They don’t leave you with much

6 02 2018

He gave you tears cried late at night

another Saturday wasted & drunk

he said —

something about a girl in a yellow dress —

a song that his father loved.

He made you listen to it twice, each time he cried

tears that felt significant

like glimpsing something through a crack in the door.

“I’m starting to love her like you loved me”

Words texted to you, months later,

as if it were an unexpected blessing

the coda to your heartbreak, a miracle

your ashes your burning down

providing nourishment to his spring, bursting through the topsoil

Glory! Hallelujah!



Poor you

Boo hoo

Always the worshiper, never the worshiped

Always the shadow, cast upon the ground, by some sunnier, better lover


What about the love you squandered?

He bought you a necklace – a piece of glass the color of mouthwash

Back when the apartment spent most of his cash, he bought it for you with

as much as he could afford and more

Back when the two of you slept on your mother’s borrowed bed

awash in afternoon light and fumbling at sex. When

you felt something like worship and seen

but you were ugly in small fearful ways

You put the cat in a box and left shit in the garage


Did you think you’d forget?

That you could dress yourself up in sensible slacks, estranged from regret

That you could step out on the snow and not think about the roiling worms below

That you could take the next step as the first?


And why not?

Why not lie to yourself and say —

I am good,

and I deserve to give and receive love in equal measure

I will not put myself above or below my lover

and I will learn to use the postal service, put away money,

and speak regularly to my mother

I am finally whole and healed

and all of that was in the past

why not?



25 12 2017



Hernia Surgery

for Sun Pengyi

I don’t mind
the doctor
your dick
I mind that
when he touched it
he wasn’t wearing
rubber gloves

As you are

5 09 2017

I like you as you are
See the light bouncing off you
like sunlight on the lake
and celebrate

You are not wrong
or bad
or sinful
You are you
who makes me want to sing

I want your forest on me and around me
I want to go into your realm
and knock politely on doors
and walk away if they don’t open
and feel unperturbed

I want to show you the depths of gentleness
how soft softness can be

I want to be gentle
and unassuming
in hope
that you might put the star back
on your brow
and step out

24 05 2017

it’s too much it’s too much it’s too much

the wonder

wet, forward moving, together, churning

kisses. oh kisses.

whisper, let me back in

slipping, urgent towards one thing

not caring not caring what my face looks like for once


love love love

flooding me, drowning me

his voice in the darkness like a man in a raft set out to sea

Hearing the crest, fallen against the bulkwark of my darker ship

glimpses in moonlight obscured

get inside me


get inside me please please

let me hold you inside me

keep you safe and small and protected

like a prayer and I am happy

I am finally happy

you are inside my body like water drizzling down my neck, behind my ears

all inside me like a crowd of cheers, and balloons – thousands – set free at once

like being killed and killed and thank you

thank you

I never knew what tenderness could do

how it could crack me like a blade of grass cracks the cobblestones


Food Poem 1 – Wontons (huntun)

27 04 2017

In the beginning
there was nothing –
this was huntun.

nothing grew lonely
turned in on itself
and from emptiness

hothouse meat
in delicate shells
that break open
to release

the first
of satisfaction
a homecoming


17 04 2017

Is a woman
Something that men even want anymore?
Or do they want girlfriends and assistants
models and mothers
wives and sisters
fantasies and servants
nurses, vessels, and whores?

Do they want me
foaming from the sea
the tang of batteries
between my legs
and my ancient instinct
listening like antelopes
on the Serengeti

Do they want me
dirty, damp, and base
mouth full of tongue
and taste and invectives
Acidic, unyielding and frank
Hair unwashed for days and days
because I like the smell
of wax and leaf litter

Do they want me
with my broken windows
and warehouses of gleaming eyes
watching from the dark
and smiling and snarling

And if they don’t want me,
could that absolve me?
Set me free
to run, to jump, to dive
and let the waves carry me
back to that place from whence
Venus first strode in from the tide?


23 03 2017

It was just a pot plant

set beside the armchairs

in the Costa coffee shop


But the curvature of the leaves

the transition from yellow to dark green

the shadows laid against each other

crescendoed into such a significance

that for a between-time instant

I loved so much I felt myself rooting into earth


while I walked to the counter

for an apple juice