Category Archives: Read

SUNFLOWER’S REMAINS

Read

The season of lava and anguish
Is gone and you are nothing
But feathery husk. I sweep the porch,
A light spray of frost crosses
Rotting boards, and, there you are,
Everything on your face
Eaten, half-eaten. You have
Finally become the uncolor I desire;
If only gray or soot could fully
Describe this. If only I could have
Been there as each incisor pierced, sunk,
Your fairness giving in, your sepals
Bucking, the horror of the clouded light.

I stop sweeping to hold you.
Your crisp head warbles
On a tress of shriveled wheat.
I still feel nothing,
And with this unfelt loss I will edge
Into every fissure of autumn
Until the weeping begins.

First appeared in Permafrost

THANKSGIVING MURK

And the Lord said splash some sun you dolt you pledget you b-side scratch on the sofa the Lord said you will become one with thread and the parts of your body that protrude will make the slipcover flaccid like pudding so the Lord said I will give you two lives the first to wash and wring the second permanent press and in the second you shall use adverbs like tumidly freely and you will stand with your ear to the great cherry door and listen as the children grouse and you will not blink or knuckle under like a sissy as the takers pluck hair from the lattice of your lungs and the woman with the crooked toes exactly like yours stuffs all the Ziploc Baggies with meat and stuffing and cookies shaped like turkeys and you will not be tempted you will not flinch or whine you will not be roused the Lord the Lord the Lord with his clipped tongue and meaningful ways wills you to scrape mashed potatoes and hardened squash wills you to steel-wool the splutter of gravy around the left rear burner the Lord wills you to wrap up the remaining biscuits smash those godamned gold rimmed dinner plates and move on.

First appeared in Fourteen Hills

QUENCH

“What size do you want to be?” the Caterpillar asked.

meticulously
she unlocks
her abalone knife
and slices hunks
of dead skin
from the balls
of her feet

*
exfoliates
breaks the crusted
loofah in half
and pares down her face
almond freckles
plink like sunflower seeds
into the ringed basin

*
succumbs (she always succumbs)
arches over the bowl
like a saggy mushroom
and waits for the tingle
of synapses to tremble
through the rose of her cheeks

*
deflate
she likes what she sees
the Alice-shrivel
the infinitesimal
brilliance of small

*
beaming
she stands in the center
of the aluminum
trash barrel
and indulges in echo
You are dwindle
You are so, so, good

First appeared in The Broome Review

Love This Pencil,

Ethel love the way it glides across the blue line love it’s coral casing day-glo flowers love it’s quickie-click and ceaseless silken lead what are you thinking about dear Ethel rain heat sky what a beautiful day to die are you dreaming of Jesus again Ethel his creamsicle skin and soft fingers let’s meet in church beneath the green fabric scroll with the glistening ivory doves and beg him to listen Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed and that’s all I really want Ethel to be healed my dream is your dream the high ceilings the velvet pulpit the blood-soaked crown of thorns why does living hurt like this Ethel can’t we skip the wallowing and praise this pencil instead don’t you love it’s holy golden nib and lasting life why is this unfixable Ethel and why isn’t this heavenly pencil enough try writing your name right here Ethel it’s okay if it’s not on the line carve something divine into the powder-soft flab of your arm a chalice a sunflower a glistening ivory dove hail to this mechanical pencil Ethel yes hail to all of these miraculous distractions that tether us to hope.

First appeared in Sugar House Review