When I first saw the broom stand
upright in the room, I thought, witchcraft.
I couldn’t sleep for days after that.
Not because it tumbled and crashed
to the floor in a roar of unforeseen
thunder, but because it was thrilling
to see the way we could play with
gravitational pull. Can my chewy
be tossed across the office with
a knuckleball axis tilt at the end?
I’ve witnessed tricks, your robot-
walk into a wall, your near-miss
backflip kick to the hanging amber
lights off the ceiling. I see everything
that happens here from my suite
on the floor, which is why, one day,
when the moon is tugging the world
the right way, I’ll sneak out my pillow
into the hall, past the conference room.
When you search for me, I will stand
on two legs in the shadows, ready
to capture your reaction on camera.
(originally published in Communicators League, Fall 2021)
Bananas everywhere make me hungry.
The doormat, the neon sign, the sticker
on your Apple– I can’t help it. My
cuteness doesn’t preclude that I am part
wolf. A ruthless hunter. When I run
across the rug to your room I want you
to throw fruit on the floor just to bite off
the peels. I’ve had my eyes on inedible Ethel
the Christmas Chicken when I learned she’s
still a chicken. For once I want a sandwich.
Put me in your cart with a potato gun
at Sam’s and we’ll hold that whole
place up. As you ransack the banana stand,
I’ll loot the deli and meet you in the middle.
(originally published in Jokes Review, Summer 2020)
there is a limited amount
of space on the futon
to absorb sun because it is
another day in (x) of them
they are staring as I say this
in my pantsless existence
with feet pressed together
on sweaty carpet
(originally published in Raw Dog Press, Spring 2022)
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)
In Kathleen’s apartment in Oregon,
I ask her where even is home?
maybe never knowing.
I see my mom’s mown lawn
in the green fields our baseball
team travels through, my friends
in tweets spitting scores or stats.
These, I don’t care about,
but I join in discussion.
Blue hands to high-five,
then to put my phone down.
(originally published in Hobart, Winter 2018)
I dropped the screw in the tuna.
The dog got blamed. Once,
my grandma cut herself climbing
a fence and a sliver of flesh fell
into snow, which her dog ate.
I could have gifted you this.
There’s a Christmas story in there
somewhere. There was a better kind
of last meal you could have.
(originally published in I-70 Review, Fall 2018)
Listen: the Earth’s siren wails
in tones only animals like us can understand.
We are pretending we do not caress ourselves
on the bed of feather blankets.
Wings– and we call them feathers.
Our weightlessness is contagious.
A broken Bob Dylan vinyl.
Tender was the night until the day absolved it so.
If a wolf sleeps through whistle
has he lost his lust? The life
of choice. We are obese with wrong decisions
and our belts contain the weight dribbling
past our buckles.
Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kentucky annexed
by memory. Junebugs live there in relative obscurity.
Junebugs. June bugs.
(originally published in The Oddville Press, Summer 2017)
to leave water would mean I suffocate
so I wait for orange pellets to fall almost
like rain you and I are alone most
of the time pooled in a little world
aimless from place to place
in a bowl peering through glass
to see what moves around us
swimming feels like drowning
when you come to me and I press
my face to glass trying hard to break
it to come meet you
when I flap my fins it means I am starving
not for food but to end these
lonely days punctuated by when
you surface through the waters of that
more colorful other universe like magic
my sky becomes kaleidoscopic orange
and I nearly believe I belong
(originally published in Perspectives Magazine, Spring 2017)
I scratch at doors because I hear a creature
moving in some box I have yet to lick.
Cardboard has the faint taste of forest, of hungry
bark. I have never ventured deep but the deep
knows my name, and when alone its voice
is sometimes distant but so heavy, I claw
the door’s painted wood until the woodlands stop
speaking, or someone lets me free. I explore dark
spaces and in this home I look for monsters
to flee– I run from shadows, sprinting through
the wilds of rooms wanting a chase to give
my motion meaning. Don’t get me wrong.
I’m grateful; I’m safe; I’m running from myself:
I’ve loved like vacancies in the clothes hanging
in closets. And loved like in your arms, eyes closed,
no more dark but in searching for the predator
to emerge in you– but on your bed, in this room,
in this home– there is only breathing and calm
I can’t sense in that outside world of creaking
and footsteps, of clouds rolling into thunder,
of multitudes of other things
I trust far less than you.
(originally published in York Literary Review, Spring 2017)
a horse runs
on a long treadmill
at first we say this
is not normal
but the horse runs
on the long treadmill
we normalize it
there’s that horse
on the long
(originally published in The Neglected Ratio, Spring 2017)