Chin on window, I still somehow lost
myself in the crowd: the subway
left me here, at my draped destination. Yet
street guitars and strangers’ chatter echo
in the underground, eardrums thrumming through
this maze of machines: ticket-takers, escalators.
Half-shell, half-mind, I ascend into the grid
of civilization: deadened lego towers, blind
in the clouds, airplanes wending through
faint chemical composition quarter-notes.
(originally published in Pif Magazine, Summer 2019)
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)
Planes fly in circles
all day, all night.
You traveled alone, again.
There’s always one bag
no one claims on the belt.
Movement stops, you wait
in the airport’s clinical lights
while conversations blend to a drone.
Beach bracelets and t-shirts in tow,
others wait for rides in the river of cars.
Passengers from other planes filter in
and tend their incoming sheep.
There are destinations,
but don’t rush.
(originally published in 50GS, Winter 2018)
on the phone you ask
who old lyrics were written for
I say my writing is not literal
these are imaginary girls
you ask who are these imaginary girls
I say they are lonely
in imaginary ways they alone imagine
the ways they are lonely
I lay under a dim fluorescent bulb
a soft cotton sheet on my skin
digging a deeper crater in my bed
as in a bodiless void
(originally published in Bitterzoet Magazine, 2017)