you say when you are sick you get treats
I type while you talk and you say I bet
you’re writing about chickens and when

you look at the screen you say people call
anything a poem these days you need smooth
silk to coat a sore throat silence is borderline

death when next I need a doctor to peek inside
my nose with light I wonder what she’ll see
stuffed inside after I blow snot into dead trees

I too shall combat that system of escape
with corporate desires as in how much ice
cream we need our nuggets a false meat

equivalent to blood pressure levels crashing
waves with bongos of beating hearts that turn
harmonic within four walls of Wendy’s

(originally published in Magnolia Review, Summer 2020)

Olentangy River Road

Without destination, I am powerless
behind a Civic’s bumper. The cars on 315–
straight shot viewable from my window–

travel without obstruction. In the Prius
beside me is a couple wrapped around
each other during meaningless red light.

The world is ending in these fumes and
still, I have been staring at this Wendy’s
sign, fantasizing about my lips on

a burger square, biting into processed
buns, cramming my mouth with fingers of
fries, then watching the sky turn jaundice.

(originally published in Corvus Review, Winter 2022)

Say Grace at the Drive-Thru

Voice sings through static
in the dark.

God forgive
me my body–

chirping syllables.

One at a time. Heartbeat
crinkling in a sugarpacket.
Sand on beach.

I’m thankful. No one

but you.

She asks what you want.
Ministerial. Ocean

through open

window. Flat stale wall.
What do I need?

More salt, more salt, more salt,

(originally published in Punk Monk Magazine, Summer 2019)

McDonald’s Delivery

voila! magic! mcnuggets
at the front door a knock-
knock and bag grab
now alone at the edge
of the long kitchen table
the a/c roars on lukewarm
meat between my teeth


voila! magic! blood struggles through
breathing’s become an hourglass
my girlfriend says her dad had a heart
attack at thirty then gave up meat
I press a button the heater burns on

(originally published in Hamline Lit Link, Winter 2019)

Geoff Asks Me to Make Broth

he says
I’ll do the hard
part not that you
can’t then cuts
a plastic bag
with scissors
and syrup
goos out
into a metal
cylinder and
I’d rather you
do the time
intensive part
of mixing
with hot water
and hands
me a white ladle
so I begin
in slow circles
when Monique
walks over
and whispers
you’re stirring
the pot
and stays there
beside me
these last weeks
of working
there umami
broth burning
steel I lift
the red
handle up
to stop the
just past
the line


(originally published in LEVELER Poetry, Summer 2018)