Dec 20

Dreams III

(for e) 

in two years we will be back in the bean bar-
no just listen to me for a second-
and you will be playing piano
and singing with your voice 
like a crystal vase and will have forgotten my name
or maybe the other way around and I 
will have forgotten my name
and the shoes I wore on this night-
this very night!-
when the christmas tree is like an arch
bruising the sky
and no one is on church street but somehow there’s not 
a single star to be seen 
except when I waited for you 
to come out of the house and stood 
for a minute and didn’t wish for anything but happiness
and isn’t this happiness?
here with you drinking a coffee and watching everyone love each other
everyone miss each other without being gone
their effervescence is subtly vulgar
and now that I think about it 
happiness is rather lonely 
and both of us believe we would rather
Dec 20

Dreams II


I had a dream where I was so sure
that even though you are as stoic as a block of marble 
and drive yourself to the doctor and the
grocery store
and you’ve told me to shut up
& I’ve been afraid and also awed
and you bought your own car
and run a business
and go to parties and 
sit vaguely in closets and I barely know you,
that your mother still schedules
you a haircut appointment every 6 weeks
and she still drives you
and smiles at you in the mirror 
when she thinks you are not looking
and would like to believe as fervently
as you do that she knows nothing
that the painters are the ones leaving the 
cigarette butts in the begonias
and it’s almost endearing how much
you wish your stepfather to be a  claudius
but anyway when you are sleeping-
when you come home-
she sits on your bed and cries

Dec 20

Dreams I


we all learned in 3rd grade
why the sun sets at 4:30 in December
and sometimes I dream about this
or maybe not this specifically but anyway
I wake up knowing the light on the 3rd 
grade classroom door and knowing symmetry
and knowing easy Wednesdays,

Dec 05

You could never

Could you pretend for a moment I am not 
a godless heathen or
words not precious enough to speak,
your mother’s least-holy cross,
the pull-out couch the babysitter
fell asleep on

blackjack played for secrets,
friendship bracelet tossed in the campfire,
dust on a piano,
an empty bookcase,
dog hair on your silk shirt

the fired nanny,
house sitter who quit the Thursday you left,
your aunt’s mistranslated tattoo,
Coca-Cola poured in a wine glass,
stack of unread tomes on the vanity

a confidant contradiction,
Thai tea stain on your favorite jacket,
sweater worn in 90-degree weather,
dry-eyed at a funeral,
coven meeting in April,
sleeping in chemistry class?

But you could never
and instead
brush me like dust from your shoulder —
I am always two steps behind,

it is never far enough.

Dec 05

Late Night Pharmacy

never liked this road in rain
but it’s different when someone else is driving
free to look out the window, see
street lights poured in wells of pavement
all the bulbs flicking
out in the pharmacy.
when the music on is my own
and my bones belong to me again; 
not to the curvature of the road,
bent to the will of the steering wheel,
sheer force of the oncoming traffic.
then, like a concerto ending,
the first few seconds after the phone’s hung up and I’m alone in the dark,
we are parked: he has run in to get the cold medicine.

Dec 05

Country Mouse

all the fish are very pretty
shimmering silver in the glass case,
city park farmer’s market and
eucalyptus, lavender
bouqueted among snow
storms but I’d rather drink
a glass of cold milk than
watch the sun rise over the city 
one more day- 

I sleep with the blinds closed
and wake up ravenous.

A note: A lot of the pieces I've been writing lately have been short and bite-sized in a way, and this one is no exception! I've been trying to see how small I can compress a big idea while still having it be understandable. 
Aug 23

back in Vermont for the last handful of August

queen of the field once again, I return triumphant.
I want to live
in the place where leaves come from,
where the raspberries
are born on the bush,
the space between 
impossibility and abundance.
blueberry stained dress from lying in the sun, 
not a care in the world:
I eat a plum by the fire pond
in six bites.
clung to by grass and no one else,
being somewhat let go has not left me feeling freedom-
my independence has come
from being very fiercely loved,
if only by myself and the clouds.

and, oh, there are so many clouds.
Apr 29


It crept up so slowly I could barely hear its hollowed footsteps. It crept up
soft as April creeps up
when you can barely tell the beginning of spring
from the end of autumn.

I didn’t always have words. Now I can reach a bucket down inside my chest,
draw up pails full of them, but then
I didn’t know the words for the curve of her neck is so smooth
her hair makes my skin feel on fire
her smile makes me want to hold her hand.

Didn’t have the words for
shouldn’t tell your friends this
to say
it’s not my job to correct the blunders of every family member
to respond to
was he a nice boy?
when I went on a date with a girl.

So now April has crept up, and
the sun warm on my skin almost makes me miss winter, makes me miss
not having to justify my existence
to chirping birds, woodpeckers hammering my house.

Today I know the words
Apr 02

the inconvenience of memory

Easy to forget the important things,
Brother's birthday,
French verb forms,
doctor's appointments,
the oven you left on.
So why can't I forget 
the color of nail polish I was wearing?
Can't forget
my cherry earrings,
how one of my socks was white and
the other was cream (some unimportant Thursday.)
I remember the eye color
of every person I've ever liked 
all the words to 
camp songs, insurance jingles,
plot points of "Grey's Anatomy," season 8,
who sat next to me our last dinner in Galway,
the worst thing my mother has ever said to me.
Things that don't matter anymore.
Things that never mattered.
Things I'd like to forget.
Things I'd quickly replace with
the equation of a parabola,
or the molecular weight of water.

But my memory has a sense of humor.