The Left Behind

The slow into the curve

acceleration from the straight away

Moving in

Moving up

Moving on

Memories clicking in the rear view

Around the empty reel

Light shining white

In a black room

Soundtrack empty

Sound pulled out

Itching with blank space

Idling with routine

Baffled by dichotomy unknown

Blanketing under known

Picking and protesting and prostate

Then standing again

Missing not lost

Found not familiar

Delicious if you can but

Eat around the burnt bits

The left behind

Right ahead


The saints are beautiful

Staring behind stone

Some following

Some blank

Not yet bleeding

From hands and feet

That takes faith

More than

Blind turns unguided

By mechanical


Trusting a voice

No one has ever head

As you hear it

In the same twisted canal

Where that sound is born

I sweat under lights of performance

Not quite a soldier

But fighting

Only human salt

Less sanguinous

Only because of the breathing

Could belief be based

In something possible?

I’ve seen it

Touched it

Felt the air shift

And shivered

From the heat of it

Sacrifice and risk

Look at us

Writing stories

Where we

Dare the devil

To battle

With the draw

Of a heart

Still beating


That I can be called

Not funny

Too serious

Too sad

And still hysterical

When I make you laugh

I’m not hysterical?

Or is that when

you laugh at me

Get a thicker skin

Toughen up

Have I tried this

meat tenderizer?

It’s sharp and shiny

I bet I’d love it

I bet I could make it

Work and still

save my skin

What if I couldn’t even

get that right?

That would be hysterical.

Just a riot

A fight

a shelf to stack

the rage on

because it’s to

heavy to hold

for a lifetime

But easy reach

for when I need to

start throwing


Most things don’t

and even fewer people do

Don’t blame the jeans

It’s my ass

Or maybe my

wandering uterus is

taking up space where it

ought not to

take that out

before it does any more


Blood and pain

from no source

Wouldn’t that be hysterical?

Popcorn and Tires

The popcorn comes later.

Is it the popcorn

And not new tires

that breaks

Your back and then

your heart?

It probably is. Makes sense. Mostly air. But when it’s

Packaged and given with a bow

And it’s a proof of something

that’s substance and warmth

And big enough to park a car under

And that car is something of heft

Not what was expected

But nothing ever is

Dark turned to light

In the most DNA strand


of ways

Heat of ginger

That is warm

When the burn

Of whiskey was

All you knew

Can you pair

Popcorn with a steak

What about the cheap

Wine when that is all

You can afford

But it’s together

And it works


Especially when you split it all

two ways

Times two



7 needs

A car even

More capable that anything

You’ve ever driven

And that might be

Too much machine.

Every last grieving has

Taken parts


Not returned

Maybe there are

Allen wrenches

Instead of anterior descending

And the tools

To turn an engine

Are here for the first time

The Weight of Forgiveness

The Weight of Forgiveness



And just a touch

of moral superiority

Isn’t that what we’re

meant to get

from forgiveness

Wrongs released

and hurts mended

Rivers crossed

and ramparts of

differences breached

But what if that

isn’t the case at all

What if by giving forgiveness

we don’t un-weight but instead

yoke ourselves down with

the burden of it

by keeping ties instead of cutting

we find ourselves lashed

with rope that chokes and cuts

and grinds its filament fibers

into our skin, leaving

wounds we can’t see

at least until that slightest of

skin cracks fills with

infection and rot

What if we don’t give

forgiveness but instead

take on a heft

far heavier


more forever

than the hurt

we are meant to


can gilding a dead

flower cost more

in preservation and

effort expended

when the kindness

is to return it

as the cycle


and not lug it

around and molten


to what’s lost

and what to do instead


walk until there

is no more land

and no more steps

and no more words

to fill empty space

and replacement poxy

for broken hearts?

What if the

matter of forgiveness

isn’t the grace of air that

Elevates is

but the

drowns us

Unthought Thoughts Us

Unthought thoughts

Mind drives away from

city security

down winding rural road

where grass grows higher




splintered boards

rusted joints

oranged and weather beaten

into submission

behind sheds and


nails eager for bare feet

begging from buried spaces

for admission and acceptance

life’s blood

the places we avoid

don’t even look at

the mangled earth

left to rot

not forgotten

more painful

willfully ignored

and neglected

apathy as a

determined choice

even ambivalence

gotten wrong

not strong enough

to bury wrongs

in more than a

shallow grave


protect us

if only there was



Where Does Everything Go?

Where Does Everything Go?

Atomic displacement

A Feeling someone

left the room

just before you

got there

Not a scent

Not a wayward

strand of hair

lingering among the dust

not a thumb smudge

on a tumbler

A Feeling

Deeper than skin



that hasn’t stopped


When the Feeling


Where does it go?

Everything stays

Water to wine

wood to fire

Skin to putrefaction

All collected in the


The missing element

unbalancing the scales

Something goes

Love to apathy

Hate to acceptance

Grief to nostalgia

to melancholy

to despair





Not every particle

walked out the door

Not every element

covalent bonding

Not everything


The ones behind


not everything




four chambers

valves between

one leaking and



too much

in one half

the other


valves between

anatomy set to drain

right scant

left swollen and


skin dimpled

outer layers

turning to stone

fibered and


adhered and


drawn four ways

and you



a drill


and twisted

wrong space

wrong side

metal shaving

under fingernails


not enough

for tetanus



there a shot

for that

don’t need


don’t slip on

the blood as



in and

leave again


For Jamie

They float in with the light

the ones who left

Not in reflections

Not in words

Gestures and turns

opposite from

everything I ever


prayers condensed

still etched and smudged

Clean the mirror

and my face is still

only now

I don’t see before

Can’t remember yesterday

Maybe around the eyes

When I’m tired

I see then

Lights out

heat up

Looking for before


floating in


Missing The

For my co-dependent leanings- reminders that choking halts organic growth. Let go.

Missing the view

onto a courtyard

from a hotel room

never reserved

Not regretting the

last glass of red

when the cork

is still in the bottle

Reeling from the

first fight

when a dozen

polite words

expand the history

that hasn’t been

Not forgetting a face

not memorized

Not letting go

of a hand

never taken

Not knowing

morning eyes

and midnight toes

Not recognizing

fine from fine

okay from okay

hurt from hurt

true from true

A memorized road

driven with eyes


but needing a map

Remembering everything

because it

hasn’t happened yet