After the Ending, Before Begins Again

My soul doesn’t understand this dead language
Muttering gritty salt
Ground between worn teeth
That permeates the cold air
Bleeds like a chapter book
Quiet stories on musty yellow pages
The reds are blue
And the blues are black
This breaking
That splits the air, the bitter dripping poison
Is another phase
Heavy drugged eyes
Dread opening day
The nights are empty
Void of sharp edges, bookcases, final endings
My sleep was rounded, curved away
Like flowers reaching for the sun
The black is grey now
Dried up and dispersed
Loss is eternity
And then it ends
And I’m drunk
Lips form words and fingers read poetry
Hands and hips and homes and hair
Burn to the ground
I loved you
I don’t know what else.



A Man I Never Knew, Never Knew A Man

His gentle soaks into my fearful and crushes chaos

His thoughtful sneaks up on my distraction and our minds’ align to obliterate a dreaded cold fate

Kindness seeps from his skin

Our happiness improvises lines from nighttime sighs where I’m his sweetheart and he’s my man.

His hands are a house and his breath is a car

His grip on my hip
Is a quiet Sunday street, empty sidewalk baking in the sun
I’m not scared
Of being here with him
Those old fears were crushing
Love ushered away on another summer day, blue and red lights flashing
But today is new
The heat settles in and swallows my scarred
My evil ugly worried tail
And I feel human

This budding, emerging man beside me
Pushes up through the concrete
Hungry for water and light
I sit down now and
Nurturing pours from my fingertips

I want to knead any hard parts with my knuckles until his skin turns pink
And we sigh together
Softened again.

Passing Through Ridgewood

The night air touches my cheek
With affection
Whispering sweetly, sincere
Calming an uneasy head haunted lately by bad dreams
The street is quiet and I’m alone
Feet echoing on the pavement like a single heartbeat
The hum of window ac units
And distant mariachi music
Remind me of families huddled together now on worn couches
As I pass
Pink cheeks peacefully pressed against mother’s chest
Lives mushrooming from the quiet that once was the emptiness of a lonely room
Love blasts from the stoop
A tornado that sweeps me off my feet and sets me down again, stunned
I don’t have anyone to call my own
But the scent of trees in bloom tonight
Brings me to tears
The volume of my soul is turned up
My spine is a totem pole and my legs swing in revolutions
That time I stitched my own tattered tongue and reassembled my fractured ribs did not scar me
My freedom is tangible
I carry it in my pocket and it courses through my headphones
I whistle the tune
While my love waits its turn
My dreams are bright and painful
These days
They light the street in front of me
And I don’t have anyone
But I have this.

My Heart Is A Mosaic


You focus on picking up the pieces of your life
Pasting them on a blank canvas
Colorful collage of self and solitude
You sing a story with snapshots that can only be found in travel magazines and books left at bus stops
You deliberately slice each page in two
Take the half you need and leave the rest
Piece after piece, surgery after surgery
You’re crafting a world by tearing apart what once was whole
You took my right arm
My knee
My nipple
But I still have a heart
And I never told you this secret
I never let you know my heart is a mosaic
Made from the rubble of a million glass houses
Formed by the sun playing on the lake in late August
Hold it up to the light and you’ll see something new each day
Its beauty is best viewed dancing under a canopy of trees beside a fire
A few hours before dawn
Hair filled with smoke, body pumping life
And it’s true
This glass ball can break too
It’s been smashed apart like yours
But the pieces are continuously, meticulously glued back together
I take what is already broken and rebuild
No cutting
No blank canvas
Just a collection of tiny parts that pressed together transform
Into a billion brilliant moments traipsing across the water.

Cold Air Companion

The cold air is his companion now
Brightly–colored leaves kiss his neck
The sharp scent of dying matter
Hugs him close at night
And he sighs in its embrace.

I ricochet down sunny sidewalks.

Mothers and children and mothers and children
Off to run errands or clean the house
Smiles that shatter my calm
With rebellious joy.

He closes his eyes and soaks in the warmth.

I do the same
Imagining him here as I cross the street.

Missing is the wrong word, we struggle to define this
This ache, this happy, throbbing wound
This hope
Without which
We would dry up and float away.


Relearning Thought/Being

I asked you how to live
w/ the shadow of death
cast over a heart
massive as a mountain
morning on the fairy tale
west coast
but you’ve never been there,
or even dreamed of it.

Do you swallow death like a pill each morning with breakfast?

Does it sit next to you on the train and nod off, bumping your shoulder with its head, reminding you it’s still by your side, even here?

Does it call, panicked, in tears at night devoid of hope or even reason?

Do you try to love it away?

Or fall to the ground consumed with

[fear for the living]

[pale ghost, terrified to look back at what once was, the sharp glass shards of abandonment ground into bare feet]

How to bring a ghost to life

love can’t

it has no mouth
or hands
it can’t reveal you as one of the living as you stare into the mirror, filled with anger.

It only sits in my heart and
spills from my lips
and it is
and it heals me
and I am one, small part
of this whole.


It’s summer: I’m sentimental and sleepy

There once lived a natural sentiment
confined to a one-room loft
in the city
in a heart
longing to
break free from its container
hoping it would one day
materialize as
hand clasped in hand
soft breath on bare back as hair tumbles down
and two souls
as one

please dear shed the fear that confines
that lonely sentiment
to a dark one room loft
in the city
in the summer
with just one window
as it stares out at the garden
yearning to lie in the grass beneath the sun waiting for a brief cool wave of air
to free it
so rare
the heat is heavy
but a breeze will at once break the stillness and brush its hand across your cheek.

Beauty in Order

Thoughts explode on paper
I rearrange them
A series of numbers, letters
A language in which you’re fluent
Words leave my tongue unsure
And find structure in your mind

A massive expanse of nothing is swallowed up
As the sun explodes
Complete disorder ensues
Particles of stardust drift through the abyss
Millions of miles
To find a partner with which to bind
Electrons, neutrons, protons
Become birds, boats, lips, teeth, skin
I touch yours and feel electrified
The earth rotates on its axis just so
Summer becomes winter and you need time
The earth circles the sun sandwiched by Venus and Mars
A tiny speck
But here we are
Smaller still
And I wait
A part of the endless expanse
We circle one another, drawn together
Our bodies are comprised of a chemical soup
Our minds a billion neurons firing furiously
But here my thoughts again drift back to you
Another page is structured and sense is made of chaos
Words that float, lost through my head
Are pulled into orbit by your brilliance, the beautiful light of your mind
I place them once more in code
A digital map
And you trace my lines
Pull them in, close to your heart
Where sense is made of senselessness
Entropy is destroyed
And it’s this we’ve created.


You are the croaking of frogs on a muggy night

The sound of summer

In that one specific place and time
A yellow house with brown shutters
Hot air heavy on our heads
Breathing into cotton pillowcases
Sleeping bags damp with sweat
We didn’t have beds but sleep came easy as the frogs trilled
Anger-filled voices from the next room gave way to silence and
was the sound
of croaking.