Columbus Crew SC

You said you’d be here hours ago,
weeks ago, months ago– last year,
we were late to the Crew game
then screamed nonsense to the crowd.
And then you told me you’d be back
and I waited, tethered to pole, while
the game ended and you were nowhere.
The bottles of mixed vodka we hid inside
the base of a lamppost was, miraculously,
still there at the end. But I changed
cities then came back to the light
shattered in the breath of a rubber band
slung outward toward infinity, the dash
of time not slowing any past collisions.

(originally published in G*Mob, Spring 2022)

Hard to Think Around the Thing

I don’t want details.
To paint the scene is
the scene. I am trying
hard to think around
the thing. To forget the figure
and face. But it was late
October, your phone was booming
This is Halloween– and my
bed was on the floor
then. And the baby
blue walls before
the High Street crowd,
everyone in masks–
with the scissors. You cut
the hole in my pants.
Because I was in
silky green. I was
alien alive in the
wrong place,
wrong time.
There was the gold stage
behind us. By garbage
can makeouts. Groping
hands reached into
the city’s cheap costume.
And there was chill
in the wind except
when everyone
was bunched into
each other. If we
couldn’t stay warm
we’d have to go
inside. No one
wanted the street.
But we didn’t
want inside.

(originally published in Ink Pantry, Winter 2022)

do you know these streets

I do I deaden them walking
I talk them alive in the spit
of my thoughts specks of

gravel in my brown leather
Clarks not made for distance
I say to a neighbor hello

and that’s it before I leave
for another neighborhood
Friendship park you can

move in loops and loops
around the brownish green
in view of hospital whose

restroom I use no one cares
what I do everyone is sick
I don’t care I am too my legs

burn with lethargy though
there are days I want to yell
at dogs who do nothing

wrong I want the freedom
to lick sandpaper barks
of trees and keep a butterfly

between my teeth until
something inside me says
feast or let go

(originally published in Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, Spring 2020)

Room Filled With Music

the winged violin soaring through air
all petal & leaf & major key this song

will fit somewhere why not with us
swallow it will fill the body your heart

the pulsating bass in our bedroom
jockeying deep cuts our eardrums

rhythmically rimmed as in whispering
to the other falling asleep is how good

your resounding warmth



(originally published in Cavalcade of Stars, Summer 2020)

ferns in memoriam

ferns in memoriam
in the room of you

the four walls   the plaster         so what
we would have had a life
together not just be alive
                                                  so what

I’ve learned to lose the leaves
the old days
          reminisce in new nostalgia
created   from a new & better era

my body alcohol’s punching bag
but the nights!    no straight-edge
James    nerdy
                       yes     but one that
lets me lets me lets me
grieve in the light


(originally published in In Parentheses, Spring 2020)

You Leave to Make Art in the South

    a riverflow
  of talent
      the sediment
         of the world
             gone well
                 my flaws
                   I wish
                 still for contact
             this accident of
          longing a lesson
       in how not to be alone
                    through the lens
                              of canvas

(originally published in Erothanatos, Spring 2020)