May Intoxication

Wisteria-like, you wind your fingers,

strong as a newborn,

across my chest. I wanted you

from the morning I watched your irises

slide beneath their Atlantic blue

to a gray-dappled horse

in my recurring dream.

Your tongue flicks smartly

as the garter snakes, sunning deftly

along my basement bricks.

So, my lashes drowse heavy

with the cottony lust of a first girl-

archaic; smeared in charcoal;

blazoned brighter beneath cinders

-than the nearest sun.Eastern Garter Snake

to whom it may concern:

March is in and out like a moldy loaf of bread which I toast because I have to eat it, moldy or no, and somehow I find a glorious sliver of two-year-old butter in the fridge under the command of a gnawing gut. Thank god March is out, but I still need a job, and a mother who is not worrisome to the point of belittlesome. I need the world to not judge me so hard on success and its meaning and how to obtain it. I need to be happy for a day-a few would be nice-and not wither beneath the bitter, disappointed heads of moms and dads and sisters and coworkers who have no idea what goes on in this babyimages raisin I call my brain. I can’t be but what I am; please, please understand. Your subjective idea of happiness may not necessarily be my subject view of happiness. But, these happiness(es) can coincide. I want to love with uncondition, and I am asking you to try, as best you can, to do the same.

fridge magnet poem

dark spring

bluest in our garden

whispering

ballooning

under rain

Congaree Epiphany

To the five or so tiny

spiders, innocuous, pale

and curved as my fingernail,

please forgive me.

Unfounded fear mingles

with the dull throb of muscadine

wine, and a sigh of my paddle

sends your bodies plunging

below tannin-choked waters,

dark as chicory coffee. Between

a labyrinth of cypress knees,

I marvel when these exquisite

dancers soon surface,

buoyant miracles

pirouetting from the murk.

The Morning After

A dim click

in my brain rises

like the metallic,

 

salty bile jerking

from my chest

to the back

 

of my throat.

I am gyroscoping

toward the porcelain

 

comfort of toilet,

wretching past

the crack of ribs

 

until I am empty

as the first grimy

blooms of regret.

 

From somewhere

in the black, I know

the lump entombed

 

beneath pallid hotel

sheets is not you,

but before terror

 

rushes in, I place

my palms firmly

across naked breasts

 

and study his

silhouette of chin,

jutting nameless

 

as the snow-draped

Confederate grave

I decorated one

 

January morning,

splintered in light,

unseasonably warm.

Watching Waking

First melon-tinged light sneaks past

blinds slats and finds you

squinting one reluctant eye open.

Your gold-flecked iris unfurls

like a clenched bud drinking in dawn,

and I breakfast beneath

the vastness of your lashes.

Tiring of daybreak, the sun threatens

to explode our bed; I draw heavy curtains

closed so I can understand

a big bang as it balloons

from the gravity of your pupil—

my universe perpetually expanding.

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.