Away, alone

One day she went home
after breathing only dust
and salt water.

Her shredded clothes
loosely hung off her body.

After only talking to strangers
for eight months,

She had a face
that had been battered
by wind and furrowed brows,
squinting in the sun.

Always too hot or too cold,
a life never

Midlife love made simple

All I want to do with you, baby
is share a joint,
and chocolate ice cream,

talk about our traumas,

listen to groovy music
on the floor,

and make-out
like teenagers.


Lord please save my mind,
I hear them in the walls, still
no mouse I can find.

no matter how you look at it

no matter how you look at it,

it is still true
that this cancer stretched it’s roots
throughout my body.
the cure almost killed me.
you never saw them take my body away,
and put it in the fire.
now you have a portion of me
in the console of your car.
while I travel with you,
my roots have stretched
into the soil of seven states,

no matter how you look at it.

Summer in the time of Covid

Those days of lime-soaked watermelon summers, sharing a plate of potato salad and BBQ, kissing boys, grandma’s cheek—

I am just waiting
to get vaccinated.

Property value

There’s a collective mind-shifting,
like my two feet impatiently
standing in line at the bank.

Now we take baby’s first steps
of thinking of ourselves
as a race, as something other than:


As children we played with blocks,
practiced building houses
and occupying them.

Now our defenses are knocked down,
but we gather the blocks back,
trying to return to the house
we were building

on the backs of people we won’t see.

The game

When your husband grabbed the Seahawks flag from outside your front door
and ran down the street with it, blue and green streaming behind him,

you wept.

Because your team just won, just came back from behind,
and at the last possible moment,

they triumphed.

As I watched you, watching your husband take a lap around the block,
I knew the cancer was growing inside you, that your chances of survival,

were slim.

You knew this, you weren’t only crying with amazement for your team.
You glimpsed the possibility, impossible though it was,
that your body could do something miraculous
in the last moments of the game.


In the moist black hours
of midnight sleep
the wind pushed in
with sudden force,
swept up the dusty ground
like a broom.

Forced out of their secret corners,
under a canopy of pines,
the mice stormed by trailer.
They scurried up my tires
and invaded through invisible cracks.

Their evidence is clear—
tiny black droppings in drawers,
and footprints forgotten
in the dust outside.

So today, by gulps of caffeine,
and the frantic motion
of my pen across paper,
I’ll try once again to scrub them away.

Writing on the road

I am a graphic designer who also writes, and this is my first Poetry Marathon. I haven’t written poetry in over a year, so this will be a good way to throw myself into it / dive in head first. Looking forward to the experience! I have lots of tea, coffee, and snacks.