The Other Winter

One day I’ll have to leave
your house & venture
into blizzard–

love, we found each other
frozen in a field
of withered stalks

& each embrace since
has used up precious warmth.

We warm ourselves
& hold on tight
for the other winter to strike,

the day our thawing hearts
will freeze again.

 

(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2020)

DMT & LSD

when I see you next I want to ask you about the drugs
if you still do them because I still regret turning down
DMT you offered at 4 AM when I was on the ground
floor of your apartment sitting on black catfur carpet

though it sounds like quite the quick trip eight minutes
of being in an alternate universe how so many stories
about the drug involve tiny green creatures milling
about & that alone drives the conspiracy theorist out

although for a time I partook often in LSD & once
when in the shower high I could feel the alternate
lifeform in my spine black-and-white pulses being
cleansed inside me & then I wrote a wobbly novella

& there’s a doctor I know who microdoses on the
daily & I’ve made a new friend who says she wants
to trip with me & I cannot wait to have another such
experience even eight years older than the last trip

last time I saw you a couple years ago you had just
graduated from art school making mad money at a
crazybusy restaurant in the bustling brewery district
of my city but I was making amends with a friend

thus I didn’t ask about psychedelics though the thought
crossed my mind after & then I wonder does the boarding
pass for mindtrips expire what if I ask & you answer
the captain is dead the plane no longer leaves the ground

 

(originally published in The Broken City, Winter 2019)

I Try to Keep Your Ice Cream Cake Cold

It is eighty-two degrees in Pittsburgh and my trunk
is crammed so your DQ cake sits in the passenger seat,

moves the same speed I do in my car in this orbit
in this galaxy. There is so much matter to keep cool

in the universe, but there’s sunshine through my wind-
shield and you– I know– thaw as a passenger beside

me. I’m doing what I can: aiming all the frigid vents
that way, holding a folder to shade you. I drive fifty-

five in a thirty-five to avoid my mind entertaining a
milky flood mixed with dust, dog hair, cookie crumbs,

and lust pooling where you are, your name in icing
illegible– it’s fine, for now. Don’t freak out. I am

floating over a bridge, the sun forever taunting,
and soon I know you’ll go, in one way or another,

into the mouth of a thankful person– whether me,
trying to save you from this heat, or you, radiant

as the sun, seeing celestial bodies who– for at
least this rotation– you know revolve around you.

 

(originally published in Dodging the Rain, Spring 2020)

Then I Hear Me

in front of a hundred
eyeless peers I push
my glasses up & then
I hear me speak (o lord
this tin tunnel was I born
in aluminum are my horns
hidden from sight I
am pulling at my hair
searching for the devil
in my throat) I loved
the old recordings
VHS & handheld &
then I hear me speak
(crush the volume down
my thumbs in my ears
to find ocean & space
look away to the blank
shut lids & reach
for the pine cone remote
somewhere on this
cold egg shell couch
among the crumbs)
couldn’t my larynx
have received a more
commanding inheritance
before my parents passed?
I’ve been singing into
graveyards to ugly
featherless songbirds
and then I hear me
sing (or footsteps
thumping down the
path paved to lead
others to grieve,
newlywidowers
seeking silence
in the umber
shade)

(originally published in Hello America Stereo Cassette, Winter 2021)

2.16

I can’t talk about money I have none
      I am green in love in the black in life

the debt of my ancestors I am
      someone’s deficient ancestor

though my family is dying
                    one at a time deeper

into ground and deeper into soil
                    the sound of my sister

sobbing though she can’t be here
                    at the funeral she would if

she could
                    there’s always next time

(originally published in Ariel Chart, Winter 2021)

A Forest

In the beginning was lake
salt on our skin, wind deep
breathing with us in grass.

That was years ago, when
the woods were as open
to being endless as we were.

I want to be lost again
in a labyrinth of pines–
fighting our way through

cicadas singing lovesongs–
to find the water, and
emerge needing your air.

(originally published in talking about strawberries all the time, Fall 2020)

you got married saturday

and I should have been sad
but look my car has passed

you I drive ninety-five west
on I-80 in a who-cares lane

though now I am becoming
anxious in this fantasy as a

rebel driver I realize I
thrust the gas pedal at any

one who laughs with me and
sticks with me and touches

my hand and chest my heart
a thing that thrusts the pedal

until jammed accelerating
I never look out the window

to see landscapes blur
all the fields the same

 

(originally published in Active Muse, Winter 2019)