Posts for June 12, 2021


crying as loudly as i’d like


greyed by durability
and worn flat from being brave,
i point my weathered little face towards god,
and let all those girls scream as
they tear out of me. 

my cheeks start to turn pink again 
as the last dead version of me you touched
leaves out through my mouth


Ode to the Simple Saltine

Among multitudes
of flavors you remain
my favorite—soda cracker
sodium-dusted love.

I ate you dipped in milk
beside my mother
her ulcers calmed by
your cool, sodden softness.
She ate them for medicine.
I ate them to be with her.

No notion of what ulcers
looked like or where they came
from, just her words—it hurts,
it will get better
and I believed her.

We sat on the sofa, silent
only the sound of crinkly
wax paper wrapping, pulling
each cracker out. When she
dipped, I dipped and both sucked
the milk out, slurped,
smiled with matching white

One day, no more crackers
and milk, no more us in sync
with fingers, with elbows
bending to open mouths, no
more milky smiles like we
shared the secret of salt’s power
to heal.

Now, tasting my tears
lets me taste us. Salt water—
three-fourths of this earth,
yet when a body dies, they say
it’s dust to dust, not salt to salt.

Cell by cell, we all dissipate, weep
into our watery Mother.


Haiku Isn’t for Capitalism

why are we feeding
this machine devours us
without second thought


your story

I am giving myself permission
to just go to bed and not write.

There is too much swirling, 
I want to make tribute.

I have kept myself busy today,
trying not to hash through regrets

About how we didn’t finish
writing your story

Tomorrow: something joyful.
Please come see me in my dreams.


Bar Hop

I was scotch on the rocks 
You prefered moscato 
Our flavors blended
Left us both wanting more



Family has a loose definition,
one that changes for every person
as life marches onward.

What begins as four
can shift to three
or up to seventeen.

Family can’t be measured.
It is not concrete, but rather
boundless, meant to center 
one when they go off track.

My family has changed
in numerous ways,
but the purpose of it
still remains.

Perhaps, it is not the definition
of the word that changes,
but rather the people that fit it. 


The Last Time I Wore Yellow

The last time I wore yellow, I was eleven
in the bathroom of the Rufus Reed Public Library,

staring at the buttons of my blouse, crying.
The top one had come unfastened. 

Maybe that’s where this bad luck was coming from.
My mother had dropped me off to finish a school project

and left with my sister, but that was hours ago.
My friend and her mother had already gone, 

our project complete. Now here I was –
abandoned, alone. With the library

about to close, I would be turned out 
into the parking lot of the hardware store.

Hapless, I would wander, my yellow shirt tattering
until someone found me and gave me the news

I had been taught to expect.
I fastened the top button and splashed my face in the sink

God I hated that blouse.
I wandered to the foyer with fake nonchalance,

rifled my fingers through the card catalog,
and made my way to the chairs where the newspapers hung

like limp dishtowels on wooden frames.
On a shelf, magazines faced outward, glossy.

I picked one up – seventeen – too old for me but
I was an orphan now. I made my own rules.

Krissy Taylor, supermodel, smiled from the page, 
her long blonde hair parted straight down the middle,

little flips at the front on each side.
I’d never seen anything like it.

I unbuttoned my top button. 
The door jingled.

My mother appeared before me
Agner purse in hand

Are you ready to go? she asked, not dead after all.
I’m going to grow my bangs out, I told her, 

and buttoned the top black button
one last time.




I looked today for a way in–

a little door
a rabbit-sized space in the hedgerow 
a knife to slice open the cellophane
or to slide along the meadowlark’s path in the sky–

but today was meant for opening presents
and a pinata, cutting cake, and
wishing for birthday magic instead.


Haiku #1

Summer solstice stroll:
there—through those sleeping branches—
might that be the moon?



A letter arrived in the mail today
from my cousin in New Hampshire.

Her words typewritten with 
the curling notes of her aging hand
in the margins.

I’d written to her in February, and she said
she’d rather write me than all the other 
pressing things she had to do.

What a compliment,
to be the thing someone chooses
to use to procrastinate.

Her husband passed away in March
and she thought I’d like to read
a tribute written to his life.

I remember him as a goofy guy
the only two times I think I met him,
always ready with a joke.

I read his tribute in tears.
A life well-lived;
84 years distilled down
to sixteen pages.