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
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)
and float she
may one day love
& gilded wing
(originally published in Whistling Shade, Autumn 2018)
too cozy walking autumn sunshine
creepy crawlie park time dusk
windy waving weeping nights
moonlit musk and tone
misty writing personalities
hard ego ergo wiring
impatient dollars dining doling
drinks to wine’s slow timbre
crowds working loud writing
sheets of many selves
(originally published in Neologism Poetry Journal, Winter 2018)
in my house
(originally published in The Squawk Back, Fall 2017)
So, so many projects to complete
before the deadline, Taurus!
How is your pressure? Blood?
Tire? Determination will drive you
to your office parking lot, and there,
in circles, you’ll run out of gas.
(originally published in Califragile, Fall 2017)
If you drive a car whose
combustion confuses fuel
for air, the engine will quiver
along smooth concrete.
At certain speeds, a clanking
rotor is similar
to the natural cadence
of heartbeats in embrace:
amplitude becomes a deafening
in the stillness of night.
Let a rotating machine of mass
be mounted on a stiff spring
to fix support. The pieces
must move vertically in
a single degree of freedom
even if the rotor is unbalanced,
its hypnotic center missing
one valve’s intake,
forgetting the other’s exhaust.
(originally published in Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts, Summer 2017)
I don’t believe a word you say. The stairs
separate us because you’re on another
level. Gravity is what pulls us together.
& absence of death. You talk in spirals.
I want to follow. A wind-up rotor wheels
his way back. Intransient movement.
I believe in higher planes
when looking to the sky in airports.
(originally published in The Stray Branch, Spring 2018)
I cracked my phone screen
on my first date without you.
I carried it in my back pocket, like always,
though maybe I postured myself differently,
finally sitting up straight enough
to carry my own weight.
I didn’t look at my phone
until after the date. By then,
I could no longer remember you
without the shattered glass–
the flawless screen was not made
from our blazing beach days
of black seaweed and slithering kites
that begged the wind to let go,
where footsteps parted sand
to lead the tide into ourselves,
to let the moon drag our bodies
into the ocean’s boundless mirrors
where, enveloped in reflections,
we could only gasp for air.
(originally published in Metonym, Fall 2017)
I forgot about the Honey Nut Cheerios
I left on the counter in the kitchen.
Brought it to my room after my coffee,
grains soggy, milk sweet. Tried eating it
anyway but fell apart in sugary disintegration.
So I gave up. That’s usually what happens–
a few bites and that’s enough. I let it sit,
let it warm in the morning’s cool, gradual rise
to afternoon heat thinking about the satisfying
crunch it should give me, how I could have clamored
for seconds. I caress the silver spoon in deep
to slow splash and clank. This is what it becomes:
a pool of not-good-enough and I can’t will myself
to lift the ceramic altar to my lips to drink. I stare
at bottomless milk and know I live somewhere drowning
in this disappointment treading out to some delicious
shore somewhere only I know how to live, but here’s
this stale frothy white, stagnant in my bowl,
and me hovering lamenting stressing
over something fixable.
(originally published in The Remembered Arts Journal, Winter 2017)
We lounge by the pool
& sink before entering.
Its blue averts new colors.
It’s simple: I don’t know how to love
lungs flooding with chlorine.
I never want to dive into the deep
& forget how to breathe
but I followed & found to love
is to leave your fins on land–
but silent in the deep, lungs
rationing air, I want us never to open
our eyes underwater to find
the pool colorless– that we
will always see the blue
the water does not have.
(originally published in GNU Journal, Winter 2017)