16 September 2020

black cards

I no longer hear
from your friends,
all flat
in black and gray.
I've made peace
with their absence,
but not with yours.
maybe one day
we can talk about it.
until then, outlines and stains,
shadows of our potential chats,
clump in the bottom
of my tea cup.
fools suck it up,
but you sucked it up.
maybe hiding was a bad idea.
you believe in heaven,
so that is where
I will find you.

09 September 2020

blue light

 that soft blue light

has a way of creeping

      where it shouldn't.

and the click and punch

     of the typewriter

has a way of hypnotizing

when it shouldn't.

it's almost as if 

  you are speaking to me

from the next room,

but you are not here.

      it's almost as if

the blue light knows

whom to summon,

whom to follow 

       when inspiration calls.

uneven spaces, blue 

in the cracks, 

try to ease my hand,

ease my worry, 

  but no softness 

has enough force

to hit the keys,

and I am left with

your whispers,

your shadows

        where they shouldn't


28 August 2020


the shape of grief?
there is no shape.
there is no road,
only interruptions
of quicksand.
there is no destination
only scattered paths
leading nowhere.
the shape of grief?
it's sand in the lungs.
it's sand in the eyes.
it takes the shape
of any open space,

24 August 2020


it's the decay
that finds me
and all of my
soft places--
a bruised fruit
on the ground,
only enjoyed
by those
whose only purpose
is to take.

02 August 2020


I don't wish I were dead
even when I feel buried alive,
small rocks of grief in my mouth.
I don't wish I were dead.
I can't remember the last time I was awake,
a comb scratching the surface of my head,
wrestling tangles and knots so that
I can look OK, so that I can look
presentable when someone confides in me
only to forget to ask if I'm alright.
But no, I don't wish I were dead.
Just another person's wallet
would be emptied, then;
as if I never borrow.
As if I always borrow,
feathers for blood,
an endless well that goes
all the way down but fails to echo.
I don't wish I were dead,
but I keep having dreams
about the dead, bubbling in my ear,
fresh water myths rushing
so much I cannot hear my thoughts.
The dreams are always about it being a farce,
a prank, that she is gone.
"Who told you that?" She'd explain, exasperated,
and I would wake up, thinking I'd been lied to,
a penny bouncing off the wall of the deepest well.
I can't remember the last time I was awake,
floating in the water, feathers shiny,
emerging from a bloody wound.
When the light hits the back of her eyes
she'll know that she has been found.
Why would I ever wish I were dead
even when the mind is a trap?

22 May 2020

Two Weeks

Grief is the worst type of heartbreak--
there is no promise of spring,
just leaves crumbled into dust.

And the days move ever forward.
And I feel left behind.
And I am looking for you,

listening for your voice--
but you are dust.
Death is the ultimate promise.

It is the worst type of promise.

17 May 2020

May 8

There are not enough artifacts
nor trinkets
nor letters written
nor rough maps drawn

blue ink
a "T" forgotten,

There is not enough time
hands ticking
coming closer together
three or four clocks, at least,
I count
while sitting
where you last rested

Somewhere, I will find
your memory boxes,
your address books,
your yellow legal pads

Somewhere, I will find
your bookmarked Bibles
with tear-stained pages,
your 91st Psalm

But today, nothing I will find
will be enough
I am selfish
I want soft arms
I want more than
to save and replay...
"He is risen--he is risen indeed!"

I want your songs
your hums
your interruptions
your "not only that"s

I knew this day would come
but seeing you
in robin's egg blue
head tilted
as if napping
I was not ready
I guess we never are

Whose stories
will ring in my ears

Whose loud, persistent voice?

All the time in the world
still wouldn't be enough
with you--

big brown eyes
now closed

I can ask why you left
and if you'll be back
but these questions
are for children

I am so small
facing vast darkness
"But the light returns,"
I can hear you say
"Everything will be okay
I promise"

01 May 2020


My vote
is a Molotov cocktail
thrown at your sneering,
sweaty face.
How dare you;
like you are entitled
to my trust.
This flaming liquid,
these glass knives
jab your throat.
They are all
you are entitled to,
Yell then, won't you.
Maybe someone
will cover your mouth,
when you scream.

31 March 2020


Speaking with
a dead man's voice--
cooling embers,
each individual tooth
into dust--
when is too late?
Does it matter?
You take a stick,
swirl the ash.
It's not just
one person here.
There are many.
When each throat
cracked, the yolk
of mucus breaking,
did you give a damn?
When will you learn
that coins
are always cold.

21 February 2020

For Dean

Water lilies...
Even the eyes,
far away and knowing,
smile delicately,
when the blue arrives
to carry him away--
a wise young "he,"
tucked into his bed.
Take a small curl
for a keepsake.
Remember the folds
of the petals--
his favorite flowers
that he wants so much
to show you.
Listen for the gentle laugh
on the breeze,
and decide, then,
to follow it.