these angled wings of black toxic piranha
triangles and sometimes yellow is diode
connecting spark to sky– open your mouth
raw fish skin and wet I will wait for something
new in the feathers of ripped jeans and we will
sigh about the weather the snow and cold want
of July’s salamander tanktop days and reproduce
downriver toward industrial cities of light
and tall structures of billowing ominous smoke
(originally published in The Wayfarer, 2018)
here I look at the same room I’ve spent many nights in
the diffuser diffusing the world’s hues into you & me
the cat composed of smoke
Sara takes a sick day & the room crawls with veins
I watch my own age spiderweb into me flipping pages in a manuscript
this room is made of hair this room breathes fur webs
this is what brains are made of
every imprint of hand
when you sit down this bed this ocean floor this beginning
(originally published in Ariel Chart, Fall 2017)
too cozy walking autumn sunshine
creepy crawlie park time dusk
windy waving weeping nights
moonlit musk and tone
misty writing personalities
hard ego ergo wiring
impatient dollars dining doling
drinks to wine’s slow timbre
crowds working loud writing
sheets of many selves
(originally published in Neologism Poetry Journal, Winter 2018)
around here. Every
three months then
you forget about it.
I’ve been off and on in love
with my roommate since the
day she moved in. November
rain, the red-bricked road,
I look out my window–
no cars on the side
of the street I parked on.
I scramble from my room,
her boyfriend in the hallway,
and I yell street cleaning!
His eyes bug up
and we race down
stairs to beat the tow
trucks but I open the door
to see cars parked around mine.
I tell him I’m going anyway
to check the signs–
which I do in my blue
flip-flops, waddling out into
wet grass to find
next week’s the sweeping–
and don’t we always
wait yet another week
to cleanse ourselves of what
we fear we don’t need?
A bad job
or incompatible lover.
For months they have fought
about necessary changes
neither of them will make,
and just last week
she told me
the cycle of her life
goes in years by threes.
The job, the lover,
the house, the dust.
There’s a chill. I’m not wearing
a jacket, so I go back inside
and tell him it’s next week–
but he’s known this for weeks.
(originally published in Columbia Journal Online, Winter 2018)
sharp turns for the hospital’s worst
left left left.
sometimes the beeping
(turn my bed)
or the yellow window birds.
looking for cardinals
through interstate belt loops
or rings of cigarette smoke.
some days are asthmatic
others are just right.
the warmth of a blanket
this hole no one will lift you out of.
(originally published in Gyroscope Review, Spring 2018)
did you see me?
(originally published in Canyon Voices Literary Magazine, Spring 2018)
On the back patio, a cricket chirps beneath
the dirt of graying leaves– September’s chill.
Most days, dust becomes the clouds, this habit
of years knowing you, gone. The blue crickets
strum the cold death of summer– violins. I walk
the perimeter of fence to hear your heartbeat,
shrill– a shiver in the search for permanence.
Childhood: the crickets cry. A car door slams.
Footsteps twist through the crackle of leaves.
The old house hides the light, dips me in
worry: when crickets stop, ashes become
wind– the hymn. The lament of sparrows,
the creak of a gate, the thrum of a plane.
The unbearable passing of another year.
(originally published in Furtive Dalliance, Winter 2018)
I deliberated when traveling the country
because there was no one anywhere waiting,
no one on either coast with arms open wide to hold
me in their jacket in an ocean breeze– no, grime
rocked from screen to shade. The tide of film
frothed over tours viewing Santa Monica
for the first time as if, as they had hoped,
there was something new to see.
(originally published in streetcake, Winter 2018)
Expect your love life
to take a dramatic turn
for the better, Taurus.
Consider power steering:
without it, those daunting
curves down the Pacific Coast
can lead to rock wall
or fence or ocean.
When you drove to Philadelphia
without power steering
for the Black Swan premiere,
you didn’t trust your friends
to steer your Taurus. When
you sold it, the red-faced
salesman strained a sweat
steering it mere meters
into wide-open lot.
He asked how do you drive
this dangerous piece of shit?
You answered I am more self-
confident than I have been
in a long time. Today, you
charged down the staircase
wearing a pink polo your
romantic partner said she
wanted to punch you in
the face for. It’s no wonder
she reacts to you
in a positive way when you
change. Make the most of this
opportunity. Walk dirt
roads drunk on Hennessy
with the movement of stars.
(originally published in Construction, Spring 2018)
We wandered the meat-factory-
turned-art-gallery, white wall to
white wall, wondering when to
dispel our abstract selves–
positive, negative, we followed
lines from canvas to grate where
blood of cattle used to drain,
where old concrete holds imprints
of feet. My hand sank into yours
that first time. I still see it there.
(originally published in Cold Creek Review, Spring 2018)