Celestial Egg

                      “They’re not deviled eggs
                      because Lucifer was once an angel.”

At the bar you order
a small white plate
of celestial eggs.

Holy mayonnaise
yellow topped
with chives.

They are gulped
except for the last,
which you offer me

through telepathy.
I am the egg.
When I stop throbbing

is when I live
so I hold it high
in our five spotlights.

The arena cheers.
I see many doors.
Five floors:

on the bottom, death,
but each row above
a plethora of possibilities.

In your car, you say
I am feeling unmoored,
my shoe half-out your door.

The renaissance is what we
make. It is brown paint
over everything, the oil

light– you ask, what is on
your mind? I don’t know
how much you know

but I felt the warmth
of the machine beside me
thrumming on the street.

You were on the phone,
I think. I glared– I think
the end is coming

faster than fresh ideas
or the universe’s
rate of expansion.

The fact you drove
saved me from running
through the dark city

in the center of my existence.
In the shadow room
inside my house,

I did not process
emotion. The throbbing
sprain in my foot.

It was that death
issued a rain check
when I smacked my head

in the basement bar
of the indie theater.
I was the movie

everyone watched.
I left everyone waiting
for me to emerge

from the sewer. I swear
I will not group up next time.
I want each synapse

comprehended. To succeed
would be the stretchy fabric
of my living. Nylon

for the brain. Procrastination
for the ascent. I say you need
not worry because I am not

worried. Depression is a shovel
deep in soil and I am buried
in my mind, thankful

to be given a second
heaping of kindness
when I never deserved the first.

Hard to learn you
when my body is uniformly
jagged and growing

hairs sharp like knives
eternally out of every inch.
I want to be tender

with you, but once
I eat, all mysticism
is lost to process.

(originally published in Academy of the Heart and Mind, Spring 2023)

Olive Garden

On the way home from my first Passover
with your family we stop at an Olive Garden

in flyover country, where the waitress tells us
Happy Easter and, when you tell her we forgot

but still want angel hair, she jokes her last
table mistook pesto for alfredo. Sometimes

people confuse one god for another but never
their own, and food is ours– Jesus rising

with the dough of endless breadsticks
descending like ten plates of plagues, first-born

bastards in baskets we need no hunt to find
lest our mouths become black holes absorbing

absurd sanctities of tradition. Separately,
the Garden was where our families would gather

on intermittent nights to write our own Haggadahs
or speak sins of rock stars or mysteries

of faith. Afikomans for truth, perhaps, but instead
of matzo an endless bowl of a salad of words

in which we always beg for more
forgiveness without really wanting that.

And the waitress, before engaging the simplest rotor,
asks us to say when to end airstrikes of parmesan

and it does not matter when we do.


(originally published in After the Pause, Summer 2018)

“A Man Bears Beliefs as a Tree Bears Apples”

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

pleading with a red delicious begging god for good
even though I cannot process Jesus I still chew and
spit seed and you walk over the guts of me with your
shoes on sidewalk in the sweltering August of laying
in grass whispering love between dandelions so much
we’re sprouting from dirt in ugly ways all thorn
and bloom overgrown with each other there are
no gloved hands around anymore to pull us out


(originally published in Bluestem, Spring 2017)

So Find Meaning

in the blue diner
we laughed
made something meaningful

but how you puckered
your lips
didn’t mean you need

I am
trying to make my way
down High street
without kicking every red hydrant
I walk by

without drowning in wish
finding meaning in every stop
every green light
turned red

I’m finding out greasy fries
aren’t made to be shared
they clump
onto the salty plate

every intersection
is just an intersection
avoiding cars

every passing honk
is for you

I was not made
to philosophize

mean nothing
until spoken


(originally published in Nixes Mate Review, Winter 2017)

At the Mar Vista Public Library

the ponytail blonde in the banana sweater & black leggings
floats in some fiction world she belongs in
then asks the librarian a question I cannot hear

she shrugs when she speaks
(reluctant windmill)

she figure-skates her slow, shelved glissando
(fantasia of the no-talking zone)

I am writing this poem when
she shoots past my table
with a green hardcover book–

I did not catch the title
or ask for her name
so I am left with
only my words:

I find harder
& harder to


(originally published in Viewfinder Literary Magazine, Summer 2016)