Creatures of the Dark

I echo through night to ensure sound still works.
I tape my mouth silent.
I close my eyes to reveal scary movies in my eyelids.
I hear creaking in the house.
I shake my bed to justify it.
This thick blue shawl feels warm over my body.
It gets hotter as the night progresses.
Salty, sticky saliva my herbal tea of necessity.
I can peek my head out from behind the covers,
but that’s a liability because if a tree comes crashing
through the roof then extra padding might save me.

Consider it the imaginary basement
of my invincible Alamo.

The bathroom is far away.
I cannot run the death race
I am too young to drive
One thought on my mind:
the Daytona 500 races through my mind
each lap more repetitive than the last
until eventually I close my eyes
and birds chirp melodiously with the
sound of a church’s morning bell

I.

Here lies a crystalline lake
more blue than diamonds
reflecting serene sky

II.

A cloud appears from nowhere
mostly white, tints of yellow.
It’s an azure-eyed mellow, old
King Zeus smiling atop his throne,
gold-plated lightning bolt in hand.

III.

Oak trees on the side
provide shade
for elk grazing along a plain.
Golden field bursting
with honeydew and wildflowers
redolent of Autumn pine.

IV.

A white vessel of pity falls
like a piano from the forlorn sky,
patiently waiting for someone gentle
to come play Beethoven
along its dual-layered fringe.
These keys are worn.
So many beautiful sonatas played.
Perhaps a song can be played
in a key of your own?

V.

A dear friend, young in flesh,
whispers in my ear:
“Go play. Go play.
This is your piano.
People want to listen.
People want peace,
peers want to be pleased.
Pray that they won’t be pissed.
Play this piano purposefully.”

VI.

Peace, relief, silence.

 

Without being conscious of the monsters,
the monsters are not there.

 

(originally published in Central American Literary Review, Spring 2017)

Monday Night Rain

out of wisdom / out of want / so many / things / to not believe /
whether or not / you or I believe / you will end things / with your boyfriend /
I have seen your tattoos / just the surface / of your skin / understand I /
cannot chase / the gilded raven / with closed wings / I press into /
your hair / black against my mouth / the warmth of your ear /
in the back / of the room / holding /
so laugh quietly / whisper / don’t hold onto / anything /
be far enough away / from intimacy / that it feels like / intimacy /
a secret / a terrible secret / the way our mouths / don’t cling /
to each other’s / my hand / on your leg / your head /
turned away / in the back / of the room / we listen / to words / want to fall /
asleep / with each other / we want to / drift / from reality /
the blinds / and the gathers / Monday rain / fog / rain / I’ll help you / dry /
wielding an umbrella / for both of us / to stand / under / where we can / lie /
to each other / more intimately / watch the whole thing / fall asleep /
as the world / puts her weight / on the black / handle / in my hand /
and drains / with a whisper / into the gutter

 

(originally published in Birch Gang Review, Winter 2017)

Two Guys, Two Gallons of Yuengling, Two Plastic Jugs

Tongues composed of lager and slathered words drip
turbulence from the roadmaps of mouths, the ocean’s
rock and regurgitation. We meandered along brick-paved
roads with half-amber jugs in our hands, how quickly
we drown but how slowly we swayed on swings
in the frigid, desolate playground at night by the highway,
eyes entranced by the spotlight from the city’s hidden heart
we desire but never find but in the beer’s flat hops like a pair
of clumsy trombonists, asynchronous staccatos and B-flat
scales bottling air from silver mouthpiece to S.O.S–

 

(originally published in Cacti Fur, Summer 2016)

29th & Vermont

bone-worn dog & hung head asked high kids holding lemons,
tangy hair in the air, zest & bitter tantalus–

went to dumpster-cat (blackberry feet)
sick of white gloves, guttural mews.

coarse throat, bumpy pink tongue trickled yesterday’s juices,
held the water, blue sky whirring, whirring– engines / exhaust!

icecream trucks! brahms overture, mary had a little lamb
escaped from jail with vanilla dripping down her hands–

pigeon following, little pecks, boots collected
sidewalk grime and ran, ran, ran!

ask the man skin dandruff collecting flies–
there’s no more room in this bone-white van

still raise you head high, tide bring ‘em to shore
hang you head on my leg say the moon help me beg!

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, February 2016)

Clothes on the Bed

the room infiltrates us / fabrics and hangers / bedroom who is this / who are you i / don’t want you / to leave / i / haze / the fog / machine whirs / the pillow / smells like morning / orange banana strawberry / smoothie sweat old / and citrus / the blender whirred / like the black drawer / pulled in and / out / the routine is / the blue / sheet draped / stained forever / the blue / digital alarm / never woke us / sit / sit / black leggings / where are you going / healthy healthy / we draw lines / the visible line / the horizon / with those smoky faraway / buildings / the end is / never coming / we cannot see it / from where we sit

 

(originally published in The Legendary)