The Christmases That Were Forever

my own advice: treat every gift
like you’re nine in ninety-seven.
rip the heart out of your parents’
wrapping jobs. don’t notice
the hanging phone calls,
the coils of collection,
the foggy snarls at the door,
the stay-in-bed allure radiating
from big, red boxes hidden
behind the couch for after
we opened all the other presents,
for after we grew up,
after we got jobs.

 

(originally published in The Drunken Llama, Fall 2017)

To Mandy (from Cece)

When in view I know I launch like a rocket toward you
but you are my favorite scent in the universe

I watch stars when sprinting through open fields
my neck beaming orange from my electric collar

you have given me many such gifts
but nothing can replicate your hand on my fur

you know I don’t need to shake my butt when I walk
I’m only playing but it is funny when you mimic my moves

& we have so many years & so few
and every day is so new I can’t bear to learn

the name of another dog or tree because everything is beautiful
& holy & profound in the way you let me roam free the times

I only need to go outside to pee & look, everything’s so gorgeous
I can’t bear to sit still & yet will return to you when you call my name

 

(originally published in Perspectives Magazine, Spring 2017)