2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Car Accident, 14 Months Going

Everything with you was
like a car accident,
the kind someone expects

months before, but when
the point of impact arrives,
no one is ever prepared.

Seatbelts and airbags don’t
stop the severity of its
suddenness or the metal

frame collapsing and crushing
through skin and bone. I can
brace my elbows to my chest

stop the outside coming in,
but the forces stay in motion
and you crush my heart

in love. You leap out just
at the edge of the overpass
leaving me descending forward

in suspension. I chose
to keep my door locked
and feel the fall, feel

the collision. I still won’t take
one single moment back.

First published in Poet’s Haven.

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2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

The Atmosphere I Miss

At this point, it’s not him
I miss, not his back of
red-brown constellations,

but my own atmosphere
I knew naked in front
of his flat screen TV.

It’s not his goose-neck car
orange and black enormity,
but the happy surrender

of the passenger seat,
not driving, not road-thinking.
Clear-minded, I miss not

making plans on Saturdays
and on Sunday mornings.
It’s not his tongue,

or its softness, but
the fullness of my mouth
at its opening.

First published in Poet’s Haven.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

To Agree Philosophically

It’s not enough that
we have a million things in common
that we can talk for hours
about our favorite bands
and Miyazaki movies like art

It’s not enough that
we agree philosophically
on religion and God
and an unknown purpose
that I respect your convictions
even if they seem ridiculous

It’s not enough that
I can be myself with you
a girl-child at 37
sullen or cynical
giddy and intentional

That I get you
when you see things
no one else does
when your voice drops low
I know what that means

It’s not enough that
we are nostalgic and sentimental
that we are adventurous
in the mundane things
that I just don’t want to go yet
that I feel at home with you

It’s not enough that
I have all the want in the world
when you don’t say
when you don’t show
what you want from me

First Published in Katenhatz (Bank Heavy Press).

1990s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Gummo (From a Dream)

I saw you on TV lastnight
tall and skinnyextra nervous
your off-set fashion
twelveyearoldface
you were talking with David Letterman
(who wouldn’t listen)
you kept looking away grimacing
you mention Ulysses and Snoop Dogg
I felt like calling or driving
to your apartment and no-talking
I just wanted you to know
he was trying to be nice
maybe you knew
he didn’t get you
but the likeness wasn’t perfect
maybe it wasn’t you
he displayed his hair and his face
you are much more socially adept
still there you were
sitting in your brownpantsuit
and redsweatervest
talking about taped bacon
I just thought you’d want to know
sometimes I see your handwriting in my stereo cabinet
sometimes I hear you standing with hands on your hips
sometimes I forget I can’t drink Kool-Aid anymore

10-18-97

2015 · All the Tiny Anchors · Publications

The Poet’s Haven

Just got word that two of my poems, “Car Accident, 14 Months Going” and “Death by Rust“, were accepted and published on The Poet’s Haven. Both of these poems were written in early 2013, which feels like a lifetime ago. “Car Accident…” is also in All the Tiny Anchors and “Death…” was included in Cadence Anthology: Year Two. It’s still wonderful to see they are getting some individual love out on the poetry universe. 2015-12-13 18.08.27-2

 

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Daylight

Your arm hit the blinds
they swung like a pendulum
brightlight
brightlight
piercing my eyes you
held up your hand
to stop the sun
to shade my face
it felt just like love
so I sunk
into you
in the silence

First published in First Literary Review East and included in All the Tiny Anchors.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry

Honey

The first time you kissed me
I should have seen it coming
You were animal-starved
pawing hungry at my hips

You were hurricane-tongued
bracing me against your mouth
I pulled up fierce to match you
claw for claw around your neck

I could not hear us breathing
deafened by your torrent eyes
I did not recognize the beast
devouring my skin like victory

I wasn’t your prey or your prize
bound to be death-squandered
I had waited beyond time for you
to lay yourself down at my feet

I had hoped for honey sweet
and slow to drench my lips
with tenderness. But I—
I should have known

First published in Pyrokinection, also included in All the Tiny Anchors
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings

5:38

I keep smiling while I read them. All three texts. Sitting at a Greek place with coworkers at a long table for fifteen. Middle aged women and their husbands are asking about you. They all want to meet the man who put stars under my skin. I just told them about the place we found with 30 minute lines down the block, where they create gourmet pizza to order. All of them want to try it. Three texts at once isn’t like you. The waiter sets the cheese on fire and everyone is opening their mouths at the flames. I’m still burning on fumes from last Sunday when you’d kissed me full enough for days. I had felt lucky all week, lucky enough for months. I read them now. I keep smiling, but I am losing the ability to hear. My head goes underwater as our table splits like an aquarium wall, everyone else on the outside. All at once I am wishing there was a magic portal to stop time, an alarm clock for waking up, cameras to be revealed as a cruel joke played. Someone must have stolen your phone, is holding you hostage, making you text those things in English I cannot translate. I have to leave immediately. I leave my coat. I leave my purse. Leave my untouched food on the plate. I try to climb into the circuits of my phone, step through satellites, make you look me in the eyes. Make you face me when you fire that gun.

 

First published in Carnival Lit Mag, also in All the Tiny Anchors.
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Westwood Boulevard (Why I Can’t Go Back)

I.

because I’d have too many questions
like does her husband know
have you ever met her children
do your parents know about her
does she hate your new car
or your new 60-inch TV
does she love the extra 20 pounds
I left behind

II.

because I know exactly
how small your ass really is
how you taste in the shower
how your eyes are lost
first thing in the morning
how you loved those thin pillows
from World War II
how you bought a fat one
just for me
how I know you really meant it
at the time

III.

because I’m still counting days
they are all anniversaries
of first times, of last times
of times we drove for no reason
my calendar dates lay over
like a transparency
so it’s all how-long-since
how-many-days-until-it’s-been
and every case on People’s Court
mentions November and Hurricane Sandy
then we’re standing there on the Boulevard
you said we need to talk
find some place for dinner
we missed our movie
I could unmake plans with you all weekend
it was cold enough to wear a sweater

I can almost count the hours

IV.

because I forgot to hate you
though you really wished I would

V.

because I told everyone
with eyes or ears near these words
I spoke you out loud
I own my story—this is mine
I will love it long after your scent
is rubbed off my page

First published in Tic-Toc Anthology (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Flourish

The possibility of birth since our death
has passed, yet— in nine months
a new life is here now, where you abandoned us.
This Thursday girl, my child, my only daughter,
has become the woman you will never know, like
you once knew
the most unlit folds of me.

I birthed her from my own black ashes and none
of the fragile skin of you. She lives in my night side,
grows in those thick shards, those tire weight pocks.
She flourishes in the white vacuum space you
sucked out from me
like a plane window under pressure cracked,
spidering—
instantly gone.

She loves the deafened stillness and
grows in my gnawing hunger, grows out
through my fingernails and the follicles
of my new hair-the softness of which
you will never know—
like you once knew the lather and rinse of it.

First published in The Mayo Review (2014), also appears in All the Tiny Anchors.