How We Talk About Settling

Wet from the mansion still
writhing beneath us. Red
gold halls and long tongue

-like carpets. I could not
say what I wanted to say
except get me out of here.

But we were young, yesterday,
sipping free whiskey
in the aftermath of

condolences. Burnt
our throats going
down.

(originally published in Bindweed Magazine, Winter 2020)

x (miss)

                       sunlight

                          was
                          dust
              through open window

                      hardcover
                 books    wrapped
                beneath  a  plastic
                         tree

                   gifts like that

                 we did not open

(originally published in EgoPHobia, Fall 2019)

In Another Life I Am Content Enough

What simulation’s numb you ask
if I want children this time

definitive we boil Kraft mac
and cheese. I toss our meager sweet

potatoes in oil and ramble about financial
self-worth the oven nearly at four hundred

degrees. I can’t stop petting your shoulder
the ashy cat roams in the loam of our love

our newly swept hardwood the house
our home for now so limited already

steam from the inside a pressure
cooker of different timelines. What river

these converging lives to seek meaning
in the biological job postings some of us

are born to call. My dad was sixty-one
when I was born my grandfather clock

ticks nonexistent. We have gorged in all
our broken cabinets to rustle the blue

plastic grocery bag pile. I can’t stand
to live another day preoccupied.

(originally published in Flights, Summer 2021)

Blurry

Home is a little bit blurry.
Mom, I swear to you, it might not be
July next time I see you.

Your digital face is a little bit blurry,
but our lighthouse will always be
the one light in dark through memory,

right? I want to climb the ladder
to surveil the roof. Home has
become a wall of atrophied faces.

(originally published in The Writing Disorder, Summer 2021)

I am waiting for my habits to change

but I keep bingeing the same drinks.
Fireball, Tito’s, more and more–
I tap my feet, wait by the window
for the workweek to end to meet
unknowns at bars. I blackout blind
myself into the mistakes I always
make– my legs pressed against yours
in the Lyft, I want to say I don’t want
tonight to be a ghost that haunts us,
but I don’t move. I don’t say anything.

 

(originally published in Datura, Fall 2019)

Bullfrogs

My mind was split in two–
there was unreality. And then you two,
David and Anna. We were on the dancefloor
at Phipps conservatory when David asked
me to be Best Man. When I said hell yeah,
an octogenarian gave his all to Daft Punk
on a dancefloor that’s hosted hundreds
of weddings. I was writing a screenplay
in my mind that already I have forgotten.
But it probably involved a forever love,
a lotus, and a flytrap. We went outside
to see bullfrogs, to leave the indoor heat,
and there was a chorus in the swamps,
unexpected baritones and falsettos
we could not anticipate. A cool breeze
contrasted earlier heat, and rain, and
in the end I was with my friends, singing
with bullfrogs their forever songs
that will– I hope– outlast us all.

 

(originally published in Capsule Stories, Spring 2020)

The Producer at the End of Pre-Production

gorge on whoppers we’re making a movie

this bag of salmon we’re making a movie

sleeping pills we’re making a movie

thirteen hours plus we’re making a movie

I won’t eat pizza we’re making a movie

Caesar salad in the storm we’re making a movie

no one goes home we’re making a movie

watery leftovers we’re making a movie

dropkicked phones we’re making a movie

at the paper cutter we’re making a movie

beets at crafty we’re making a movie

there’s nothing to eat we’re making a movie

thousands of packages we’re making a movie

we’re making the movie Monday what will you be doing

are you going to miss us we’re making the movie

(originally published in Mad Swirl, Summer 2020)