“February 2017” is up with Rat’s Ass Review

Find it here!

February 2017
 
In D.C., I pocket my husband
alongside my pictures,
open-mouthed and filled with teeth.
He says he doesn’t remember
the city in the same way I do.
Everything’s different.
I’ve noticed there’s more water
in Kansas than D.C. It seems
like a lot of things
should be fountains here,
but they aren’t.
Someone told me those words
would look nice in a poem. I agreed,
took a note. But I wasn’t lying—
all the fountains are puddles at most,
their speckled granite or blue linings
dry and solemn as
the extra chain-link fence
that surrounded the White House
a short, empty time ago.

“Tangled Roots” nestled with 3Elements Review

Find it published here!

Tangled Roots

She pulled away corn husks,
the fine silk piling on her feet
and masking cracked linoleum
until the floor shone
golden strands.
Her father’s hands hulled
speckled peas and wrapped
around the slender neck
of his eighth bottle
–quelling sounds
but quickening
the blood rush in her ears.
When she was alone,
she’d cut herself in half
and count the rings.
She often found locusts nestled
within her, their hollow thrums
echoing in her chest
and whispering
that a seventeen-year-old
body is not a fragile thing.

Grey Goose and Grim Grins

Grey Goose and Grim Grins

I saw a mockingbird
crack a joke
yesterday
morning. She dipped
her wing
into my coffee–
hot wings.
I heard
my daughter’s voice
singing through
dappled feathers.
And the wren
whispered
that I, like my daughter,
can weave
nooses with the cusps
of my split-ends,
cut into cords. I
can carry
myself
upward to the draft
floating the wren
where the
ropes wrap
smoother
than lightning.

First Published with Jet Fuel Review

Interim

Interim

The garlic clove crunches under a mallet’s
teeth, or maybe your palm.
Picture this: a red-headed
child walks in the door,
swinging her backpack.
She asks why the triceratops eat only flowers.
You’ve taught her to love the unknown,
fear the omnipotents,
but she wants the answers anyway.
Forgotten,
she feels like July
as she pulls away the cornhusks and leans
on your side
of the table. She tells you
stir fry makes the grass grow,
but weeds live in the oil. Lemon juices race
down your arm, burning
into the mosquito bite on your elbow.
Outside, rain patters the tulips.

First Published with Jet Fuel Review

Genocide

Genocide
Water will get stagnant if you leave it outside to set.

Mosquitoes deposit their eggs
to play houseguest in mildewed
buckets full of lukewarm rainwater.
Fuck those bloodsuckers.
You tip the bucket.
When the slimy sacs of larvae
slide onto the sun-torched concrete,
you crush them into the cracks
with your calloused heels,
your crackled grin.
Call the bloodsucker by name.

First published with The Quaker

How to Crash a Car While Not Driving

 

  1. Scream. [1]
  2. Start a collection of model airplanes that your brother will rip into piles of wings, broken propellers, and non-descriptive metal bits you’ll still find in your bedroom carpet three years later.
  3. Feed your pet goldfish three tater-tots with ketchup and Dijon mustard.
    • Listen to the sound something smaller than your thumb makes when it splashes in toilet water.
    • Listen to your father teach you about the circle of life.[2]
  4. Enter a spelling contest in fifth grade and forget how to spell coriander.[3]
  5. Carry around a cell phone, which doesn’t have a battery, for a total of three years.
    • Don’t forget to pretend to text your friends who have cell phones with batteries.
  6. Dye your hair one shade darker brown instead of blue[4] in junior high because you’re scared of looking like “one of those trashy girls”[5] with the colored hair.
  7. Find every gift your mother buys you to be repulsive, including the things you asked for.[6]
  8. Ask the lanky guy in your French class to teach you to play “Happy Birthday” on a guitar.
    • Ignore his hand when he brushes it across your breast.
  9. Google: “Does it hurt?”
    • [Delete Internet Search History?] [Yes]
  10. Ask for a car at fifteen and throw an absolute bitch fit when your father says you can’t handle the responsibility.
    • Listen to Avril Lavigne, Green Day, Simple Plan, The Ramones, (insert self-destructive and punkass artist/band name here), etc.
  11. Tell a boy you have bigger plans than he can imagine and prove it by rambling words that taste like science.[7]
  12. Apply to out-of-state universities under the assumption that your parents made a college fund for you when you were a kid.
    • Cry when you’re accepted into Vanderbilt but can’t afford to go.[8]
  13. Understand that none of these events are connected, but you still wear a black dress that chafes a rash onto your thigh.

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The Unburied Graves, August 2005

Those glimmers of coral might
Be the lots of some hard-luck
Town, or – depositing on the dead
A second bed –
A submerged cemetery.
       -Brad Leithauser

If you take a left off Old Gentilly Road and follow the canal south,
you’ll find a rickety pier, riddled with wooden planks.

Look out onto the water at dusk,
find the shadow where the moon meets the ocean,

silken oil clutching to the glowing orb Continue reading