Whispers in the Ear

I lost my first tooth at 23,a long time coming,a black stone whenever I spoke.There were aches in my knees and knobs on my back,knots curdled and sick in my belly’s pit. Cancer? Tuberculosis? Liver failure?All three. Sweating profusely,interviews and meetings,executive discourse turning to my sins: Masturbating in the neighbor’s bushes,stealing mother’s pills,not staying late…

Want

All that’s left to remember is the feeling of faces, three thousand miles from touch. Etches left in a sketch erased: Carefully held on a Greyhound, folded along creases, slipped into a shirt pocket close to heart. That animal bore no animosity but in a moment flared its spite, flared the impulse to bleed its…

Murderous Love

I’ve picked the wrong major,ten minutes into the second classI can already tell thatthis isn’t the place for me:  Latte cups and politics,scarves and Doc Martens,soft spoken emotions.This flower is a metaphor for your trauma.  And the Professor has asked me to share my thoughtson a particular subject,on a beautiful tragedy. Tennessee Williams, by god,…

Weekend Walks

I know these streets from memories, crooked cobblestone bricks tripping sneakers, high heels, late-night waltzes home from bars. I know the storefronts, eateries, cafes — the corner you’d meet me for evening bogies, midnight chats, meandering stories. Your hair a faded blonde, your face a jaded youth. I know this town from a world in…

A Rabbit Hops At Night, Unseen

It was an evening in November,
cold rain and a wet street outside that had been dark since dinner.
And the house had been quiet because the kids had been sullen
and neither you nor I could see the street.

The Mother Who Sits In Her Room

The tired have come to provoke you, the wretched to hold flame to your feet. Because the mindless who eat and say as they’re told are huddled behind walls of clean paint -the small and the useless, the contrived and the meaningless: materialists, socialists, capitalists, activists -the miniature millions will never wade through the seas,…

Old Soul

Gone for the winter but I’ll be back in the spring. I’ll be back for the warmer weather -back for family and holidays, my mother and sisters and friends. I’ll be back for the great lessons of seasoned professors and pages, and pages, and pages I would’ve read by the pool in June, or at…

The Drums They Beat

Arm in arm go the couple in white, down the aisle, through the crowd. Vows told in lace, speaking secrets in the midday sun: a bouquet soars across its yellow face. Consummation is a popular word for their grandparents. There’s a quiet announcement in the newspaper: congratulations. Congratulations from friends and family, a high school…

A Simple Confusion

Midnight had fallen on me fast with sprawling soul. Loosed from denotations, in a reverie wandering towards home; hidden pockets between buildings where the dark was densest, where mysteries held fast to their own little worlds. I had no ground. I had no self but the faint sounds of crickets and cars in the distance,…

Damnation for the Lost

I’d placed my faith in the wisdom of famous nomads, taken flight from safe restraints. Gone were the dreams of childhood, the joy of birthdays, familial affection. Hunger for the sun-bleached highways and the beauty of unwalked streets; afternoons of careless horizons. The college dormitories, the dust of traditions, tuition and careers and the map…