bookmark_borderCobalt Tears

Blue tulips in April are mine.
I have claimed them all as my own.
I allow them to cleave the ground
you watch them grow from,
every act of agriculture
a wayward rebellion
beneath a forgiving sun.

I am at this moment the devil’s gift
at communion, the air you take
as you swallow bread and wine.

Divine is the art you attempt
with blades and vases, an army of colors,
when the only one that concerns me is
as blue as the parrot’s plumage.

The parrot suffers from insomnia and says,
The end is nigh. Unusual words, perhaps,
for an avian protagonist. Green is
the color of Christmas wrapping paper
carefully folded on the ends so that
what is square is covered in a closing
of triangular flats. Every toy for a boy
is a train and every toy for a girl is
a doll, except when it is not.

And when all else fails, like a plane
losing altitude, like a baker who knows
the very second to remove the loaves
from the oven, the difference in toys
does not matter, they are a testament
to something rooted in the past.
In your eyes, a wink of blue
and the spring leaves of my very own
flower come alive.

And I allow one more minute, a few seconds
too long, and like the thick skin
of a baguette over-baked, I think to myself
that over time you will grow solid
and unbreakable. All the while your petals
grow loose and fall to the ground.

This poem appeared in East by Northeast, September 2020.

bookmark_borderGrowing Wings

Pink wet robin, a baby perched
on the end of a shoe,
plucked right back into the nest,
to be rejected if the oils on my hand aren’t too human.

The alchemy of milk into caramel,
a shifting of weight on linoleum.

When the power finally cuts off
there’s a triangle of steak, a folded slice of bread, and beer.

Wings sit in the back of geometry class.
Mother of pearl at this angle, bending at the knee,
she makes the sign of the agnostic.

HVAC repairmen fashion sheet metal into tear ducts.
A line of migratory birds registering flight paths with the FAA.

This poem appeared in GRIFFEL, June 2020.


The careful moment I pull the trigger
and the buck skips a short dash, its last.

How a rack of antlers resembles the bars
of a small cage, and the warm lifeless body requires
that one empty the entrails here along the edge
of the wood, a strip of knife along the belly,
the carcass now something more appropriate in weight
to struggle to the truck.

On the way out, a clearing of buttercups
and a pair of does. Their tails twitch,
and then they retreat.
I lower the sun visor and drive as the acid
rises to the back of my throat.

This poem appeared in Variant Literature, May 2020.