After the Polar Vortex

Sixteen degrees sounds like spring, so I go for a walk.
I haven’t left the house in days– restless heart, I needed

scenery until I step into unshoveled snow. I sigh and scrape
the spade against the sidewalk to clear the path for travelers.

A woman rolls a spare tire along the street and, seeing snow
stick to rubber, I decide my walk must end in beer. I follow

her in the direction of the store and buy a six-pack of Truth
and head back home, where my partner asks where I went–

I don’t mean to keep things from her. I just say I needed
to clear my head, and that it’s drinking season. She says

I thought sunshine was drinking season, and that’s true,
too– I can’t go outside without wanting to drink, whether

flurry or thunder. Whichever road I walk leads to wanting.

(originally published in The Literary Yard, Spring 2020)

Delaware Avenue

A thousand nights on the patio wine-
drunk only desire of the moon
between us. Jack’s barking was the
beating drum that kept us up all
night, and we’d just turn speakers
up to drown our axis in music.
I said I never want to be away
from you – you responded
aspens, cherry blossoms
near the end of March.


(originally published in Home Planet News Online, Fall 2020)


beer pong in daylight the yelling
sun chastises our weekday conundrum
of pennies thick-rolled in bank
accounts worth splashed gravel

I lose more than nostalgic games
and afternoons used to be the goal
was get plastered now there are
lingering lips on plastic cups

that need the wastebin
no one wants to clean up


(originally published in Hamline Lit Link, Spring 2020)

Beer Pong

beer pong is concentric
angles & behind-the-back
a miracle of physics

not that I understand
the finer maths of sport
I held an endless reservoir

of alcohol schoolnights turned
blue-lipped and blurred
pages flipped to I-don’t-know-

how-I-got-here one time
awakening on a bed of roses
at the belly of Constitution Hall

staring to the vacant moon
soaked in sticky juice a book
with its pages torn out

Factory Friend

we live the same lives
one limestone the other

the mountain gray clocks
hold hands in concentric

routines using boxcutters
to slash tape off freights

of textbooks the insular
world blurs platitudes

won’t make the day run
faster as the forklift as

convertible into stacks
of cardboard papercuts

eats away at my flesh
you lend me an apple

in leather gloves lunch
for the weary cores of

a warehouse we drive
away to separate lives

(originally published in Otoliths, Spring 2020)

you couldn’t sleep until three;

my consciousness abandoned you hours earlier.
and when your alarm chimed in the early morning,

you said I hate being up, and there was an ant searching
along the spine of your novel. we watched, for a moment,

before you crushed it with your thumb. crawling up the bedpost
was another. I should have told you, you said. I should have told you.

(originally published in The Broadkill Review, Summer 2021)

Endless Imagination

The bowtie light switch has a mustache.
What does that say about me? I’ve spent
too much time seeing whatever I want
in office objects. Tape gun forklift.
Soap giraffe. All I want is to love
what I have however diminutive
the love, however diminutive
the day stretches out in consuming
all other days. My endless
imagination boards me
on its paper airplane,
the rock slungshot the first
time I read a book and never
arrived at my destination.

(originally published in OpenDoor Magazine, Winter 2022)

Khruangbin Concert, 2022

In the inner sanctum of throbbing
bodies, I groove hard beyond slow
walk of long-haired superstars,
headlight-eyed, mumbling inside
microphones amplified starward.
Diving deep into this band the
first time– an alien soundscape
of guitar echo and half-familiar
nostalgia for when we could live
forever, tapping wine bottles
with drumsticks to the rhythmic
thrum of how our lives were
going, no interruptions, propellor
hats attached and forever flying,
no batteries included, unnecessary.

(originally published in Roi Faneant, Summer 2022)