Denver’s volcanic sunset
from the parking lot
was a longing
and while my traveling
resulted in a love
I know it was you
who told me
it was time to leave
are too nostalgic
to be healthy
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, 2018)
Six months after, it was April,
and I still lived in my Ford
after moving out of your house.
I drove to Oregon, found a waterfall
to pose in front of, my familiar wool
and cerulean jacket, a white t-shirt,
my scruffy beard.
In the photograph
the stranger takes,
The sun glints off my face.
I wonder what you’re up to
and who takes photographs
of you– is it a stranger?
Am I a stranger now?
(originally published in Pif Magazine – Summer 2018)
Almost swerved to Akron
to delay our southbound silence
before another car skidded into steel.
We smoked exhaust
with sedans which scrunched
around us. Wiper squeals
revealed hymnal landscapes
through murky glass.
I revel in footprints buried by snow
yet do not know what–
if our black tires composed
cadenzas in the slickening slush,
ambulance’s red, beating
bongos thumping toward us
–what we could have said
that would have ever been enough.
(originally published in The Slag Review, Winter 2017)
To curb today’s desire
to drink, I part the
lips of a childhood
friend– Tony the Tiger
on cardboard blue–
and rip the bag
a bowl of corn
to be my fix,
until the light
And when I
I didn’t think
(originally published in Goat Farm Poetry Society – Edges Zine, Winter 2019)
under banana light
soda chemicals fizzle
out tubes in the wall
on the floor
a brown apron
(originally published in Literary Yard, Summer 2018)
It was easy
for every profile pic
to be a drunk photo
smiling. Beer cans
in hands in a bar,
at the beach,
in a house, in
a car. We were
all young and
But the me
in those photos
stack of debt
I still cannot
in those moments
Like snow clouds
over Lake Erie
I hoped would
so I could drink.
(originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Fall 2018)
I inspect my bedroom’s walls for new specks
after changing dead bulbs in the low sky
of this house I’ve lived in for three years.
Airplanes have always sounded the same,
haven’t they? I’ve slept close to airports
and railroads my entire life, hear engines
coming on like symptoms no need to pay attention
to, low hum in your throat mourning out
of the night. By now you’ve watched friends soar
into the horizon to break the illusion
of life’s infinite line, seen the cord dangling
down from the clouds and sometimes
you reach for it
(originally published in Umbrella Factory, Fall 2018)
A cave, a raven horse-
hoofed sunlit human. Your journey
to know you forward: yourself
tar. Orange toward opening.
Darkness, fire, form,
(originally published in Indiana Voice Journal, Winter 2018)
Like we have nothing else to talk about.
Maybe we don’t. Tick-ridden, each word.
I have a fever. And cockroaches. So
we’re paranoid is what– that we’ll
probe too deep and dislike each other?
Or the opposite. It’s not a date. Right?
All we talk about– our bugs. My home
is filled with bedbugs. You just can’t
see them. Come over, we’ll take
a flashlight to the nooks of
closets. Strain our eyes on top
of chairs to search corners of
ceilings. Remove the bedding,
search around the pillows.
You’d think the topics would
be numerous and multiply.
Ah! A smile, a lull in conversation,
an open window. I open
wide. You pull a flyswatter
from your pocket.
(originally published in Thirteen Myna Birds, Summer 2018)
The way the cat looked at me
after his treat–
the difference was ours has a home.
And God I am so ashamed.
They are the same
but I was on our
a bag of sustenance
like unlimited pleasure
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Summer 2018)