When my father retired, he could not end
the work– sunrise blurred to sunset
sculpting trees within the canvas of our yard.
Soon, he said, you will wear my work
on your hands. But after he passed, my hands
would tremble leaning ladder onto tree,
snipping branches off the living
(originally published in U-Rights Magazine, Fall 2020)
organ of the trees ring
the heart’s synthetic beating
the stepstep crunch
of leaves a drumbreathe
the forest i lose
me the eye leaves
somewhere someone sees me
how corporeal the limbs
these purple nights return
(originally published in Kettle Blue Review, Fall 2018)
was on a stump under a wooden bridge
that led nowhere. You said I am a fence
wanting pink clouds. We walked the tumorous hill.
You brought up your depression. The green
was infinite and quiet and a silence of oaks.
It was cold and snowing when I was naked
in the dirt digging with my hands with the other naked people.
We did not know what we were looking for. It was the first day
of winter and our legs burned from the chill. I said,
tell me everything you’ve ever known to be true.
You said nothing. But I make videos and we can record
our legs for twenty minutes– just the motion is enough
to nourish us. Hairy legs, hairless legs, left leg, right leg
walking upward to the nearest star– we carved a path
but it was our galaxy led us believe we could wind
and weave through sporadic trees called parks / art
exhibitions and we have these trees
on leashes trying to be trees
and if only we could look at them
and notice our leaves the same
we are so ill with them so malignant
and stuck and if we layer with them
into them if we could grow with them
we would bloom forever in ourselves
and then what would we have to talk about?
(originally published in mannequin haus, Summer 2016)
When there’s nothing special about a sunset
lined with palms, there is nothing special.
Trees jut from behind roofs
like green skinny beanstalks extended forever.
Every plane a UFO.
Breathe the collective breaths of everyone.
Walks should be alone,
watching crows circle majestically
above stacks of garbage
bags in shopping carts.
Soon there are words:
first a sweeping hush,
a low hum.
Then the revving of neighbors
and their chatty sportscars.
The emissions enter the brain.
Then the atmosphere.
Whatever that is
is not what I am looking for.
(originally published in The Quotable – 2015)