Christmas Sweater

Shimmying across

the street, you find me

paused on the sidewalk,

zipping my coat

against the backside

of October. You say you

and your fiancé are raft guides

and live in Soddy Daisy—

a part of Tennessee I have

never noticed. You wear

my only attempt at knitting,

the woolen sweater

of royal blue with accidental

three-quarter’s-length sleeves.

I spent a week choosing

the right color.

I cannot hear you rave

about contentment

because the moth-riddled

holes over your chest

and the unraveling

at your elbows remind me

of what we once were—

misshapen, threadbare.

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hashing out the doldrums

Between school, work and an upcoming art show, I don’t have half the time I need to write. I’ll try a bit harder but I’m not promising much. The art show will be November 5 in Greenville, SC. The show will be the conjoined works of me (mostly paintings) and my mother’s husband, Mark (mostly sculpture). Our art consists of oddities held to the light, so we complement one another nicely. Deja Fuze will regale show-goers with their funky sound, and the alcohol/food will be profuse and free to all. I want to extend a huge “thank you” to my family for making this possible and exceptional. An experience to remember. I’m working on a poem about Sappho. After much tweaking/soul searching, I may post it here, but don’t hold your breath. Oh, and I’ve finally perfected Tom Yum soup with a colon-cleansing Thai spiciness that will make you swear heaven and hell do exist enmeshed at the bottom of the pot. Thank the god Thailand.

Phytoplankton (alternate)

All evening I ache

for you to take

the plunge.

You sit by the shore,

and you drink wine

as you wait for the moon

to settle. When you enter,

I cling desperately

to your hair and mask;

I search your ears

and writhe between

your legs, knowing

what you see.

My back glows

brighter than foxfire.

In this vacuum I am

your missing link. You

understand I connect

the swelling heavens

to the cavity of sea.

My phosphorescence looms

grand in this space,

and soon you’ll forget

his tightening grip

and how he

pulled you to me

through a void

black enough

to drink us up.

Phytoplankton

As the Perseid meteors skitter across the island sky,

we don goggles and leave bathing suits on the shore.

 

You drag me past breakers until I no longer

feel the sure sand beneath me.

 

A panicked gasp for air before we dive will never

afford me enough time to marvel at the plankton,

 

clinging desperately to our hair and masks

like tiny phosphorescent comets.

 

Your grip may be crushing in the descent,

but I still perceive minute miracles,

 

creatures striving to illuminate a vacuum

black enough to drink us up.