Mar 20

Ghost fish

Sometimes I have a terrible feeling
that there is a fish
I forgot to feed,
in a dim room, 
dust gathering on the surface,
looking like a ghost.
I can see right through him
to the other side of the glass
and that makes me very scared
because I swear I fed him
watching him float to the surface
and eat the three little pieces
I dropped in for him.
People say that dogs are the smartest animal
but they are wrong
because when I turn to leave
the fish is watching me
and I want to cry out:
I remembered!
I really did this time!
But he says in a quiet stream of bubbles,
You forgot
you almost didn't this time.
I want to run out of the dim room
away from the fish's stare 
that feels like ants all over me
I will come back in a few tomorrows
and cry a little to myself as the 
fish floats up with his awful eyes.
Mar 12
poem challenge: My Generation


I can see them now
all the dominoes in the world
falling toward us

someone pushed them
I have no idea who
but that doesn't matter very much

my mind is making up 
the magnetic notes 
as the dominoes fall on top of each other
too far off to hear

I am making up the words
wavering like reeds as they touch the clouds
the harmony is so gorgeous
too close to understand

it's a lovely thing
watching the dominoes fall 
in white waves dotted black

I have no idea what we will do when
they reach us
but that doesn't matter very much

because the whole world
is drowning in an ocean of dominoes
but at least the music is exquisite

Mar 12

a poem

Feb 17

Flower-pressed snowman

There was no time to think,
the sun was searching for something to kill
so I grabbed my snowman by his scarf
and dragged him to the single shadow
shaded from the midday sun by the pointed roof
and we sat
on the last island of winter.
I told him to hold on (he was getting all mushy)
and I pulled my journal out of my coat pocket.
The shadow was folding back and the sun smiled wider.
I felt warmth on my nose.
I put my journal down on the snow
and the snowman wobbled as he lay down on a blank page
and then, as I crossed my shaking fingers,
I flower-pressed my snowman between the pages.
Just in time, the sun found me hiding there
and blinded me with yellow lips and white teeth,
but I was already running up the steps and into the house.
When I finally sat down on the edge of my bed
I couldn't bring myself to open the book,
and stuffed it into a drawer.
Feb 17

valentines flowers

I want to apologize to valentines flowers.
sprouted somewhere with sun and sky
chopped into clumps and lugged into the snow
I did find you a vase, clean and sturdy
but you sit confused
elbows leaning against the glass
and when the February draft curdles around you...
well, I'm sorry
you are summer flowers in a winter world.
I lit a candle beside you, but there is no warmth here.
valentines has passed and you are stuck
in a constantly cold vase
blooming for a sky you will never see
and a sun you will never feel

Feb 17
poem challenge: Lifeline

something is happening

the entire world is melting
and the roads winter hid 
are now rolling out in patterns under my car tires.
they pull me towards the ditches,
running with the blood of winter snow.

the entire world is falling apart
and I am unconsciously counting the drips 
as the icicles peel apart like onions
and numbering the beads of rain
as they cascade in spiderwebs down the window

the entire world is waiting
and the flower pressed tree branches
hold their breath in the empty morning air, 
before there were snowflakes
filling the distance from me to you
but now it hangs awkwardly 
hesitating to fall into place

Jan 19

something i wanted to share

Fifth-grade recess was a time of discovery. All around me, the bustling playground broke into groups; it was war, and we were picking sides. The self-appointed cool kids walked around while the stragglers followed. The nerds took over the plastic playground to have heated discussions. The sporty kids played football in the center, dirtying their clothes on the grass. I was somewhere in the middle, talking with my friends by the swings. It was perfectly sectioned, and I was supposed to be content staying inside the unspoken lines. A single fact stands out to me about that year: fifth-grade gave value to quantity before quality. It was safer to stay in numbers than risk setting out alone to the outcasts; it was better to have ten fake friends than one valuable one. The balance we had created remained righted as spring approached, but that was soon to change. 
Jan 19


I don't want to be invisible
I already see too much
I don't want to be telepathic
I already know too much
I don't want any money
or clothes or pillows or goldfish
it is hard enough to dust as it is.
the only thing I will ever ask for is this:
let me always say the right thing.
don't let anger fringe around the words
jealousy dirty the letters, 
pride turn things neon, 
because it makes me sad, 
when sympathy makes everything bleed together.
because I have so much I want to give you
but it seems I ran out of wrapping paper.
because there is so much I want to tell you
but the telephone line is down. 
and when I blink and hold my breath
please know that 
I'm stumbling through the words I know
you deserve the perfect response
the perfect paper chain of letters
and I want to be able to cut them out just right

Jan 09

reincarnation new years

I've never been to such a loud funeral.
maybe out of respect
or possibly guilt 
I sit quite still
and focus on the priest's mouth
as his lips fold around
his practiced speech
he doesn't really try and raise his voice 
either they will listen or they won't 
it's like this every year.
as the first shovel of dirt flies
and lands with a dull resonance 
on the wood
a cheer erupts
i think i am cheering too
but I am not quite sure
so many people are standing
and screaming excitedly,
they all could be threaded with the same string
i look back at the hole we dug and now refill
has there not been a death
or maybe a murder?
either way it makes me sad
as a rectangle of misplaced dirt 
is pounded into place 
with a thousand shovels
as if we are afraid of something...
I feel fabric rustle against my hands
and look down,

Dec 14


Please come sit at our table
among our bland, overused voices
so we can twist you between excited fingers
and let you
      and spin
            and spin
watching in amazement
as you stumble and right yourself again
turning in drunken circles
as you fumble across the table,
we will ask you questions 
      and again
            and again
to keep you going,
but we don't want the answers
as much as the kilter of your voice
lulling us into a trance
and we frown like children
when the top falls lazily to its side
and we're unhypnotized
by your accent