I Try to Keep Your Ice Cream Cake Cold

It is eighty-two degrees in Pittsburgh and my trunk
is crammed so your DQ cake sits in the passenger seat,

moves the same speed I do in my car in this orbit
in this galaxy. There is so much matter to keep cool

in the universe, but there’s sunshine through my wind-
shield and you– I know– thaw as a passenger beside

me. I’m doing what I can: aiming all the frigid vents
that way, holding a folder to shade you. I drive fifty-

five in a thirty-five to avoid my mind entertaining a
milky flood mixed with dust, dog hair, cookie crumbs,

and lust pooling where you are, your name in icing
illegible– it’s fine, for now. Don’t freak out. I am

floating over a bridge, the sun forever taunting,
and soon I know you’ll go, in one way or another,

into the mouth of a thankful person– whether me,
trying to save you from this heat, or you, radiant

as the sun, seeing celestial bodies who– for at
least this rotation– you know revolve around you.

 

(originally published in Dodging the Rain, Spring 2020)

Shut the Freezer Door

I am frozen in a block of ice
stuck in the absolute zero
of time how it’s rushing
water slowed down into
frozen eternity I mean it’s
my birthday today yesterday
& tomorrow being young
within universe expansion
transient in desire to shift
across continents & eras
what I want is to be known
past murky ice the good parts
melted out into a messy bowl

 

(originally published in Visceral Uterus, Spring 2018)

Weekends

You said it was your best birthday weekend ever.
You sang on stage in a large bar surrounded by friends.

When we turned our bodies into rhythm, pulsations,
and streamlines, the physical elements of snow and rain–

of kisses outside in blowing wind, and people honking,
winnowing by, I wondered about unicycle riders, the way

they wheel tall along sidewalks, straight-thin razor
cutting sound– their legs in cycled motions suggesting

let’s drag this out until we can’t

 

(originally published in Home Planet News Online, 2017)

From Mother

Live a long life, son. Eat noodles on your birthday.
Al dente. Do it every holiday, so I can live on long

past done spaghetti which sticks upon the wall,
frozen in time against the whims of dun sodden

dust and entities beyond the sounds of crying
from the bathroom at 2 A.M. beneath the black-

dripped canvas of luminous lights. The grass, uncut,
reaches far now above the frizzy tips of your hair

 

 

(originally published in The Birds We Piled Loosely – Issue #1)