Latest Poems

Courtside Tickets

C

What stands between your words and my actions,is a barrel of government contractors, an asteriskalong the ankles, a four-letter word for treason.I am at this very point two sides stapled togetherand presented lengthwise; a catapult of shameand a horse in need of re-shoeing. There is a precipice of pupil and promise,a red velvet rope at the local theater, designedto simultaneously keep out and in...

Rome

R

All of the streets and courtyards are empty. The mayor asks citizens to report those who break quarantine. A boy wanders outside the Colosseum while his mother sleeps off last night’s heavy pour of table wine. On the news, Italians serenade each other on balconies, but they do not sing in Rome because the epidemic has not yet taken hold. There is little to celebrate when death is coming for...

Watermark

W

I find you face down, nestled somewhere between dream and sleep, as if one could exist without the other, as if a petty argument the night before had never happened. The silence of your back and shoulders invites me back to bed, where I anchor myself, where my mind skips rocks as my father fishes. The tension is as subtle as the water’s surface, capable of holding up boats and a chubby boy...

Breaking Point

B

My mother spent my teenage years saying she couldn’t take it anymore, but she did. She had no choice but to take it 7 days a week. Chugging coffee over the sink before her commute to work, looking out the back window where the sun would cut into the morning. A lit cigarette in the ashtray beside her. At night she’d make a pot of spaghetti swollen double size on account of the hour on...

Reflux

R

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...

New Year’s Eve 2020

N

Since the pandemic, no parties, no people on the street waiting for the ball to drop, just my husband and a couple of friends. We drive to our cottage near the beach to celebrate new beginnings someplace new, at least to get away from the sameness that has begun to suffocate: the same four walls, same floor and ceiling, even the Amazon boxes that collect weekly in the recycling. Here the walls...

Spring Flowers in a Vase

S

The husband brings home a vase filled with white daisies because he knows his wife likes surprises, and there have been so few lately. The vase is clear with internal cracks that don’t quite run through the entire side. He had joked with the cashier that he hoped it would hold water, which it does as his wife fills it and places it in the middle of the kitchen island. The vase bereft of...

The Easy Way Out

T

I rearrange my grandmother in loose-leaf pages, each poem a memory, a sterling trinket in a felt pouch I keep by my side, often touching it throughout the day, the way one checks a phone through a pocket. There is the poem where she teaches me about the many tastes and states of salt, the one where I learn to measure for biscuits using my hands: a palmful of lard, a turn of the wrist for a pour...

Drive By

D

A misfire of justice. The worry of something hard and smooth. The tactile test of opal along the fingers. The soft parts of the flower or the hard stature of a man imposed. In the terrarium of the inner city the lid cracked and not enough peanut butter to spread the length of four children. Perhaps a therapy of furniture, two minutes on the couch in between shifts, an entire...

Restroom Sign, Acrylic on Canvas

R

Before this, I was a cloud on good authority. I didn’t have the heart to settle for anything less than full iceberg against low hung sky. She shatters the fence post from fist to eye and back again. The man who operates the chipper ride: No need to keep your hands inside at all times. A prayer for more blind, less vision in the time it takes for an hour to pass. The better part of an...

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