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
Flossed the plaque
tartar of bad habits,
in and out of you.
These I can withstand.
Thus I answer at all.
in this world
I love you nestled
on lumpy pillows
bed mirror glare
we must sell
grandma gave reading
rich with vastness
(originally published in Oddball Magazine, Summer 2017)
(originally published in Neologism Poetry Journal, Summer 2017)
In darkness we find a train:
engine active, body inert.
We walk the adjacent rail’s
delineated steel, waiting for a sign.
A spotlight from the city’s purple heart
shoots starward into clear, and the train
barks at something we cannot hear.
We scamper through the brush,
our clothes and hair full of sticks–
strays rising into the cold shadow
of a home, on the hunt
for what will make us whole.
(originally published in The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and Fiction, Winter 2017)
in the blue diner
made something meaningful
but how you puckered
didn’t mean you need
trying to make my way
down High street
without kicking every red hydrant
I walk by
without drowning in wish
finding meaning in every stop
every green light
I’m finding out greasy fries
aren’t made to be shared
onto the salty plate
is just an intersection
every passing honk
is for you
I was not made
(originally published in Nixes Mate Review, Winter 2017)
ambled through snow to my bowl of ice
my calloused tongue on her cold
the bowl’s organ
I was a white door
textured and crumbling
in that manticorean dumpster
buds of teeth and name
where that doorknob would have been
the park on a picnic
her triangular table limbs
white oaks unhinged
and her cold drooping javelin wings
(originally published in Peculiar Mormyrid)
(originally published in Vector Magazine, Spring 2016)
We know it is us
who wish to quit the moon.
We close our eyes our jaggedness
could drive the sun away but never
in the way our metaphors could.
Still we write the moonlight
into the sand and growl
at the tide
when the tide returns.
We cry from the shape
our lives took to intersect–
filled with sugar,
or a snail. Or a million
hourglasses, a million snails,
a million glimmering shells
in a measured slowness.
You were talking about the sunrise–
but I never wanted to look.
(originally published in Thin Air, Spring 2016)
from bed we stared upward
at dead bugs in the light fixture
dark spots scattered so motionless
at the foot of what blinds and allures
you said I’m not going to remove them
I mentioned the blinds were parted this entire time
you said a homeless man lives across the street
but the cold and snow would prevent anyone from watching
the light was dimmed
neither of us intended escape
I learned a stinkbug can withstand temperatures
of negative twenty I had tossed one into snow
and it froze meaning its heart turned cold
in an instant and I expect it to
the shell lifeless and its own
dark spot in the snow
the walls were already painted olive
you said you could live with that
we guessed the time and now past midnight
you hadn’t done your reading for the morning
so I returned to the salted road
cruising past dark snow
and trees no cars
no other lights
for miles just ice
just cold just frosts
and frozen bugs
to bring some kind of meaning
(originally published in Ohio Edit)
in the vacant living room
our packed boxes never touched,
black mold assumes the ceiling fan.
it awakens every morning
wanting to spin,
to slice into the air
with its fine blades
a surgery of breathing
and the chest waits
for your steady palm
those numb nights,
when our billowed heat
cooled our voluminous bits
(originally published in Scarlet Leaf Review)