the queen of afterthoughts

i’m the only one

the puppy won’t love.


maybe it would have been me,

eventually, who cheated.


inside, i think i am safe;

but i just feel tiny.


i twist and turn, a mini-cube

trying to solve all my problems.


you started dying in utah.


the three of us were outsiders;

together, deep in thought.


now you are both gone.


she’s always there, now,

when i dream of you.


this means something.


meanwhile, my girl holds up the

walls; blocks the door, the windows.


her arms are exhausted.


and she is wading into the

deep water of adulthood.



don’t believe

the mirrors—


except in cars;

and even then,


in moderation.

i’m headed out


into the 3d world:

where i’m visible


in full—not just from

the front and torso up.


i need to feel real

pages in my hands,


real road under

my wheels. i’m


listening to tori,

trying to feel some-


thing. the truth is,

i don’t like music with


words anymore. there

are too many words in


the world. this is probably

how some people feel about


poetry; it’s how i feel about

poetry, sometimes. and yet,


here i am adding to the heap.

in my dream, my mom and dad


are young and happy. they look

like they did on their wedding day:


beaming and laughing and

of a piece. but we are also there,


we three girls. they’re drinking

red wine and being the life of the


dinner party: a glimpse into the

before. in another dream, i am


being assaulted by a robotic arm

with a giant camera eye. it’s still


attached to the corner where the wall

meets the ceiling as it roves over my


body, pressing down hard on me

with a hum. somehow it’s the whole


length of me. i think of the incubus

in florida, but after. in the moment,


in the dream, i’m just trying to

cry out for help—but it may all be


stuck in my head. there’s a loud

alarm going off that i think i’ve


triggered. how do dreams

become 3d? or is it all just


smoke and mirrors? i am a

vessel of shifting memory:


moving from bliss to terror to

bliss again. the wide extremes of


being. maybe this is how we

learn the middle, the balance.


as i sit and think of the years,

the sharp ache is finally gone—


but in its wake, a deep

loneliness that has


learned to expect,

and love, solitude.







we will have words

there’s no room in my life

for new men; because the old


ones keep creeping in.

at night, they get the lay


of the land. still, after all

this time—they inhabit the


dreams of both body and

mind. every now and then


a new man will arrive on

the scene: in real life.


a good man. a man who

makes me feel alive.


we will have words;

so help me god.


we will have a new life,

a new touch, a clean rain.


and i will be reminded:

you are not your pain.

worse for the wear

this is the poem i don’t want to write.

this is the poem that is not beautiful.


or maybe it is,

because it is true.


the truth is,

i wish she were worse for you.


the truth is,

i wish she would just disappear.


i wish she were not so much like me.

it would be easier to hate her.


for both

of us.


the truth is,

she is good for you.


the truth is,

she is better for you


than i

would be.


i try to woo you with

my words, mystery,





but the truth is,

i’ve never had a healthy



it feeds the


poetry, but not

the living.


the truth is,

if she disappeared


tomorrow, i would not

know what to do.


i would probably

cry for you.


and then

for me.


i am the one who

should disappear.


i am the one who

is worse for the wear.







look behind you:

the orchard-lined hall-

way; all the things that have

grown up and pushed out fruit


in your wake; the worn door frames

and door knobs, the sleeked floors slipping

under committed feet, the living point of contact

keeping you both here, resolved—all in, so to speak.


not since those first nine months

have you ever been so

in love with a


permanent record

when she was a child, she

realized she could move

things with her eyes. she

remembers them levitating,

flying about, crash-landing.


she’s in the middle of her

life now; she feels what

people call a crisis. she

talks to herself, and is the

nicest person to talk back.


she reads novels that are

going no-where; she keeps

seeing under-utilized words that

aren’t there. she thinks one thing

and writes another. she knows


you can say things in a poem

you can’t say any-where else.

people are weapons; even the

kids playing on the lawn in the

warm snow are getting away with it.