Jesus lay between my breasts on my 18ct cross. My future husband fell in love with Jesus before he fell in love with me, but I married him, anyway.
I always wanted to marry a man like my father. Someone who would protect me when screen doors unhinged from their wooden frame and flew across our farm. A man who ran toward flames in January and February and returned home with singed hair and face covered in soot. A man who sat still, silent, letting my voice take center stage when I needed to be heard.
Read more "Crosses"
I’ve never dreamed of flying
Last night my husband
dreamt he was teaching me to fly
He instructed, “Not too high
like Icarus or too low”
Come float with me
We flew over a cornfield
I said, “I’ve always wanted to do this.”
We saw Selu rubbing her belly
Read more "After Forty Years"
planting her own heart so we
would be satisfied.
I live in the lavender gut of a horse, a beating heart just beyond the wall. And beyond that two old ladies sip tea on a white porch in the crabapple South, hoping for something that might squirrel up out of the ground, the age-old ground, the Southern ground, the ground at the top of a hill: a thin line of angels listening all boneless and hospitable from above, managing nothing with their tiny, modest, angel hands, hands that might just as well be days of the week. The long-gone Civil War is wearing a small red-and-gold cap once worn by an organ grinder’s monkey.
Read more "A Clandesence of Angels"
Barely standing, he pushes people over
with harsh words soaked in a menacing tone
that occasionally trembles when a bit of phlegm
catches in his throat.
You better believe in Jesus when he corners you,
or be ready to.
You better be ready to give him your full attention,
Read more "Bully"
or his feeble voice will boom, and his face will redden
as it moves closer to yours.
The rainbow wheel spinning
I curse at waiting for the folder to open
looks exactly like it feels
when I’m trying to finish one quick thing
and my husband is calling me to dinner.
If you’re spinning the wheel God
I should not be cursing
at the revelation appearing on my screen
praising the colors throwing off light
a personal prayer wheel
Read more "God and the Wheel"
chanting Om mane padme hum
every time it appears
heralding what’s in the machine
It’s something to look forward to,
of the talking heads
on the evening news,
her portal to the world.
When Dad was still here,
they’d watch together, and in twenty minutes
their own heads
would drop to their chests.
Now she nods off alone
Read more "Talking Heads"
under waves of silver hair,
the ocean at dawn
She stood in the front
Of the silver and black glass counter.
Her fingers ransacked the perfume,
Stone skin reflecting in the onslaught
Of mirrored ads and a solo saleswoman –
Ms. Fake Green Eyes was fond
Of a particular smell called Trauma or Mercy,
Some obscure name meant
To bore temptation like eggs from an roc’s nest.
Fake Eyes presses down on the black and gold
Read more "Mr. and Mrs. Medusa at the Macy’s Perfume Counter"
Spray top, a mist pours down onto my wife’s wrist,
The aftershock of a coastal storm – two presumed lost.
In Chinese, 朋友，恋人，& 爱人 are all
12-stroked characters, just as their counter-
Parts friend, couple & spouse are 6-lettered
Words in the imperial vocabulary of English
Though they are all underlined with human
Love and loyalty, the former entails twice
Read more "Affection: A Bilingualcultural Poem"
As much input or effort of the heart
As the latter to maintain a disparately
Similar humane relationship as a speech
Night air carries superstition, poison’s veil,
Read more "How Deceptive The Moon"
cry of hunting owl, unbound mastiff.
Deceit manages the moon.
Dire blaze of comets fall
whips at cries of disembodied voices,
chaos of sordid death by border lies.
My reflection is running water,
an impulse through exile’s grasping past
profound as sin and consecration.
Floating in inertia, admiring
ennui through its idling passage,
I cup my hands to my mouth, rising
in terror, singing for redemption.
In science class we learned
the hottest point of steam
is at the tip of the teapot spout—
where streams of swelling heat
rupture the cooler air.
After school, I do my homework
upstairs in my room.
My kid sister murmurs
playing family on her own.
When the clock clicks four
Read more "Homework"
the stacks of the factory moan,
and the sky
gets smudged with smoke.