Showdown

At the beach
a man in each tide,
men like grains of sand,
a thousand men between
your toes.

Bring them
to our spot
underneath
the umbrella.

We shall always be
in the shade
when the sea
begins its fury.

(originally published in The Fictional Café, Spring 2019)

Invisibility (NYC)

Chin on window, I still somehow lost
myself in the crowd: the subway

left me here, at my draped destination. Yet
street guitars and strangers’ chatter echo

in the underground, eardrums thrumming through
this maze of machines: ticket-takers, escalators.

Half-shell, half-mind, I ascend into the grid
of civilization: deadened lego towers, blind

in the clouds, airplanes wending through
faint chemical composition quarter-notes.

(originally published in Pif Magazine, Summer 2019)

Walking in Rain

Don’t worry, I’ve seen Signs.

I know we’re not vulnerable
the way those on-screen aliens are,

deathly allergic to water. We’re made of
the stuff yet haven’t learned to fear it.

Avoid city taps. Toxic, they say.
I’m drinking tons of it, unless you mean ego,

in which there’s a bucket devoid of myself
the dark sky so badly wants to donate to.

In the way you believe, we are not aliens,
unless you mean we don’t know ourselves.

Every day, my mouth dries up
avoiding strangers. M. Night Shyamalan

dons an aluminum hat upon spotting me.
I’d do the same– leave the store looking

down at my feet, toggle up the heat
in my Ford in heavy winter clothes

to sweat my chemical reaction out.

(originally published in COG Magazine, Spring 2019)

Alone in a Movie Theater

I am in competition with darkness
staring into the eyes of people playing people

says the man who lost himself in Los Angeles
on purpose to walk to the beach and along

its shore at night with grayblue jacket lightly
shielding me from breeze inside other footprints

shapeshifting to waves rocking against a porch
of a vacation home that pile of gold inside

a beached skull I carried into an orchard with
knife and sliced gala apples into motorboats how

Dad used to and it is not littering when I biodegrade
myself into Earth sinking deeper into its core

where I sleep for two hours and
wake up a new and filthy man

 

(originally published in Rabid Oak, Summer 2019)

That Summer I Still Believed in Everything

Blackbirds linger over the summer of 2012–
I followed them to Austin ahead of winter’s white

knuckle, veered west into the world of tv,
an industry where I found & fought the devil

in myself, his blade lodged still deep within me.
I chose Los Angeles over love, a dead dream

over crisp grass, intoxicated phone calls of
a faraway devotion– how I once told Tony

who I would marry, how it was inevitable
until the two-thousand mile difference

we would never bridge.

(originally published in riverbabble, Summer 2019)

Transition

I walk this familiar street
of spring. Cherry blossoms,

sunshine, the desire
to drink. Yesterday

I snuck into a field
with a flask to avoid

the knife room I
tell myself to stay

out of. My longing a black
rolled-up rug. I tell myself

Stay wound, trying how
I can before I let again

the drunk in me to walk
through the door,

spill me out in scuff
marks and mudprints

just after the rain.

 

(originally published in Penmen Review, Summer 2019)