I join the haves, keeping distance from the have nots. Oh, the fevered battle, the many dead soldiers blown gently from the nostrils into soft tissue, their duty honorably discharged. This sweep, the clearing of the fallen, a residual chill and tremble. Later, I will sit in the sun, make soup, add COVID to the […]

It’s not true, what they say. God often gives you more than you can handle, then stands back and observes as you adapt.  Or perish, like the infinite others who were given more than they could handle and are no longer here to say so. God is not cruel, just curious, like a researcher whose […]

Did the Earth spit you up, or just fail to drown you? Acknowledge solitude. Name separation. Admit your skin. Each of us an island, a hot accretion surfaced; a cool shelf not fully submerged. Do not despair. Feel how the ocean floor anchors you, and all around water. Could you be more surrounded by life? […]

Pate is a head, pâte, a porcelain, pâté, an appetizer; the devil, they say, is in the di-ˈtāls. Or,ˈdē-tāls. How you complicated love, that single syllable, how your troubled tongue twisted and tortured its sweet consonance, could not speak, nor your ear, hear, the essential emphasis, where it must fall — must — if any […]

Of course there was love. And outside the frame, the unspoken grievance, the ambiguous harm, fissures forming, fault lines; the common geology of family. How quietly durable our domestic discord, how persistent beyond the curated image: One two-hundredth of a second, F-stop 5.6; the precise shutter speed and aperture to create evidence, make artifact, of […]

even badly, lest you be relegated to backup — partial thoughts, repetitive fragments — behind stars and perpetually reaching for lyrics (going back to find), words you might have sung, not another’s chorus (leaving on the midnight train), but the singular verses of your one life that (dreaming) might make a melody: full-throated, headstrong, heartfelt. […]

I decide to get up, despite the mental miasma, the obdurate inner chatter: Mass extinction. Global warming. The pandemic. Everyone who died; everyone who will. Everyone. . How, neatly named and categorized, we proceed to hate each other. Though you did treat me horribly. I deserved so much better. The cat yawns, stretches. This again. […]

  Disaster Number 4498 requires a death certificate, cause clearly stated; an invoice, itemized, the date of our disaster — your demise — the cost of which can be deftly monetized in America, where any harm may be codified, indemnified in that coarse ledger, as if we should be, could be, compensated, reparated; our fragments […]

Let us be finally together in our calamities, at peace in our wars, at rest in our agitations. We are made human, first breath to last; one broken heart implies another. If  your words disappear, your thoughts fragment, I nonetheless hear all you cannot say. And somewhere, do we sing? Do we sing in our […]