Tag Archives: Poetry

Bad Heart

Bad Heart

He just had a bad heart,

I was told, while still

young enough to think of one

as that shape

he would draw

on my birthday cards, with his chickenscratch

handwriting beneath: I love you

a bushel and a peck, and a hug

around the neck.

I could sense something unsaid was being said,

or maybe the other way around,

and as a student of the intricate southern shame-language,

I knew when not to ask things like,

What was so bad about it? Instead,

I wondered for years,

until things seemed to make sense.


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Rogue Planet


Rogue Planet

Orphan or interstellar nomad, you endure every label

as a singular voyager would. You venture near, sometimes


too close, and gravity burns, yes. Friction and inevitable

consequences for getting just close enough to feel


something. Anything but the cold embrace known

before, anything but the maddening silence. Even noise


comes as relief, when the cosmic winds howl hot

and strange against your outer layers, never penetrating


deep enough to harm the verdant inner surface, never quite

reaching. Your mountains rise, high as any other,


volcanic in origin, as usual. The clouds they have created

shield you well, but shields are double-sided. Yours


shadow the land


longer than necessary.


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My Gay Agenda 5/2/15


My Gay Agenda: 5/2/15

Squished a spider in the tub. Cleaned up a hairball
one of the cats left on my office floor. Made
a pot of coffee. Played
an episode of Bones off of iTunes, then made more
but added creamer this time. My husband woke up

to tell me he had this amazing dream,
and it was, actually, but as he described it
he forgot it, as it goes with amazing dreams,
but still. It was pretty nice, his enthusiasm.
Would he have told his ex?

Put Neosporin on my spider bite. Obviously
not a dangerous kind, since all it did
was make a tiny bump and itch, and itch,
and itch like a motherfucker. Still,
damn. It can stop itching anytime now.

Dad came over in the afternoon,
asked if we boys needed anything
like coffee or cokes. Nope. He brought cigarettes,
since they’re cheaper in Kentucky. When I hugged him
goodbye, he felt thinner than last time.


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Saturday Afternoon Epiphany


Saturday Afternoon Epiphany

I will never be as interesting

to another human being

as I am to my cat

                             when I am on the commode.

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Tonight he’s bent

at the waist, arms outstretched

like airplane wings, legs akimbo. Not his best pose,

but each time I visit the bookstore I find

him changed. It’s a semblance of life,


despite his featureless face. Maybe a reflection. Last week,

he was upright, and his posture and arms clearly meant

What’s up, bros? I liked that one. The week before,

he was hugging himself, crouched

down. Something bad happened that week. Perhaps


next week, I will finally muster the courage

to touch him, to leave him

posed just so.


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Ariel Losing His Tooth

Ariel Losing His Tooth

My friend aches
in his twelfth year,
lower left fang
hanging loose,

but he rises, on unsteady legs, head
tilted as if to question, Do I know you?
each time I check on him, which might be every hour,
God knows.

I know he’s fading–
each time we touch, a little less
camaraderie, a little more apprehension,
as though.                                                    As though
we both accept.


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The Arcane Art of Coupling

The Arcane Art of Coupling

We devise rituals, more complex than any found in religion,

equally mysterious, especially because the rules are even more


Compliance with the other’s hidden dogma is rewarded, failure

triggers a different type of rite, no less baffling.

Some call it The Night of the Cold Shoulder.


Others know it by its antediluvian name:

Ish-panawath M’bleth! Loosely translated from Atlantean,

“Tonight your sorry ass sleeps on the couch!”


So mote it be…Amen…yes, dear. Resignation

and capitulation take many forms, but always we delight

in those sparkling moments when,

through some unforeseen conjunction of chance,

we get it right.


That is when the magic happens.

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