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)

I Think of Giraffes Sometimes. I Hope They Sometimes Think of Me.

In Kathleen’s apartment in Oregon,
I ask her where even is home?

Clevelanders-turned-transplants,
maybe never knowing.

I see my mom’s mown lawn
in the green fields our baseball

team travels through, my friends
in tweets spitting scores or stats.

These, I don’t care about,
but I join in discussion.

Blue hands to high-five,
then to put my phone down.

 

(originally published in Hobart, Winter 2018)

Flotation Tank

close your eyes,
so you forget.

or remember.
whichever submersion

buries deeper
the salt within you.

it is only you afloat,
naked in the darkest night.

your body is a dream sailing
a sea of decomposing dreams,

patches of brown grass
underneath the auburn leaves.

release what you can touch,
especially if it is nothing.

by then it should not matter
if your eyes stay closed.

when they open, find comfort
in what you cannot see.

 

(originally published in Skylark Review, Fall 2016)