New July

This army of cicadas returns home
from a distant war– old love, we
retreat to our comforts after pulling
weeds– Kentucky Mule burns,
melting ice at the bottom of
the glass, I am on your couch
then inevitably your floor,
your hand on my knee.
Chatter from the gathering rises
just outside the back door,
footsteps up the stairs,
and we embrace against
the humming refrigerator,
pushing toward a lush
new vegetation.

 

(originally published in Adelaide, Fall 2019)

Click-Clack

we didn’t do yoga except your feet
on my shoulders & months later

you zip past me with my new lover
on your bicycle      the acacias stink

of memory      you see us arm
in arm on the way to the library

as we used to     too    but when we
kissed was a web spiders clung to

a hunger many legs couldn’t satisfy

 

(originally published in WINK, Winter 2020)

Hot Sauce

You know how much is too much but
you shake the bottle anyway over browned

grilled cheese sandwich and bite in.
The things you think you can get away with–

oh, the tiny fires you’ve stepped across in
the temple of your longing. Little dabs of red

on canvas– the meat of the situation is you’re
taken but, Lord, the flame goes hallelujah blue.

I’m speaking a poetry of pigs. Relationship
as slaughterhouse. Relationship as bacon

you want to slather lust all over.

 

(originally published in Adelaide, Fall 2019)

Local Bar’s Annual Water Balloon Battle

Yes I am drinking Oktoberfest beer is my raft
But listen Local Bar celebrated birthday number four
And held a water balloon war at Goodale Park
My army heaved water balloons at the other’s soft music
It ended sharply in a siren call of silence
Because we ran out of inflatables
Red blue green yellow scattered in the grass
Parsing through the blades during cleanup
Someone mentioned we’re grazing
While picking up the latex shards
I thought the animals we unintentionally kill!
Deer need stomach surgery after eating sugary fragments
And penguins in the arctic beg us
Please unplug your computers you’ll run out of poetry
Deep recess of eventual yearning
We freeze in the act of self-entertainment
Becoming self-immolators
For the love of a lover or for love of ourselves
We find ourselves stricken by wants we cannot control
And they will come to control us

 

(originally published in Cabildo Quarterly, Fall 2019)

Trunk

Always having a crush
makes life fun. The pining,

as Vonnegut preached, even
if only for a glass of water.

It was in the parking lot, dark
after shutting the trunk where

we stored your viola. You
hugged me, whispered music.

Your warmth pressed against
mine– epiphany. A concerto

we don’t know the notes to. How
do you shut the trunk to a partner

you’ve stored your notes in for
a decade? I see the complacency.

The spare tire in reach. Our palms
touched each time we switched

our beers. It’s true: one of us will
move soon, and I want to whisper

give me a reason not to.

 

(originally published in bluepepper, Fall 2019)

Valentine Pizza Risk

lost last night’s gold after the Adriatico’s pizza
guy gave us a tip: wait
                                          for me to leave

strummed strings past afternoon stairs
mozzarella between our teeth      hands on hips
                                                                              lips and tongue

I was your favorite human for one night out of a billion
you said and said     kept me a dice roll away my bedroom just
                                                                                                      a flick of your fingers

 

(originally published in 8 Poems, Fall 2019)

Writer’s Block

You tell me you haven’t
written for a long time.
I know. I know. I know.
Same. We continue on
our personal eternities
into forests to forget we
were a trickling sap
yet draw our bodies
against an oak in a
place where no one
knows. Dark corner of
the dark. I used to feed
on the bark of our getting
to know each other. Fine.
It’s nighttime. A fire
fly ambles through
the air, lands on my hand
and you ask for a jar.

 

(originally published in Tipton Poetry Journal, Fall 2019)