I have swam your blue eyes enough
to know the color of the ocean.
We rise ethereal with laughter and smoke
below hanging lights which drift through
time, Bulleit in our blood.
Months will pass before
we talk our pasts again.
Until then I am content on
the sun-steel chairs to wait.
(originally published in The Wayward Sword, Summer 2018)
today was one of millions
of days I needed to be alone
a cloud of stars outshining
the world on the eve of its end
the dishwasher cycles through
around its own reality again
forget the parables
your knees are cold
here’s an elegy
so many mothers giving
to children we want
to please them
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Summer 2018)
Sometimes a Saturday is candle wax
the length from Cleveland to Columbus, a highway
of years burning blue in early spring, a handful
of flowers you hand an old friend who seems
a little aged now: a new house, a long mortgage,
a luxury car and me, unemployed,
eating pizza and fries.
He drinks red wine (party
hard weekend) –
these blood-drinks of youth.
I buy him nothing
he gives me space in return.
(originally published in The Heartland Review, Fall 2018)
in the sunlight
of our driveway
I go inside
to tell Dad
a thing like
than a nuisance
but I keep
about that beetle
of a kind
of Goodale Park
and I thought
if I just dig
(originally published in Pouch, Fall 2018)
organ of the trees ring
the heart’s synthetic beating
the stepstep crunch
of leaves a drumbreathe
the forest i lose
me the eye leaves
somewhere someone sees me
how corporeal the limbs
these purple nights return
(originally published in Kettle Blue Review, Fall 2018)
Here is my true intention / inability:
capture your beauty in the whites between words.
I scribble words: egg, mountain.
Neither the creamy expanse of an egg in a pan
nor the peak of mountain in twilight
conjure the essence of you.
I’ve searched for stars in the dictionary.
And your brown eyes search me for answers.
I have none. I’ve scribbled out
attempts in red pen.
Only if I rise godlike out of body will I (perhaps)
in the sky simplify / complicate language enough
to describe your infinite(simal) beauty.
These plentiful dice roll combinations of words.
I don’t rise. I’m here beside you
wondering if I should utter my thoughts
like a prayer to you.
Then, years from now, maybe
I’ll guess what I said and write the poem then.
(originally published in Delphinium, Summer 2018)
I know we need to decompress because
there’s a multitude of zeroes airplaning
from our mouths while a jet drones above
and my heart is 01001010010 you tell me
your dad had a heart attack at 30 I hear
murmuring between my valves throat
clenched I want to kiss you but the
world is on fire and I want to turn
you off and on and off and on again
(originally published in Picaroon Poetry, Winter 2019)
Your lunch spot becomes a haven on the ground
level of a tower between towers on rainy workdays.
Your eyes strained at the sight of a waterfall
of text and maybe you missed
an important error in copy
marketed to clients. Here, though,
the dishwasher sprays a thousand plates,
aiming spouts at cheese stains hardened
from sitting by the garbage in
the place where discarded trays should be.
Water pressure removes ceramic sin
eventually, an industrial machine
humming in silver efficiency,
skin rinsed beside it.
Glasses that pass the spot test emerge,
steam rising, but meat lodged between
prongs is wrestled out with wet finger.
Your fork drips from the steak
just in a salesman’s mouth.
(originally published in Stickman Review, Spring 2018)