I scratch at doors because I hear a creature
moving in some box I have yet to lick.
Cardboard has the faint taste of forest, of hungry
bark. I have never ventured deep but the deep
knows my name, and when alone its voice
is sometimes distant but so heavy, I claw
the door’s painted wood until the woodlands stop
speaking, or someone lets me free. I explore dark
spaces and in this home I look for monsters
to flee– I run from shadows, sprinting through
the wilds of rooms wanting a chase to give
my motion meaning. Don’t get me wrong.
I’m grateful; I’m safe; I’m running from myself:
I’ve loved like vacancies in the clothes hanging
in closets. And loved like in your arms, eyes closed,
no more dark but in searching for the predator
to emerge in you– but on your bed, in this room,
in this home– there is only breathing and calm
I can’t sense in that outside world of creaking
and footsteps, of clouds rolling into thunder,
of multitudes of other things
I trust far less than you.
(originally published in York Literary Review, Spring 2017)
We lounge by the pool
& sink before entering.
Its blue averts new colors.
It’s simple: I don’t know how to love
lungs flooding with chlorine.
I never want to dive into the deep
& forget how to breathe
but I followed & found to love
is to leave your fins on land–
but silent in the deep, lungs
rationing air, I want us never to open
our eyes underwater to find
the pool colorless– that we
will always see the blue
the water does not have.
(originally published in GNU Journal, Winter 2017)
Swathed in bedbugs, draped
in the gloom of willing hearts
in collective song maddeningly
swept by enkindled starlight obscured,
fate sprouted flowers along
marshy graves and windtorn spokes
of the ethereal wheel of coincidences,
salvos brisk and violent, precisely when
the window-dead moth inched baby-bug steps,
when you plucked a magic eyelash
from a crook in my face, the numb
morning heat of your breath whispered,
in translation, morose and umber.
Now we wait, sanely, eyes closed,
for all the other things I wished
to bear gold in streets we walk
at night, hand entwined in yours.
(originally published in Glassworks, Fall 2015)