coat hanger party

we all came with our favorite regrets.
me with a bundle of door knobs & you with
the coat you refused to wear even though
you looked beautiful in it. it is never
really "tomorrow" is it? it's today & today.
sometimes at a party like this there will be
games. we stand in a circle & try to dream.
everyone can hear me thinking but they are
too polite to say anything. we all choose
a hanger to hold by its feet. i'm told i was
never an infant. we drink punch. we tell stories
of our children. linger until the moon is put away. 



you told me you wanted a beach house
so i stayed up all night gathering thread.
each of my tongues in their terrarium 
held a dialog about creation. one asked
another, "where does an idea come from?"
i am no longer sure there are bad people.
the hat i make is for a baby i will not have.
it is best to fit all your wanting inside 
a thimble. i have been prone to hooks
crochet & otherwise. it's never enough though.
find me keeping buckets of yearning. yes, i know,
i will need to pour them out. just one more day.


warning: graphic content

your day will have severed. a car
plows through the wall of your heart.
living room smoke detectors. we carve names
in apple tree necks. the bomb shaped
like a lemon. on the side walk we find
salted snails. shelter in place. a tropical storm
named after your ex. she used to stand
in the driveway & scream. it was your fault
but only in the way all rivers have a mouth.
a man with no fingers. slaughterhouse on wheels.
i used to ask, "can i open my eyes?" now, i say,
"good morning, fire." 


licking our lips

we spent all night trying to eat 
the moon's heart. slippery poet
& the knife was too dull. i saw 
in the glow of our freshly dead god
that you had a smile of orange to feast on.
nectar is another word for glory & joy wears
a silver backpack & just keeps walking.
all i want is to kneel & indulge. farm animals
amble the streets looking for an ancient 
agrarian society. they fill a bus & go
to the field of salt. my mouth waters 
every time i hear a bell. pavlov knew nothing.



i put my emotions in the microwave.
it's time to feel guilty again. i hide
all my knives in ziploc bags. eat the ears
off an orange. do you hate me? do you hate me now?
once, i got the silent treatment & for two weeks
i didn't say a word aloud. my tongue sang
like a canary in a coal mine. there aren't
enough shovels in case it rains dirt.
are you listening? every time i breathe 
a bird dies. no. i know that's where
the truth goes to eat canned peas. "i know
you're talking about me," i say to the field. 


the trees grow eggs

& we were so unprepared. it is autumn &
when i walk, i try to catch as many
as i can. pockets full. hands full.
inside each is a dead angel. i do not know
what can be done with their bodies. 
at first, i tried burials but not the soil 
weeps with eyes. we should be more careful 
with yearning. if we are not careful it will be
the egg tooth in a space suit. here comes 
gravity. here comes a comet with your name. 
i can not try to save one more. but, there i am,
still running to catch. arriving too late.



you bring me every wheel you can find.
the horses have long gone to drink juice boxes.
everything is one fire & i no longer want 
to put it out. i want to win something. 
we wear laurel crowns & sit criss-cross applesauce
on the front lawn of a dictator's house. 
when we say the code word "gold" we know
it's time to bury our hands. nothing to see here.
the time will come to race one another 
for the basket of half-rotten strawberries. 
i will win & eat them all myself. i have 
a chariot to keep alive. i can not be sorry. 


fertility clinic

don't believe every egg you talk to.
some might working to become lightbulbs.
i used to look in the mirror & see 
a family portrait. now i see windmills.
when i worked at the farm i would kneel
& shuck corn until i found one with 
a baby inside. then, i would take a walk 
& pretend i saw nothing. inside every bone
there is a latent ghost. i am haunted 
by houses that have yet to become houses.
walls turn white when i'm left in them too long.
i find an egg on my pillow every night for a year. 


cucumber melon

do you have a hair tie? do you have
any hair? i grew a stomach to salvage 
the day's bagels. cut my own bangs.
what else is an angel-killer to do?
raise your hand if you had enough to eat today.
brushing granola from my lap. a chipped black nail.
i would draw the initials of girls i liked
on the palm of my hand & close my fist 
until the ink melted unrecognizable.
shoe squeak on the waxed wood. a fish tank 
swimming with earrings. are you wearing that to school?
full length mirrors. the smell of her jump rope. 


pickling the photographs

i told you we missed the exit. drove eight more states
& then we snapped a shot of us beneath the belly
of a giant moose. all of you teeth fell out 
& we had to follow the trail to the valley of death.
i promised if we made it out alive, i would be
your daughter. a straw hat. a strawberry field.
nothing is forever but especially not family.
there is the immediate kissed on the forehead 
& then there is the mutation process. sometimes i think
how many times can i change my gender? i am a flipbook.
watch me rubber ball. this is not a picture of us anymore. 
it's a picture of who we thought we were to each other.