Voice sings through static
in the dark.
me my body–
One at a time. Heartbeat
crinkling in a sugarpacket.
Sand on beach.
I’m thankful. No one
She asks what you want.
window. Flat stale wall.
What do I need?
More salt, more salt, more salt,
(originally published in Punk Monk Magazine, Summer 2019)
Sitting across the small table in the company of bagel
art and clanking dishes transported from trash to the back,
she asks no questions about what I’d bring to this table,
just asks about my experiences working with The New
York Times and making ends meet in studios by the sea
in southern California, how different that life was,
how, starting Friday, I’ll make a good delivery driver
(originally published in The Literary Nest, Spring 2019)
I steep myself deeper
into the capitalist game
the rubber hoodoos
of the rack
complicity is my zippered mouth
and I walk with papercut
cardboard out through
a parking lot of gnats
I open heavy squealing doors
to place waste in a dumpster
floating on a non-potable puddle
(originally published in borrowed solace, Winter 2019)
I’ll do the hard
part not that you
can’t then cuts
a plastic bag
into a metal
I’d rather you
do the time
with hot water
me a white ladle
so I begin
in slow circles
and stays there
these last weeks
steel I lift
to stop the
(originally published in LEVELER Poetry, Summer 2018)
Your lunch spot becomes a haven on the ground
level of a tower between towers on rainy workdays.
Your eyes strained at the sight of a waterfall
of text and maybe you missed
an important error in copy
marketed to clients. Here, though,
the dishwasher sprays a thousand plates,
aiming spouts at cheese stains hardened
from sitting by the garbage in
the place where discarded trays should be.
Water pressure removes ceramic sin
eventually, an industrial machine
humming in silver efficiency,
skin rinsed beside it.
Glasses that pass the spot test emerge,
steam rising, but meat lodged between
prongs is wrestled out with wet finger.
Your fork drips from the steak
just in a salesman’s mouth.
(originally published in Stickman Review, Spring 2018)
Between floors I meet calm–
meditation when firefighters
arrive. Frank O’Hara might
be proud though there were
no red lights streaming in how
one can wedge one’s own ideology
in a wavering tower halfway to
clouds but the building shakes on
bad foundation though a soul is
structurally sound in one way
how it rises a few floors
a crease in the rope to stop
movement how could an elevator
even stop why wouldn’t it if I were one
I would rise only being this lonely
and quit too in the in-between of
sustaining love or faith forever
but interstitials demand warmth
around mind with winter jacket
how such claustrophobic space within
you can force yourself to blow
air into your fist then float away
(originally published in Literary Yard, Winter 2018)