liked his spaghetti
soft as can
off the plate.
But Dad always
said stop playing
with your food!
I wish I could
have figured it out
before he died. I
would have told
him I was toying
(originally published in Ethel Zine, Summer 2020)
Happy to finally be introduced, you said I’m proud of this architecture.
It’s true– your sketches are exquisite. In the gallery, your large displays
of heart-shaped buildings: blueprints of love in metaphorical forms.
A while ago, when I was lost and new (and you were, too), I knocked at
your door and the day led us to a festival, a sunny ninety. We drank
lemonade and walked with sour-sweet lips as ghosts through strangers.
It didn’t work out, us, but we’d see each other at shows and you’d ask me
when you’d meet my partner. Next time, I’d say, like I was ready to build
something new from the crumbles my desire likes to leave, how
to draw these ashes shapes for someone new to admire.
(originally published in where is the river, Winter 2021)
We wandered the meat-factory-
turned-art-gallery, white wall to
white wall, wondering when to
dispel our abstract selves–
positive, negative, we followed
lines from canvas to grate where
blood of cattle used to drain,
where old concrete holds imprints
of feet. My hand sank into yours
that first time. I still see it there.
(originally published in Cold Creek Review, Spring 2018)
(originally published in Parentheses Journal, Fall 2017)
we walk parched lips from downtown
to the jazz & rib fest you tell me
you love too many at once
I count the number I love at the moment
but we lose track of headlights
following the other’s every move
neither of us know how to get there
how to make music & when we arrive
jazz is faint & we don’t listen to sporadic notes
choosing to walk the bridge over the river
under spotlights of webs of moths
between railings & you say insects
are the most important creatures alive
the more of something there is the better
all these millions of arachnids spinning
webs to eat the hearts of bugs they always catch
we stand away from the railing because we
don’t want spiders to creep onto us & start
the work of eating through skin to dig to heart
we don’t look at each other because
you can be in love with so many at once
but not the ones who want it most
(originally published in Edison Literary Review, Summer 2017)
Walking through the galleries on High Street
absorbing art, the watercolors bleed together–
a blue-green pond carries the weight of ducks.
The familiar arches of the Short North beneath
gray clouds, strokes of paint whoosh cerulean
onto wall, a window with its subject unmoving.
I wait stock-still for the art to understand me,
as if a painted cloud could somehow awaken
within something akin to the sound of wind
on the lake in the presence of trees who long
lost their leaves, age marked by a reception to
desire. With whom will I share my barren age,
those outermost rings which mark the end
(originally published in ‘the vacant hinge of a song‘, courtesy of Origami Poems Project)