Poem Trumps Hate


March 2017

To A Mouse

He nearly died again

As my Nike nicked the pavement

And pivoted from his stuffed,

Animal body, furry-wet and felted.

He looked young, this spring his first, unseen.

I couldn’t see where the death had gotten in,

And tried not to reason as I left him there,

Wishing there were a field to gingerly take him down to the earth

In gulps of rich brown dirt.



An Epistle to My Sisters

Did you know you are my arms?

I won’t say which is which,

And in fact, you tend to switch.

But that is to say you are at my sides,

That I can’t look anywhere

Without seeing you there.



Let’s touch.

Let’s feel my hand on the back of your neck.

Let’s see, let’s see the sea and watch for the waves that come.

Let’s allow them to wash through us.

Let’s marry.

Let’s say yes, let’s sign here and hear the stamp clamp down.

Let’s fall out of love like it was a hotel window.

Let’s wipe our brains on each other’s overalls.

Let’s walk away fine, all right, okay anyway.


Marriage and Death

There is nothing to get worked up about

Other than when the things you only want to do once

Turn into twices.



She would like to skim under the surface of the soil, pecking out the seeds, kissing them in til her lips are brown.

She would like to dissolve, to suspend above everything, to cry down into the dirt, to make it hurt.

She would like to explode into fire, higher.

And then to see the green fingers to push through.

To see the kaleidoscopic carpet in bloom.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 1.27.24 PM




The stone-white rocks, on the side of my parents’ house.

The Easter eggs filled with my grandfather’s dirty quarters that tasted like medicine.

The baby swing bobbing, with my sister suspended in it.

The unicorns on the walls, and next to me on the school bus, and inhabiting my imagination, horns and all.

The maze of corn, with a camel stumping through it.

The pumpkins buried up to their necks, like big orange beach heads.

The wasps under the porch.

The steam coming off my Girl Scout patches, flowers coming up from a patch of green grass.

The Mary we crowned in May, as if it made a difference to her, as if there was nothing pagan about it.2014-may-crowning-ceremony-at-st-monica-catholic-school-211d0365986e7042.jpg

Heart Surgery

A hand wails around my heart,

Knuckled on my chest, elbowing in.

I am seabed-deep, forging a tree that spouts

Any imaginable flora, fauna, fruit.

The machine is out, steel stained red,

The wires dripping with crimson sweat.

I shout for them to put it back.

No, croaks the mummified man, no.

When I turn it out, an apple ripens,

An iris screams like me, a snake is born up

From the roots.


My Doubts

I put them in cages

And don’t let them out,

Although they are winged

And very pretty,

Like many-colored birds.

Perhaps it is a little cruel,

To line them up against the window like I do

To make sure they see

The trees, to make them feel

The breeze,

Companionable and




And in the Damp Morning

He cleans the stains of clouds from my mind

Like a monk at work with a soapy brush

On a cold, familiar temple floor.


Up ↑