in the second month
of our favorite season
and we bake apples
until the kitchen
smells of wax
out black bulbs
to replace our summer
despite the lingering
(originally published in Raw Dog Press, Summer 2017)
The city was dead when we went
so we intended to fill ourselves
with black magic found
in skeletons on the street.
Look how roots of fallen
trees meld with earth.
Go where lines still meander
on your palms–
we did not share with ghosts
when we reached the end,
no words whispered into steam
of dim lights and Darjeeling,
no further graffiti for your blue
telescope eyes peering through time
to the origin of your cosmos, when
your essence poured from your sleeves
but carried less starlight than it does now.
(originally published in The Stray Branch, Spring 2018)
(originally published in Bop Dead City, Spring 2017)
(originally published in Vector Magazine, Spring 2016)
A river isn’t really blue. The Mississippi
has dried, and even love is transparent.
We adorn ourselves blue so loss
can be quantified in color. Such
is the brittle paintbrush, naked
and grieving, but we are not
the color of grieving,
nor tobacco spat in the dugout
in shame. We remember
the dirt, and who we loved,
long before we searched
clouds’ faces for ghosts,
her grays in the white
within eternal blue.
(originally published in ‘the vacant hinge of a song’, courtesy of Origami Poems Project)
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)
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)
Blackbirds suspended in triumvirate.
Clouds in a sea of burnt clay
mold into a blanket, the bed
unmade. Every beautiful sunset,
see the others on their phones
snap photos for strangers,
likers, digital lovers.
Lowball grandeur on a
It’s gone in a moment, anyway,
the pixelation of life,
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)
(originally published in The Chaffey Review – Volume XIII)