i wake in the night to a

different realm; pulled from


my fuzzy yellow refuge. the

voices i meet are darker, thicker,


carrying something un-

speakably heavy across the


dimensions. every one i have

ever known—even my own


sisters, mother, father: sleeping

just feet from me—feel thousands


of memories away. i alone am

standing watch; am a crumbling wall


between what i thought i knew and the





i don’t know why they are

visiting upon me; but one thing


i do know as i crouch in the deep-

dark pockets of the hallway, shaking


and weeping and lost:      i am


some nights the moon is a train

it takes me a while

to love things.


but then i am

loyally locked in.


the colonial blue

house holds the


key, but no door.

in the back-ground,


the long bow of the

cello sings up from


the depths. one floor up,

children grow in their


beds. dad used to tease

about putting us in a vice


overnight. i took his words

to heart: the dreams that


shortened me still follow—

strong shadows of


nails and hair; of things

that once lived, fighting


to weave them-selves

back in, back to life.


some nights the moon

is a train. i am boarding


her, i am carrying

alstroemerias, i am


smiling as the tiny

gear of a whisper


turns. the shrieking,

pulsing, turning to


blood is all in my

head; out-side, the


view is silent: a giant

wheel of compliance.




i want to read you

i want to read you;

i want to feel your words

slip over me, pull me into

their tide, strip me down with

their waves without trying.


i want to listen to the music

of your thought, follow it

into the forest, happen upon

a leprechaun and wood spryte

making gold, making love.


i want the letting of all this

matter into energy; these

disguises to fall away, the

memories of mountain-tops

to sway in their return.


i want to deep-dive into a

painting of a thousand sun-

sets, moments spent think-

ing of you; of our writing, of

our meeting: one and the same.

to strive

the year is killing people—

that’s what we’re saying.


it’s been a tough year, for

sure. some of us have felt the


killing of our spirits, of our efforts

and voice and purpose in this place.


but every year, people die.

every year, people kill


each other, themselves. and

every year, people rise up, with-


stand hardship, come back to

life and reach out a hand to each


other. this year is just another year;

another man-made construct in


time and space. it is what we make

it; it is what we choose to honor and


remember and take with us deep into

the next phase. this death is just another


death, which is just another door. let it

not be said that the year is killing people;


nor that people are killing years. let us stand—

tall and alive—as we take the floor, as we take


back our spirit, as we cherish the memories

of those who have passed, the touch of their


tragic-beautiful lives living on in us and through

us as we continue to live, to love, to strive.



put me on a porch

like a plant and let

me soak up the sun.


put me back in the

pines like when we

were young and played


with parallel universes:

taking the arched elevator

to whichever floor we desired,


trying to catch the

leaves and the liars before

mom called us back.


what was that?


that was living. that

was real, and imagination,

together; both the


source, and the

destination. some-

times you want to go


back, and other times

you want to spin forward—

but really they are the


same parallel thing.



dreams are like tethers in reverse.


instead of keeping us tied to earth,

they keep our strings connected

back to where we came from—like

the soft lines of an old, old, tree


flowing up to the tallest peak.


once you climb it,

the only place up

is the moon;

and memory.


there are more characters in my dreams

than people in my real life, more land-

scape, more running, more hunting, more

flying: like the husbandry i was made for.


the only thinking is the construct i’m in,

and that’s already accounted for. there’s

no room for narrow cerebral being when

the primordial is tugging at your insides.


i was alone in the house.

that house was always so small:

little wooden rooms, littler wooden furniture.

i was sleeping—deep, on a tiny single bed.


it was morning, and everyone had gone to work.

your grandmother had not yet arrived from puerto rico.

the last person to leave had left the door unlocked, and

i was alone in the house.


i woke to a heavy feeling on my back, like a weight

pressing down, pressing me into the mattress.

i was trying to move, trying to open my eyes,

but i was frozen. i could not move, could not see,


could not make a sound. something was on top of me.

something was on top of me.

it was pushing down—hard, a presence so strong

but silent


and i could do nothing. i had the distinct feeling that

if i could just open my eyes, it would leave,

if i could just open my eyes,

it would have no choice but to disappear.


i thought maybe if i were dreaming, i could control

it as i had the power to do as a child. but i could

not force my eyes open, as hard as i tried.

i was paralyzed.


and then there was thrashing,

heavy beating

down on my back, pressing me further into the bed,

and i could not move, could not get away.


it wasn’t painful as much as terrifying—and heavy,

so heavy, suffocating. if felt like a bruising that

was trying to get inside me, under my skin.

it was trying to break me.


it seemed to go on for hours. i lost track of time.

everything felt dark and twisted, both distant and

immediate. i do not know what finally made it stop.

but it was suddenly quiet and still.


i could hear again—the birds through the

window. i could see the sun coming through the slats.

i felt so tired, so worn down, and i touched my aching

back with my hands, expecting to feel a mass there.


i stood on shaking legs and pulled up my shirt, trying to see

the bruises in the mirror, but they were not there.

nothing was there.

but the aching was there, on the inside.


was it a dream?

a nightmare?

i could not know.

i could not know.


this was not the first time i had felt an unwelcome presence

in that house. but it was the first time it had challenged me.

i had woken up. i did not have any marks on me.

did this mean i had won?


i stumbled to the door, opened it—half-expecting

to see someone fleeing from the house. could it have been

a real person? could that have really happened to me?

what is real?


i closed the door, locked it, went back to the room. oddly,

i was able to fall back asleep, deep—in that tiny single bed.

and when i woke, i half-remembered it all as a dream, as a

fog, as a confused dark descending down on me until this day.