Little shop of (body) horrors


too-soft skin smoothed over
strange, cloying, fat
forming false effigies
and burying, without
prodigal muscles clinging to
ill-fitting skeleton
occupying [wall street]
Or loitering, hoping (praying)
for a ride to a
more ( ) body
with mind in alignment
without rotors
warped and brakes
shaking when applied


Send as a private message

I still suck at watching Buffy,
but I think about you every goddamn day and
I named my guitar after you but
maybe it hurts to hold
and I love you and that is all
for the moment.


I wish you to utter the most joyous fucking leaves imaginable.


I stole that last line from a fanfic but the words are true and
I want
to only say true things to you except when
I want
to bleed you beautiful fantasies in case that might make them real.
I think
no words are wasted on you because you
lay words to waste with your voice and your art
the way you move through spacetime,
a bloody astronomical anomaly.


I saw Anomalisa with our poet and
we cried in our proximal seats but
I couldn’t attend to the plot because the images and
sometimes that is how I felt just being around you but
your bike is in my shed and then-


my sense of time is tearing at the edges between my toes and in the corners of my eyes-


where I want you to see crow’s feet one day


please share in a private mess with me
again and I will feather down the stairs to
sit beside you on concrete steps
shivering silent in an alternate ‘verse
where we are both content,

the way my plaid shirt is content-
on the arm of a couch
thrown over a book that I stopped
reading when you walked
into the closet doorway of my
cringing spirit and whispered:



Cut flowers

Pardon me,
if I should fall
to you
for you
with you?
As an autumn oak leaf
lulled low by the gravity in your eyes
to cashmere-touch your familiar skin.

(Have I been here before?)
(Have you?)

Struck shy
we glance toward and away
as though afraid
we will catch each other looking.
Of course we are looking.
It’s not a fucking locker room.

Or is it?

Squinting from the shock
of bright Pixar lamp lights,
dazzling and distracting
as I cut all the budding flowers
from my lips before
they are able to bloom into-

tentative roots of a possible tree

His voice when he calls me,
is the sort of warm you get
with socks, right from the dryer.

“Really, really good,”
He answers my first query.
I know it has to do with her.

He tells me how they went climbing,
and he was afraid, but sent the problem.
The way she looked over at him-

(Here, he interrupts himself to exclaim about how romantic it was).

“And she looked at me and said ‘I love you,'”
he finishes, quietly.

My throat is tight with fierce joy.
Smiling broadly,
I spin the golden band
on my left ring finger.

We chat for a while-
about how he said it back,
how happy I am for him,
how cute her dog is.

And about whether or not
we should look for a house that allows dogs
when we move in the spring,

Playfully grave,
the way we discuss things
when we know it’s far too soon.

Cincinnati looms behind me.
I ignore it to watch the joggers
who pass in front of my rental car.

I think about flying home
and finding them both in my bed-
warm and happy as socks,
right out of the dryer.

Washing rice

I prepare the rice without much thought,
rhythmically pulling a cheap plastic rice paddle
through the pale cloud water
of the first wash,
the second,
the fifth,
and further.

Until tiny grains of C&H Calrose
begin to appear through the murk.

Finding myself suddenly grateful
for my American excess of water,
I use less than I normally might-
casually conscientious in the way I sometimes am.

I put the rice on to cook,
and leave the water on to fill a dirty pot.

Aloha ‘aina; aloha ‘oe

The astronomers are trying to build another telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.
The Hawaiians are protesting.

In my mind,
I am shuffling journal articles,
trying to look busy
when she asks whether or not
I consider myself to be white.

When I was a child, being Hawaiian meant-
I was the hula hoop champion of the neighborhood,
my skin changed colors with the seasons
and no one could pronounce my name.

“My father is from Hawai’i”
I would declare, proudly.
Although his being from anywhere might have served the same purpose
in justifying my difference.

When I was 19 being Hawaiian meant-
I moved to the Big Island to study my heritage in a classroom
where I learned I wasn’t really Hawaiian at all,
speaking with edges like one haole girl from the mainland.

Suddenly everyone pronounced my name correctly,
but I had a hard time recognizing it.
Such an alien sound- my name,
wearing the accent it was born in.

I fell in love with a French astronomer
who liked to call me his local girl
as we explored the island, and drank Longboard Lager
bound by our mutual strangeness on the black sand.

I try to explain to her, to Sarah,
the way the word heritage
is broken glass in my clutching hands.
That being Hawaiian has little to do with blood.

Kamehameha was a monarch, not a dragon ball-Z phenomenon.
And truly being Hawaiian
means being connected to the land,
the ‘aina of Hawai’i.

But my island is not that shade of green,
my ocean is made of sagebrush, not saltwater,
my blood runs thick with the asphalt of Interstate 80,
and my hands are rough from limestone, not lava rock.

There is no moisture in my air.
There are no beaches in Cheyenne.
Although, there is a volcano
vast beneath my feet.

Perhaps I am a daughter of Pele.
If only when I dance
when I rage,
when I grieve-
as if there is a difference between the three.

The astronomers are trying to build another telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.
The Hawaiians are protesting.

And in my mind,
I am shuffling journal articles
with pale golden hands
when she asks whether or not
I consider myself to be white.

strange comfort

and sometimes it burns to recall when
the white shone against my tanned skin for hours
as my sentiment overrode my fastidiousness
where we sprawled across sheets beyond miles of highway
hands raw and aching from the climb-
throat raw and aching from the-
heart raw and aching from the
scent of sweat and pu-erh
and sometimes it burns to recall
my textile statement of intent
presented in an apartment neither of us occupy now
before the note arrives
explaining your arrival
and the flavors brighten sharply
against my quixotic tongue