The growth inside you, you can only
guess exists– the strengthening
malignant allium a tumor blossomed
& when your stomach fails to digest
you leave your house in pain to meet
me at the bar & fuck, you needed a job
with benefits but I, too, lack insurance
& down downers at happy hour. You
tell me nothing solid settles
anymore. What you eat eats you
& I fear, soon, you will not eat.
(originally published in Agapanthus Collective, Spring 2021 – nominated for Best of the Net)
I will run you under water.
Your carved, concrete face.
Clothes you did not wear: tulip.
Leave your red suitcase on the floor.
The fanny pack, too.
Soft whistles: ghostly silk of burnt ember.
I am the only one you never needed.
Saliva on your bottom lip.
We sat warm on elongated bus rides.
Followed barren trees along the highway to places we won’t.
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Summer 2018)
sharp turns for the hospital’s worst
left left left.
sometimes the beeping
(turn my bed)
or the yellow window birds.
looking for cardinals
through interstate belt loops
or rings of cigarette smoke.
some days are asthmatic
others are just right.
the warmth of a blanket
this hole no one will lift you out of.
(originally published in Gyroscope Review, Spring 2018)
mom’s hair grew thick
with words she couldn’t say
occupying folded spaces
on the dark fabrics of her skin
and though she continued
eating heavily the fruits of life
the mirror told her stop
(originally published in Steam Ticket, Spring 2017)