Bamboo Shoots

Before three days of rain,

your green bullet faces

barely poked through

sun-baked clay.


In the loam, below

late afternoon, I admire

ecstatic upturned palms

of radish sprouts


awaiting their Rapture.

Then I notice you,

now standing taller

than my head.


You are hollow

sentinels, black and lithe

as newborn crickets

chirping warnings


below my bedroom

window. This is a space

for which I am grateful

you have decided


to defend with your

eager lives, spear-straight,

into the slippery

panting night.


You Slid Out One Night in the Cold (No Note)

You leave so curiously;

I panic-pedal my bike

until dawn searching

this drunken town

for your scent,

your sarcastic chuckle

and pathetic beard.


My list of reasons for you

leaving if you had left

an itemized list:

the fiery car crash;

my shattered arm;

your jealousy;

and survivor’s guilt;

gone violent, wrong.


You’re long gone as am I.

To Texas or Iowa

because you always

liked the squenching

confines of leather.

To think I once believed

in us, how wildly I surrendered

and how, after ten solid years,

the heart yearns to return.

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

Margot Character Sketch

Working on a fickle self-esteem, Margot flips through four of the latest magazines geared toward 20- to early 30-something-year-olds. In spite of the common sense lurking in back of her thick skull, Margot purchases a neon orange nail polish like the magazine’s anorexic, Calvin Klein model sporting a most unassuming gap in her teeth. Surely a yacht rests nearby in the glossy pictures, waiting for her lithe, oiled legs to slide aboard.

The gap in Margot’s teeth assumes an identity before she ever gets a chance to speak. Her gap is known as a “wide receiver” by the boys in her gym class. She skipped P.E. in high school; however, Coach Deena passed Margot with a ‘D’ because she allowed a shred of sympathy once in a while toward students she felt were far beyond her-or anyone’s-help.

Margot eked out her high school years and hunched into early adulthood like bacon grease down a drain, shameful and common. She finally turned double shifts at The Fish Shack to an apartment of her own. She acquired a kitten, Edgar Alan Poe, or Alpo, from the animal shelter. Finally, she began to settle in a way she felt as a child, stroking the luminous dust of a moth’s wing. Margot placed her coffeemaker on ‘Auto’ each evening, enjoying the wafting Folger fingers to sleep-shuffle her into a sun-drenched kitchen.

The radioactive rave polish on her nails makes Margot giddy. She texts Jemma, her reliable party mate and sets up an evening requiring pseudo animal-hide skirts and rabbit-fur-lined stilettos. Margot will go out to her friend’s penis-themed bachelorette party for an evening she imagines will be inundated with debauchery and definite joy.

When you’re afraid you’re going to grow up to be like me

I think we’ve said the most hurtful things we could muster tonight, and yet, I still love the fuck out of her. I do all I can to make us okay; obviously, our relationship is terribly important to me. I know it is to her. How easily we belittle one another. Consider this: we would not be in this fight right now if one had been injured in Boston, if the other’s legs were gone, if she could no longer walk, talk, think…petty fight. It’s time to take up the other’s shoes, walk in them and create a better existence from the experience. Not to perpetually wait for that other shoe to drop. At some point, one must accept that the lines in the pavement are straight. And necessary.

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.