Brushing

As I run hot faucet water
over the head of my electric toothbrush,
Jennifer asks isn’t it better
when we brush our teeth together?

This, of course, is redundant.

I have cleaned the spit
and foam from my brush alone
through the years,
watched clean water slowly spiral
down a clog.

I have taken better care
of myself.

Flossed the plaque
between memories,
tartar of bad habits,
freshened breath
in and out of you.

These I can withstand.

Thus I answer at all.

Alarm Clock

we woke from something beautiful (kissing
finally alone) only two hours of sleep when melodies
from the other room infiltrate our ears we wonder
where it is we want to take ourselves / where we can
believe in magic that isn’t ours / laying on a pull-out bed
with harsh spring coils like relying on the several bottles
we drank hours before to help us wake up honesty

 

(originally published in FORTH Magazine, Fall 2017)

Breakfast

I forgot about the Honey Nut Cheerios
I left on the counter in the kitchen.

Brought it to my room after my coffee,
grains soggy, milk sweet. Tried eating it

anyway but fell apart in sugary disintegration.
So I gave up. That’s usually what happens–

a few bites and that’s enough. I let it sit,
let it warm in the morning’s cool, gradual rise

to afternoon heat thinking about the satisfying
crunch it should give me, how I could have clamored

for seconds. I caress the silver spoon in deep
to slow splash and clank. This is what it becomes:

a pool of not-good-enough and I can’t will myself
to lift the ceramic altar to my lips to drink. I stare

at bottomless milk and know I live somewhere drowning
in this disappointment treading out to some delicious

shore somewhere only I know how to live, but here’s
this stale frothy white, stagnant in my bowl,

and me hovering lamenting stressing
over something fixable.

 

(originally published in The Remembered Arts Journal, Winter 2017)

Morning

We reach for jagged rocks, the twist
and slide of fingers: morning rose in silk.
The cold sheets cling to warmth and
disassociate– that’s when the open window
invites the low static of engines, white
noise of chirps. Our eyes thrush
and perch, cradle into shared twigs,
into thorns, and gently lift. We whittle
our words into stems too thin
to hold, the wind unafraid to take.

 

(originally published in Thirteen Myna Birds, September 2016)

In the Future I Will Drink More Coffee

in the future i’d be watching you smoke
cigarettes
waving your smoke away
with cleaver hands

breakfast would come
we’d slice cucumbers in the wet-
snake leather kitchen
rectangular blade neatly fit
sink-soaked
the yolk in the sandwich a little drippy
warm & familiar

the electric stampede of spiders’ feet

never did the future weave
faint spiderweb strands

 

(originally published in Sobotka Literary Magazine – Issue #3)

Hyacinth Rose

there are many flowers come across paths
alongside apartments but nonesuch like the

hyacinth rose wrapped tightly as such stands
outside a tiny market in view of black-grim

graffiti reading with a smile worth at least fifty
fifty-cent avocados because spring lays beyond

the peel of skin like waking up to jumbled
white sheets with the knowing of presence past

white walls hanged with stationary song which
would sing if only strings could strum themselves

 

(originally published in The Bitter Oleander, Spring 2015)