not enough heat, not enough pressure (20170204)

blacken your heart, dear
take those cold ashes
from the hearth, flames dead
like a field mouse in winter

blacken your heart, dear
mix the soot with tears
remember every slight
every gaze that passed over you

blacken your heart, dear
swallow that thick paste
wash it down with past shame
and feel it settle in your stomach

blacken your heart, dear
let that darkness spread
but remember this–not every
piece of coal becomes a diamond

how to make guacamole (20161224)

mash the avocado with a fork
leave some chunks
add lemon juice, salt, garlic
chili to your tolerance

slice an onion in half
while it still lives
in its skin

press your thumb
into a layer below
the dried outer paper

feel the layers separate
your thumb a medium
a wedge dividing
the outside from the inside
you don’t have to remove the skin
just feel that moment
caught between together
and apart

every word
a wedge finding its way
between my layers
each word a manicured thumb
breaking me apart
but leaving me intact

mince well
serve with homemade

hum a few bars (20160915)

hearts carry no locks
because no keys exist
to open them
doors have locks
and require keys
and pianos have keys
and produce harmony
and harmony is made
into grits
–wait that’s wrong–
we were talking about hearts
but i got distracted
thinking about breakfast
and i’ve never actually
had grits
if i keep talking maybe
you won’t notice how
my rib cage closes in
on my heart
like prison bars
no locks just

Poem 20160318

our hearts
beat out
the same

but mistimed

as if i were from
the past
and you are here
in the present
and we see each other
as ghosts see the living
through a veil or a mist

or as if we boarded
the same train
felt the rattle of the rails
at the same crossings
sat in adjacent seats
my hand on the armrest
where you place your hand
me looking out the window
where you lean your head
fogging it with your breath
the same journey
but on different schedules
different timetables