Balance

bubblegum, bean
or J for jelly bean

and the first letter
of your name

your bent elbow
your bent knee

upside
down

interpretations. the morning
of early language

the balloon is red
your eyes black

the sky red
your eyes white

the sky white
your eyes red

black drape of night

white rainbow
white sun

everything between
the margins of the

mental spiritual
physical colorful

hangs in
the balance

 

(originally published in Vamp Cat Magazine, Winter 2019)

Two Workouts

Sara dances to a Zumba video on her laptop
at the kitchen table I eat chocolate chip cookies

the dog gets too close the moment she kicks air
he walks to a window to study his reflection I inhale

as Sara does the dog stares back exhales my reflection
consuming me but soon my body how my feet are bare

on coffin wood and Sara throws punches while dough
collapses in my fingers before I move grease to mouth

yes yes YES alongside the workout instructor to techno
beats a pitch of butter sugar flour down my gullet

I have accomplished an entire row from the baking pan
Sara says that’s enough but she means her water break

many minutes into sweat an eternity away from ending
she says her stomach hurts and I get it, mine too

(originally published in Indiana Voice Journal, Winter 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)

Slosh

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)

Rotor

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)

Facts

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)

Symbolism for a Millennial Breakup

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)