Of course I remember how to be alone,
how to drag a lawn chair out to smoke
a shore and offer loneliness a bottle.
But there you would meet me
on a staircase of sand and we’d
gaze at the stars, meld into soft
landscape, cheek nuzzled in
a palm, starfish digging into
the sandwarm face of earth.
(originally published in Literary Yard, Summer 2018)
We can work on puzzles all day,
watch the patterns move
from one color to the other.
Block colors twist in gradients
until blending into something else.
The sun removes itself
from the scene, shifts
behind a cloud,
creates a change in light,
a block of bricks on a building
slightly darker than the rest.
(originally published in SOFT CARTEL, 2018)
I was at Pink’s Hot Dogs
on the set of a reality show
working as an extra
when LeBron announced
his return to the Cavaliers.
I read the article repeatedly
on my sun-tinted phone screen,
its own small gospel.
In my Ford in the evening,
I sat in the Ralphs parking lot
wondering if LeBron
can come home, why can’t I?
Then I reasoned
Akron’s prodigal son’s return
means more to a city
who does not know who I am
than I mean to a city
who does not know who I am
and until my name
is plastered on blue
signs welcoming weary travelers
The Birthplace of the Poet
then why can’t I
is the relationship
of an alignment
of some celestial sneeze
into a birthplace of stars
or the bloodline
between who you were
where you grew up
and who you still can become
(originally published in RAW Journal of Arts, Spring 2018)
I remember pink tongues of vodka became the Pacific
and we’d drown the breeze, water at our feet,
and keep lapping the glass bottle, lips on plastic cup,
swig after hazel-eyed swig, watching hang-gliders
soar inevitably to land, like us, at some black-and-
sand conclusion meaning one of us was wrong, one
of us always mouthing the wrong words into wind,
wisps of brown hair meandering to the air, ocean
blues fading peripherally into drink to swallow
the burning, your dimples creased up, unable
to look in your eyes to lie about love anymore.
This is what I remember of your face.
(originally published in Furtive Dalliance, Winter 2018)
How you ran
with eyes averted.
Kite and string, we
wanted the wind,
I hold and
(originally published in Up the River, Fall 2017)
A shadow figure outside the Ford’s locked door.
He jiggles the handle
hey can you drive me to Santa Clarita
I said no I have been drinking whiskey
which was a lie
he said let me in
I did not
When I wake for a walk in the middle of the night,
clothes bunched on red benches under streetlights
like someone had been there
I call my ex
I can’t stop thinking about you
shadows float from her eyes
understand: we lived
in the cave of each other
under orange streetlights
blankets hang from headrests
to drape me from the world
(originally published in The Nottingham Review, Fall 2017)
I’ve written the last
I can about you.
No more spirits in this blue-and-gray
jacket with the familiar coffee stain.
Out of poetry and time to spare.
Like December’s brisk spit of snow.
The lack of wonderment.
(originally published in Corvus Review, Fall 2016)
Since I first saw your face
shine from a stage and again
in desert sun and through cool,
desert night, you always felt right.
We are soaked now in swimming
pools and sands pooled near
the coastline’s swaying smile
that thrums for us; and here,
water kissing submerged feet
anchored in each other.
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2017)
I cracked my phone screen
on my first date without you.
I carried it in my back pocket, like always,
though maybe I postured myself differently,
finally sitting up straight enough
to carry my own weight.
I didn’t look at my phone
until after the date. By then,
I could no longer remember you
without the shattered glass–
the flawless screen was not made
from our blazing beach days
of black seaweed and slithering kites
that begged the wind to let go,
where footsteps parted sand
to lead the tide into ourselves,
to let the moon drag our bodies
into the ocean’s boundless mirrors
where, enveloped in reflections,
we could only gasp for air.
(originally published in Metonym, Fall 2017)
We spent the entirety
of our days together.
Now, the vacation from myself
There is a void beside me
unexplainable in the absence
No one here will keep me
whole. Digging into darkness,
film, facebook, what’s real, what’s imagined,
why does it matter?
I want to caress your stomach in the sun
and know everything is okay.
(originally published in #thesideshow, Spring 2017)