edge

but it was not enough
to swallow the serpent & end the story here

leather-bound book & sky emptied
of light

a grave dug out, glass prism-prison,
chained to the edge, grass matted & dead

unlit, unholy, holding
an umbrella & still wet from the rain,

two stars reach out
to brush each other
—flicks of light, soft as finger tips—
& detonate

& a moon wishing, just once,
to shine its own perfect light.

originally published in ditch, January 2014

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White Lies

You ask where I have been
and I finally tell the truth:
I have begun seeing a therapist
because I have taken to wearing my bones
on the outside. The therapist tells me
it’s all in my head and that injured birds
should not attempt to fly. You tell me
I do not need therapy and we will figure
this out together; you do not ask the
questions the therapist asks, like why
you do hide from the mailman?
and how
do you feel about losing your favorite mug?
You’d think I’d be used to it by now:
the patterns we stitch around the house
so we do not accidentally touch.
But I begin to see a therapist anyway,
to wear high heels while I clean. I step
on ants with stiletto points.
This makes me feel large and powerful,
though still unusually sad.

originally published in The Rampallian, Volume 1, issue 3

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Three Things I Do Not Like to Admit

Lately, I wake up with the shape of your name
bent across my tongue. You live on coffee and
cigarettes, and I find this endearing. (I once
dated another man, years ago, who also lived on

coffee and cigarettes. I did not find him endearing.)
Perhaps it’s because you are so recently a used-to-be that
I think of you this way: torso like a startled scarecrow,
your hair some bemused Batesian mimicry, mottled eyes,
clumps of copper. I wake up with the shape of your name

bent across my tongue, and I do not like to admit this.
I fancy leaving my notebook in your truck to see if you
will flip through the half-thoughts scrawled sharply as
though with a scythe. To see if you will look at me

differently – watery, a little apprehensive, venomous.
The thing is, this is not about you so much as the idea
of you, my idea of you, all detuned and discordant. I
am obsessed with your pin-up tattoos, your incessant
coffee drinking, your hands like vices, hands that should
belong to a surgeon, or a cellist, not some capricious

mechanic. I am also obsessed with blackcats, the
number 14, and the way this will not end. I want you to call
and say, “Everything went wrong today. It all fell apart
and the only thing that will make me feel better right
now is seeing you smile.”
You do not say this. You

do not call at all anymore, and I do not like to admit
this, either. When the star V838 Monocerotis suffered
an outburst – a stellar death process – it somehow did
not die. It flared then fizzled, ebbing lightly in suspended

space. I wonder if this is the thrum of our metaphor,
our aborted fairytale, our astronomical cliché.
I wake up with the shape of your name
bent across my tongue, but the final thing I do

not like to admit is that you did not choose me, did
not choose our supernova. And so I begin to think that
maybe instead of us, this will be me: the star that mysteriously
erupts and then fades back into obscurity.

originally published in The Más Tequila Review, Issue #6

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