Soon

Broken bottles on the bridge
above the blue Olentangy.

My time in this city is
limited, as is my body,
the future a compromise,
shards from the persistence
of believing in transcendence.

The sweltering sun pummels
my skin, exposed, as I wait for
a sign to cross the river road.

 

(originally published in indefinite space, Spring 2019)

Lyft Shift (2/9/17)

driving in circles
around the city

snow caps on all cars
little mountains shivering

tiny motors no one knows
the name of anyone

only a word on a screen
a face forgotten

and city lights
there’s a light rain mixed

with snow
the roads not slick

I am picking
up passengers

at the end of the night
and no further

than I was
at the beginning.

 

(originally published in Scarlet Leaf Review, Summer 2018)

Wall, Edge, Chandelier

past the corner of this house’s Kubrick architecture
     on the couch a bundle of eyes
                               a slopping visual stain
       but it’s true. my vision is blurry
            I spent the walking sidewalk
            grapes inside my right cheek
    thinking how I want to win you.
                so romantic, you
                with a stranger in my house
                                about to
                          dine on the fruit of
                       ancient gods and I am laughing
                                            now to have the ghost
                                            within my walls, my green
                                                        heart long and longing
                                                                 lunging out my chest
                                                                       it sticks to paint
                                                                                  like spaghetti

 

(originally published in streetcake, Summer 2018)

Flowers

The most confident people I know
walk into a room and flowers bloom
from their mouths and somehow it’s not weird.
I have never been that kind of social chameleon.
In public speaking class I spoke until vines
wrapped around my neck and I coughed and
choked until I sat down. I am a little better
since then but it’s arrogant to believe I’ve snipped
this looming, twisting stem. I’m trying to be
better around strangers but I recently walked
into a public garden and a petunia tapped
me on the shoulder and said my name
and tapped me and said my name again
and when I finally looked it took
awhile for the petals to disappear
from her face to see it was a friend.

 

(originally published in *82 Review, Summer 2018)

You Say the Songs I Like Are the Ones I Can’t Sing

I process major key as minor,
slink into couches to cry at any
gushy thing on television. Before
bed I write pages to process the
day in journals only I will read.
You say I’m genuine only when
drinking. Love is ambiguous yet
I try to process how to manage
a relationship while singing
lyrics wrong to songs I need
to learn to know you.

 

(originally published in Fourth & Sycamore, Summer 2018)

Anywhere, USA

11PM and the street is bleak
in this unseasonably cool May

these parking lots are vast
national parks of the suburbs

their Joshua tree streetlights
ubiquitous luminescence

a steady stream of street cars
these wild intractable headlamp

eyes they know where they’re going
that’s what makes it sad everywhere

McDonald’s flags waving half-mast

 

(originally published in The Tau, Summer 2018)

For Erica

here’s your evergreen nowhere        blue sky eyewhites your
lust for your best life         I mean here is the reason sister

to run into you at North Market      its coffee shop
years after hopscotch       your palm       tree blood

underneath it sister the last time we stayed up past
4 AM      watching nature documentaries     searching

for birds     it was a metaphor at the time     flying
out each other’s eyes      how we’d be wordless

we’re wordless

 

(originally published in Reservoir, Summer 2018)