Grips Are Fleeting Things

1 You are sour. We sit soaking in the school fire sprinklers listening to the music playing in our heads. We almost fuck. But you leave and I spend the rest of my life wondering. 2 Your hair is black like oxidized, polished iron. Blades curved deadly across crown. Brave fingers pull it back in…

Sewing Lesson

In Monopoly I would play the thimble, she the top hat. Take me for all I have. Take me to jail. In the world of the blind, one stitch is impossible. Every time a butterfly net is sewn an angel gets trapped, suffocates in the netting, drops to the stones, festers. Mark my words with…

Humans Taken Hostage in Dog Park

A pack is following in a circle, a hierarchy beginning with scent. I am on a park bench. A humane society is one. A human society is another that remembers pairs of startled irises reflected in high beams. When we approach sleep, we draw a perfect circle, a string tied from our bodies to the…

Nesting Song

We thatch ourselves off from the day with salvage, the color orange, pieces of twine, spread into a floor, a ceiling. Your feathers on my tongue, we glide on updraft, on thermal. Flutter in a rounded space. Pluck what glints. Fold it into home. *Originally published in Stone Highway Review (edited by poets Mary Stone and Katie…

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….

Wild

They were called St. John’s Wort, yellow flowers spiked with pins spilling over the rockery in the Sands’ backyard. We knew that spells lived in the weeds. Hollow bluebell stems bled white milk, and camellia flowers that fell to the lawn were guillotined heads. Sometimes we brewed potions in a scratched red bowl we found…

The Jesus Boat

We discovered one June morning that Mr. Sand had moored a rowboat in his yard under a weeping willow. His three daughters were too bouffant and glowing to play outside anymore, so Linda, Sandy, Jackie, and I became the crew, and shipwrecked our entire before-sixth-grade summer. We named the boat Martha after the last passenger…

Winter, 1970

My safe place was the Laundromat on 45th, the one with a wooden bench between the row of washers and row of dryers. The dryers were only ten cents for ten minutes, and after thirty, the towels smelled like my bedroom before I left home to move in with four strangers. I loved to fold…

META PITY PARTY

HER ART rides a polka-dotted bicycle past the absinthe drinkers & they ask themselves, was that a bell? They ask each other, was she naked, or not? MY ART sets aside a cloudy month to invent 30 contiguous ways to grovel without brushing dandruff off someone else’s black panties. HER ART uses mirrors to create…

ASH, OR TYPES OF SILENCE

DIES IRAE big drum rolls around behind your eyes even before robin #1 wakes up & hysterically greets sun rest between yips of anxious dog 3 streets over secret you kept so well you don’t know if you made it up quieter & quieter as death gets nearer & nearer to old ears underwater, considering…