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)
The way the cat looked at me
after his treat–
the difference was ours has a home.
And God I am so ashamed.
They are the same
but I was on our
a bag of sustenance
like unlimited pleasure
(originally published in The Magnolia Review, Summer 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)
When lightning strikes a distant tree
I lift my hands from the steering wheel.
Hail knocks on the windshield–
a desperate stranger. Curled in fleece,
I hide behind windows, the past
a gathering flood until the sun
bares terrible fangs
of clarity and renewal.
(originally published in Rust + Moth, Autumn 2018)
At a McDonald’s in Ohio the TV
plays Let’s Make a Deal & two
old white men are enraptured mouths
open in awe of the studio energy
around Wayne Brady & I
know he’s happy but the audience
is fake I was paid to be
fake in L.A. forty dollars cash is all
it takes for one to clap clap
mid-clap three hours palms
burn & lucky luck even those
who somehow chosen sneak
onto stage know they did
not bring the green glittering
top hat they’re told to wear & now
their hair holds dead rabbits
the producers keep killing
& we’re laughing it’s funny
they tell us & when I was on
the show they asked me to whoop
my gutted-fish stomach out
& of course I yelled the wrong
numbers in the game & brand-
new sedans were revealed
as what I could have had
had I said six instead of
seven & then collected my
forty in line alongside everyone
returning loopy props to
props I know my mom is proud she
shows me & my colorful howling
crowd to happy rooms years
after the date I’m biting into
McNuggets with gold teeth
(originally published in New Pop Lit, Spring 2018)
(originally published in Jet Fuel Review, Spring 2017)
The only deals I actually found in Vons
were in clearance. Beers half-off per bottle.
They’ll be ready in a box in my too-orange,
too-granite Public Storage space when I am.
Bearded teens saunter by in lumberjack caps.
I will wait for more significant events in my life
to drink the harp whose tones keep me moving.
Think about teeth– among the homeless drifters
I probably consume the most peanut M&M’S,
filling my days with processed rainbows and crunch.
How do you stop? I was at the 7th Street Metro, one a.m.,
no one there and the halls echoed in perpetuity.
Purple line for purple folk. I’m purple
from dehydration. Mixture of gravel and headspace.
Play me some ukulele. The strings react to the roar
of coming trains, twenty minutes late.
This is what I hear: my name is Grace.
I want to direct, and these are my roommates.
I realize even in the city’s darkest depths,
no one is alone, even after the dream fades.
(originally published in The Wagon Magazine, Autumn 2016)
the ponytail blonde in the banana sweater & black leggings
floats in some fiction world she belongs in
then asks the librarian a question I cannot hear
she shrugs when she speaks
she figure-skates her slow, shelved glissando
(fantasia of the no-talking zone)
I am writing this poem when
she shoots past my table
with a green hardcover book–
I did not catch the title
or ask for her name
so I am left with
only my words:
I find harder
& harder to
(originally published in Viewfinder Literary Magazine, Summer 2016)
over scattered skittles
& seagulls encircle us
the gathered tides
implore us to
pick a color
within these waves
a million skies
parachutes will glide
to the sand
and blue rises
we never fully meet
(originally published in Eunoia Review, Fall 2016)
(originally published in Dulcet Quarterly, Summer 2016)