Children of Women

Nashville Review

Enigmatic as elbows
you are for me
like carrots and kale
purple-painted toes
and unswept slivers of glass —
small and overlooked
sharp as a morning mind.

I am here so you can learn to do for yourselves:
tenderly turn through books
hold a plate one hand on each side
your slight shoulders back
feet steady and slow
guiding with heels that base
not debase. Put your nose to my ear.

Let’s rehearse
those exquisite exhales
long and calm through the bends
of everyone else’s emotions
and it is work not to make it
all about us obsessed as we are with ourselves.
I know only what it is to be me —

rich in retrospection
in search of something
stronger than oxygen, two
and a half decades deep
in pineapple skin, adrift this
celestial toilet bowl, this plague, a page ripped
from the middle of a mother who meant well.


the blood between my legs
spills like wine
grab your umbrella
your long-stemmed glass
this is life
holding a hand
to its ear

I was raised on a gospel
of abstinence
three beers in
when I met you
it felt like opening a gift
don’t be so slow
to trust in hands
don’t be so slow

to come
in trucks, in cabs, use
uber, tinder, grinder
whatever with weather
this drunk, we can
finally afford to
let go —

release
like the collapsible
belly of knees a
swirling falsetto
gelato peaches
and cream
I am

a woman
tired of tending herself
like a wreck to be swept
from the road, skin
caked in chagrin
I was told of sin in my flesh

but when I look at my tits
I see only teacups, pure
and pale, sweetly pulling
honeysuckle tongues
the interstate sideshow over
my worth measured
in volume

escalating ohs
traversing through Tennessee
we came, hand
in hand, with weather
so level, how can we be
anything but devout —
horizontal
heavy in grass
rolling white
beneath a stag reel sky


Three Poems

Rockdale Review

If every excuse me

evokes an instant
apology, let this softly
tug awareness.

To change your thoughts, your must first change your actions

Tend to small things with
great care. Rocks lodged in dry earth.
Wounds too deep to parse.

Mantra with consideration

Consider her blind
spots. The space between knowing
and wishing to know.


Murmuration

Hobart

Before roosting in the city, starlings dive—
five thousand deep in flock. Like cells they follow the
law of localization. Bound by surroundings. Step into a

crowded elevator and take on the expression of
those around you. We are all rehearsing something.

Every Sunday I follow my hunger to the grocery store. My
partner rinses the vegetable drawer clean of last week. Did you know
the spread of aggression can be charted like a yacht or like

an infectious disease? We are all consumed by something. Once
I was a dancer and would spend days alone in a room lined

in mirrors mining rhythm from my limbs, as if
the only way to know my breath was to know what count the
tempo demanded. Can you imagine, truly spontaneous movement

performed en masse? The mass twists and inverts and leaps from
one end of sky to the other like freckles fading in and out
upon your skin across the seasons.

No two birds collide. 


 
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