As the tide heartbeats forth,
my lovers return in salt.
Silver-winged seagull loses herself
Yesterday I thought
I would be in love forever–
today, whiskey on my tongue,
sand in my eyes.
I want to find every person
I ever loved within the waves,
how navy shuts
thin books of light.
The line between sand & tide
is awash with wings.
Salt burns my mouth
& I am drenched
in your foam, milking
the sea for words–
the sea swollen with stories
we never told,
(originally published in Common Ground Review, Spring 2018)
I cracked my phone screen
on my first date without you.
I carried it in my back pocket, like always,
though maybe I postured myself differently,
finally sitting up straight enough
to carry my own weight.
I didn’t look at my phone
until after the date. By then,
I could no longer remember you
without the shattered glass–
the flawless screen was not made
from our blazing beach days
of black seaweed and slithering kites
that begged the wind to let go,
where footsteps parted sand
to lead the tide into ourselves,
to let the moon drag our bodies
into the ocean’s boundless mirrors
where, enveloped in reflections,
we could only gasp for air.
(originally published in Metonym, Fall 2017)
to leave water would mean I suffocate
so I wait for orange pellets to fall almost
like rain you and I are alone most
of the time pooled in a little world
aimless from place to place
in a bowl peering through glass
to see what moves around us
swimming feels like drowning
when you come to me and I press
my face to glass trying hard to break
it to come meet you
when I flap my fins it means I am starving
not for food but to end these
lonely days punctuated by when
you surface through the waters of that
more colorful other universe like magic
my sky becomes kaleidoscopic orange
and I nearly believe I belong
(originally published in Perspectives Magazine, Spring 2017)
when the continents drift apart
at least I know any island would keep you
in its palm
and stay afloat
while tectonic ghosts shift
every cyan wave an old hello
when I last tried to hold your sail
in my fist you turned to water
but I hear the tide sing melodies
that must return
bearing my name in pewter clouds
and silver rushes the word into air
into a sailboat– I see shape
in risen mist
with hope the form lingers
long enough to lead us
to where we need to be
(originally published in SHANTIH, Fall 2016)
We inhaled fog on the Golden Gate
along with traffic exhaust.
Foghorns cried names
we did not recognize.
Car horns, names we gave ourselves.
From this high, you said, there is no good
way to fall. We scrunched our fingers
to encapsulate the small
fragility fog brings– how, in a moment,
everything can change / fog
of ghosts rippling waves from long-
passed boats / fog of sitting in silence,
windows down / fog of steel cable’s
fading red / fog of missing
what we lost while sun cuts a way
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Fall 2016)
As I move further from you, whiskey in hand,
the thirst seems to pile like distance in the miles–
my shape roasted under Pacific sun.
Our sunglasses clinked with wine glasses.
The dry sponge. Run me under the sink.
Or run with me. You could be a ghost, too,
a phantom unfurling before me, haunting
each town I pass. Every morning, I am gone.
For a while, your blanket was warm. But chill the air
long enough and someone will notice. No one
likes the cold. Everyone prefers the summer river,
her water’s blue in the ice of winter, the clear
of July. I dig for you in the dirt. Then myself.
My shapelessness. My tendency to drift
so far away that I never fully return.
(originally published in Jazz Cigarette, Autumn 2016)
over scattered skittles
& seagulls encircle us
the gathered tides
implore us to
pick a color
within these waves
a million skies
parachutes will glide
to the sand
and blue rises
we never fully meet
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Fall 2016)
Sometimes I say what I don’t mean.
There is an algorithm which can make me forget;
the others remind me to remember.
Your action has been undone. As if my actions
needed a separate undoing– I did not expect you,
with your raven hair, to perch our thousand
miles, thousand days to bottle time
and cast to sea, a folded note to be read
by a stranger at shore. Here, I am a knot
bound to be undone, tethered to a battered shoe,
and in the sprint, wind coarsens your hair.
In the cold we move closer and closer until the breathing
is stale and fogs my car’s windows, the outside world
turned gray. Confusing a fluorescent lightbulb for the moon,
I would risk one more rejection to bring you even nearer,
past the point of no return.
(Originally published in Corium Magazine, Spring 2016)
In darkness I will squeeze
to keep my hold on you.
In light I will bottle
the glint from your eyes.
I will keep it
in my pocket
and know the warmth
Over time it will become sand:
an hourglass in which will keep
the deep, ancient secret of the ocean:
love has no boundaries which cannot be breathed
(originally published in White Ash Literary Magazine)
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)