sing, the guttural & saccharine / taxonomy of shame: what want demands / the body forgives
his gun // memory of steel bars // the plea // his gun // her self-defense // his reaction // her end // his gun // any being cornered will fight back // & her teeth already dull from repeated use
the world works in broken & imperfect circles like arms hugging a baby’s toothless smile the way a dog spins around & around before sleeping the word moon sung by nick drake the soft & rounded edges of the adobe home
Returning the whale was soso still It did not complain when I crawled inside with my one can and my no candle The mouth the humid mouth was like a tunnel of warm sponge I thought A whale is smaller from the inside I thought This is what my heart would look like from the middle
The body is gone. / But the shape of gravity is known. We carry her, / like a folded jacket of spirit, laying in our arms.
You learned to spill by breathing out / make room for the warm marrow / that gives this pot its power
She was the only person who left me a note about what type of tree she is—which by the way is a magnolia. (Ask her why.)
Red-faced and enraged, I bite into / red strawberries, my face blooming / red. I read red words in a book my father / read. All of the pages are red. All of the words a- / re distractingly read.
the priest speaks of my parents in many ways; though the undertaker speaks in one.
everywhere I look, I see eruption. A startle / of ice cracks off a branch above my head. / A local dog goes from saunter to sprint / at the sight of a squirrel.
After our discussion of childhood traumas, once / we’ve revisited a town in this valley named / Yettem (Armenian for Eden), you press your back against my chest.
The telephone is ringing and the dead on Everest answer: “I am so cold—please don’t cry. Everything will be fine.”
down the throat spill into the hungry stomachs of youth. / blue recycle bins knock over. an attempt to survive this / summer means every black body for itself.
the wife folds her arthritic body onto a shelf, a raccoon / squeezing her backfat thin as water only flexible bones / and silt filling her jello mold of pleated skin
I imagine a glitch: corroded wires, infinite loops of fritz-stuttered signals declaring that every day is August 5th, so every day the machine sings, celebrates itself alone
Backs of knees are pornographic. But openly hairier. My alien agrees with me. Or, at least, its sequins flash an affirmative when prompted.
In life, we are playing with dangerous games: you, the witness of the visiting vatnajökull now blushing pink in the atom sky with the bright comedy of Frigg fooling the ashes of the colour, and I, making a cryogenic favour to the moonless nights
In December of 2015, a giant squid swam into Toyama Bay in Japan. A local dive shop owner guided the squid back out to the ocean. The squid clung to the diver’s body using its legs' suckers. Later, the diver said the squid was “unexpectedly beautiful, its body glowing red.”
After midnight I see it coming: a finale marked in gravel and salt. I / come down for sinner’s stripes, wear these clothes like queens do, / take the stairs slowly, out of the flood and into blue. This is what / the sun is for; still in the night I collect stars and I collect bees and I / keep them in mason jars, like little yellow dreams, my magic.
I wish I could paint you red, and fuse your four fingers together, on each hand leaving only the thumb free.
It’s aflame with corpses. We live in the past. / Every dead star still burning in our eyes.
Before the hurricane, we had a rosebush. An avocado tree. Limes. The backyard, where we hid plastic Easter eggs, buried the bones of small pets.
auditory and visual hallucinations, she explains casually, as if describing the weather of California in July.
The tapestry must be frailed if it is to survive, flipped over
On those childhood Sunday mornings we used to watch the Orions take flight from the naval air base.
they pull out the woman / through her gut: think of the space now, / open studio with white walls, / dust like milkweed drifting
A diving bird, the pink duck returns for its things. What things? Whatever we took that made it dip its pink head under the waters, not to reappear. Its iridescent beetles, split-wings lifting in the air; its patch of jade grass; its water lilies; its tufted body, without the bullet’s path and tear.
Catch and Release by Douglas Cole He waves and smiles and saysyou guys look like celebritiesthe black jacket…
A Portrait of Michael Brown that Wasn’t Michael Brown after Ferguson & The White Card Black outline on…
Poet as Doctor (ii) Let’s begin again: this medicine, this muse, this moon that won’t blue. Murmur quartz…
There’s a Boat for Nelly Do you want to take a ride with me? See deep denizens flitting…
In St. Mawes Once, in Tampa, we made a drunken habit of jumping off bridges into the bay,…
Year of the Pig There is no word for “gentle” on this tongue; cut sharply against the fat…
Kindertransport for david attenborough Everything we loved in a suitcase the size of a loaf of bread. Everything…
Instructions for Waking Don’t imagine your bones sound like the rusty jaws of the garbage truck, that groans…
MELANOMA: THE POLITICS OF MY SKIN One moment of quiet and I’ll be able to think about stitches…
Once the whole is divided, the parts need names. / There are already enough names. –– Lao Tsu
capreolsapien gives thanks too late first flurry with these antlers watch me shed them watch them glitter all…
In the middle of surviving you, I sat on the sidewalk outside the bookshop that paid me too little, sterilized a safety pin with the flame of a lighter and stabbed it through my right big toe.
I can count the number of times we touched on two hands plus two feet, plus your hands and your feet.
The Bees The bushes are alive with bees, Like clockwork they fly from clover patch to shrub. Their…
Then and There A rook snags a branch in the sycamore outside my bedroom window. That’s not what…
our wanderings conjure desire, the selfish kind—hunger to ask for more without bothering to hear the answer.
The Kids That Look Like Me Keep Dying Leaning bicycles on old iron fences. The kids grow out…
“If he says no, I’m dead.” Hard words from a hard man to the governor.
the fruit stains a woman’s fingers.
The diaspora of your voice is hatched from the space you refuse to continue drowning in
after Rufino Tamayo’s Hombre con pájaros, 1945 & Los astrόlogos de la vida, 1947
Tonight, we inhale combustion / quilted with orange residues / that leak from solitary bulbs.