In October 2015, I was honored to collaborate with my friend, Larry Duncan, on a project called Heartbreak: Fuse, by Karineh Mahdessian. This project partnered male and female poets to write about heartbreak together. Larry responded to my poem, “Liquid Forget”, with a poem called “Forget Liquid”. The anthology includes work by of my poetry friends, including Raquel Reyes-Lopez, Marc Cid, Sharon Elliott, Donny Jackson, Kelly Grace Thomas, Wyatt Underwood, Sean Gunning, Angela Moore, Bill Friday, and too many more.
(Apparently this acknowledgement was missed until recently.)
When we met for the first time—
not as friends—the first time as possibility,
you were aging in reverse past twenty years,
some fresh-faced boy fumbling for admiration.
You brushed my arm. Shoulders press and retreat.
I secretly hoped we’d never find our way home.
But your father face returned—I met this man
many months before. We were friends
but so much older. Eyes heavy with marriage
and house and family and work responsibility.
When we met again for the first time—
past possibility, in the space of immediate now
where time is irrelevant and skin speaks
all our words, your face became child.
When I counted the spokes in your irises,
I looked down at the escaping years
dissolving through your teeth.
Let’s be children in some night parking lot
without the weight of older lives.
We’ll climb into ours beds as all time—
as delinquency—as heavy sage—
as eager limbs—as singing rosies round
and round, spinning into the music.
First published in Four Seasons Anthology.
Mariano Zaro interviewed me recently for Poetry LA. It was an honor to be a part of this project.
Be here. Be centered. Be a girl on the verge of everything.
Be the wrong kind of naive. Be the wrong kind of experienced.
Be nestled in pine bench seats. Be as bright as fluorescent bulbs.
Be a mother cooking spaghetti. Be ducks in blue flower tiles.
Be a wall telephone, spiral cord stretched for miles. Be a
pimpled-faced teen. Be a former homeless child sleeping
in her own room. Be dancing on clean white sparkled
linoleum. Be a shy step-daughter. Be a visiting sister
towing another man behind. Be glass tabletop,
chipped edges for all night D&D. Be a pile of
endless dishes. Be cooking sherry snuck by
seventeen-year olds. Be cartoons. Be drawn
on the refrigerator door. Be gaping windows.
Be a kind of glue. Be her best memories.
First published in Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminine Identity.
I speak you to the wind
and she carries the notes
of your name to the sky
I stand, hands empty
waiting for god
to speak you
back into my chest
but there is only
layer upon layer
of sound traffic
I speak again but find
no voice, no music
First published in Spectrum: An Anthology of Southern California Poets.
My heart is bottom-pink
and raw, not knowing
how many beats to give
beats to exhale
All words crowd into the soft
spaces, roof of my mouth
cutting inside cheeks
rolling off lips
All quiets are questions
my voice too loud
my hands too clumsy
How do I protect you
when I’ve just been born?
When my spit edges
in the corners of your drink?
I’m dumb, backseat fumbling
legs over knees
arms over shoulders
If my skin in moonlight
is softest, how do your hands
melt into my scars?
First Published in Carnival Lit.