Cloud

the raindrop
life (transience

is a home)
loneliness

forms
on clear days

rising out
of reach

& always
when you wake

 

(originally published in Literary Yard, Summer 2018)

The Stewardess

California leaves in smoke & flame
cigarettes you never touched

the burning
bristle

but your hands
on steel made a home
in airplanes

soaring over the evergreen
we outgrew

you called a bottomless lake
drowning

monsters deep in murk

in the way of work
was love &

understanding this
you left the city
became the sky

 

(originally published in The Inflectionist Review, 2018)

The Kansas City Royals Cope With Loss

A river isn’t really blue. The Mississippi
has dried, and even love is transparent.

We adorn ourselves blue so loss
can be quantified in color. Such

is the brittle paintbrush, naked
and grieving, but we are not

the color of grieving,
nor tobacco spat in the dugout

in shame. We remember
the dirt, and who we loved,

long before we searched
clouds’ faces for ghosts,

her grays in the white
within eternal blue.

 

(originally published in ‘the vacant hinge of a song’, courtesy of Origami Poems Project)

Nothing Makes Sense and I’m Glad We Understand That

Wait for the sun to shine past noon.
Palm trees quiver in a vortex of goosebumps.

The universe revealed itself
as a skeleton in the sky.
Vertebrae wisps, stoic.
Jets soared through bone rings
and whispered softly to faraway swans.

Gaze into the galaxy – golden
stalagmites in deep caves – we understand
that we scatter like gulls
only to congregate again
and dance above the sea.

All the swirling rainbow colors
in the reflections from puddles

unravel the universe
from a spool. As
thread slowly sways,
forget
what we understood.

 

(originally published in Syzygy Poetry Journal, Vol. I, No. II)

Eat Your Face

You wanted to eat my face
just as seven A.M. south Oregon fog
conceals trees over a low valley.
I wanted the same of yours.

What you liked was the sky descended:
how you’re able to grip, fleetingly,
the mortal, shifting clouds–
to think, I have touched the untouchable.

Many pines, from a distance, can be held
by two fingers. We can choose to let them dangle
or hold
steady, steady

The fog consumes and rises
while we watch the sun burn slowly west.

When the rain begins,
the soft pattering against the windshield
mimics the sound of your jaw
fake-chomping my cheeks–
nearly-inaudible clicks.

The speedometer oscillates
between sixty-five and ninety.

The hillsides change so suddenly
with every mile– shifting smiles hidden
by a fog you know will also fade.

 

(originally published in VAYAVYA)

*Nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Writing Knights Press in 2017