I can’t talk about money I have none
I am green in love in the black in life
the debt of my ancestors I am
someone’s deficient ancestor
though my family is dying
one at a time deeper
into ground and deeper into soil
the sound of my sister
sobbing though she can’t be here
at the funeral she would if
there’s always next time
(originally published in Ariel Chart, Winter 2021)
If I live a modest life I won’t know what it means
when the pipes burst or the banks bust. Either means
money I don’t have. Meat the Earth has. I’ve wanted
to travel but I know airplane fuel results in polar bears
dying on dry soil. Think Coca-Cola commercials with
the Arctic night preternaturally night. No snow, no
snow, and after airtime you crave Coke.
(originally published in Quince Magazine, Fall 2020)
Worth inextricably tied to the throttle
I am unable to press forever and
ever, amen, where to lie
down and get some rest? Hallelujah,
livin’ by the bottle without drinking
anything alcoholic, not tonight
at least, not before the long drive
to work, paved highways, praise,
hell on the range is to pay
all your bills at once
and wait a month.
(originally published in Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles, Summer 2022)
It was easy
for every profile pic
to be a drunk photo
smiling. Beer cans
in hands in a bar,
at the beach,
in a house, in
a car. We were
all young and
But the me
in those photos
stack of debt
I still cannot
in those moments
Like snow clouds
over Lake Erie
I hoped would
so I could drink.
(originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Fall 2018)
it’s a series of bills all this money money money
allegedly turning void in wallet into all this good
shield or beating heart or net but I’m getting your
gray hairs you pick in the mirror how they seem
to crawl from the bathroom floor & appear as the
plague on my head O corporation & government
gavel held to my sensitive nodes I sniff envelopes
which smell of corpses that may all be my own
(originally published in EgoPHobia, Winter 2018)
In our Euripidean illness
we thought the apocalypse belonged
to no one when, in fact, the tragedy was
A tethered shoestring at the feet of all the boys
here– a long intestine packed.
And we were a puddle drinking
rain past the lips of cement until we sank into sleep
and how what we hid in our hearts was money,
blood pulsing green through shadowy veins
the cardiovascular surgeon broke his fingers trying to fix.
(originally published in Cabildo Quarterly, Winter 2018)
Can’t even sustain myself with the hours
I work to make myself; a waterfall of dollars
and dreams splashing off wet stone. I hold no
heart hostage but my own; the heart holds me
hostage through beating, my breathing
a slow decay. In aging I prove nothing
to the universe except that I exist;
through the office, I prove I do not.
Despite the hours, the blood and bone
monuments I erect, then forget–
the steady draining of days worth
not enough to get me by.
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2018)
In the bask of computer light my boss
says watch for leaks in the room.
I know now what to pray for. Thunder
burps and rain’s radio static steadies
on the roof– a beating applause
that, for once, recognizes all the good
work I’ve done.
(originally published in Unlikely Stories Mark VI, Fall 2017)
I used to find joy in little things.
Like luck on the head
of a penny.
Or a tire chained
to a blue wall
in the subway.
Or two bullets,
Or your glance
on long drives
beside the ocean.
I feel ill. I declare this heaven’s day.
No fool was a folk legend tragedy.
No fool a fish on a hook
reeled from the lake.
Tomorrow my hand leaves
Your name, claws
on the four-drink ignition.
White rose– consider
a wing. Next, a thumb.
Voices, skies so blue…
I’d find your eyes play music.
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Winter 2017)
(originally published in WOLVES, Issue #1)