Nine of Hearts
I always thought she looked best, healthiest, happiest, when she was in a tank top and the dirty baggy jeans we swapped back and forth until they fell completely apart, a joint in her mouth and an axe in her hands, splitting firewood for a winter that she probably wouldn’t end up sticking around for.
House of Cards
you let victory linger / in your mouth until you forget its taste, /remember its shape.
Even This Place Once Had a Mother
Now that the car I was made in is gone, I wonder what will happen to me.
Schedule Snafu at the Cultural Center
We could be your favorite place in the city, a still monument to ground that’s always shifting.
Woman-Body for Patriarchy
Bend down / and reach / through / the dark hole. / You’ve won:
“You’re wrong,” he finally said. “There’s no hell. Today is all we have.” The man blinked twice, then walked away shaking his head, a small man carrying on his shoulder the weight of a world without redemption.
isn’t it queer being queer / queer in that you search to find one’s / self
Do or Don’t or Do
You take your son home to California with you for visits and one day your son peels you like the tangerines in your parents’ yard and you step out clean and open, nutritious, and your seeds can be planted to make new tangerines.
Sally, or How to Walk a Dog
Something about Sally’s shadowy gait is familiar to the young woman’s dog and it seizes and yelps like a cut wire, emits unsettling dog-screams of deep yearning, runs in large loops to and from the window, my friend my friend it is my friend.
There’s Really No Need to Talk About This
They had told each other they loved one another before, writing it in chicken scratch inside Valentine cards and muttering it before saying goodbye at school. This felt different.
Her dad’s old ‘55 Dodge Lancer sat beside Harold’s truck in the cinder block garage—cracked seats, mouse nests in the vents. It still reeked of unfiltered Camels.
Princess Diaries No. 12: Nancy Jean
that this is how / the dead come back / to have a chat
The Sheep and the Widow
But don’t you worry about gossip, sugar plum. I have a sense about these things. I can see you’re in love.
A Bride for a Flood
I had no name for what I wanted. Not this. Desire / As sudden as cool milk in the breasts of a virgin.
The Best Water in the World
We drank tap with pride.
Not Bruise, Not Eggplant
wandered into the garden to / find what there was to reap and —
The Hot Pitch Under
She could feel the hot pitch under her feet stretching both ways, boundless, like a solid ocean glowing at two opposing horizons.
The Wolf Within
In the beginning, the pain was a small thing, barely worthy of notice.
Diptych: A Mr. 7 Hands Screwdriver and an Octopus Open Up About Their Relationship
As you can probably imagine, the hardest part was we never knew what to do with that eighth tentacle.
It’s funny how history repeats itself, right? That feels almost cosmic.
Christ’s body — yes, only bread, but still this idea of a man in your hands.
My cousin got a reputation at school, and she said reputations are like ghosts. Once they decide to haunt you, there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them.
The Young Ones
I’d waited for him to come to my side of the room, had been pretending to admire, for too long, something that looked as though it had once been Apollo and Daphne but was now melting like hot wax.
In the Long Grass
Surreal moment, this: a roo lounging on a road in the middle of the day, a horseshoe of people staring down at him like he’s some sort of a prophet—or an omen.
In a Dream I Speak Perfect Mandarin
vague shape of a person, perhaps made up of broken seashells : the sound of fractured edges toned
He hovers over her, like Goldie after Kurt, as she floats and undulates in her half-dreams, me staring out the window, wondering if the fish might be dying rather than giving birth.
my mother married a willow tree on a hilltop, sat under its boughs through four decades of rain in a day
Sideways glances at others who are doing it better: crisp black ties, polish on their shoes, the right moves.
anti-ode to the heart
cocoons, tent worms eating the world just to be reborn, inseparable from the smoke
Horses and earth are just different shades of each other, and we start to disappear, all of us, into the thickets of leaf and shadow.
The Florida Museum of Natural History
There’s a swing to Jessica’s step that reminds me of nights spent in a cloud of citronella, chasing lizards through my backyard.
The Right Magic
I’ll meet all the fairies, and we’ll have tiny tea parties and I’ll wear tiny dresses and use my tiny wings to fly.
Wishing on the Solid Gold Inamorato
I was probably a maniac beyond salvation. That’s why I needed to meet with the Solid Gold Inamorato.
I’ve never encountered these strange invaders, these garden jellyfish that cling to me.
The past is an animal with its teeth bared.
and she’ll never die, and we won’t either.
Your DNA Results Are In & the Researchers Send Their Condolences
you have a mother, but you do not have a mother. / we can see that on the tests.
Nothing / about my grandfather was soft, // though he planted fruit trees / in improbable climates.
Girl and Her Spiders
I knew what a brown recluse spider looked like before I ever met a queer person my age.
At first it’s just a low feeling at the base of your tum, a knot being tied, but then it tugs like a rope being pulled at both ends by a pair of black hogs
The Other Mary Owen
She imagines the Other Mary Owen sunning herself on a terrace in Mykonos, reservations purchased with the real Mary’s stolen credit card.
The Bone House
Everyone knows when you build a bone house that you start with the front.