we sleep above the roots our legs knotted our hands folded beneath us listening for the weeds to rinse from our ears all the twitches of the road we have seen all there is, you say, and we will eat what first must be blessed — old hamburger meat and flour tortillas from torn plasticContinue reading “Caius”

Ruby, my dear

(Inspired by Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk) She has forgotten the beats of her lightness the circadian rhythm of rest of motion of rest each passing morning presses into her belly and each passing day cinches around her hips and each passing night brails across her breasts and each passing year reaches a suffocatingContinue reading “Ruby, my dear”

The Great twenty-one

Gina, in one of our last bewildered days, stood beside me at arm’s length inside the bone-cracked shack we shared. We watched that day finish in a purl of pretty mauve. We heard the timpani come from the open-windowed kitchens of steam-plaited spoons upon handed-down soup bowls and we waited for Mister Constantine’s late-day ariaContinue reading “The Great twenty-one”

An orange beach bucket on her 12th story balcony

i. Alleluya She sang Alleluya for my mother Alleluya for her husband Alleluya for my father Alleluya for his wife ii. Songs for an audience of one She sits as close to the sun as she can pull herself in her Vaillancourt patio chair an orange beach bucket beside her feet Allah opp, motherfuckers, sheContinue reading “An orange beach bucket on her 12th story balcony”

Aeschylus, mourning his brother

Brother, are we known yet by our scars? or by the small voices we have raised to hearten others to taste these small morsel’d words? yes, we have been forged by the same gods who choose us, and now we are purged of our tender meekness, we are surely due our conceits leading so purelyContinue reading “Aeschylus, mourning his brother”

The birds

I did not think I would reach the age where a decent 12-year-old single malt would be considered a regrettable choice. I thought by now I would be reading Chaucer, maybe listening to an opera or two. My second ex-wife says Pucccini is good, though he’s no Frankie Sinatra. Now I stand before this mess, examining theContinue reading “The birds”

Unintentional harm

There was a bruise on her thigh the size of my eager young thumb, the shape and color of a cat’s serving of Neapolitan ice cream. It was not my intention to cause her such a harm, but it was the mark of my drowning eagerness for her, a thoughtless expression of my wretched rawness.Continue reading “Unintentional harm”

Soft brick window wells

do they still hold sleepovers behind the textile plant, on those burned-out chesterfields and the la-z-boys with the brown foam spilling out of the arms, and do the bricks still smell like homemade Portuguese wine and wet takeout cartons are the psalms still written on the plywood windows, random angry verbs and treatises on VietnameseContinue reading “Soft brick window wells”


these there are the scars she said a fleshybrown hook on her belly a rage of adjectives against her skin by hand under shirt under skirt look here where the skin broke at the damages she tolerates for not knowing his rages against the surface part of her, the retractable blade went here, look, touchContinue reading “damages”

The one before last

Your hands are still old frayed cloth, hardly ever warm, unadorned by rings or polish, but scratched up from your cat Saint-Mary whom nobody likes, but you’re too attached to the rough animals that hurt you. I ignore her when I visit you, but still insist on serving the tea. You say, sit down andContinue reading “The one before last”