Hopewell Bay

1. A confession: I fell in love with grief. Not a single grievance, but grief. 2. Cysplatinum (cisplatin). The word liquid silver, iridescent, lovely and cool as water. But it’s quicksilver, arrowed at fast growing cells. Hot and unforgiving when it enters a vein. In vivo, it binds and crosslinks DNA, triggers apoptosis (programmed cell…

The Symbols

Insomniac’s waking dream: black cat, the fulcrum of a fight. Bad luck. Look at all we’ve saved in cardboard boxes and moved across the country: the diary which proved the infidelities, the folded notes passed in the hall, the braided (quote, unquote) friendship bracelet. Well, we never really had one, did we? Phallic calla lily—…

Cat’s Eye (I)

I was not sorry for her, however and however you want to think about forgiveness…well, it’s not as if she ever asked for it. For years I rationed out my gall. A poison dropped-by-drop, a wasp in black and yellow. Sleek, carnivorous, and on the prowl. So I began to grasp the fact that women…

Incident Along the Elwha River

After washing our tin plates clean in the slim creek we watch the sunlight gather on far eastern peaks—an iridescent blue beetle rising out of sleep. Then we break camp and hike five miles past the burial grounds when Cate needs to stop and pierce the blisters on her feet. So I head off alone…

CREATION

two of gold

in the beginning, one mortal made a home in their own body, a living temple into which they poured waves of lavender light, sage smoke & seahshells.

OCCUPATION

goddess of blood

gown of crystals: riot of carnelian, rose quartz & fire agate, spun & handwoven into a herringbone cloth.

Redd

Salmon mothers in wild rivers thrash against the bottom until their name means a certain shade of flesh, means you have to carve your family out of earth. To the ground the body is just a boat, always coming and going. When I said we should be something I meant our own color, some point…

Window Panes

A quiet I thought I was a part of: tea-steam rising and touching my face, a book in my lap, words rising like mist from a cataract of print, quail scratching up corn to music, the sun amortizing a hollyhock. Then my windows banged and shook. I saw the hawk’s dive conclude, quail like flying…

Only at Night

Tonight the sky is clear and the stars spill their light like frothy buckets of milk hurrying home. All the farmhouses are asleep— only lamps and barnyards keep reading. The fields, blankets dimly aglow. With their spread tails, free-falling snipe call to each other until the air is as filled with their mellow yearning as…

For Grace Jones (And all those who model themselves after)

She never knew what color to dip her fingertips. Most days she felt magenta’d under belly and indigo’d soles, eyes fast lit chartreuse and teal lip. Unlike a rainbow, mostly electric. Imani Sims is a spicy Chai tea–loving Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. She believes in the healing power of words…

On My Way to Grandmother’s House

I. Sometimes we tuck ourselves inside and remind our younger self that she is safe. Sometimes we encounter the wolf and she is not. II. I think I understand why she carried a basket, a girl has got to have somewhere to store her shattered bits, after the wolf ambushes her in the woods. III….

For a Friend Gone Away: Narcissistic Version

I do not miss you the way a fish, thrashing and gurgling, misses water. I do not miss you like a brother. Your brother, balding like you, already does. In order to miss you like my daughter, that little pocket mirror wearing my dimples, I would have to hold you down while I blethered raspberries…