Poem Every Day in July 11: Hotel Blanket of Clouds

a moment’s pause when work
is rushed
reveals clouds outside
the window

grey and huddled
like a hotel blanket’s
woolly drapery

that can never reach
the edges
of the sky’s
wide bed.

it’s only a temporary reprieve.
harrows inside
the room of your body
can be put to rest

behind mostly-
closed eyes,
but before long the clouds
will dissolve––

you always wake up
to styrofoam cups
and cold powdered eggs
and cracked spoons.


Poem Every Day in July 8: Anxiety

A strand of hornets has formed a nest
around my aorta. I am contorted
as they wriggle and writhe,
a malicious mimicry
of the honeybee’s synchrony.

They must perceive me
as an acceptable host;
the most I can do is hope, mouth
agape, that they will vacate
my cardiovascular space,

granting me privacy,
allowing me to move
by willpower alone, on my own
without feeling their medical-needle abdomens
so tediously close to my blood flow.

moving on: A Poem


after the party ends,
the piñata, battered blue,
red, and yellow, must not bemoan
the festering emptiness
that has supplanted her sweets;
she must instead (ignoring the shrill
of her dismembered flesh
scratching along the sidewalk’s
blistering bumps) recollect herself
and walk home.

Entangled Particles: A Poem

Einstein couldn’t fathom an inborn connection
existing between two hydrogen atoms.
Certainly, he postulated, they may spiral away
from their shared origination at some calcium speck,
but there is simply no way for them
to maintain their choreography of synchronized spins
at distances even the speed of light cannot surmount.
A connection, then, can be bred, he said,
but it cannot be sustained
when particulars become separated.
There is nothing spiritual inherent
in a history of physical touch.

Even lacking a background in physics, I, for one,
believe old Albert had the right idea.
Last July, for example, I mattered to you,
and you held me on the sidewalk
with fierce and swirling love.
This afternoon, however, you drove past
and, unsmiling, you averted your eyes.
The wheels on your car were spinning like atoms;
we had lost what once felt quantum. You and I
were local entities, disparate and directionless,
despite the touches we’d once shared—touches so elemental
that they could have been built into our bones.

I thought about your nose, how it once felt
pressed to my skull, and about how atoms grow distracted
and fall away. What Einstein once posited
I know to be true: bodies cannot stay in touch
in the unforgiving chasm of space.

Grey: A Poem


She possessed a certain softness,
a particular fleece of the soul––
the sort of gentleness that would open up for you
the way a great grey cumulonimbus
splits its blustery darkness
to make way for hot rain.
The wool of her spirit
was not that of the sheep––
it was sheered from a ram
in a lightning storm, woven
by Rumpelstiltskin into the semblance
of a turtleneck sweater,
concealing the howling electricity
of the wind and the crackle
of the lightning and the fiery scratch
of the hoof––indignant, defiant, newly naked––
against the crisp beige
of the long-droughted grass.

Again: A Poem


you broke me like a shift
in tectonic plates.
revved with red, i combusted
when you said, “let’s just be friends
again.” the surface of the world smashed like glass,
lava oozing like the blood on my fists
as i battered myself, breaking free
of the hold your pyroclastic love
still had on me––it was your poisonous ghost,
sighing with an opaque, untouchable gossamer
over the gaping rocky wounds of my crests,
that killed what i loved best.
everything choked. the supercharged spill
swallowed all, entire deer omitted from existence,
falling to their knees, already carcasses, their nostrils loaded
with proto-igneous fire, eyes rolling backwards
and dissolving into flame—precious blushing blooms
i eradicated, their petal lips lit
until ashen, until ash, speciation undone—
i singed the coastline, shells swollen
to bursting with the heat, the red, the black, tiny crabs
dropping their pincers in defeat.

you wafted towards the ocean and took life
with you. but a volcanic eruption will always create
an island, bleak at first, but soon
populated in waves. first, by grasses
in greens and yellows, nurtured by sweet billowing breezes
sighing between pink clouds on blue days.
the plants are grateful as they sway. i will feel the same.
before long, the pores of my new land
will brim with heartbeats. even now, i can feel vines
stretching towards my peak, relentlessly sweet, twisting little leaves
and great trees creaking their necks towards the sun. the snow
still graces my steaming head—no matter how often
i make it melt, it returns to feed my streams,
winding into hot springs and summers
to nourish the colors. the fog, once dispersed
by my self-destructive rage, settles its pallor
calmly like a sleep mask after a laborious day.
life refuses to abandon me. i must possess some special beauty,
because it seems the world is adamant
about keeping me around.

An Apology Letter for My Body: A Poem


My home has little pink curtains in her windows.
She has slim wood panels
along her sides.
Her lawn
is sprawling green. I pull weeds
from her garden. I have a can of off-white paint
which I use for her upkeep.
You should see her second floor.
Everything upstairs is lustrous chestnut.
There is a piece of stained glass,
blushing magnolia, and the sunshine
strikes it brilliantly at dawn.

I do what I can
to take care of the cobwebs the attic.
A million spiders must be weaving
some scheme. Cardboard boxes
populate the place.
I am afraid to unpack them.

I did not build my home.
I have merely been given the task of her maintenance.
In return, she keeps me warm
and offers me soft refuge
when days are long.

For me, she does the best
she knows to do. But not every crack in her ceiling
came about without design.
I keep shovels in a shed out back.
Its door weeps aloud when you open it.
I can swing a shovel hard
at drywall. I can feel plaster skin
give in.
I can blast past her defenses; sometimes when my head spins,
I punish the home for the flaws of the tenant.
Then I go back to the garden.
My paint is the wrong color
to make repairs.