Tag Archives: relationships

White elephant

I Having outlived our reciprocal usefulness, we mull the stubborn residue of the situation: the nostalgia of remembering, the impunity of forgetting, how the past may persuade the present, but not indefinitely; how time makes plain what romance adorns. The gifts we cherished have become white elephants; gold spun patiently into straw. II Choosing honesty, […]

(First perform the operation inside the parentheses)

Say my love is constant and yours variable or the opposite alternately juxtaposed and irrational. A negative exponent implies a fraction. When will we quit complaining? Endlessly we divide. At 25,000 miles per hour an object may break free of Earth’s gravitational pull, bolt its closed orbit to traverse an infinite number of stars. Count […]


I mistook your light for substance, though you burned out long ago, the celestial aspects of your small body subsumed by the dark gravity of one larger, and me forgetting how a dead star may nonetheless shine from an irretrievable past, a glory of extinction no astronomer could ignore, yet the core collapsing and collapsing […]

In the woods

Years later — years — I send the last letter by mail, securing the possibility it will get lost, that you will never read it, and then will I have written what I did? Suspecting all our words were no more than a tree falling and falling, and no one there to hear.     […]


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 […]

Family portrait

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 […]

A vulnerability meets a provocation

Like a cliché or a bad joke. In a bar. Where they recognize but cannot name each other until it is too late. For the vulnerability, anyway. You know the rest. The vulnerability becomes more himself, soft as a fontanel. Exposed. The provocation likewise expressing her nature. Inciting; advancing. Until – at the same moment […]


Mostly, you nearly told the truth. Sometimes. I never knew if you knew the difference, only that in the end, I couldn’t tell whether you exhaled sewage or bagels, only that your mouth was not made for kissing. Before, in love, I thought: Let our poem survive the stanzas I don’t understand. After, I understood […]

Somewhere, swallowtails

A half-second, maybe. No more. You hang in the air, a question too pretty to diminish with answers, wings opening and closing on the hinge of your thorax, bright lemon and black; cyan patches, splashes of orange. Black, too, those perfect points, limned in light. A half-second to see you; a half-second — no more […]

When it breaks

  When it breaks, may it break well for you. When grief stills your tongue, may it be consoled by a Hostess Ho Ho, a pale ale, a dry red or dark roast. By anything that comforts, may your silent tongue be comforted. When it breaks, may it break well for you. May your surviving […]