beer half past noon listening reading
to sam sax’s on alcohol poem
after the final line in one hand
a bottle to my lips my body a future
i promised mom i’d outlive her
& it’s going well so far
but these low-hanging clouds
are moving fast and there are drips
of sky becoming foggier
sara says we shouldn’t have drank last night
but the beers at woodlands are bargain $2 drafts
o genie whisk me to an open field
with flask construct a crumbling house
at the center where i lay drooling the day’s
my mouth a volcano
concrete spat into my palms
the heaviness of me
(originally published in Flypaper Magazine, Winter 2018)
These Tinder dates and hookups.
Teeth kisses and unfamiliar homes.
You count cold days and they are circular.
There’s a blue hue from the window.
M snores in unison with the universe
of her bedroom. I can’t sleep, so
I become the fan. After some time,
transcendence is the blade that cuts
through stale air, makes the room breathe.
(originally published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Spring 2018)
do not miniaturize the bicycle torso between blue wheels
nor the twig tree broad-shouldered nor yellow-trousered man
walking the candy cane
coming shapes myself an igloo of time contracting
mirror view hot pyramids the tips crumble so reaper crows
confuse for wheat
the sculpted falsity in the curving sidewalk
those pickled legs just churn and churn
(originally published in Cafe Aphra, Winter 2018)
Upon the gum’s shore,
a body beaches–
abscessed tooth of
How the mouth learns
Soon, this is ritual.
let bleed from morning
The dentist says
don’t drink– so
consume the ocean
of the night
yourself to sea.
(originally published in former People, Winter 2018)
Can’t even sustain myself with the hours
I work to make myself; a waterfall of dollars
and dreams splashing off wet stone. I hold no
heart hostage but my own; the heart holds me
hostage through beating, my breathing
a slow decay. In aging I prove nothing
to the universe except that I exist;
through the office, I prove I do not.
Despite the hours, the blood and bone
monuments I erect, then forget–
the steady draining of days worth
not enough to get me by.
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2018)
I’ll enter our bedroom to open
my laptop where I reserve
a French five-star dinner and
yes we have kids in this dream
the universe theirs to explore
so they start by clanging pots
and pans in the sine band of
our kitchen underbelly worlds
smaller than the space we used
to enclose the first time beneath
the orange blanket hot chocolate
wafting from the kitchen slunk
into pillowcases and snug before
the sun steams yolk in the black
pan gathers its yellow around
the edges waiting patiently to
(originally published in The Wire’s Dream, 2018)
Tulip tree in Alaska. Cold
and wild. Rembrandt blue
Christmas lights, shepherd
pie a warmth of familiar metal
stovetop. Doorstep. Gold
beneath nothing but rusted shovel
mnemonic arms repping
dumbbells. Must be strong
in clumps of conviction. The south
says the creator God’s a yes.
Freeform jazz. Bubbled
champagne. Festivals devoted
to home. Houston before me,
Texas a pink tie knotted.
(originally published in bluepepper, Winter 2018)
Relics melt– ardent wisps millions
may they drip. Desert echoes– voices
through throats, landscapes for wing-
spans, sand blown past the horizon.
(originally published in Reality Hands, Winter 2018)
Don’t peep the flag, its withered stars &
snakelike stripes a windsail blown to hell–
cleats in fake grass, the dead broil of fall.
(originally published in Cabildo Quarterly, Winter 2018)