Sunday, May 28, 2017


I carry summer scar tissue
at the juncture between my jaw
and the slope of my skull
tight and strained.
It aches in the middle of the night
as my teeth try to sharpen themselves
grinding to a point.
It would be nice to be able to bite back
but snapping at shadows is a waste of time.
To smile is a strain
and I suspect the white filaments
of reknit skin stretch along
the whole of my body
sitting under my skin to tighten
at odd texts and a room that's the wrong kind of quiet.
I don't like to be alone for long
because my brain keeps working to reconnect
these wires that fried themselves out
with week after week of electric fright.
How many times do you press a bruise
before the stain spreads?


The tide is turning.
At a granular level this must be
I wonder absently
if the moon figures as some abstract villain
wreaking havoc on lonesome crabs
who scuttle desperately for cooler sand.
Do sand crabs tell stories?
I imagine between their horseshoe shells
and snapping claws there exists
some tiny spark of brain.
Is it enough to feel the fear
of the future being peeled away
by some distant foe too vast
to do more than shake a pincer at?
The moon does as it wills
and we must scurry on.
Inside of you I picture a blood red moon
pulling at each neuron in your brain
leaving them firing, haphazard, at each other.
I shake my fist at it
as pointless as a pincer
and watch you pull away into some darkened space.
Perhaps the world is cooler there
within your self-made burrow
but it leaves me all alone
in the crashing waves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Stuck in traffic, I begin to write.
Testing a phrase for sound
and looking for the hook
to pull the listener full-fledged
into the narrative somehow
 soothes the numbing tedium
of brakelights to the horizon.

For two years, it was the speech
I planned to give at my best friend's wedding.
There were Twinkies, and quilts,
and at least one good death threat involved
because there's no solid toast
without the murmur of bodily harm.
I had that speech down cold.

I never gave it.
The night of her wedding I sat,
staring across the parking lot
to where my husband slumped
across the steering wheel,
adrift on a sea of sedatives.
There was nothing to say.

In Houston, there's always a slowdown,
highway construction, or some accident.
Storms come up without warning.
I take back roads, mutter at red lights.
The radio plays too loud
I'm considering a fancy bluetooth headset
anything to keep the story from starting.

These days, if I let myself loose
to wander in my mind,
I spark sentences,
layer memories with sounds,
and catch myself choking.
The street swims within my grief.
I'm writing his eulogy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


There is a fist-sized rock
that rests above
the grave of the baby birds
that God watches over.

Today I wish I could
take it up from its hallowed ground
(for if His eyes are on the sparrow...
then all this land is holy)
and lob it straight and high
with all the cumulative heartbreak and rage
(and the one year in middleschool
where I was allowed to play Little League
because they didn't have enough boys)
straight into his stupid glass house
with the see-through floors
and transparent walls
and the perpetual harp playing
that barely masks the eternal dirge
that rises wailing from this
hump of earth underneath which
are broken wings and silent beaks
and baby birds that died
while God watched them.

I hope it breaks all the windows
and leaves shards on the floor
and everyone needs to walk carefully
lest they be cut by the tiny slivers of my grief.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Already you have dragged my heart
to death's dark door,
forced me to stand sentinel
with my soul bared against
all the whispers from it's shadowed maw.

When Orphyeus' string broke
the snake startled, struck
and not all the song in the world
could redeem that discordant note.
I hear it ringing still.

How dare you take my love
and hammer it into chains?
To tie it tight around my neck
let loose your weight
and call it freedom?

And can Persephone once bought
with the ruby juice on her lips
be free again from her oath
though it binds her still
in death's kingdom?

The stories tell us time again
that death, the traitor, always wins.
Love outrageous, love once mine
can only last as long as two undivided
stand as one.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

hostile territory

We fought first
about the fair distribution of comforter
resorting at last to a peace of separation
with each their own blanket to clutch.
In the 26 days of your despair,
I have tried every way I know
of reclaiming our bed.
I have spread books by the stack
heavy with sentences I know
to provide counterweight against
my tangling of the sheets.
I have crept far to the side
toes extending off the edge
to decrease the chance that sleep
might sprawl me into the gaping hole
of your absence.
I've tried centering myself
with deep breaths as though
there were never two sides to this space.
I have stolen your pillow,
washed the sheets in newly scented soap,
spilled lavender oil into the mattress.
I've curled around the baby
with his chubby limbs akimbo
absorbing all the space he can.
I've stared out the window,
counted the seconds by the glow of my phone.
I've given it up all together
and cried into the couch cushions.
Now in this separation,
I surrender.
There is no peace
and less sleep.

Friday, June 17, 2016


This disease knows no boundaries.
It disregards any demarcations
I have tried to build.
It strikes on holidays, on holy days,
on days when I have pleaded for peace.
It poisoned the floor of my balcony
with broken glass and pill shards.
It interrupts my dreams, disrupts my breath,
destroys the areas I had marked safe.
There is no negotiation.
Only the demand that despair
come quickly and in many shades
with darkness indulged in every corner.
There are days it's not a disease
but a demon.