Monday, July 27, 2020

Remember tangled limbs
Remember someone else's sweat
Remember soft lips hiding hard teeth
Cursing and laughing at the same time
Pull back. We can lose
what we need to lose, shed
what we need to shed. I slough my skin
then pin it to the wall, listen to it whisper
when the door blows open.
Stories of wet grass and dry sand.
Or dry grass and wet sand.
The story of the glass of ice. The hot macadam.
The story of two palms, paper thin,
writing stories on one another.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Staring through the transparent mountain
that separates me from the outside.
The thin, clear line
of melted, flattened rock
I would reach my hand right through it
As if it was a crystal pool
The morning sun ignites it
I press my palm against it,
a mirror of flame
still cool from the night.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


At the post office, 
I complimented the woman behind the counter
on her face mask, covered in butterflies.
She glared at me and when I handed her a twenty
said they preferred if I could pay with a card,
said that there is a national coin shortage.
I made some joke about looking for change
in the sofa cushions. The woman
continued to glare. She asked me
if there was any contraband in my package,
any controlled substances, weapons or chemicals
or fireworks, any live animals.
Just a couple of books for my mother, I said.
She told me I had the zip code wrong,
made it sound like a personal affront,
made me change it myself.
I corrected it and put my card in the slot
and thought about the statues coming down,
the slave-owners freed from their pedestals,
the founding fathers finding themselves
tumbling to Earth. I thought about replacing
the faces on the coins with pictures of animals.
We've already tried eagles and buffalo,
why not jackrabbits, termites, porcupines.
As she printed my receipt I kept making
stupid jokes, trying to get her
to lighten up, but it was useless.
There was no smile beneath those butterflies.


Beyond the industrial park is the woods,
and beyond that the river.
The path through the trees is cobwebbed
with white fluff that drifts through the air,
catches in the blackberries.
The forest stops abruptly at the beach,
littered with logs and hunks of driftwood
and little shrubs with roots that cut
through the gray sand like electrical wires.
A yellow butterfly flits erratically, never landing.
A young woman stands at the water's edge
with her tiny daughter.
Waves from a speedboat slap the shore.
The wind picks up. The trees moan.
The woman reaches for the little girl's hand,
grips it so tightly the child grimaces
and squirms to escape.
The trees are waiting for her,
sending their downy emissaries
to show her how easy it is
to float away.