my eyes been tired recently can’t sleep
though I seen how you wept fatigued
on the bathroom floor wet tile &
we went to your bed the dog followed
& pressed paw against belly then
sighed & snored in a rhythmic breathing
we tried to do the same
(originally published in The Virginia Normal, 2018)
i bark at da ups guy not cuz i guess hes here to mess things up
but cuz hes here every day when ur not im wonderin y u go
away & y i cant come i would go anywhere wid u
so y does anyone go anywhere when im content ta sit where da staircase
bends & watch for u im afraid of knocks sometime somethin
bangin da door of what i name safe i sense da whole worlds fearin
& i can smell bad from a mile away deres so much of it i wag my stub
for makin it dis long . still i hope ull always come back from snow , rain
& surgery so i bark ur name da best i know when u return tho loud
& disruptive deres no different sound for love jus rattlin da home’s bones astray
wid my voice & wonder if some day itll all collapse sometime inta heaps of
forgotten timber & brick . id follow if u leave dat great clear barrier & return .
i spend my day lyin here thinkin of ways to tell u dat to shout
like from a mountain through da valleys as loud i can da whole clatter
best i know how like u do when u walk thru dat door
its da loudest thing : u fill my ears wid bells i can hear nothin beautiful else
(originally published in Delphinium, Summer 2018)
the cat plays with dangled string no I do
thin road-painted lines
I’m reaching a destination I swear
in the low valley of desire
give me every loose thread you have
(originally published in Every Pigeon, Summer 2018)
I want to jump your bones.
alive with every
touch: hand on
on wrist, lips
on steamed hair
and you tell me
I’m doing that thing
again, calling you pretty
when half your hair’s curly,
the other half straight and
I tell you I mean it
like when I watch you
in the mirror bring hot iron
to hair and I mean it
like when I kiss you
steam leaves our lips,
a collision of curves
into flat plane open
and infinite where
only we exist.
(originally published in The Sunlight Press, 2018)
sometimes who you love
is anticipation thus you wave
at forecasts flail at clouds
hands defying gravity you
drop-down dance someone
into your heart
(originally published in Botticelli Magazine, Spring 2018)
here I look at the same room I’ve spent many nights in
the diffuser diffusing the world’s hues into you & me
the cat composed of smoke
Sara takes a sick day & the room crawls with veins
I watch my own age spiderweb into me flipping pages in a manuscript
this room is made of hair this room breathes fur webs
this is what brains are made of
every imprint of hand
when you sit down this bed this ocean floor this beginning
(originally published in Ariel Chart, Fall 2017)
Expect your love life
to take a dramatic turn
for the better, Taurus.
Consider power steering:
without it, those daunting
curves down the Pacific Coast
can lead to rock wall
or fence or ocean.
When you drove to Philadelphia
without power steering
for the Black Swan premiere,
you didn’t trust your friends
to steer your Taurus. When
you sold it, the red-faced
salesman strained a sweat
steering it mere meters
into wide-open lot.
He asked how do you drive
this dangerous piece of shit?
You answered I am more self-
confident than I have been
in a long time. Today, you
charged down the staircase
wearing a pink polo your
romantic partner said she
wanted to punch you in
the face for. It’s no wonder
she reacts to you
in a positive way when you
change. Make the most of this
opportunity. Walk dirt
roads drunk on Hennessy
with the movement of stars.
(originally published in Construction, Spring 2018)
The green blanket over your head–
Kimmy Granger gets fucked
by a fake photographer
on your iPhone in my hand.
Meanwhile, you ride me, moaning–
it’s snowing– December’s waning
autumn days– awaiting a kind of fate
under flicked-off lights
in the gray of afternoon.
Before this, we reminisced about
the early days– laying in bed my hand
in your hair listening to music.
Then late July laying in grass saying
the ways we make each other happy.
Which is why I must rewind this clip
over and over to the part where Kimmy
is smiling and laughing before
the whole thing starts and
I pine for the blanket, your
green thread and lint.
(originally published in Ghost City Review, Winter 2018)
Every day my girlfriend asks
if I can swim. I ask
do I smell like onions?
She says yes
you smell like you.
I want to be the garden.
She says she wants
to eat me, to push me
overboard. No, I say
and she laughs.
I tell her my new recipe,
dill and onion mac and cheese.
After eating, she says
it tastes like everything else
The garbage disposal
won’t work again.
Our mouths full
of makeshift we have
no place to
(originally published in Triggerfish Critical Review, Summer 2018)
On the patio drinking iced coffee
you write a letter to Jane Fonda
telling her you always thought
you’d be an actress– that distant
magical woman with a collection of
workout VHS tapes, one of which you
bought when thrifting. The sun is out. Lawyers
beside us talk about renovations to streets
near campus but from straw to lips– you and I,
our city infrastructure’s solid. We do not
fill our holes with asphalt to build new roads
lined with palm trees and your bagel stays fresh
in morning cool that feels like Palm Springs,
California. I am somewhere old yet unfamiliar:
a vacation in our neighborhood, a beach
house along the shores of the Scioto river,
oldies guitar strumming through air
like a boat guided by breeze–
fond of the present, sailing upstream.
(originally published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Spring 2018)