Spring in Madison

When the spring-heavy clouds
hover their soggy bodies over this city,
the men who live on the length
of State Street flock to the coffeeshop across
from the mediterranean cafe to swap
cups of congealed coffee infused
with rainwater and flash their chip-tooth
no-toothed smiles.

Elegy for the Living

  1. Eating Jamaican food at the only foreign
    restaurant in Winchester, Virginia. Eating
    too little so as to seem more woman,
    or maybe less.
  2. Catching boot heels on tiny town streets,
    drinking thai iced tea brewed from
    bathwater and getting tangled
    in your lines of sight.
  3. Watching golf on your oversized flat screen,
    hazy April warmth seeping in the open
    windows while your neighbors watched
    you fuck me on the faux leather.
  4. Driving two hours away from you only
    to remember that I could still smell you
    hiding behind my molars.
  5. Keeping you wedged between my
    teeth ’til rotten.


after she called to tell me
he was in the hospital,
i swallowed the fingernails
i had been growing for months,
tore the razor scabs until shins
freckled with blood and skin,
pulled at lips until they hung from
the corners of my mouth like sidewalk worms.

i sat at the edge of the lake to meditate
feet entrenched in trashed mud
but instead I siphoned coffee down my
throat and nose until ulcers in my stomach
matched those on his gums.

slivers of algae shined lake glass
made comforting holes in the back of my thighs,
the sighing of thumb-size swells
became louder than the sound of
skull-bound neurons firing.