NYE, 2010

that was the monochrome new year
I reached for your leg like a frog with long
tongue and you were on
the couch flyswatting everyone

the walls were drunk too the way
we behaved in the wild dorms
animals celebrating the turn of a page
the setting of the sun it was winter

in Berea and we held each other
like it would never be warm
again we caught snowflakes on
our tongues left black bottles in dead grass

 

(originally published in Datura, Fall 2019)

Past 4 A.M. at Pizza King

wasn’t that how life
was supposed to go?
ah, college followed

the whims of fun.
it turns out I stayed out
too late in its shadow

and now capitalism
is the only one
who wants me to follow.

he says
you’re thirty now
so have some drinks

and pizza
if you want
dab the grease

with a napkin first
but don’t limit
yourself to one

 

(originally published in children, churches, and daddies, Fall 2019)

Profile Pictures

It was easy
in college
for every profile pic
to be a drunk photo
smiling. Beer cans
in hands in a bar,
at the beach,
in a house, in
a car. We were
all young and
happy
thinking us
adults. Legally,
sure, yes.
We were.
But the me
in those photos
wasn’t thinking
about bills
the endless
stack of debt
I still cannot
afford.
Of which
I was
in those moments
accumulating.
Like snow clouds
beckoning
over Lake Erie
I hoped would
cancel class
so I could drink.

 

(originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Fall 2018)

How to Be Proud

As I waited for my burger at Northstar
I saw they had copies of The Bitter Oleander,
and on the first page was the work
of my first poetry professor.

Buzzing on metaphor,
I sent an email to tell her
that they’ve also published me before
but it has been a couple of years.

She told me
to sleep it off.

 

(originally published in EgoPHobia, Spring 2018)