Horoscope – July 20, 2017

You’re going to have it all
but not today, Taurus.

The swarming suits
will suffocate you;
love won’t feel like it exists.

This trend will grind you
down to bones but you
will bounce out of bed

tomorrow to grind
at work. Open your mouth
a little more than usual

to let more air
into your life.

 

(originally published in The Brasilia Review, Spring 2020)

Hilton Garden Inn

I had to refuse your hotel room, middle of the infinite
August evening. I was new in a city of ever-rising water

and you came to me, promising a raft. I couldn’t forget
finding the stars with you beyond all this light pollution

as we floated on our backs in your leased pool. When
you told me you were lost, too, I didn’t think you meant

you’d say no to your forever lover in the fog on a beach
in New Hampshire. I thought we’d wait much longer.

(originally published in Monterey Poetry Review, Summer 2020)

Welcome

I walked your stairs up  off
snowy street     you greeted me
I’ve got something    you

don’t have      besides     I remember
the baby’s birth your sister crying red
tears I felt nothing in that hospital only

a month before we said for good–  I must
have realized I was not in love I am not part
of this family in the annex chatter

what a joy   this new life
screaming

 

(originally published in Datura, Fall 2019)

Courier

Delivering packages–
I see names, not
always faces, but you,

I know your name
too well, your face in my
mind a ceaseless rain.

I knock on your door–
your dog barks,
wags his tail

when he sees me
through the window. I do
not stay for a signature.

I walk briskly
to my van and drive
to my next ping,

somewhere deep in
the city, another box
with a stranger’s name

on a different, faceless porch.


(originally published in Uppagus, Spring 2021)

Couch Talk

stretched out on living
room couch long-
limbed nights seeking
God in conversation

all the crumbs we
leave under cushions at
times wanting to leave
you told me just believe

but I’m comfortable
sprawled mumbling
our conjectural
disagreements

this kind of love
even at odds means
a faith your brain
has a heart to rest on

 

(originally published in Carpe Bloom, Winter 2019)

North on the 101 Toward Portland

One moment I am breaking– nearly
out of gas at Junctions Pass. Another
mile before construction stops me:

it’ll be a few, a truck has to load up.
The first pause on this day of near-
death began in San Francisco

on my sister’s couch– I shared a Lyft
to my car in Potrero Hill with
Amy– the same name as the girl

I left the day before, but I kept
going. Almost ran someone over.
Strayed near a swerving taxi off

the crosswalk. Lost attention when
a light turned green, ignored horns.
This crystal absent-mindedness–

too many things happening I
never had a chance to process
what I was driving from.

But how weeds grow on the
bark of redwoods. How some
hills are angled such that their trees

live sideways, and then you wonder
how they bear their own weight.
You just wonder.

(originally published in The Local Train Magazine, Summer 2020)