Almost swerved to Akron
to delay our southbound silence
before another car skidded into steel.
We smoked exhaust
with sedans which scrunched
around us. Wiper squeals
revealed hymnal landscapes
through murky glass.
I revel in footprints buried by snow
yet do not know what–
if our black tires composed
cadenzas in the slickening slush,
ambulance’s red, beating
bongos thumping toward us
–what we could have said
that would have ever been enough.
(originally published in The Slag Review, Winter 2017)
Florida’s coast the horizon gunmetal
and the gales drive me into a house
where I ramble in garbled non sequiturs
about God highways marijuana to a cop
whose intent is to arrest me but he says
he does not have the authority yet
I say you’ll get there then after
the wreckage the cop works as a clerk
in the city’s only shelter I ask
if there’s room and he says not yet
(originally published in Hollow Tongue, Spring 2018)
The whole year has been hurricane season
in this nation of bayous haunted by ghosts
of cowboys shooting bullets into the clouds,
gunsmoke in the air, then a disaster of rain.
Save us, God, from these dark clouds looming–
there are too many more bodies to save.
(originally published in The Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles, Summer 2019)
was the memory–
booming in bloom
With mist lifting
off Lake Dardanelle,
what it means
to be new–
so young was the fog
the mind’s cleaver sliced.
(originally published in The Quiet Letter, Summer 2017)
Thirty-five years and fingernails
darken, blacken from walnuts
and the cracks of hammers, the coming
of dawn, clouds wrapped in thunder–
the fruiting spire, the pear-toned
light, the front lawn fire, charcoal
grass, green peels ripening– ripe–
red Helix stagnant, lonesome, remembering
the wet-leather thunderstorm days
the human box of organs and history
holding rubber handles
treaded like hieroglyphics–
interpret me. Listen.
These are the words on the bathroom stall
fingernail-scratched and ignored
What Will You Remember?
Not the stories told in tones softer than television
(originally published in NEAT., Issue 7)