I’m sinking all this soft
serve thinking about you. Love,
15-0. I’m the zero without a racket

causing a racket to my friends about
the heart’s catalog of sounds
under a stethoscope– your x-ray

shadow of spring when beach
living was what we aspired to before
I was hired at an office I say sucks

my days away feeding off bone
marrow called cured turkey
the sandwiches we would make.

I have slid so far down the skinny
memory rabbit hole to replicate
burnt CDs to blast from open

Fords that sputtered through city
streets in joyrides we thought
would last forever.


(originally published in Scarlet Leaf Review, Fall 2019)


We walked through Giant Eagle hungry
as hell after work wondering what
we could afford to eat. Mom left avocados
just past ripe at our house on her way to
Myrtle Beach and we knew we had to cut
their soft skins tonight or never. Food is no
good in the garbage. Privilege has steeped
itself into me in ways I am not proud of. We
want what we want which sometimes means
we want beyond our means. We use one
checking account to deposit our tips and
want to eat out if we can’t eat chips with dip
at the moment but stop ourselves to remember
we have free food, and at the moment it’s true.
The stomach also wants what the heart wants,
to be fed like an ATM– someone’s unlimited


(originally published in Pomona Valley Review, Summer 2019)

Indie Film Production

Sherry from makeup tells me I am
cherubic, my face something mischievous,

a wallpaper torn–or an advertisement
from biblical times. I, however, do not believe

I am responsible for the ten thousand dollars
she thinks I owe. This cash she says my

hidden hands hold are shredded shards
of fallen founding fathers. If you think I am

a liar, a pig– come touch my face.

(originally published in where is the river, Winter 2021)


The problem wasn’t that I stopped at a Steak ‘N’ Shake for dinner on the way to your party, but that near Cleveland I couldn’t help but crack open the Great Lakes IPAs I had bought at a 7-Eleven near the Steak ‘N’ Shake and the headlights became shooting stars on 71 but I hadn’t considered meteoric impact and the crater I would have left, a vast hole – I hope– in my loved ones’ lives and I now know I have to sometimes be depressing to climb out of a rut (today included, this long ladder up), to remember vehicular impact affects more than me but that this world runs on an oil field of sad things happening and I am trying my best to prevent the potential to die every day and I have eluded it, as you have, and I love you, I love you, and must remember you might love me, too.

(originally published in Magnolia Review, Winter 2021)

Tree of Life

candlelight vigil
in the gunmetal streets

sharp rain sinking
into pittsburgh’s deep roots

two blocks
from your parents’

the synagogue where
your mom taught preschool


drowned &

the crowd’s
gathering silence

small fires
between bodies

we canceled
the halloween party

to gather at lilly’s
for proximity

how close
to eternity

we become
in each other

(originally published in Thin Air Online, Fall 2019)


Alone we stand

at Mt. Washington’s overlook,
the incline trembling. How

many nights did we seek
the city lights from Mulholland

I reply,

Stanley Kubrick once
filmed with only candles.

You obscure the view,
flick Bergman on your phone

and ask, do you see the reaper?

His head an egg floating
atop a sea of darkness.


(originally published in Vamp Cat Magazine, Summer 2019)

Highland Square

early decade of adulthood
the waning hours of youth
again at Zubs eating a
gourmet garbage sandwich
after rousing our wildness
at The Matinee a home
for scavengers raccoons
staring up at night into
the ether of everlasting
noise a comfort stuck
inside our guts like I
know it’s 3 AM I don’t
want to leave not now
until this moment I
cocooned inside my shy
quills alive in sensitive
jurisdiction I witnessed
within me a shooting
star on the verge of
traversing three
thousand miles of
plain songs to desert
you was not
cake I will stuff
myself sick hunch
over the toilet and
pray tonight tomorrow
I will be home

(originally published in Magnolia Review, Winter 2021)

Summer Gathering

Perhaps it is projection, but I sense
a further wanting, a desire to draw
more sap from our forest’s arduous

oaks. I lay there floating in the pool
beside you under a cavalcade of

stranger stars– this list of hauntings,
these strands like violins shrill
across the night, complex

distractions when we could be
arm in arm and weightless.

(originally published in Z Publishing’s Emerging Pennsylvania Poets Anthology, Summer 2019)