From October, 2018

Trying to Explain Why I Am Not Sad

that my dad is dead – and it’s not because he hit me or worse, in fact he barely touched me at all, or ever said anything personal, though he was full of dictums (he who has the gold makes the rules) and knee-slappers (too long to fit into a poem – how he coughed…

Drained

Indianola, TX Seagulls splinter the night of salted squalls, driving rain stinging our skin. I wish I was more willing to stay here with you than I am but as lightning scripts clouds and light bulbs buzz out the dock shop shuts down. Behind us the owner locks the door and sloshes through the parking…

Battle Rhythm

The call to morning prayer coincided with the convoy brief. They called the speakers mounted on the mosque minaret electronic ayatollahs. The house of worship was several kilometers from the convoy staging area, but the wind and direction allowed the sound to travel much further than a map would have suggested. The sound was a…

Wake

days without coffee golden and gripping in the wake of nights late with talking mist makes morning matter hills flatter, fatter, blurs the background like a photograph where you, only you mattered days of should and shouting, doubting the grass that should not be blue the sky that should not be red bed the only…

I Don’t Want To Be The Only One Here

I don’t want to be the only one here dreaming of a seal swimming under my white sheets, its blubbery body sliding over my breasts while the rest of the book club sits in a sensible circle discussing the book I haven’t read. I don’t want to wake drenched in the cold lake of my…

Elegy for the Men of My Stepfather’s Town

Every time my stepfather asks if I remember Gordy or Lloyd or some other lifelong, small-town acquaintance — Dead, he’ll say, rolling his neck as he taps out a cigarette. What do they die of? Heart mostly. Congestion or lack. Weathered years in seed caps and pickup trucks. Larry who sold hardware went tethered to…

Silence Between

He’s the one they want. His name attracts talent and interest. He’ll show up with that guitar, hardly say two words, listen to the track, skim the chart. Then he’ll plug in, adjust levels and play the absolute correct thing. First time through: perfect. But then he’ll go back and find some way to make…

Negative Space

The sky spreads out in shades of hay: sky adept at holding everything ruinous, anything good. Rockets meeting missiles from the rooftop Tuesday night; you called me to report you felt protected. Only plumes of smoke, you said, below the dome above your home. By morning sallow shadow on the peach and loquat ground. Sky…