Violence

Superior is violent 

like the sea 

like me

Rocks aren’t as welcoming

as sand

But I stand here,

unrelenting

I am at peace

with violence

There is nothing except

a wind that rips through skin

with the promise of winter

Wolves stalk the neighbor’s cat

under a Pisces moon 

while I eavesdrop on hushed voices

At the picnic table,

a man regurgitates Hemingway–

a parrot in the land of eagles

Fireplaces and log cabins

are romantic to tourists,

but this place is a battered heart

and I know its pulse


I am at peace 

with silence


9/21/22

Tight Connection to His Heart

I knew I was

stationed somewhere

between another flight

and a Florida beach

but to find out

every moment is shared

with a tight connection in Philly

a broken one in Cali

and a drunk one in Australia

drains the hourglass sand

back to the gulf


we are all lost boys

looking for our mothers

some lost boys

keep looking

even when they have them


but I am the womb

I am the take off

and the final destination


there are no connections

in darkness

and I thank my sisters

for showing me the light

08/04/22


Space

I am porous

I lose pieces of me 

when I forget to say

I love you,

little girl

I expect others to

fill my spaces,

like planets spinning,

synchronized in iridescence

But men are meteors

leaving debris

or, simply leaving,

in search of something

bigger

better

untouched

There’s more impact that way

Meteors are not aimless

but I have no sense of direction

I wish I was a satellite

In the end,

all that’s left 

Is empty space

Someday, I will learn to

fill it with I love you,

little girl



7-3-22

Hush Hush

If fireworks can scream

why can’t we


It was hush hush 

when my mom was sixteen

and noticed a peer

disappeared for nine months

babies aren’t quiet

but their mothers always had to be


I am not quiet

when I am pleasured

I am not quiet when

I dissent


How can we celebrate a country

where someone’s baby

has to carry one

where missing indigenous women

are never sought or found

where black mothers die threefold

because white mothers

are bleeding next door

where genitals are inspected

before pronouns are respected

and marriage equality

was a passing dream


If fireworks can scream

we can, too


6/30/22


What Now

we don’t respect death

we are crows with

shiny objects

tiny hands catch bullets

instead of baseballs

and we cry what now,

but now is the same as before

only guns have safety


the first time I pulled a trigger

I nearly shot a man hiding in the hill

I find no pleasure in power

unless it is shared

but sharing is only taught in classrooms

and it dies with our children

America is the land of promise,

of empty beds and crowded safes,

of talking heads and screaming babies,

of grieving families and political maybes


life is figurative

until it is taken

until mothers weep

in the streets of Texas

and New York

but by then it is death

and we don’t respect death

so what now


05-26-22

Island

When I look back

I see the flags

full mast

(always a reason

never the priority)

You can’t build a home

on an island

While you tapped SOS

and leaned on strangers

I patched leaks

and leaned on the strength

of the women before me

who had no choice

but I do

I chose you then

(always a reason

never the reality)

But I choose me now

4/6/22

Is it

Is it what you want

I chew on this thought like tree bark

praying it will quell the ache in my gut,

but

my organs know

I do not want

to wonder forever

if you love her

if you love me

or if we are all just patches

never a quilt

you are always cold

because you want

it’s why I loved you

but now I hate those graphic tees

all who wander are lost

stitching experiences

together until

halves are whole

I want to see the world

through the eyes of my family

not strangers

I want to fold the sheets

and know you will sleep

beside me

in them, in there, in then

wherever, however, whomever

just not her

please not her

is it what you want

3/10/22

Notebooks

Do people change or do circumstances

between second chances

and first goodbyes

I don’t say goodbye, I disappear

too stubborn to hear

about dying

To see you again alone

is a reminder to run

as we’ve always done

to separate parts of the earth,

screaming into notebooks

while never acknowledging

words exist

I didn’t leave you

you were never there

Steel Shingles

Sometimes I think it’s either Vice President or driving off a cliff

Chapped nipples and overqualified at the front desk

Or pantsuit and laureate

Glass ceilings shatter and

shake the steel shingles above them,

Still the world screams

“See! She did it! She is amazing!”

Yes she is

They are

They always have been

Passed over for a white man

With his trust funds and his racism and his allegations

They’ve all sacrificed their dreams for the good of family, society, self

Preservation

But you never see it

You toast a drink when they’re behind the podium

She swells with pride

Then she drowns in the pillow

1/21/21

Rough Drafts

The impetuous screeching of cicadas,

suffocating Ohio summers with

their cries for attention

every seventeen years

like teenage hyenas at Head Row

desperately seeking prey

in the shadows

of disheveled baseball diamonds,

dust-ridden and ravenous

 

We like to believe

we can timestamp

high noon,

radiant and thick

with promise

 

But we are all bugs

buzzing with life

only to wane at first frost,

leaving crumpled carcasses

and rough drafts

rather than legacies

 

7-20-20

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