Posts for June 23, 2021



i don’t like how the red wine
stains my teeth,
but i never mind the white.
it gnaws at the enamel,
exposing the nerves while
calming my own
and in a tipsy,
capital t Textbook anxiety dream of
teeth falling out 
i clench my jaw and
wear my canines down
night after night,
until my partner wakes me up to tell me that
i’m doing it again;
until water stings when it’s too cold;
until my dentist tells me
i should try not to be so
stressed out
all the time;
it’s not good for my


Cultural Appropriation (a draft)

Now Jack,

he’s a country boy,

country boy born and bred.

On’y time he’s ever in th’city‘swhen

he’s lookin’ fer a shortcut home.


And Kevin?

Well, Kevin’s a country boy through and through,

‘ceptin’ Kevin’s born’n’bred in th’city.

Lives in the city, too.


That’s how they do it now, y’know,

that there ain’t no jobs left down’n the country



you’re a doctor who sells drugs.


I ain’t try’n t’tell ya Kevin lived downtown,


but he lived close

or close enough.

I mean on any day his truck din’t run

th’man could walk there

in a easy hour

if he hap’t’lack the money for the bus.

I mean he coulda asked for help

or hitched a ride from som’un

‘cept these country-fried


like Kevin,

they kinda keep unto theirselves,


and only haunt the rest of us

when they’re doin’ a piece of work for pay, leastwise

to us outsiders

that’s the way it seems.

The thing about a lot of ’em

that you gotta un’erstan’

is they do good work

and that was true of Kevin

and the crew he hung with, too.


And please don’t git alarmed here

but it’s prob’ly safest if you know

they stick together,

these folk.

I mean

a couple of ‘em

could be havin’ themselves

a –

whatchacallit? –


but if you or me or

som’un else from outside’d

dare go after one’a them

th’whole dang bunch

on both sides of the feud

’d go after that outsider

all together

‘n beat ‘em to a bloody pulp

afore they recommenced to feudin’.


My frien’ Ann told me ‘bout the time

she was workin’ in their neighborhood

when word went out

the po-lice was out there lookin’

for a boy

who’s head was shaved

and who

when he’s last seen

was wearin’ a bright red shirt.

Nex’ day, Ann said,

every kid in the neighborhood wore red

and all of them had shaved their head.


Please un’erstan’ I don’ mean nothin’ by this –

not negative nor pos’tive neither –


I never once met Kevin

until he’s maybe forty-fi’ or maybe forty-six.


if you’re askin’ my opinion


you’re right

I know his hair woulda’ grown back in by then

but I swear he did look good in red


outsider that I really am,

just sensin’ who Kevin might’a been

made me try t’ talk like him.


To Do Today

I want to do all the things 
Paint that white butterfly prodding the clover
Make prints, draw pictures, write and illustrate books
Sew, and sew some more-quilts, clothes, dolls

dye fabric with homegrown flowers
plant vegetables 

Read to children
walk and teach the value of outside green things,
furry beasts, crawly critters

take all these things, put them in a jar
remove each, complete one by one,



if we had the chance
to do it all again
I’d repeat
and wonderful
to find this place
that I’m in 
right now


Birthday Card

Today, what hit me
was no spidery writing,
no sweet saved sticker,

No envelope stuffed
with dream catchers, some note pads
and birthday greetings

Still, we thought you were
seeing him a final time
which was the first time

Instead, what we had
was thirteen more years
of his great grandma



my seven year old sister self
wears the braid i weaved in her hair
even the next day, shadow
of my hands’ work tousling
halo-like around her head. her curls fall
everywhere, like footsteps. (like rain.)
she tells me she wishes her hair was straight
and i say
                it’s like  
                           putting a minefield to sleep
                           asking a flower to kneel
                           naming another body flat
                           pressing god’s eyes shut       

i once did too


C in Country 23

Three Chords and the Truth 

Grew up admiring the Grand Ole Opry,
inducted into a relationship–the gift
that’s a little bit shaky. 



A lot of the time I find
myself wishing that I could rewind
all the moments that I missed throughout my life,
either due to daydreaming, or zoning out
or just losing track of time.

I wish I could backspace
or ctrl+alt+delete 
or press the back arrow 
and do it all over again.

When I’m online
it’s easy to rewind
and retrieve every bit
of all my lost time.

But in life,
all that time
that I once called mine
is all now long gone,
somewhere I’ll never find. 


When boys and girls dream of one another

I remember all those years ago
When I was happy, and you were too.
We spent our summers giggling,
Flirting with the camp counselor,
All of us named the same,
Alice, Lisa, Elise

We spent our days in bathing suits
Pulling the grass from our toes
Squealing when it brushed our bellies as we swam,
Laying on the docks in sun kissed bodies,
Alice, Lisa, Elise.

We ran everywhere, too excited to walk,
Too impatient to wait one second more
To meet up at the rock. Just a rock,
It’s memorial plaque long unread.

We made noise until old ladies shushed us from their windows,
Floral nightgowns waving us home
And we scattered into the lamplight,
Boys and girls, dreaming of one another.


Oviposition Sites

   back  stitches

 little sutures

   needle tracks

in the bark