the third season (20171121)

red autumn eye
looks southward now

through heavy coat
hard to feel its gaze
but the eye lingers over me
like twilight spiderwebs in my hair
counting out my time
dawn by dawn

i set my feet upon the earth
send down roots
among sycamores
among eucalyptus
i can stand a cold morning or two

i haven’t seen a paperboy
in years
/forgive the sexist terminology
i am aware of it and i’m working on it/

i haven’t heard the
satisfying smack
of atrocities landing in my driveway
or my neighbor’s driveway
my neighbors drive away
my neighbors driven away

i do not read the news
still, it reaches inside my chest
night time hands
separating organs from fatty membranes

autumn red eye
roll south
take these shuddering breaths with you
take these neighbors
who drive away
who don’t read the paper

roll south

ornament (20170402)

a hollow christmas ornament
shattered against the fireplace bricks
such a shiny mirrored interior

what lives in there
that needs to see itself
wherever it looks
distorted in a not-so-fun house

the outside painted red
and i think
that’s the opposite
of what


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Poem 20151112

the red line cuts through the words

not only striking down the extraneous comma
nor marking the place where something
that was forgotten
should be forcefully inserted

the red underlines the thoughts
that should be emphasized
and marginalizes the words with

this word would be better here

this word should be excised
from your vocabulary

this phrase seems redundant–
they both say i love you
more poignant where one says it
and the other keeps you guessing

the red line opens a red line
in your skin that is white
like paper
but only like paper

Poem 20150123

we three are in a room
crowded with old furniture, books, cushions and
the warm glow of firelight
like something out of a hoarder’s edwardian sitting room

you’re talking about our upcoming trip
the three of us are taking a ship
and you’re so beautiful talking about
the man you’re going to meet there

when you cross the room
i can see the soft red shimmer
of your camisole glitter
under the sheer fabric of your shirt

i try to hold you still
but you dance out of my arms
so in love that you are transported
out of this place and out of this time

I am not on the ship when it departs
i watch it pull out of the harbor
and my phone goes off when you realize
i am not there

“you can take another ship,” you say
“there’s a faster one leaving and
you can actually beat us there”
i do what you ask

the ship is old, crowded, and faster than the pleasure barge
we three had planned on sharing
but i have heard whispers about a trail of broken hulls
on the ocean floor, litter for the mermaids to pick over

i arrive still wet with spray from standing on the deck
surprised that your ship has magically arrived early
and the two of you have already disembarked
headed in opposite directions to your respective loves

i know where and when you are meeting him since
you speak of nothing else
and i perform magic of my own, thinking to get there first
i wander like a ghost but find that you are already in his arms

and i wonder about my need to follow you to this shore
to witness this with my own eyes
and wished that I had thrown myself into the fire in that study
or overboard the ship into the cold embrace of a mermaid

Poem 20141209

i want to foldĀ paper–
origami if you will–
but somethingĀ for you to wear
something that rustles as you move
and fragile
weak against the sweat on your skin
weak against the fire in your blood
weak against the touch of my fingers
something shiny and glittering
with gold filagree
and red chrysanthemums
hard to look at like the sun
impossible to look away from
like the full moon
in the winter sky