Getting Sober

If I don’t watch it, this lake
is vodka and I won’t care I don’t
know how to swim. Getting sober
is like that. I go out into the world
and look you in the eyes and say
I’m fine. I’m having a good time
and you go on never knowing
I was half-underwater, that
there was a monster trying
to make its way to the surface
and I had to push him down.

 

(originally published in Rattle, Winter 2018 – nominated for Best of the Net)

Excessive Drinking

I am a sun-drenched willow field withered and
purple. Headache remiss, wonder when the liver
will churn its nightly clarion call, squeezing rags
to drag the water out.

Sometimes the nights are like that in the silence
between friends. The drafts replace talking.
You can’t hear the words with breath so still
and distant, willows soon awakening.

 

(originally published in Transcendence Magazine, Summer 2016)

Tiny Vodka Glasses

love is however many tiny
glasses of vodka we drank
and discarded

sun shards held those hands
of many folds

this little glass-dagger
carves the elegy of hummingbirds,
holds veins in my porous fingers

we sing the wooden desk
in the alley of deep potholes
our branchmouths stripped
of leaves but kindling flame

to scratch the words evenly
scrapes on the whitened palms
the lines intersect always
it is not simple to crumple
those tiny bedroom vodka sheets &
weave them neatly into garbage

 

(originally published in Loveliest – Issue #1)