Tulip tree in Alaska. Cold
and wild. Rembrandt blue
Christmas lights, shepherd
pie a warmth of familiar metal
stovetop. Doorstep. Gold
beneath nothing but rusted shovel
mnemonic arms repping
dumbbells. Must be strong
in clumps of conviction. The south
says the creator God’s a yes.
Freeform jazz. Bubbled
champagne. Festivals devoted
to home. Houston before me,
Texas a pink tie knotted.
(originally published in bluepepper, Winter 2018)
In Kathleen’s apartment in Oregon,
I ask her where even is home?
maybe never knowing.
I see my mom’s mown lawn
in the green fields our baseball
team travels through, my friends
in tweets spitting scores or stats.
These, I don’t care about,
but I join in discussion.
Blue hands to high-five,
then to put my phone down.
(originally published in Hobart, Winter 2018)
Where I lived was a quiet crescendo
of snow six months of the year
& mosquito summers wearing shorts
into the sweating night
Where I lived had piano thunderstorm concertos
jolting the elderly house’s bones
with frenetic fingers, ivory paint,
Where I lived was a lonesome walking trail
where morning chirps of blue jays went unnoticed.
Beds of acorns lined the autumn grass,
a kind of fallout for the process of aging
and the act of leaving
Always, now, in thought, it is a shoebox
of dandelions that writhe when I pet the cold cardboard–
hello, you are home, tonsils– my heart
can’t handle the hand-shaped imprints
from so far away
(originally published in Rubbertop Review – Volume VII, 2015)