to stay alive I must believe I am water
inside my own body inside the river
my living an arrow shot into the forest
ghost slashed open by every stranger
who claims to walk on water when
nothing but air parting is the motion
of feet scrambling to become some
sacred proclamation it is not
(originally published in S/WORD, Fall 2018)
I know we need to decompress because
there’s a multitude of zeroes airplaning
from our mouths while a jet drones above
and my heart is 01001010010 you tell me
your dad had a heart attack at 30 I hear
murmuring between my valves throat
clenched I want to kiss you but the
world is on fire and I want to turn
you off and on and off and on again
(originally published in Picaroon Poetry, Winter 2019)
As if you could find exactly
the base of a triangle–
one long, unsure line.
I am looking for an exit
sign pointing, pointing, pointing.
Outside that red door
wilts confused leaves.
You say there’s a way
to quantify this? That
equations explain everything?
It’s 30 degrees today,
What’s autumn’s angle?
A 180-degree spin.
Math. I don’t trust it.
How Catholic school
assured me the trinity
would save me.
I’ll learn whatever
to warm myself.
(originally published in petrichor, Spring 2018)
Easy you observe the brimstone gold
plated on a perch and the gulls above
broadcast O ye airwaves message
this white noise raging in the country
the clamor in the background of the FM radio
(originally published in New Pop Lit, Spring 2018)
I add more
I add more
(originally published in Misty Mountain Review, 2017)
When a system is given
an initial input of velocity,
it will vibrate freely
upon release. The ground
will undergo occasional
displacement. In running,
we invite earthquakes
with periodic force. In leaving,
the engine drives
with rising speeds.
In real systems, energy
dissipates. The system damps,
often unnoticeably. When friction
ends, the memories displace,
and your face becomes
a jumbled mess of cables,
of mouths in wired eyes
so tangled by the heart.
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Fall 2017)
Force plus distance creates the want.
Machines make work easier to do:
pick up the phone and call her.
A sloped surface can move the heart
from one peak to another by decreasing
exerted force per beat while increasing
the distance over which the want
can travel– a simpler way to have
without the work of wanting.
(originally published in Randomly Accessed Poetics, Spring 2017)
It was Maxwell
can be extended.
My theory is
it is possible
if we are infinite
strings of numbers,
if an unknown
of remaining days
makes us immortal.
as I can
just to feel
does the universe
with the heart’s
The night sky’s
(originally published in Columbia College Literary Review, Spring 2017)
we walked in the shadows
of our shadows to blend
with other shadows
this rectangular geometry
into the lakes
we never knew existed
(originally published in November Bees, Summer 2016)
The function is linear. With
each increase of a second, the
distance traveled moves west, inward,
west, a water bottle jammed
beneath the brake pedal, radio
static, velocity dependent on
time, a subset of timing and luck,
on your face embraced
in a cradle on my chest,
the raft-like rhythms never
let me sleep, never being
struck with the affecting
distance per second, the moon an eggdrop
removed from home, gentle snores,
initial velocity of two meant for two,
the intercept x or y, meaningless
letters to write you, no matter
the slope increasing, decreasing:
always feels like falling
when I stop
(published by Columbia College Literary Review, Issue 03, April 2014)