Once the Pagans of Patapsco Wood

We laid snake bone by the rootsof the four trees fused at the waist. We dug tourmaline in the creekbed,dry that time of year and every yearbetween honeysuckle loam and wood rot. We sniffed skunk weed from the pitwhere the freakshow gathered and blazedup a bonfire tacked of pith and reeds,quick lit and soon extinguished. […]

Pulse

Between one breath and the next,a slender pause at once puffed and collapsed,at once minute, at once stretched: The day you left home for the last time.The day that green house on a hillbecame a frame, a shingle, a lossand the blind shutting the eyeof a window, once yours, once mine,at once the nestle and […]

A Portrait

We called him Mr.Chins cuz he had four of ‘em.We called him The Chizzler and he hated it:Always chugged a brew before playing the rube,And taking the pot for himself. He whiffed a’ porkrinds and blackjack,And his lip ticked for the snow.He sucked down the Jaeg like a hunter,Too loose and obtuse with a bow: […]

Small Fishes

I saw a picture of you today,that crow’s foot smile, your eyesblue behind wisps of bang,arm around his shoulder,same old still,and I felt nothing. But then again,I was small fish to fry,and you laughed and said no,you are a whale and went awaythat Tiananmen spring. And there was fear in your voice,strung out, evacuated, long […]

Suits

I can smell my own pits,my night sweats,sucked up in my weekunwashed robe. I am disgusted. And yet, there,in the garment bags,lingered in your suits,your suits I brought homefrom your funeralin the sands so long far gone,remains these sameand bitter musks. And there, in the bags,the pastes of rose wallpapers,struggled up but aligned remain. And […]

Ocean City

Some dim tide strode the beach pelican, had quarters for eyes, and a gull’s sense for scavenge. I found pearls under the boardwalk, but they were just butts and hunks of abalone caught up in the pushing. The skeeball racked out addicts like melamine and spent rubbers, but we were young then, not known for […]

The Surrogate

Was thinking of you as I pissed the chardonnay out, black exile to sewage. Was thinking of you and the trusts – thrice taken that garner no warmth, but shudder my torso in the steam of it. And then, Soft-bodied and filament, a spider reared up, pin-legged, from behind the tank, and topped the unset […]