Southern gothic

when you dm’d me on insta
i forgot my place
your right to bare arms
lost somewhere over the sierra nevada
fingertips grazing over your

a rise for
glasses smeared
served up dirty

heavy roses on the half shelf
with tobasco and lemonade

don’t text me again
i don’t know that we can be



I think I watched your scales fall off, smelling the frayed glue as they came apart between gravities.

First, one by one.

Then by twos.

Then fives, soon a kept journal documenting words heard and patterns in between numbers.

A scale pressed between each page. Lackluster loose float between corners and centers, moving against rolling waves of lined paper.

One day the binding will tear and there will be a flood.

A bird talks in chirps tweets squawks trills tremors
rotting log red berries stomach worms
casualties of war clouded imprints
pecking order

and fall falling ripped out in turn feathers to down to bare to what lies underneath skin but before their range—

“I’m quite sure there’s something above my bed. It lingers in the shadows and reaches out to me when I’m dressed in pajamas and put down my night book. He’s blind and mute and maybe deaf, but that’s okay.”

“That’s okay?”

“I think he’s just as scared of me as I am of him.”

weighted hunger sits in throat
reaching through a gasp for
repetition a
tin roof’s overhang rain
water waltz in
throat seats
cushioned padding the
hunger reaching
held back

If you are careful, all their scales will fall off.

Meditations in Yellow

What do we do when the sky melts?

I see flowers there.

Growing from abandoned spines, they burst out of dried stomping grounds, a thistle among weeds who plays hide and seek with a chrysanthemum star.

And clouds scatter – light shatters.

“Caution,” the winds scream, “take care.”

“Don’t let me be alone,” the thistle replies, and the winds carry it away.

In the corner of your backyard, we turned over a rotting wagon, prodding it with holes for collected things. Ear wax and amber and torn apart dead leaves rescued from winter’s grounds. One day we’ll make a hole big enough for a lion and his mane, for fossilized honeycomb, maybe even a giraffe’s spots.

But for now, we’ll collect candlewicks and stick them in our holes. Lightning will spark an evolution. We have ways of catching fire in the summer’s dampest nights.

I find a thistle on the backside of a stuffed donkey and think to myself, what a strange tale. The donkey murmurs his agreement in bashful accordion rifts. He blushes vividly. Blinds me.

Soon, the accordions rise sonorous above and cut the world in two.

A bee and a candlemaker stare at each other between layers. The bee wonders why she cannot fly and the candlemaker despairs earning her stripes.

This is hurricane weather, I think.

within the confines of metal

within the confines of metal
i am struck by the lasting
impressions of faces
on impermeable plaster walls
like fingerprints on mirrors
void only by smoked water
yet traceable in the thickest fog

it is while contemplating the permanence
of left marks that also
within the confines of metal
i consider the role of brooches,
diamond-crusted atlantic salmon
swimming up waterfalls
and against currents
to land within our valleys

our crooks and

who fills the greyed crevices of a sanded-down castle?

within the confines of metal
those leaves pink
like a pearl
i think i saw
on someone else’s

        in their
and crannies

our valleys fill with fog

baby steps

We stood on our tip-toes
overlooking a giant staircase
of swiffered dust bunny dander
and you asked me if it was true,
if i like-liked you

and i thought about it
(i’ll carry you in my heart, right?)
and looked at the ladder to the attic
(carry yours within mine)
down again to my toes,
peaking from holey socks
holding me up

and told you no,
even though i thought
i’d never loved you more.


we eat each other alive
limb by limb
climbing each others’ ribs like ladders
and form a fist around each left lung
swollen purple
and shut

in this desolate waste land
fire brims the edges
of circles in the sand
counted by twos
until one is alone

in that ninth level
the right lungs breathe
in and

outside their nuclear horizons
a sunset fades into a tablecloth of stone-cut grain
that never rises


they say Jesus turned
blood into wine,
but all I see is
more blood.

It drips from
emboldened tip,
pooling silver en
 a star.

Uncontrolled blue, the sky billows,
wrapped around your
Self and

cling like an autonomous vine
to a soured sweet face.