A single drop

Cohesive with the

Loose oxygen

Clinging to the sides

Of the glass and each other

Trusting the current to fatigue

Believing waves will fall away

Even when the watermarks on

Your walls

Remind you

Paint and nails

Only dance over the damage

You still feel






Waiting for dawn

Holding for space

Convincing yourself

Not again

A mist isn’t a hurricane

A thunder clap isn’t a hammer

Maybe the rain

Is only rain

And you have

boots tall enough

For puddles

Bed Load

The dog slept on my soaked muddy

River clothes

Finding comfort in the rankest thing in

The house

Wasn’t much to choose from

Which could be better

Or worse


Wanting to punk out his white fur

With some sift and dirt


Bed load

By those who know

I don’t know

But I understand

Wanted to surround yourself

Wrapped in thick, unctuous

Slick, commanding just

Skin and body



What are you doing



Looking so deep in

Eyes you fear you might fall

In the creases

And that might be

Delightfully frightfully fine

But I like that shirt

And I hope the river

Gives me a chance

To wear it again

Even if it’s still gritty

I like the scratches



There’s a branch

A net

A blanket

Held by a family

Waiting to catch

He’s dead

And much

too distracted

She’d try

If the cells weren’t

Unstable and mutinous

He’s just like me

Looks and despondent


Godless seeker

All anchor

No raft

Swim toward

The chorus echoes

Behind masked


Blank in front

Of blank


For the Pagan

In your bed

Or the

Rope sent

From the heavens

What if you believe

In neither?

In faith was long

Ago burned by

Emulsion of misplaced

Trust, rendered fat

And a spark that

Refused to


Reach to


Arms tight


A poor

Sailor’s knot

And try to





Drowning above water

Meant kicking


Digging nails into

Anything close

Dragging down another

Sodden, macerated flesh

Too long wet

pierced by

Points of a disproportionate


So desperate to lever

To survival

You pivot the hand saving

And push it under

Bends are the least

Of the pain

On shore

You gasp and gag


Crying for the crime

Woman slaughter


But the suspect

Isn’t drowning

But swimming



And sinking

Feels like such

An unexpected bliss

Arms around you

Able to life the weight of

You, wet

Or dry


Feels like

The warmth in a

Room with a closed door


Feels like

The most natural



Risk you can’t imagine


Waves of a softer sort

Such a




The lights of shore are farther

Than they tease

Water colder

Than the wind on pier


The waves pull you in

Fight to fatigue

Surrender to surcease

Your body yards from shore

Lifetime from where you started


Buoyed only by the buoyancy

Of exhaustion

But the skyline is beautiful

And you aren’t willing

To let your head drop

While the city lights still shine


to land again

Question the Current


Beaten about and beset on all sides and wondering why.

Do I even remember jumping in the water?

Your choice.

You live with them.

I scream this to myself every day

I perpetually compare. Why can’t I be better. (I’m not)

Why can’t I be thinner? ( I love cake)

Why can’t I play guitar? (I don’t have enough time to practice)

Why aren’t I acting? (I don’t have enough time to act. And maybe I’m not that good.)

Why don’t I have my next book done already? ( I don’t have enough time to write)

Why don’t I have support? (I don’t have enough time for friends. And I’m an anxious wreck)

Why am I a single mom? (I’m too much and not enough and self-pitying and he left me for someone better)

Why am I unlovable? (Can anyone love a rose bush? A rose, yes, elegant. Silken. Beautiful. But not the bush. Try to hug a rose bush? You’ll end the night bleeding.)

See. I don’t just have questions. I have answers too.

Yes. Hyperbolic and exaggerated and defeatist answers. Answers that take away my agency and put blame somewhere else where it less painful. Bullshit answers.

But do I have choices?

In some sense yes. We all do.

Can we choose to murder the asshole neighbor? Sure. That choice means prison. In that scenario you can’t complain behind bars, asking why. You have the answer.

I guess I made my choices.

Would be so much easier if there was a god or a fate that called this down. Then it wouldn’t be my fault.

But it is my fault.

And I don’t know how to fix it.

Bloodied my knuckles against the wall I built

And then mourn the loss when I lose the fingers from the infected I dragged through the skin.

I’m living with choices.

Most days, I can.

Some day, just seeing some else’s choice is crushing. The luxury of going out for a beer with a friend seems so unreasonable and unreachable that I might as well be coveting drinking youth syrup from a gondola in Atlantis.

How to stop?

Let the current take you?

Fuck that. I’m not drowning.

Fight against it?

I guess that’s what’s left.


I see.

From my planting in the weeds,


Before my sight,

Beyond my reach,

Behind my back.

Rows of pretty maids

Reaching and sucking in

And blooming.

I’m still entrenched

Roots held fast,



Drying and dead

Petals in the dirt that I sacrificed.

Giving back

Ready to nourish

For the next cycle.

And around me,

I marvel

Stalks and stems

smiling for the sun,

Craned and warm

Impervious to

Pestilence and pain,

Daring the rain to stay away.

My storm already came.

I gave over my water so

That I could see vibrant color,

Not live within them

Or them in me.

The leaving

Unused puddle

Around my core,

Sucking, seeping

To the patent veins

Still open to expression.

My acceptance of

Growth is gone.

I’m parched and starving.

But I can still smell the water.

The flood didn’t take everything.

It’s there.

I don’t have to beg

The gods for rain.

They have given.

I look at the gift,

Offered while I decay,

Dis-entangle and


If I can stand the summer,

Pulls, stretch, reach,

The corner curl of

Any petal

Any jagger

Any persistent,


Un-killable cell

That wants to

Unfurl from the mud

After winter,

If I can be selfish enough

To take a drop for me–

I can grow.

Stay warm in the light.

Offer breath in exchange

For toxicity.

Be beautiful,

Not for what I do,

Or contribute over

Other cuttings,

But simply because

I am beautiful.

For Katherine

We send our girls across the water.  They deserve more. Change is coming.  New is coming. A new moon. A new season. A new day. A new life. It’s there. Beneath our cold, our death and our forgotten. A new chance. 


For Katherine

Across the water
to marry a king.

Across the water
to lie down for a man
and another man
and another
as they are made.

Bought for a crown,
bought for a pound
of flesh.

Sold to the first son
and then consigned
to the second.

Returned to her
to wait
and when the sun comes up

One job.
Make a prince

The only job.
Make him happy

Strange girl
a hood over
her eyes,
covers her hair
without words
she can hear
without words
she can say
no other way.


Rigid flesh.

Emptying her bowels
her sickness
her sin
in a pot
painted with
delicate lavender violets
in the corner of the room.

In the corner
of the rectangle.

That is her queen’s chamber.
That is her prison.

The water under her
becomes the bed under her
becomes the new green
on the grass
catching what is left
to fall.

The next day,
the next sun.
Always new.

In her old world,
she knew St. Brigid.
Witches in a dream.
The turn of the dial,
the turn of the moon
and clover sprouts

Then she remembered,                                                                                         in her new world.
In another place,
with another name,
as another girl
that she didn’t know                                                                                           the seasons anymore.

Are we still buying and selling
each other?

A girl
for dowry
for a boy playing soldier?

A girl for
a coin
for her virginity?

When neither ever
owned it herself,
couldn’t broker the sale,
and couldn’t own the
profits if she did.

Changing her name,
sometimes with a K,
others a C,
depending on whose
tongue is curling
around the sounds.

Changing her body,
changing her nightmares
changing her life
that was never

Because she was
Only her.
Never her.
These girls on the water,
wanted so much
and not cared for
at all.

Hundreds of years
and we are still
sending our girls
to drown.

Enough have sunk.

They will walk
as their own,
with their own,
on their own

Feet on the sand,
going home.

Make their path.
They’ll travel.

Drain their seas.

They won’t merely
trod on the dirt.

They will fly.