Two cats napping on the living room rug

another lounging on the table by our screen door.

Dear God, protect the animal in me.

His toes twinkle in his mid-day sleep,

our fur-covered sofa collecting his evaporating dreams.

Dear God, forgive the human in me.

My boot-removing, jacket-hanging weary elation

after 3 aimless decades of searching for us

for ours

for this.

Dear God, I offer the brittle in me.

I am 10 bruised metatarsals

propped up for the long haul.


March 13, 2017



come find me

under the live oak

by the river that swims in itself,

that seeps like an exhale into closed eyelids.

I have found love as a wounded beast.

I have been a part of this truth.



January 28, 2016

With bare feet and a heart full of stars

I climb towards the center of us.

Timid as Laura’s Menagerie,

bold as Keats’ Grecian Urn,

I fix my gaze on


That dew-drenched web connecting cavities

between our lazily rotting teeth.

That agonizing Ave-Whatever of

you’re the worst and best of me at both times

and I won’t stand for this chaos from the outside world!

I’ve got enough for all the universes inside of my dreaming veins.

So long and thanks for all the fish, but I’m a vegetarian, and what a fucking massacre!

Hello love, and thanks for all the inspiration, but

I just want my lungs to be mine again.

How does the bald cypress know me better than you?

It will always be November in my bones.


The trees- undressed in the silence of green tea and cigarettes-

Without a shiver, leaf, or needle left

Request nothing of the moon.


Your hands ask my knees to remember to bend

As I snap, puddle, become, repeat

And you teeter on the horizon of victory and defeat.


Maybe when your toes don’t care for their nails anymore,

They’ll find some love for mine.

Maybe when the war is over,

I’ll start yawning , grow into my roots, and stop begging for the sun.

A Squeak in the Din

June 28, 2014

Humidity settles us down into the languid Texas summer

heavy, purposeful,

with the nauseating intoxication of introversion.

(I’m saving my breath.

For what?)

A hyponatremic fatigue oozes through the map of our flooded vasculature-

catching in its sludge the mediocre day-dreams of the future

(that’s it, kid?),

the pathetic souvenirs from a past on a pedestal:

a dizzy ballerina snowglobe, cigarette cellophane and otterpop wrappers, more than one chipped shoulder.

The edges of our wounded identities are macerating

while we bury potato chip petals underneath the bald oak

in that field where jumbo sunflowers bow their prophetic heads at midnight.

Freezer Beans

October 11, 2013

We are losing our song

with a slow, unconscious grinding of tired teeth,

a deliberate sanding down of the tree from whose roots we were born

(among whose roots we met again after years of stammering sleep).

In this life, we made mansions of shoeboxes,

left giggling toeprints on the ivory walls behind the screen door.

We stamped dreamcatchers inside our eyelids and fell asleep in a cloud of azure whispers.

Then came the years crawling backwards towards winter:

the age of agonizing apathy,

ripping rain from pores

and prints from fingertips.

Being naked never bothered me,

but undressing broke my heart.

June 1, 2013

Fehmi swears it’s good luck to swallow spiders in your sleep.

His ex-wife once made a tree house out of fallen eyelashes

adhering them-end to tiny, nomadic end-

with the sap of summer strolls through the sleepy Florida swamps,

trading her haggard, fleshy limbs of veins made violent through vulnerability

for the stoic scratch of beetles and bark.

As Fehmi’s scleras ossified at the dining room table,

she flung trains of sleep into the air, plummeting backwards into herself

(She didn’t care to live, but knew she wouldn’t die).  

Wrapped securely inside an impossible, humming geometry, she tried to remember the taste of sunflowers-behind-ears love,

driving-just-to-be-alone love,

of naked-in-the-backyard, grasshoppers-between-toes love!

As she traded her blood for the moon’s,

Fehmi collapsed into a desperate silence

like the hollow hills of western Pennsylvania.

The night settles heavily into the empty kitchen-

its scent collecting around dull plastic bags of hardened brown sugar,

seeping into the rusting spout of your kettle aching on the back burner,

collecting dust with the dried pepper’s from last year’s vacation

above the parched stainless steel.

You sleep under flannel comforters in the thick summer air

as if old black and white portraits were questions

and curious ancestors only myths.

The trees bleed answers into our dreams

and build liars out of our waking beliefs.

Then, as the linoleum nocturne ceases,

our bare-footed truths collapse into the silent hilltops of western Pennsylvania,

where we painstakingly unlearn the grass-stained language of our childhood.

Pigtails and Pearls

March 21, 2013

It aches like a sleeping sneeze

how far from you my dreams have led me.

A dull itch in my sinuses in the 3am humidity, your ghost,

he’s given up on me.


No longer waking me from the nightmares we shared-

a marriage more innocent than braided pigtails and pearls,

a dissolution more helpless than a favorite shirt left behind.


I now sigh through my progress,

drinking and driving through chutes of impossible desert blooms

away from the way of away from,

where grays look like browns and those browns look like tired flowers

who used to pour purple into our incandescent past.


Every hair that has grown on every tired body crying

in every downtown bathroom just to have the right to bleed into the air

asks me why I’ve forgotten to give back to the world

at least a portion of what I have taken from it,

asks me why I haven’t inquired into your mother’s health

(I know she gets allergic in the drowsy April air).


And all I can say is my eyes hurt

and my lungs are too tired.

My scarf is too tight

and my shoes, dear,

have always been loose and untied.

January 8, 2013



I can only remember your green wool scarf

as I tiptoe past the state hospital cemetery

in the 4 am December darkness.

The lot is mostly empty-

10 tortured tombstones at most.

What are they all waiting for anyways?

What happened to the rest?


That green wool scarf

frozen to your fearless red face on the hill behind the haunted church.

It smelled like cigarette ash and marshmallows.

I still bleed hot cocoa and whiskey when it snows where you fall asleep each night

3,000 miles ago.


3,000 miles ago, where goddammit we loved each other!

And the creek only froze one day that year in late January,

rapids briefly paralyzed, relieved for their frigid moment’s rest.

That was the same day Walter died

and you blew your nose into that green wool scarf for centuries

until we both woke up beside him,

tangled in a web of scratchy moss and muted emerald,

thawed and drifting inside the swollen carcass of the earth.