He drowned the world–
a wonder, not a caution signal.
Back then, it was possible
for a dog to become a horse,
for food never to become weight,
for sunsets to reward long days
of biking in circles around
the yard’s dead walnut tree.
(originally published in The Wayward Sword, Summer 2018)
The most confident people I know
walk into a room and flowers bloom
from their mouths and somehow it’s not weird.
I have never been that kind of social chameleon.
In public speaking class I spoke until vines
wrapped around my neck and I coughed and
choked until I sat down. I am a little better
since then but it’s arrogant to believe I’ve snipped
this looming, twisting stem. I’m trying to be
better around strangers but I recently walked
into a public garden and a petunia tapped
me on the shoulder and said my name
and tapped me and said my name again
and when I finally looked it took
awhile for the petals to disappear
from her face to see it was a friend.
(originally published in *82 Review, Summer 2018)
Gates clot with distance: other thickened loves not directly related
to active devices are increasingly important for post-fabricated
hearts to facilitate not only process control, circuits, electric life,
but also accuracy of simulations critically dependent on parasites–
your fundamental process parameter.
A thinner gate enables smaller, faster transistors to critically affect
hearts: techniques were developed to provide accurate values.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: you materialize as light
witches on. Auger electron spectroscopy: hold the sun in its light.
Secondary ion mass spectrometry. Transmission electron microscopy.
And the meaning lost in poetry.
And you I lose in visible light.
(originally published in The Icarus Anthology, Summer 2017)
I crave the steady and the swing.
I crave the crystalline trampolines
that hurtle me seven hundred feet
into glimmering onto an Eiffel Tower
stage before the work of Einstein
activates and demands ricochet.
(originally published in 1001 Journal, Spring 2017)
I mess with the piano
Jim says something
about same notes different octaves
I watch the motion
of his talking
monotone forward sound
to a blue jay
is a one-note piano
(originally published in Rat’s Ass Review, Spring 2017)
The days when we would lay
on blue towels by the beach
combing through our Merriam-Webster
holding every fascinating word by the stems in our mouths,
our vibrancy was inseparable from gardens
full of hyacinths and rhododendron and zinnias
and, yes, forsythias, all these flowers in our hometowns
we never knew the names of
until we saw the words on sand-shorn pages,
said the names out loud, grasped endlessly
for petals in each other. No, we bloomed
laughter from our throats, planted seeds
into pits where absence grows in ensuing Aprils.
We never knew what words might appear
on Scrabble nights hunched over grids of possibility and–
strings of letters string surprising words together.
Marionettes, spider webs, violins, shoelaces,
your hair among the rules of nature, and nurture,
here nurturing the garden, here the home
where we tend other flowers– all my love,
I repeated. Forsythia, forsythia, forsythia.
But those beach days were distant, the tide slurring
softly alongside my returns from long unexplainable workdays–
all my love, I repeated. For Cynthia.
Wooden tiles tornadoed to the floor, slapping
the carpet with words we had not invented yet–
there is no remedy for lost trust. The flame
already sleeps in the bed of the mouth.
Cynthia, Cynthia. I did not know a Cynthia–
but I had never been able to name a forsythia
in the wild. The next time I see one
will feel like cheating. Nothing too-known is magical–
there is wonder in inventing nomenclature,
that a word like forsythia can only be made
in moments like anesthesia, with darkness descending
like the cigarette clouds of a severe storm when, in the drift
into a new consciousness, a lilac floats your mind’s pond–
a lilac, maybe, though that’s not what you want,
and maybe, in the distance, you see the blossoming
yellow that accompanies spring, the air golden around it–
the beauty that’s grander than words.
You wish you never learned the name for it.
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2017)
(originally published in Silkworm, Winter 2016)
It was Maxwell
can be extended.
My theory is
it is possible
if we are infinite
strings of numbers,
if an unknown
of remaining days
makes us immortal.
as I can
just to feel
does the universe
with the heart’s
The night sky’s
(originally published in Columbia College Literary Review, Spring 2017)
I am scared to death
Not just the big death
but tiny deaths, too.
All the bulbs are burning out
in my house one by one.
In living, we accrue small darknesses.
Mirror to mirror: void
where my eyes should be.
Hung mauve towel.
Vines of black mold.
Plastic ringlets steady
stained curtain infinity.
The silver shower faucet was once
a sunflower dreamed of fluorescence.
Now, downpour, no bright
for every prayer.
Gallons of black shower
(plead with God just–).
gobs and gobs of hair
cling to the drain.
Genuflect in the porcelain pitter-patter.
A feedback loop of weeps.
Hot water, cold water,
(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)
(originally published in Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Winter 2016)