of unclean
dishes filthy hands and the sticky fridge door
which wouldn’t open not for you
and certainly not for us
(originally published in Califragile, Fall 2017)
Your wristwatch ticks slower than mine.
Time does not account for the beating
of two hearts
on opposite coasts.
Know we pass through days the same:
second by second, minute,
hour, moon– every second,
every minute I fill myself
with your moonlight,
and when your crystal radiates
at the thrust of night,
we are endless, meaningless
as the turn of the hour
when the gleam of your smile
will guide me from the dark.
(Originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2017)
Fill the cracks so the ants can’t infest.
This is the poison applied for feeding:
urine-yellow icky glue sealing lips
to take home to another body. Sometimes
words stick where I open my mouth–
the crevice between us not letting you in.
I, too, have brought small gifts back
underground thinking them an olive
branch. Each attempt kills one way
or another. Malignant misinterpretations.
I return with this pellet of words.
This killing I never meant to witness.
(originally published in Abstract Magazine, Fall 2017)