Ode to an Ever-Present Osprey

Crash past the ripple, Osprey,
of the ocean’s shallows,
On shore or wake, you prepare
to strike, then plunge through
the surface. Belly up!
All fish surrender, 
honored to be chosen; 
to be picked and 
peeled, made flayed,
impeccable flesh.
At night, after you’ve
blessed the beaches,
you wait above me
on a lamp post.
We hold on for 
daylight together,
and for me
to keel over
and divebomb beyond you.

Upstate Acts of Indecency

Albany to Poughkeepsie, all
breaks apart across Amtrak rails.
Cauliflower vapors and
dirges for those swallowed whole
erupt, halting
forward progress.
Guess that means another month
holed up in Johnstown? Or maybe it’s
indefinite. I’m not
jealous of those caught in the fissure.
Keep me contained, stranded,
leave me without a line.
Messes are made better in private.
No one is looking, so now I can
out myself to the Amish, because who are their
people going to tell? Still, I’ll train with
quarterstaffs, hone my
reflexes, learn to stand
sulfur, because someday 
those tracks will heal.
Ubu Roi and others will in-
-vade the village
without warning. I’ll commit
xenocide to escape, and after that
you will see me again with
zilch to prove.

Wet

I won’t notice the mold until morning.
For now, it is only a coverless mass,
pages of a scum manifesto, a warning 
ignored when running late for class.

For now, it is only a coverless mass,
by a plastic trapped mattress and pillow
ignored when running late for class.
I’m bare, changing by the window

by a plastic trapped mattress and pillow
stitched together by a restless stare.
I’m bare, changing by the window,
stripped down with nothing to wear.

Stitched together by a restless stare,
I make people appear in empty corners
stripped down with nothing to wear,
all weeping, howling, joyous mourners.

I make people appear in empty corners,
tie together water bags, for adorning
all weeping, howling, joyous mourners.
I won’t notice the mold until morning.

Love Ghazal from a Mummified Crocodile

There was a beetle on your head like a hair clip, bouncin’, lookin’ down on us packin’ eggs
for our salads. Fry ‘em on the skillet, crisp, golden. And you looked beauteous crackin’ eggs.

There’s bone sand in my nose from when it poured on Ocean Isle, while you made breakfast
in a tropical depression, winds kickin’, blowin’ on soggy legs, our lips just smackin’ eggs.

I can hear an old seagull trippin’ over herself for fries doused in vinegar, partially charred.
She’s got a backwards bendin’ wing, googly eyes, half a left leg. She’s leakin’ puss, lackin’ eggs.

I don’t see much water without you. I’m parched, relyin’ on the tap, that liquid lead, with bitters,
and wildberries. It’s ambrosia to go, a mist, makin’ me think I’m an incubus, ransackin’ eggs.

You were too patient. Like Sarah, seraphim. My head’s all rings, no hearin’, even when I snap.
I am sean as a way of being, all call and response with myself. I forget us, start stackin’ eggs.

Higher Powers

You tell me that you don’t exist without
my telling you to stay beneath my nails
that clack upon the pollen laden floor
till finger skin and vein are beat to blood,
into a mush of dust and Moscow mule.
I see you pool around my broken skull
made manifest by falling through the stairs.
You’re soaking me, transparent in the sun.
You taste of citrus salt, a Windex mix
of cleanliness that bleached my skeleton
when you ran down my brain stem’s base, became
a curvature of crooked spinal cords.
Now I remember how to tie my shoes.
I miss you helping me to forget that.

rosy armed graces

There was this way you coughed
Before you’d laugh
That would let me know
You didn’t want to

Where has your furniture gone?
Did you leave it at your last apartment?
You couldn’t fit it in the van?
Did you move here by yourself?

Your friends haven’t heard from you
In one year
Three months
Five days

Why didn’t you tell anyone?
Was that really an accident?
Where did that car come from?
Were you waiting for it?

I remember when you told me
You could hear your name everywhere
When you’d been dumping
And filling for one week straight

What was that?
Do you feel your heart giving out?
Has the bile dripped into your words yet?
Are they watching you?

You were pretty when you
Smoked Gudang Garam and
Waited for me in the snow and
Nearly froze to death

Who were you?

You were porcelain.
Sunken like your cheeks.
Perfect on film,
And I almost captured you.

What Goes Unnoticed in the House of Hades

Leaving your home is like leaving my own
if mine was not covered in sunken eyes
stuck to their lids, lightless, glued shut.

Leaving your home guarantees sleep,
dreams of eating ginger salad by your
window, flicking ash off the fourth floor.

Leaving your home means remembering
when we walked the length of Rockaway
and those kids shot rockets at our feet.

Leaving your home makes me afraid
to board the train, because your grip on 
my overcoat is absent, made antimatter.

Leaving your home leaves me
alone, for you purged the earth 
of all the pretty, pastel peoples.

Leaving your home is a step into
what is left of my place that you’ve
never seen, never wanted to go

because it is home to no one.

Brine

You hold me like a hook put through the nose,
that slowly pulls apart the brain. You slice
the belly, bottled inside out. Precise
and tender, all except the heart which slows
to gentle pounds, distilled upon a pool
of aged and tartened fruit. You salt my skin
and crystallize my pores, then we begin
to stuff my rib cage full of sand. And you’ll
convince me I’m so healthy, beautiful,
like porcelain, preserved, and put away.
A husk of scarring, petrified, sautéed 
in butter, baked and bruised, an animal.
I wrapped the bandages and tied the knots
that keep me here by means I never fought.

Inhaler


You have inspired me
to burn sage in
the palm of my 
hand, only then to
drop the half
smoldered into a 
Sterling silver
cup with my 
name on
it, reminding me
of Union
Square, where we
used to live almost
together, where I’d
chainsmoke and
wonder why
I couldn’t see
my breath.

Operetta

You forgot how to play the cello
not to learn anything else
but to lurk in esoteric silence.

It was despair you felt falling 
in love, never being, because
you needed to learn how to share.

Though you could play with
Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan
were far too fanciful for you.

I will not miss you waiting 
outside my door just to watch
me walk inside without you.