Meditation is mellifluous
melody ignoring the choo-
choo train inside my head,
but I have been growing
better, forth in time.
There are meadows
I will never enter – renter
of everything. Nothing I meet
in this life I keep. Honest. Lover
bearing forever strands
of hair? God, infinity is
so infinite when glimpsed.
Such the rose moon
grows on this
(originally published in Count Seeds With Me, Spring 2022)
stretched out on living
room couch long-
limbed nights seeking
God in conversation
all the crumbs we
leave under cushions at
times wanting to leave
you told me just believe
but I’m comfortable
this kind of love
even at odds means
a faith your brain
has a heart to rest on
(originally published in Carpe Bloom, Winter 2019)
Again, a rainbow sprouting from your violin–
no, it’s no light. You never wanted to mother.
Music was the way– adagios hanging from
the clouds. But God had something in store–
What happened was we were drinking herbal tea
and you told me of new pregnancy within these
silent walls of our favorite coffee shop and I said
I’m sorry, I’m sorry because I didn’t know what
else to. And you said it’s okay, it wasn’t you, just
I had to tell someone. Because you no longer
write symphonies. The instrument collects dust in
your closet– where’s the music? We ask. You
answer: inside, swelling. If there’s one thing
you must hear, she will be a cadenza.
(originally published in Chiron Review, Fall 2020)
Another weeknight. Of course
we’re being responsible. Hell,
we chose the karaoke spot
with the Christians congregating
at a table before the mic. The
first from the group sings
Reliant K; the next sings
Hozier’s Take Me to Church
and they all nod and clap
their hands. I want to
tell them it’s a goddamn
metaphor. The whole thing.
I mean, life. Not simply the
lyrics (although worship
in the bedroom seems
obvious– from Adam’s
rib came Eve, hard, both
of them, I mean they bit
into the apple, crunched
to the core, came hard
in the likeness of God’s
merciless love. But what
these friends mean is
a crucifix hanging
above the bed, in front
of the mirror, so that
they can watch themselves
pray in the presence
of Jesus). I mean I want to
tell them but I don’t say
anything, and they leave
as I hit the stage to sing
Psycho Killer, leave before
I can tell them you start
a conversation / you
can’t even finish it.
You’re talking a lot but
you’re not saying
anything. Run, run,
run, run, run, run
(originally published in MORIA, Spring 2019)
Flowers & God–
you tell me, slipshod,
there’s an afterlife
in the party we’re cheersing
to tonight our whole life
with small glasses of Granddad’s,
noisemakers, & drinking
games. I’d like to drown
in something, listen to Gaelic
music like Dad used to
driving us from school with Pizza Hut
wafting from the trunk those
sunny afternoons. & now that you’ve
lost someone you’re willing to lose
your Bill Hicks-views-sense-
of-self-meaning like we all
funnel ethereal spirit into sky
& swig the rain with
drunken angels I know
you know you’re better than that.
I know you know once
the last attendee’s passed out
on the couch heavy breathing
lips purple you’d check
on him, too. You’d be alone
in the house you grew up in
with phone in your hand
calm and through the static of 911
racing to get the address out
the foaming of your mouth
and when a cop comes you
beg please don’t break this party up
and deny the red flashing lights
(originally published in 8 Poems, Summer 2018)
The legend, according to my sister, goes
you lock yourself in the bathroom, turn off
the lights, say Bloody Mary, spin three times,
then voila! She appears, bloodied,
hands on her face screaming
à la Edvard Munch painting.
I obviously don’t believe in this but
do you have the courage to try?
Catholic school vacuumed religion right
out of me, but I blanket my head in bed
when I can’t explain a house’s creaking.
Believe me– if I believed
that I believed, this wouldn’t be
so scary. I’d ask God to help me.
Say I try this now.
Would a vision make me a believer?
Me, an adult in a bathroom,
chanting a name into the dark.
When my eyes finally opened,
I’d pray to anything– the bathtub,
the toilet, the sink, the sliver of
light beneath the door.
(originally published in We Are a Website, Spring 2018)
I seek a way to meet heaven without living it
in my excess the money and green, the love and sex
the sexes intertwined like vines and twigs
and doesn’t faith have nice legs? the priest
would ask from afar in this tall wooden structure with
our congregation crooning a Godsong that couldn’t
bring them any closer to God but wasn’t what
we wanted the whole time each other?
in that way I’m still religious
(originally published in KAIROS, Spring 2018)
I ask God the mouth the mountain holy
snow where does the rain go in desert
yellow enunciation of healing the sand warm
fingers pressed against a forehead as
firmament or a ruse I’m just saying it’s easy
in growing old to live confused
(originally published in Little Rose Magazine, Winter 2018)
Ancient gods rain fire into
winter’s mythological mitt.
Inhabitants escape from the
tampered breaches to become
apprentices of harmony and
tell of wondrous kings–
the bestiary a cephalopod
might preach. Tell me
less of spirit, more of
body. Tell me hunger.
Tell me deserts, dry
(originally published in Amethyst, Winter 2018)
What you do say is prayer don’t burn and die
when passing through the atmosphere.
Yet, somehow, meteoroids do–
though sand-sized, they have bodies
like bullets, sometimes
copper, sometimes steel.
We’re talkin’ heaven’s ammo,
a hundred tons pounding Earth each day
unnoticed. Down here, you claim
able to speak with some cosmic, faraway force
you’ve never met while keeping closed your mouth.
You claim telepathy, so this telepathic ability
how your thoughts move healing this world
of the aftermath of bodies. Tell me:
how does God respond?
And you say God,
God protects the faithful.
So, God’s His own meteorites
cratering His house, hallelujah.
(originally published in Ohio Edit, Winter 2018)