I dropped the screw in the tuna.
The dog got blamed. Once,
my grandma cut herself climbing
a fence and a sliver of flesh fell
into snow, which her dog ate.
I could have gifted you this.
There’s a Christmas story in there
somewhere. There was a better kind
of last meal you could have.
(originally published in I-70 Review, Fall 2018)
You generally enjoy your dreams, Taurus,
but not this last one in which your lover
invites her Iowan ex to your house
and they wear your jeans while
you yell at cabinets of lipstick. There
are layers of red on each wall’s face
and you run outside after her
Honda yelling at its exhaust
along cornfields of mid-America.
Meanwhile, in real life, you
two have yet to get in a fight.
Maybe you should do that soon.
(originally published in Yes, Poetry, 2017)
I scratch at doors because I hear a creature
moving in some box I have yet to lick.
Cardboard has the faint taste of forest, of hungry
bark. I have never ventured deep but the deep
knows my name, and when alone its voice
is sometimes distant but so heavy, I claw
the door’s painted wood until the woodlands stop
speaking, or someone lets me free. I explore dark
spaces and in this home I look for monsters
to flee– I run from shadows, sprinting through
the wilds of rooms wanting a chase to give
my motion meaning. Don’t get me wrong.
I’m grateful; I’m safe; I’m running from myself:
I’ve loved like vacancies in the clothes hanging
in closets. And loved like in your arms, eyes closed,
no more dark but in searching for the predator
to emerge in you– but on your bed, in this room,
in this home– there is only breathing and calm
I can’t sense in that outside world of creaking
and footsteps, of clouds rolling into thunder,
of multitudes of other things
I trust far less than you.
(originally published in York Literary Review, Spring 2017)