He can wrangle rivers
and still guide me
through nightfall
with all its ensuing chaos,
unseen and keenly felt.


Disco paradise

I lived in a house near an airport
for a short part of my childhood.
I also lived near the ocean.
I don’t like flying or swimming.

I lived near a disco on the highway
and had palm trees in my yard.
I worried I’d be taken
late at night by revelers hiding in the palms.
I worried more
that my parents wouldn’t notice.
I’d rest my chin on the windowsill
watching colored lights
and sparkling drunk people
act out constellation myths.

As much as I liked the salt air,
I knew I didn’t belong
where fruit was abundant
and urban orgies were a way of life.

After panic

After stretching as far as you can go
in the face of the sun,
reach and be happy
for the bit of air you claim,
the sliver of color that is yours,
a perfect moment that awaits
before resting in a story meant for you alone;

you remain a bittersweet memory,
a faceless dreamer to me.

By Lamplight

Without being yanked through fog,
a gentle match was lit
making the tête à tête a grand quiet
flickering pause.

Do you ever trill with the windswept sea,
she wondered, but he was already
on his third puffing thought-
one where whales could swallow direction
making the whole earth a tureen.
No, he thought but never got to say,
I don’t sing in shallow waters
but I do like your lips by lamplight.

Between lines

He lived with a cracked girl
but didn’t notice
she was worn almost clean through
in places
(strangely, not where she was hurt,
but rather where she wanted touch)

He bounced when he walked,
whole and golden in a whistling dream
without realizing she was leaking
and afraid of the Empty

She thought she was stuck
in a circle
with incongruously sharp edges
but he could still reach her
between bouts
of mania and dysphoria

She would carry fog
if she only knew the science
but despair was forgotten
within his strong hands