I saw it coming

Once upon a time, there was a damsel in a red dress
the young prince jealous of all the dashing penguins
surrounding her, courting the lady with words, fancying themselves
new Byrons, and one in every crowd, a Bukowski in tights
catching her eye

She wasn’t much to look at in the midday sun, but when the shadows were cast across the folds of her dress, he would turn his head, his eyes soft and lost in daydreams of what could be done with such a woman

Knowing that the nights, such as they were, were payment for days of ludicrous loss they would never see coming, the wars fought without swords, inflicting wounds that would never heal, festering fathoms of ache

Allowed one indulgence, one glorious night under the moon, wrapped up in her tresses, the rising sun giving away the messes of what would be their great romance, a lifetime in one night, an ending before they were ever begun.

The end.

let’s talk about

he doesn’t like
when I whisper
another name in bed
when I am far away
and he cannot be sure
just where

he doesn’t like it
when I disappear
during a conversation
it hurts his feelings
if I do not listen
or pretend to have

wearing a new cologne
after so many years
raises a flag
an angry red warning
that the ground beneath
he and me
may be made of sand

my confidence
coming back after the wreck
being so long
then suddenly

brings relief
but more than a little

My friends need dusting

You said
you pictured me in a great library
in a great house with a huge kitchen
where I cook amazing meals
and sumptuous desserts

I  never told you
how I gave away my life-twice-
donated and left behind every book
I had collected-except
what I could run with under my arms

Now I have begun
to replace them-to purchase again
these dusty old books
that bring such joy and peace
and also a great, big dictionary

But I panic
at the thought of running again
with that in tow
for he and I are friends now
and no man will be left behind

you leave me cool and blue

Blue and cool.jpg

he is a one-strike-you’re-out
kind of man
the dog days are wearing
on my scraped-up heart
self-pity is crap
but maybe I’ll learn

holding a can of Fresca
to my forehead
been told nothing
but bullshit today
your words that don’t thaw
however the mercury rises

I can take any day
when the blues are playing
hearing the church sing through the walls
tickling the g string and moanin’ how
how people keep going
and coming


You looked into my eyes
and called them money
took me trippin’
over rocky-bumpy-
dangerous waters
and made me jitterbug
in the waves

You tasted my pie
and said that’s money
you said no one ever
ever would replace
what had opened
your eyes wide
what you said-they said
you said a woman
could never do for you

Okay so I can cook
and I know how to work
dem eyes but baby
I am trippin’ on the cash
drowning in that coin
trying to get to my throne
lost its luster
chaos in the court when
they make it something

make me trip for you-
trip for me-
trip so hard it’s chaotic-
what you call money
might just have
a high exchange rate

but you keep at it sweet
keep it hot
and drink it neat
and look at these eyes
they are darker than yours
and the exchange is pointless
if you won’t look and show
and tell them
you were wrong

that some girl-
something’s trippin’ your
trick wire, and a woman
could really do that
for you

if she’s money

Why it did not work (two lifetimes)

I wish I was not the one
to turn his head
to make him think of me
(that time)
over coffee
and raspberry danish
but I do not know why

He called me brutish
for not wanting him-
and not wanting her
to have him
I said – it is not
that I don’t want you-
I don’t know
what to do with you

He could not see
that I had been taken apart
(more than once)
and put back together
not like the others –
it isn’t for lack of desire
(God knows I desire)
but fear pokes its nose in

He wants cruises
and long treks into the hills –
I want a lifetime
to learn how
to make the best lasagne
to figure out how words weave
and grow powerful

(why do I feel guilty)
(that) there are times
I want to be left alone

Jam Hag

Inspector Iris Cooper and young officer David Martínez took in the house before them. All the legends, myths, warnings, and mythos surrounding this place threatened to interfere with their experience and good judgement. From the icing on the roof to the gumdrop trim and doorknobs, Iris’ mind went back to childhood, to all the dreams of sugar her mother wouldn’t let her have, and jealousy of her schoolmates with more permissive parents. She inhaled the deep scents of cinnamon and cocoa, pulling on a pair of blue gloves, and reaching for the doorknob.


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El largo invierno acaba

(March, 2015)

Attempting to leave behind all of it
the anger, the inability to forgive-
I bathe and put on something new
I purge my body of everything toxic

How do we live as if the winter was not
how do I go on pretending you did not bruise me-
so I go, I sear with fire and cauterize the wounds
so I go, I remember how to let go of the list of wrongs

Without letting go of the wonder, the miracle
as spring takes over my house, as love fills
the empty heart chambers, still sore
and I weep for what is lost – this day

I tell you, this day is for weeping, for what
could have, should have, would’ve been-
looking for purity of heart, something
nobler than good intentions

But tomorrow, tomorrow the weeping will be put away
life allowed to flourish, love allowed to nourish-
tomorrow will be today, and the anger swept up, tucked away
put in the bin for the burning, the burning of the last

The last remains of winter


our circle is unbroken

you come and you come
you roll over and go
your sharp sword shoved back
into your pants
your heart
the color of my garden
once red
black on the edges of winter

in the falling
and lingering
and aligning
and clinging
I missed the part of you
still a boy
that you handled me
like a toy

sweet spring puppy love
I slurped it up
the whole pie until
it was all over my face
I ate up the gentle way
you said baby
please baby

and now you smile
your shoes under my bed
and you come and you come
and then
you go