i found a spider on the kitchen

floor: hairy and black.


i asked it to let me see my father again.

but first i trapped it under some tupperware


(a clear container so i could keep an eye out,

watch it climbing the sides, trying to escape).


i apologized for detaining it, until a guy could

come by and set the spider free in the yard.


yes, i am afraid of the things i love.

yes, i am in love with the things i fear.


it is not above me to ask a man for help;

after all, i brought him into this world.


i dreamt of my father that night—and every

night thereafter; like before, only happier:


he was himself, mostly whole, mostly

glad to be with us again; longing to stay,


but always having to leave by the end.

mornings always bring the farewell.


i visit death so often it

has become a furry friend.





smells like chicken

sittin’ outside in

the sweet spot,


under the tree in

the parking lot;


the dumpster by this

joint smells like


chicken. and this is

living, counting coins on


a corner, trying to buy a tiny

piece of the power ball.


the first words out of her mouth

this morning were mother fucker.


they were not literal



her pelvis is locked up like a fort;

nothing to see here.


in order to get this flushed anymore

she has to walk in the night rain,


fast, uphill,

thinking, thinking—


her head and feet so far apart

they scream.


in love with a fantasy:

it sustains her like the whiskey


she needs to wash down her bread.

she can’t remember the first


words said, or the time be-

fore they met, before they parallel


parked their force-fed lives full

of love, war, birth, joy, death.



grief is so wide-

spread, and yet


so personal.


don’t you dare tell me

how to feel,


how to not feel,

how to mourn,


how to move on.


this is a song i will be

writing for the rest of


my life, and even i

may never


sing it.

basic needs

what happens when the

auto pilot stops working,


when there’s no longer

comfort in your mother’s


voice, touch; when the words are

hiding and it’s all too much and


all you can do is roll up into a

child-ball and wish for an infinite


hill? will the words i love you

ever hold meaning again?


will this vessel be loved, be held, be

filled, regarded, respected, wanted, seen?


these are the questions.

these are the basic needs.



you are an occasion

you do not need

an occasion to

be celebrated.

you are an occasion:

an event, an unfolding,

a unique record of time

& space & words & cells &

growing & wonder & terror

all wrapped up in love

& beauty and spinning at

the speed of a miracle.