My eyes feel like they’re permanently crossed, but I have finished Poem #12!




You barrel towards me,

a dump truck loaded

with feces. If I refuse


delivery, you step on

the accelerator, and

the shit comes even faster.


Once, I could

bolt the door

to stop your words

from arriving,


but now they

arrive around the clock,


like unwanted packages

from messengers on

an endless shift.


The worst part is,

I signed up for this,

and keep coming back for more.


Despite my discontent,

I’ll return again and again,

until I’m too old and ill

to flip the on switch anymore.


I’m sorry, George Orwell.

I promised to resist, but

in the end, was seduced

by the thrall of eternal connection.



Professional Gastropod

professional gastropod


the slug won

the half-marathon

by a hair’s breadth.


his muscles pumped

like pistons, as

he escaped each

hoe and boot heel.


nearing the finish line

amidst a cacophony

of cheering, he slid

the final mile on a


trail of his own slime,

finally landing

on a large, fully ripe

tomato. everyone


loves a winner, but

the slug is smart enough

to remain modest.


and the best part

is that he gets

to do it all again,


Creature Feature #2

Creature Feature #2


Eating popcorn in front

of a black-and-white television,

my fingers drenched in

melted butter and iodized salt.


The Bride of Dracula

has made her fatal mistake,

while Frankenstein’s monster


only wants acceptance

from a crowd intent

on his eradication.


Next week, the Mummy

will lumber across my screen,

mindless as a drugged cow,


and I can stay up as late as I want,

at least until the test pattern

emerges. I watch everything,


the late-late news, the grand finale:

a rendition of the Lord’s Prayer

in sign language. Turning off

the television feels like saying goodbye


to an old friend I’m not sure

I’ll ever see again–or if I do,

one of us may have changed

into a creature no one can recognize.


I am already different:

my bathroom mirror shows a face

that has lived through


multiple bouts of terror,

and I haven’t even begun.







The Other Side of the Bridge

The Other Side of the Bridge


When both of my husbands

were alive, we spent

Thanksgiving together,


our feast culminating with

an extended walk

across the Tacoma Narrows bridge.


The two of them paused

beside an iron railing

so I could take photos:


a sort of black-and-white

study in contrasts, but

captured in technicolor.


My ex had yellow teeth

and cheeks that hung

like a gaunt bulldog’s.


He smoked a cigarette

every fifteen minutes—

frail shoulders

slumped in the rain,


frantic mouth devouring

smoke, like it was candy.


My husband perched beside him,

happy for sailboats

that passed beneath our feet,


and a sun break that seemed

to come out of nowhere.


No one knew both men

were marked—my ex-husband

would be dead


in less than a year,

my current one in three.


And I, the photographer,

doomed to continue my trek

across the span, alone.


I’m glad no one can predict

the future, or there would

be no point in going on:


still, I trudge ahead

anyway, half-believing

I know what awaits me

on the other side of the bridge.







My Lover, As Coffee

My Lover, As Coffee


Espresso eyes:

caffeinated and

intensely rich.


No creamer

for this java.


I drink it bitter,

straight, from

a dirty shot glass.


Daylight awaits us,

a set of fangs

at the end of

sleep’s tunnel–


but at least I am

wide awake,

ready for another

cup of you.


Rain Check

Rain Check


Dancing on the brink

of the apocalypse

is postponed today,


due to rain, sleet,


and excessive heat.


It is tentatively

rescheduled for Thursday

of next week,


but might need

to be canceled

until next year, if

conditions don’t improve.


Remember, you’re not

the only one who needs


to make sacrifices:

it’s a big disappointment

for the entire group.


So. keep your place

in line, and find

something to do

to stay busy.



Desert Lover

Desert Lover


Walking through

the alleys of old Bisbee,

I thought I saw

the ghost of an ex-junkie


who captured my attention

in these same streets,

twenty-three years ago.


A face like Richard Gere’s—

eyes wandering

inward, as if bored.


Cheap boots caked

with layers of dust,

probably given to him

by an ex-girlfriend.


Always, his shrill fixation

on his one

great achievement:


a novel picked up by a

major publisher, then

out of print

five years later,


with no further plans

for distribution.


His inability to stay in bed

for more than an hour

after sex. And, most of all,


his uncanny communication

with extraterrestrials,


who somehow couldn’t

keep their hands

off his genitals.


Who could blame them?

Neither could I.

Mars in Leo

Mars in Leo


You come on

like a forest fire,

but I am half-asleep.


Ten years younger,

you still stoke the furnace

every day.


I am content to sleep in

and shuffle to the kitchen

for coffee.


What will

become of us?

We met in flames,


but will die

in earth, sooner

than either of us



I could have a

seventy-year-old beau

with real estate,


instead of a slacker musician

who works

at Ace Hardware,


but oh,

the warmth.


We’ll go cold too soon.

Go ahead

and poke the embers.

Why I Became a Poet

Why I Became a Poet


The paper mache puppet

I made for 5th grade art class

received a C-minus.


I shredded multiple sheets

of newspaper, then made paste

from flour and tap water.


I loved dogs, and mine looked

friendly, though misshapen.


His dark eyes bulged,

and his smile was crooked,

though endearing. He fit

my hand like a flabby glove,


so I spread my fingers wide

to accommodate his girth.


My teacher was unimpressed.

The other students’ puppets

had been made by their parents,


and they looked like perfect

Disney cartoon characters.


Though my mother praised

my originality, I decided to

give up visual art and


turn to words instead.

So far, I haven’t looked back.




The full moon

gasps its last,

then shrinks


like a fading

black and white

television screen,


incandescent circle

growing ever smaller,


until the sky

swallows it whole.