In the lips of thunder, we never feel full
as rain slips from our mouths– the brick
streets are slicked with histories we will
not yet slip. Sediment lodged in the curb
will displace in time. Our tongues slicken
in the dry we create so we thirst for the
wet we tried simply to shield from ourselves.
(originally published in The 1932 Quarterly, Autumn 2018)
In Kathleen’s apartment in Oregon,
I ask her where even is home?
maybe never knowing.
I see my mom’s mown lawn
in the green fields our baseball
team travels through, my friends
in tweets spitting scores or stats.
These, I don’t care about,
but I join in discussion.
Blue hands to high-five,
then to put my phone down.
(originally published in Hobart, Winter 2018)
was the memory–
booming in bloom
With mist lifting
off Lake Dardanelle,
what it means
to be new–
so young was the fog
the mind’s cleaver sliced.
(originally published in The Quiet Letter, Summer 2017)
rain I am trying to provide
like you the red cardinals
pecking at ground forever
holes into deepness a guitar
wailing thunderstorm solo
concert of flashing lights to
burn the world’s an AA chair
& I’m mumbling into the air
I wish was your ear shawled
with your black hair & warmth
my teeth nibbling the edge
until it gives
(originally published in Home Planet News Online, 2017)
Someday you will like
the way you look.
You are a mirror unbound
but you are present
and puddles learn
to love their
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Autumn 2016)
I listened, during that foggy morning stroll
on the Golden Gate, when you alluded
to what it must mean to jump,
how it must feel to fall.
The foghorn blared every five minutes
from some ship we could not find beneath us.
We peered our heads over the low railing
and inhaled the gray.
Red telephones rang in our heads.
I can still hear the ringing
from the hotel’s broken phone–
thin wires dangled into lines
on our palms, curved and infinite–
an atlas to guide the whispers
we cupped into our hands
I feared faraway screams
or the deafening sound of cymbals, shards
of metal launched from the hinges
of what was thought secure–
I did not expect
in an instant, without percussion–
I did not expect the fog, how sterile
it seems, like the afterlife, how it turns
the familiar into silhouettes–
to make this any easier.
(originally published in riverbabble, Issue #28, Winter 2016)
the room infiltrates us / fabrics and hangers / bedroom who is this / who are you i / don’t want you / to leave / i / haze / the fog / machine whirs / the pillow / smells like morning / orange banana strawberry / smoothie sweat old / and citrus / the blender whirred / like the black drawer / pulled in and / out / the routine is / the blue / sheet draped / stained forever / the blue / digital alarm / never woke us / sit / sit / black leggings / where are you going / healthy healthy / we draw lines / the visible line / the horizon / with those smoky faraway / buildings / the end is / never coming / we cannot see it / from where we sit
(originally published in The Legendary)
You wanted to eat my face
just as seven A.M. south Oregon fog
conceals trees over a low valley.
I wanted the same of yours.
What you liked was the sky descended:
how you’re able to grip, fleetingly,
the mortal, shifting clouds–
to think, I have touched the untouchable.
Many pines, from a distance, can be held
by two fingers. We can choose to let them dangle
The fog consumes and rises
while we watch the sun burn slowly west.
When the rain begins,
the soft pattering against the windshield
mimics the sound of your jaw
fake-chomping my cheeks–
The speedometer oscillates
between sixty-five and ninety.
The hillsides change so suddenly
with every mile– shifting smiles hidden
by a fog you know will also fade.
(originally published in VAYAVYA)
*Nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Writing Knights Press in 2017
(originally published in Torrid Literature Journal – Volume XIV, April 2015)