A Morning Story

the sound of the water hitting the basin as you wash

your neck and face

the creak of the bed as you sigh down into it to pull up

and tie your boots

the way the your hair falls over your forehead

damp and smelling

of soap

the way your shirt falls on your shoulder

soft buttons glowing in the light

the way your trousers hug your hips

the grit of your cheek on mine

the crickets still calling outside

the window

your hand on my forehead

a sort of kiss

the click of the latch


these things I notice most








I feel the steady even pulls of their breathing

one on each side

a sweaty pressing in of

knees and elbows

sour breath that once

was milky sweet

with all the love

I could pour into them


one lumbering boy just on the edge of bolting

in a year he will be out of my reach

cocooned away in a nest of his own

not nearly a man but

so far from boy

from babe


and the girl

so full of spark

a razor sharp reminder of all the ways in which

I fall so short

so often

but how she adores me and yes

she will be mine a while yet


these moments are ancient

every mother in a line

falling back away

into pasts I cannot touch

but are a hidden piece of me

every mother held her children in the dark

and dreamed




Billy of Mine (a eulogy for a friend)

You died so suddenly it sucked the wind

right out of me


a myth of a man

you lied and made me think

that you would always be there to read my words

and smooth the pain a little with the understanding that you had

you were supposed to live on in the little things

that you taught me to love so well

the dust and the cracks

the leftovers

all the infinite ordinary moments that

I can hardly bear to face alone


you’re not in any of it


and even my memories of you are fading




sitting in a heat so damp I could choke on it

in the dark so the shame of me is blacked out a little bit

what makes it hurt to be me?

hurt so bad?

I feel that spot in my gut where

once upon a time both of my babies sat

it just feels soft and pliable

but there’s something dug way down deep in there

and it’s rooted in so damn tight.

I push the heels of my hands into my eyes until a spark lights them up

it hurts a little and I’m glad for it

if I could reach inside and scoop that piece out like a bruise on a peach

i’d have done it by now

maybe I could sleep at night?

maybe I could be a little less ashamed?

would I be able to breathe in one smooth gulp and laugh because it feels so good?

I fall asleep with my hand

nestled over the bad spot




Grand Finale

when the end comes

take my name out

of your mouth

don’t hold my memory fondly

but scrub it from your brain

and your sheets

don’t let my scent

linger on your pillow

I will not be put up on a shelf

to be brought down

and tenderly observed

from time

to time

pull me down

and smash me to bits

hate me

wound me

dispose of me

forget me



Good Girl

Don’t be mad anymore

I’ll be so good

I’ll dance for you

I’ll smile for you

I’ll eat your pain for you

I’m so ugly

I know

I’m so stupid

I know

I’m so awkward

I know

I’ll play for you

I’ll fly for you

I’ll eat your pain for you

I’ll be so good you’ll forget

my name

what I look like

who I am

I’ll be so good

so good

so good

When I Was Small


I smell


the leaves

green and cool

mossy sweet

a breeze

the sun

a haze

a place to be

a reckoning

a home

the hill

the creek

squatting down


in mist

another place

a world away

cold stone

on feet



my world

a symphony

sound and feel

my woods

my home

my free