The chairs we sit in are steel
horses, sad and dead. What you said
at the gallery in the warehouse was
to you, I have only given death and cookies.
Or corpses confused with candy.
Your cheeks puff, withdraw.
You’re silver in ceramic.
If I were a romantic I’d say
you belong in the painting.
Longing, always. But I am
a romantic. When we strolled
the botanical gardens we found longing
in the plants deemed poisonous.
How close I get to each sweet thing.
How close each is to death.
(originally published in Pif Magazine, Winter 2018)
I add more
I add more
(originally published in Misty Mountain Review, 2017)
my father once mowed a rabbit into the lawn–
perfection leaves corpses
the tractor drones loud radio static
I never want to be someone
who compares pop music
to a limping tornado
autumn’s kaleidoscope leaves
the crumpled xylophone
black bags the scattered records
a taut-needled march to old age
I say these things now
but Eugene Delacroix said it best:
he was like a man owning a piece of ground
in which, unknown to himself, a treasure lay buried
music of the ether
of shifting chatter
fang-laughs from the teenage zeitgeist
when else has our unity
hinged on the city’s mustard smell
whether it’s there
or there isn’t
vapidity is DNA’s rapt curse
relinquishing joyrides for dimes
is our chosen profession
I prefer cremation to cream
and commitment to half & half
ambulances shriek when people talk
I never hear the atmosphere’s shrill
nor slow warmth of glaciers
in the spring of mottled souls
what is that frozen world?
we should unearth its hardened treasures
(originally published in Jokes Review, Summer 2017)
I am scared to death
Not just the big death
but tiny deaths, too.
All the bulbs are burning out
in my house one by one.
In living, we accrue small darknesses.
Mirror to mirror: void
where my eyes should be.
Hung mauve towel.
Vines of black mold.
Plastic ringlets steady
stained curtain infinity.
The silver shower faucet was once
a sunflower dreamed of fluorescence.
Now, downpour, no bright
for every prayer.
Gallons of black shower
(plead with God just–).
gobs and gobs of hair
cling to the drain.
Genuflect in the porcelain pitter-patter.
A feedback loop of weeps.
Hot water, cold water,
(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)