When I first saw the broom stand
upright in the room, I thought, witchcraft.
I couldn’t sleep for days after that.
Not because it tumbled and crashed
to the floor in a roar of unforeseen
thunder, but because it was thrilling
to see the way we could play with
gravitational pull. Can my chewy
be tossed across the office with
a knuckleball axis tilt at the end?
I’ve witnessed tricks, your robot-
walk into a wall, your near-miss
backflip kick to the hanging amber
lights off the ceiling. I see everything
that happens here from my suite
on the floor, which is why, one day,
when the moon is tugging the world
the right way, I’ll sneak out my pillow
into the hall, past the conference room.
When you search for me, I will stand
on two legs in the shadows, ready
to capture your reaction on camera.
(originally published in Communicators League, Fall 2021)
You know this laptop, this Android is more capable than
Apollo 11. The moon’s lonely distance. We hold such tiny
comforts in our vastness of insignificance. Circuitboards run
their own marathon and electricity flows through them. Me,
I don’t believe I am a spaceship even though we live on one,
cruising through the uninhabitable zero against all odds,
each of us wired with biological programming. Darwin,
am I your darling? And I am, and you are – the product
of the grass that tastes like cirrhosis to me, the way it dries
rigid in the sun after heavy rain. What I need is something –
someone – to clear my mind, to absolve my white noise
of hayweeds, the rumba of cardiological time. My heart
does not follow logic, it follows pheromones, the way each
pleasurable thing leads to the next until all pleasure has been
scrubbed raw from the stars, that their gleaming was
always my imagination projected in the faintest way.
(originally published in Confluence, Spring 2020)
My body’s buried here, Ray Kurzweil.
How to be a hill, bumpin’ sleds til mornin’ mist?
More slope than barren tree, though memory
shovels in through the nose–
hell, still got knees of green.
(originally published in Black Dog Review, Fall 2018)
to stay alive I must believe I am water
inside my own body inside the river
my living an arrow shot into the forest
ghost slashed open by every stranger
who claims to walk on water when
nothing but air parting is the motion
of feet scrambling to become some
sacred proclamation it is not
(originally published in S/WORD, Fall 2018)
It is possible
for electrons like you
to have a long-
before the transition
whale songs, wet
until light slips
through the spaces
of our fingers:
Glow. We know
for starting and ending
are the same.
After the initial
burst, let’s become
a more stable state
we won’t gradually
(originally published in Thirteen Myna Birds, Summer 2018)
I know we need to decompress because
there’s a multitude of zeroes airplaning
from our mouths while a jet drones above
and my heart is 01001010010 you tell me
your dad had a heart attack at 30 I hear
murmuring between my valves throat
clenched I want to kiss you but the
world is on fire and I want to turn
you off and on and off and on again
(originally published in Picaroon Poetry, Winter 2019)
The phone rings a silent coil around
the kitchen; the houseplants drink Coca-Cola
and rum. Some day soon your lover will leave
is already a dust mote dancing in the sunbeam
through your window. Carl Sagan writes from
the after-universe a love letter to the abyss and
attaches a minuet bouquet with an I’m sorry note.
How to apologize to whom we love when we are living–
rain sobs off the gutter, shrieks down city drains.
She doesn’t trust you anymore, and you didn’t come
back last night to feed your dog who cried alone in
the darkness of your home, but still he wagged his tail
in the presence of your uncertain return.
(originally published in Columbia Journal Online, Winter 2018)
Quantum physics have never been
more real than in this steaming
silver pot of Annie’s shells
and cheddar butter and milk
I’m cooking and the cat in our house
attacks crumpled-up balls
of paper yet sprints in fear
when a toilet is flushed. We are
all in orbit. You and me and
Earth and spoon in pot
mixing components into
tornado and I don’t know
where the melting butter
ends up nor the cheese
or where I’ll be in ten
years or a thousand
because our atoms
can diverge into
two paths any given
THE FIRST PATH
the one where you and I and most our friends and family are still alive
because ten years is a long time someone both of us love has died
it’s my father I see dandelions on the dead a suit and tie something
he never would have worn & your mother her silky dress and
Avon perfume wafting through the wake the frost her
permanent winter bed
THE SECOND PATH
the one where you and I and all our friends and family are still alive
because ten years is a long time someone both of us love will die
I see a bowl of ashes I see dead dandelions wilting on the stove
the steam carries souls up into my nose where I recall the heat
and depth of the Grand Canyon sun pressing against my
neck Dad in his thick glasses & sweat arms around me &
I pick up a stone & throw it over the edge
(originally published in The Courtship of Winds, 2019)
Ancient gods rain fire into
winter’s mythological mitt.
Inhabitants escape from the
tampered breaches to become
apprentices of harmony and
tell of wondrous kings–
the bestiary a cephalopod
might preach. Tell me
less of spirit, more of
body. Tell me hunger.
Tell me deserts, dry
(originally published in Amethyst, Winter 2018)
Newton knew the force of a desire
determined the severity of impact.
If you want an apple, the thought will travel
far to haunt you. Calculus was invented
to make sense of your absence. Such
is the memory of July: Beach House
in dim lighting, your bed beside the stairwell.
One could almost roll over and…
walking up those stairs the first time,
you were not there, but searching for your
cat outside, later found hiding in the ravine.
You wouldn’t let me stay, not yet.
I would carry silence into
waning days of weeks then feast
on all the words you spoon-fed me.
I failed to boomerang magic into our
silent field, unlike our first date: cheap
chicken on the patio of World of Beers,
talking what it would take to unlock
our true selves. You called Colin
to buy molly, though I’d never
rolled. Like everything else,
that plan flaked and you never
thought of me again.
(originally published in Man in the Street Magazine, Winter 2018)