Two Weeks

Like yesterday, I say
I won’t leave the house for
spinach seeds. We have to

make with what we have.
I’m listening to Grizzly Bear,
like yesterday. I say

my favorite song is Two Weeks–
eighth-note piano ends for vocals.
I won’t leave the house for,

at best, two weeks after. But
I can’t live on only singing.
Spinach seeds. We have to.

(originally published in Gingerbread Ritual Literary Journal, Winter 2022)


we forget to water the plants our parents
entrusted us with all the petals wither

when we start but the whole time we just fill
our environment with smoke and bubbling water

until the slopes arrive and such is ubiquitous hunger
Cheez-Its and Doritos the salt in the carpet

is saturated and green we better
vacuum or eat all the crumbs

(originally published in Phenomenal Literature, Fall 2020)


on television are beefy men
staring each other down
the camera zooms on one he

blows his snot onto the green
grass a quiet meteor my friends
and I see that half-drunk at

the tavern then proceed to
agree we are too anxious
to blow our nose with one

thousand people watching
I guess it’s just testosterone,
man, the comparisons of

muscles and tendons without
the tenderness of inward
reflection, a pool rippling

out from the inside then
pouring out over the field

(originally published in Impspired, Spring 2020)

When you say exclusive do you mean we are alive alongside the only other life in the universe or

do you mean something else
because right now I am committed
to the rare magic of water its myriad

forms        fresh   salt    rain    ice
but don’t you go change too
much on me I feel so small

in the emptiness following days
without you   being in the pull
of your invisible gravity what

a dance to be so meaningless
years away from all other heat and
made of fragile things   carbon  dust

yet when I fart and sneeze through
the night I still have my body
and you intact in morning light


(originally published in former People, Winter 2020)

Phases of Education


Brain predates flame. Fish’ll
wiggle the net. Swan
in the parking lot– precocious
ego! Always young, forever
pond. The foundation
of every shallow,
labored breathing.


Milkbox, crate,
glass vociferation,
chalk fingernails
the canister and broken.


I understand nothing
but gold and calligraphy
across a diploma. Pretentious–
lift the veil of spider-dress,
eat fish eggs until night
sickness, then Spam
in kitchen cabinets–


Review of the world:
a loquacious life of limestone.

(originally published in White Wall Review, Winter 2021)

March 15, 2020

You say today’s a great day
to walk the cemetery.

So we go. And there are
infectious monsters on our

street, monsters crossing
the intersection, monsters

carrying garbage bags,
monsters driving cars

with windows closed,
staring at us, fellow

monsters. And when
we cross the gate

there’s no one
alive around.

Just hills and hills
of headstones–

all of the dead
a responsible

six feet under.


(originally published in Capsule Stories, Spring 2020)

You Are Going to Kill My Mother

I guess a pandemic’s a time
to get wasted. I want to, too.
Badly. But crowds are universes
of a billion universes,
complex ecosystems in each
of us too small to see.
Most years I squeeze
into the tightest space
to buy the cheapest beer.
But Mom sells colognes
to the relentless public
at the mall, still pointlessly

One of you knows someone
who knows someone
who wants to go out and
smell like sandalwood tonight.
And in the trillions of
tiny transactions we
do not know
happen each time
we step outside,
the actual virus
will make its way
into my mother’s
lungs. When
she– in her mid-
sixties– has to go
to the hospital,
but there’s no
to treat her,
I’m going to
remember what I saw:
you in a crowd at a bar
on your Instagram
stories. And I am
going to blame you.


(originally published in American Writers’ Review, Summer 2020)

My Employment History as Jenga Game

                         I see the opening
                                  can’t breathe
                                                 when placing down
                                        the block–
                                                                    one wrong move
                                     and I’m living in my car again.
                            Cheaper rent. The simpler things–
                                       brick house,
                                                   blue tuxedo–
                                             were romantic once
                            but my mouth is full of blood, teeth
                                    my stomach yellow-splotched
                                                             (but not from sun).
                                 The rocks in my shoes,
                                                         holes in my
                                                   ripped nets my lovers fall
                                                       (rely on me?
                                                                           They know
                                                           I grind my teeth in sleep).
                                 How summery it was to think I could
                                        make the next job work, mountains
                                                                  of manila folders
                               perpetually stacking, tumbling–
                                                  the dim light’s exit blocked
                                                              from collapse.

(originally published in Stickman Review, Fall 2020)


Turn away from bleeding nights
of hedonism, for nothing good

is heavenward, nothing virtuous
earthbound in the hours when

locals have vanished from taverns.
Nothing fills the soul more

than a bottomless glass of brew.
Nothing fills the soul anymore.

Cigarette fog creeps through
frigid city nights– how to swell

your lungs with want. Would-
be ghosts of unborn whispers,

these streets are teeming– how
ever empty they may seem.


(originally published in Erothanatos, Spring 2020)