In Your Apartment for the First Time in Months

In your red dress you ask what you want
me to say to you but Lagunitas sips
the words I wanted in June out of me
leaving only amber hops & honey
to ooze from my mouth. You spit
a tumbleweed toward the wall
& it sticks. You say all I wanted
was to know you. Here I sink
into the quicksand of tan
leather couch. This house
was once full of orange lotuses.
We would burst flame
into bloom in the rooms
we set ablaze.

 

(originally published in Every Writer, Fall 2018)

Further, Further

I know the pang of distance / ghost of friendship cold air
conditioned inauthentic rumblings no more / passage into
the familiar / sea / a yellow boat rocks near the Atlantic
shore / I evade the sun / seek any shade to shield myself
of affection / affected by the moon / far apart again no /
                                                                   vacation for the heart

 

(originally published in The Blue Pages, Summer 2018)

Sticky Rice

I don’t remember what I said but it stuck
with me and we laughed and sometimes
we saw the future full of starfish clinging
onto timelines we never had because I left
corrupt with stinging jellies I ate of them
often the sea the seaweed the sticky floors
I understood what we were stepping on

 

(originally published in Bitterzoet Magazine, Summer 2018)

Two Workouts

Sara dances to a Zumba video on her laptop
at the kitchen table I eat chocolate chip cookies

the dog gets too close the moment she kicks air
he walks to a window to study his reflection I inhale

as Sara does the dog stares back exhales my reflection
consuming me but soon my body how my feet are bare

on coffin wood and Sara throws punches while dough
collapses in my fingers before I move grease to mouth

yes yes YES alongside the workout instructor to techno
beats a pitch of butter sugar flour down my gullet

I have accomplished an entire row from the baking pan
Sara says that’s enough but she means her water break

many minutes into sweat an eternity away from ending
she says her stomach hurts and I get it, mine too

(originally published in Indiana Voice Journal, Winter 2018)

Late

I am sorry I asked you
out piss-drunk at Mikey’s
at 3 A.M. a month
after we stopped
talking on Tinder

you told me I think
the time has passed
which was the most
polite way you could
have considering

this man you never met
came up to you erratic
and slurring–
men can be time
bombs single

and desperate
actions to regret
I should
have apologized
sooner

(originally published in Umbrella Factory, Fall 2018)

Southbound in February

  Almost swerved to Akron
      to delay our southbound silence
          before another car skidded into steel.
                 We smoked exhaust
            with sedans which scrunched
                    around us. Wiper squeals
            revealed hymnal landscapes
                through murky glass.
              I revel in footprints buried by snow
                                             yet do not know what–
                               if our black tires composed
                                     cadenzas in the slickening slush,
                           ambulance’s red, beating
                                    bongos thumping toward us
                                            –what we could have said
                                                   that would have ever been enough.

 

(originally published in The Slag Review, Winter 2017)

Profile Pictures

It was easy
in college
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
happy
thinking us
adults. Legally,
sure, yes.
We were.
But the me
in those photos
wasn’t thinking
about bills
the endless
stack of debt
I still cannot
afford.
Of which
I was
in those moments
accumulating.
Like snow clouds
beckoning
over Lake Erie
I hoped would
cancel class
so I could drink.

 

(originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Fall 2018)