2010s · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings · The Unnamed Algorithm

If I Ever Have Children

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my thirties
the woman checking it off
all the things-to-do
like a master’s degree
and home buying
like falling in love completely
and writing a book of how it ends
finding new community
and loving her whole body flawed
flinging open all the doors
and surrendering to the unknown next

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my twenties
the woman fighting against it
to save her own soul
find her own belief in God
and lose her given self
venture out from community
live alone, love alone
sort through the old baggage
give them names and abandon them
find focus for talents and energies
and heal the damage at all costs

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my teens
young girl trying masks
on and off each year
like too many friends
and partying far too young
like black dyed-hair and boots
sinking down through the cracks
sharp turn into a Christian life
and a radical-faced community
stepping through the windows
where she’d press her face to the glass

If I ever have children
they will never know me as a child
a broken girl holding
a green Picasso heart
running with one parent from the other
always leaving school early
memories in paper bags stashed
in the trunk of a broken-down car
with walk-in closets for the skeletons
and attics for hiding and running free
words swallowed in torn pieces
forcing her destiny as a poet

 

Originally published in The Mayo Review, also included in The Unnamed Algorithm.
Listen to the poem on SoundCloud, from Anchors CD.

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.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry

Cathedral

I take you with me
like a chain around my wrist
I took you through security
brought you to England
and on the bus to Wales
I pushed you up my arm
with bangles clinking soft

I went to Ireland to forget
the sound of your low voice
in every hotel you wait
for me to sleep without you
under pillow-white comforters
and clouds under roads
of endless miles and miles

I change my nightshirt
I change my long pants
but I find you there
in the bottom of my shoes
I met a poet who married an artist
after years and years of not
their deep folds of white skin
stinks of my undreamt dreams

I count the days unhad
in the cracks of aging stones
in ancient Scottish castles
dissolving like dead paper
black and grey and brown

they all eat like you
knives leading forks
in sway and swoon
painting food on plates
but only in reverse
pinks follow greens
orange and tan rising up
leaving only empty white

five thousand miles
two hundred days
I can’t dilute you out
filling red wine with water
flowing over the rim
I see you in the gift shop
and in the hotel shower
I leave without you
touching my own skin
brushing my own hair

I am whole without you
like a lone cathedral tower
gray stones on stones
without walls or ceilings
for centuries it stands
without congregation
or faithful believers
still, it stands without you

First appeared in The Mayo Review (2014), also in All the Tiny Anchors

2014 · Publications

The Mayo Review

I am incredibly honored to be a featured poet in the Spring 2014 edition of The Mayo Review. Three of my poems “If I Ever Have Children”, “Flourish”, and “Cathedral” (last two are in All the Tiny Anchors) are included in the pages with many other excellent poets like Tobi Cogswell and Daniel Romo.

Mayo Review 2014-06-03 17.45.34