Rather, it’s about the void she left
behind– no dirty dishes in the sink,
no hand to move the plates out
from the coffins of the cabinets.
Used to be hot soup was what
we wanted to come home to
when we wanted to come
home, but the chicken rots
in the fridge and even its
memory chokes on
cold forever air
(originally published in Poetry Pacific, Fall 2018)
the sacred land
pipes and protestors
clank and clash
God in front of the lens
smiling gold teeth
cup of reservoir water
in hand (with straw)
I did this
isn’t it beautiful
the way people rally
a river knows
only the land
it flows through
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2018)
or is it clay or is it ghosts I remember
muddy footprints you walking in from
rain white plate of cookies in sweat-palms
mud on floor you said sweet, sweet, sweet,
sweet children all those black nights the salty
wind knocking its way in through shut
windows the dead flowers in vases
received sunlight their daily bread
give us ours the ramshackle trinity of unclean
dishes filthy hands and the sticky fridge door
which wouldn’t open not for you
and certainly not for us
(originally published in Califragile, Fall 2017)
Your wristwatch ticks slower than mine.
Time does not account for the beating
of two hearts
on opposite coasts.
Know we pass through days the same:
second by second, minute,
hour, moon– every second,
every minute I fill myself
with your moonlight,
and when your crystal radiates
at the thrust of night,
we are endless, meaningless
as the turn of the hour
when the gleam of your smile
will guide me from the dark.
(Originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2017)
Fill the cracks so the ants can’t infest.
This is the poison applied for feeding:
urine-yellow icky glue sealing lips
to take home to another body. Sometimes
words stick where I open my mouth–
the crevice between us not letting you in.
I, too, have brought small gifts back
underground thinking them an olive
branch. Each attempt kills one way
or another. Malignant misinterpretations.
I return with this pellet of words.
This killing I never meant to witness.
(originally published in Abstract Magazine, Fall 2017)
a duck waddling in your throat
before a thunderstorm
try to quack all you can
navigate through water
do not function)
remain afloat you remember
your body floats (what’s the word)
go fast as you can
in this pond you call home
you slow duck
come home to algae
(originally published in The Pangolin Review, Summer 2018)
The joysticks dance
in orchestral unison,
taking turns missing
the light on the screen.
The proximity advantage
Our feather jackets brushed
and the crowd howled around us,
moved in herds – an infinite number
of lives in which to press
the red kick button. Not a red
exit. Not to drink water in excess
of the salt, shake it over,
shake your damn hands and clap
once, clap twice, shiver in the
thorn-wine applause– let us
shiver within our bones.
(originally published in Kaaterskill Basin, Spring 2018)
On the way home from my first Passover
with your family we stop at an Olive Garden
in flyover country, where the waitress tells us
Happy Easter and, when you tell her we forgot
but still want angel hair, she jokes her last
table mistook pesto for alfredo. Sometimes
people confuse one god for another but never
their own, and food is ours– Jesus rising
with the dough of endless breadsticks
descending like ten plates of plagues, first-born
bastards in baskets we need no hunt to find
lest our mouths become black holes absorbing
absurd sanctities of tradition. Separately,
the Garden was where our families would gather
on intermittent nights to write our own Haggadahs
or speak sins of rock stars or mysteries
of faith. Afikomans for truth, perhaps, but instead
of matzo an endless bowl of a salad of words
in which we always beg for more
forgiveness without really wanting that.
And the waitress, before engaging the simplest rotor,
asks us to say when to end airstrikes of parmesan
and it does not matter when we do.
(originally published in After the Pause, Summer 2018)
I am a nail-punctured tire
the rubber smell
with you, unfinished, our wheels –
squealing for still.
Our bodies, bands stretched and heaved
in bundles of clothing
feathers scattered and–)
navigating roadmaps to our cores,
you can reach the end
and pluck what you want.
I just want you to see me for who I am
when your legs aren’t clamped around me,
the squeeze in the mitt.
(originally published in First Literary Review – East, Spring 2018)
How you ran
with eyes averted.
Kite and string, we
wanted the wind,
I hold and
(originally published in Up the River, Fall 2017)