Like a Box of Chocolates

Did you know what you were going to get, strolling
through the supermarket handpicking chocolates,

deciding between pecan bon bons, truffles,
and white chocolate shells filled with fudge?

We did not yet know the salt of incandescence,
your caramel smile on the roof of my mouth,

blind with each other’s taste, the lavender
some sickly rose blooming.

We melted together in the sun not worrying
about how our distinct tastes would smelt and swirl

around in our greedy mouths how our tongues flicked
and explored until we were almost satisfied but

every good thing melts the way autumn crumples
at the peak of its most swirling sweetness.

 

(originally published in bluepepper, 2016)

Short Return to LA

With every step, the air parted
and spoke your name.
Smog and all, would you forget

the jagged alleys where
we fermented, became wine?
Its knife cut ribbons, red

repelling the pressure of four A.M breathing.
Driving home from San Francisco down the coast,
each Joshua tree prayed

to a vastness greater than the desert.
The long, Pacific vistas became the sheen
of old Mustangs caught beneath shadows

of Wilshire’s vacant towers.
Our heels kicked dust
and browned the sky–

ever were the hours sand
on the beach, infinite and pearling
a microscopic glint…

the ocean still haunts–
its salt so embedded
in our skin.

 

(originally published in Rust+Moth, Spring 2016)

A Walk Through Palms

When there’s nothing special about a sunset
lined with palms, there is nothing special.

Trees jut from behind roofs
like green skinny beanstalks extended forever.

Every plane a UFO.

Breathe the collective breaths of everyone.

Walks should be alone,
watching crows circle majestically
above stacks of garbage
bags in shopping carts.

Soon there are words:
first a sweeping hush,
a low hum.
Then the revving of neighbors
and their chatty sportscars.

The emissions enter the brain.
Then the atmosphere.
Whatever that is
is not what I am looking for.

 

(originally published in The Quotable – 2015)

Pretty Autumn Sunset

Blackbirds suspended in triumvirate.
Clouds in a sea of burnt clay
mold into a blanket, the bed
unmade. Every beautiful sunset,

look:
see the others on their phones
snap photos for strangers,
likers, digital lovers.
Lowball grandeur on a
five-inch screen.

It’s gone in a moment, anyway,
the pixelation of life,
bloated
and trapped
and yours.

Palm trees stand as windmills,
stilled, and they cannot fan
the vertical Culver sign,
risen like held smog.

Headlights on cars move
indistinguishably in time-lapse circles,
one after the other after the other.

 

(originally published in The Literary Commune – Issue #4, April 2015)