Sunday, January 25, 2015


He clicks the ball-point closed,
raises his bleary-eyes, blinks
inside the mellow ambiance,
folds the napkin, slides it across
the heavily shellacked bar
where her French-tipped
fingers press its corner, lift it
for a look before glancing
around the room and tucking
it safely inside the long dark
shadow of her blouse.

Alba - Winter 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

All Five Flavors

The other day I tasted the whirr of a hummingbird for the very first time.
It nestled on the tip of my tongue the way laughter does when it sails
from a park on a Saturday afternoon and follows the arc of a doe leaping.

It was a gentler flavor than plowing dry ground black with back and blister
into something fingers can rake, though it was stronger than the sweet blush
of cheeks lighting like snowflakes on her fluttering lashes. Speaking of her,

she smiled at me once and it tasted like walking home all alone from school
in May between walnut shadows and the effervescence of a sunlight
barely able to make it through to my carrying nothing away that day.

Not too long after, I pursed my lips against the tang of chasing our old hatchback
and shouting from the bottom of my throat. Its aftertaste burned just like the bile
of running barefoot and waving goodbye to my Dad through tailpipe smoke.

Little Patuxent Review - January 2015


I tell myself
that the memory
of a half-dozen welling red dots
along my little sister’s back
before I was old enough
for kindergarten
is evidence
I’ve come a long way.

I tell myself that.

Eclectica - January 2015

The Red-Handled Hatchet

They endure
somehow –

mottled gray
tree stump,


sunburnt boy –


There are memories that stick
like cigarette smoke
and stain white things yellow.

Like that one time
when, right in front of her,
I cried until my face was slick.

There are other memories, though,
that fill my lungs with light
and make me hold my breath
just so I can keep the pure air there.

Like that one time
it had been steady gray in the valley.
I’d been alone for a long time
and I drove to the top of Mary’s Peak,
half hoping to fall asleep on the way
and drift over the edge
right into a more natural state.

When I got to the top,
I was crushed by a foamy high tide
of the whitest white clouds
that filled the expanse between me
and the Warm Springs pools beckoning.
All I had to do was run and reach
and I could have touched the Cascades.

What a deep breath I took right then.

Poppy Road Review - January 2015