I have waited for this moment!
The ephemeral steel of Hollywood-
Grammy abs! Your sheen, an apple
in the sun! Follow me– I have photos
of dogs and yes, the videos!
I sleep on dandelions! Justin,
between satisfaction and the petals
left behind, youth wanes and
I’m following your chiseled
Davidian lips’ every move
to narrow our vast distance
in this moment! Make me immortal,
make me tangible!
Put me in your palm
like a snowflake melting
on his first spring day!
(originally published in The Wire’s Dream, 2018)
Quantum physics have never been
more real than in this steaming
silver pot of Annie’s shells
and cheddar butter and milk
I’m cooking and the cat in our house
attacks crumpled-up balls
of paper yet sprints in fear
when a toilet is flushed. We are
all in orbit. You and me and
Earth and spoon in pot
mixing components into
tornado and I don’t know
where the melting butter
ends up nor the cheese
or where I’ll be in ten
years or a thousand
because our atoms
can diverge into
two paths any given
THE FIRST PATH
the one where you and I and most our friends and family are still alive
because ten years is a long time someone both of us love has died
it’s my father I see dandelions on the dead a suit and tie something
he never would have worn & your mother her silky dress and
Avon perfume wafting through the wake the frost her
permanent winter bed
THE SECOND PATH
the one where you and I and all our friends and family are still alive
because ten years is a long time someone both of us love will die
I see a bowl of ashes I see dead dandelions wilting on the stove
the steam carries souls up into my nose where I recall the heat
and depth of the Grand Canyon sun pressing against my
neck Dad in his thick glasses & sweat arms around me &
I pick up a stone & throw it over the edge
(originally published in The Courtship of Winds, 2019)
Driving west to Columbus from my partner’s house
in Pittsburgh early morning and on I-70 around six
in the rearview there’s a giant burst of orange light nearly
deafening in its glory and my first thoughts are fire and fury
then you’re gone but no it’s a heavenly sunrise and I can’t
remember the last time I witnessed the sun rise though a few
days ago she and I were in Vermont about to hike an
overlook before sunrise to watch it but we couldn’t will
ourselves out of bed and what a world to wake to now
driving alone this big dramatic ball of fury revealing its
magnificence bathing land in light before it softens
how it could have been one or the other
a burst of beauty or unspeakable tragedy yet from a distance
a bomb might seem as beautiful and harmless as a sunrise
at least until the smoke how with fire too there’s a kind
of enchantment but for this a split second then the anguish
and fury for this sunrise greeting a thousand grieving days
(originally published in Old Red Kimono, Spring 2018)
Ancient gods rain fire into
winter’s mythological mitt.
Inhabitants escape from the
tampered breaches to become
apprentices of harmony and
tell of wondrous kings–
the bestiary a cephalopod
might preach. Tell me
less of spirit, more of
body. Tell me hunger.
Tell me deserts, dry
(originally published in Amethyst, Winter 2018)
sun & guitar strumming through space giving
breathing life-music concertos into me the grass
the G-minor wind the black garbage bags
I have picked out only a few t-shirts to wear
this year or any year could be the lifespan
of the universe or an endless pot of coffee
all my pants in the trunk I have driven
the cavernous columns of west U.S.A. today
& yesterday & tomorrow is my bent mind u-turn
steering wheel a strained muscular twist & cat-tongue
rubber consuming thoughts which are broke &
banked & rivulets of rust & cash the downstream
trend of my feral gasoline-fueled dreams
(originally published in Treehouse: An Exhibition of the Arts, Winter 2018)
o saliva O give me life & talk shit
drawer of knifetongue compartmentalized
reason being what it is wet pink taste
inside me a water I swallow
(originally published in taxicab magazine, 2018)
Dad knew which fuse box switch did what–
in this way, he chose for us the light and dark.
His hands blackened from cracking walnuts
over the years, hammering husks in the
night when the rest of us were sleeping,
loud whacks startling us temporarily awake then
drifting back into our own darknesses beneath familiar
stars. After his death, we found Dad’s walnuts
in barrels in the corner of his workshop alongside
spiders and memories we could not yet scrape.
My brother said, to honor him, we had to break
and eat each one, despite the bulk. That Dad lived
a rich life poor, that the taste might activate
memory’s accordion, careening us in and out
the past and present, turning life to death then life
again, discordant in its forlorn loudness.
(originally published in 3Elements Review, Spring 2018)
From oneness: two, three, four.
Shadows through doorways.
Breath from water. Surface
bubbles, rippled sighs. The ocean
dried, became a city. Marine lights.
Pearl buildings. Skyscrapers so
old you can see the way the
world will end.
No one knows the space they occupy.
We fade in water. We fade
in air. We fade in living,
drown in life.
(originally published in Zany Zygote Review, Winter 2018)
What you do say is prayer don’t burn and die
when passing through the atmosphere.
Yet, somehow, meteoroids do–
though sand-sized, they have bodies
like bullets, sometimes
copper, sometimes steel.
We’re talkin’ heaven’s ammo,
a hundred tons pounding Earth each day
unnoticed. Down here, you claim
able to speak with some cosmic, faraway force
you’ve never met while keeping closed your mouth.
You claim telepathy, so this telepathic ability
how your thoughts move healing this world
of the aftermath of bodies. Tell me:
how does God respond?
And you say God,
God protects the faithful.
So, God’s His own meteorites
cratering His house, hallelujah.
(originally published in Ohio Edit, Winter 2018)
Her violin’s bow popped off the crowd’s
thin, bald trees–
it’s just too late to grow.
The next morning I called where you grew
and crawled these barefoot floors
of fingerprints and colors
and your name
(originally published in Packingtown Review, Summer 2018)