I closed my eyes four hours ago.

My words withered into hardened berries clinging to a November vine.

My body ached like the leafless lone oak standing in a harvested Wisconsin field.

My muse was mute.

But the hum of my heart promised
deep sleep
blessed rest
night night
sleep tight.

So I picked up that gauntlet,
only to dream
a thousand sweeter poems.

Then I was none

My mother told me
I was a twin:

upon a time
there was
a little girl
a little turd.
The little girl died.


Three hundred eighty seven steps
circle up the Notre Dame bell tower,
each ascending revolution a private penance
counted silently by gargoyles standing guard,
until finally the entire city unfolds below.

Ancient demons flick your ear, beg you to cast yourself down.

And you wonder…

If buttresses can fly, why can’t I?
Will He give his angels charge over me?
Ce que j’aime Paris?

Disappearing Girl

Everyone looked all around for the girl
they thought that they should see.

But had they asked I would’ve said,
“I’m right here! It’s really me. “


Redacted are redacted.
Redacted are redacted.
Redacted is redacted,
And so are redacted.


The sudden crack of fireworks
leaves a ribbon of sulfur twirling
thick through the August air.
Adolescent laughter billows up.
Cigarette smoke mingles with clouds of gnats.
The night buzzes with a nervous haze.


Three minutes.
I’ve made worse decisions
In less time and lived
To write this poem.
Two minutes.

Good Bye

This time in your Arizona desert
I pry open that brushed gold container,
then cut the bag, careful not to spill.
I sort through your chalky ashes.
I see no bones. I recognize no bits.

But the Sedona breeze stirs us both.
The contraband candle flickers to reveal our secret.

Sissy, remember our hello?
You yelled at me when I lit the toilet paper on fire,
but gave me your Bic because I didn’t burn myself.

At the Great Wall

Feet before mine wore smooth the towering stairs.

Soles–naked, tethered, aching–dimpled the rock into waves of gray.

Thousands of fingers etched trails along frontier edges, notched secure nooks.

Now, I climb slowly, careful not to look left or right,

afraid I might stumble on the ghosts of travellers before me.