Slicing Sheen

Without scorching birth the dank long night to repose

To die and reinvigorate would be impossible

So she can’t choke out the sun

Seasonal affective my eager companion

Enthusiastic bed fellow.

So she’ll mock the heat

Luxuriate in indifference

Knowing full well

Her choice of ice embrace is

Without hesitations or bounds

A child of the harvest shirking

The scythe

Although she twists her back

Alone and weightless

Prepared but never satisfied

Summer presses her down onto her back

Uncontrolled heft

Disregarding consent

She reaches fingertips to her open window

Beckoning her dissolution from her sheen

Born one month

And then five decades too soon

September light sears

Pinholes of pain

Not made for life


Until the comfort of cold


Photo credit: Cru Kazmierczak

Surrounding Sunrise

Hidden away inside

Cheeks and hair

And too-warm wrappings

Tucking away

Sacred and unseen

Waiting for the worthy

Ready to reveal

An entire winter’s

Survival for a smile

Run fingers over weeds

Not pretty is not dangerous

Consider alternatives to crisis

Find a pond

Might show reflected

One most needing valued

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


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


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

Warmth I Give

Don’t know

What hides underneath

The fibers and striations

Only visible without a

Focused scope

What did you do with those scissors

Short levers for skin

Long forces for hair

Fulcrum neck

Pivoting to look

Anywhere else

Except straight

Or back

Make cuts where

You see they need to be

Anything to

Make cuts where

You wrote long

And wrong and rambled

Don’t let them look

Another second

Read another word

Make it go away

Don’t know

How another

Will ever happen.

Because I don’t know

How can you

It’s the rent in my


That makes

Me curse the arrow

Not the quiver on your back

But you draw

And hold

And hold

And release

You don’t know

Where the flesh is


Because if you


Let fly

Give the respect of

Showing my pelt

Pride of place

Thankful for the warmth

I give


I can take the cold


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