Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Little Pony

and I float through the open
door, crash into the river

a mouthful of bright noise
and slaughter

the fisherman have brand new
blue nylon nets and they

throw us back once
they realize we don’t have

pearls tucked in our cheeks
or taped between our toes

we are entirely without jewels,
featherless as a newborn pig

I’ve taught him to canter
in five different languages

but something’s changing
in our headwounds, new
growth, sharp teeth

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spontaneous Generation

Ginger tea, scraped from some
humming clump at the bottom

of a glass jar. Hot. Yellow.
Toothy. It stings the palate,

tastes of matted weeds and honey.
An exotic frog could emerge

from such muck, sticking toe
by tentative toe to cardboard

in a humid pet store. Or some-
thing the color of a jewel,

sticky, brightly four-eyed,
beating against the glass

like a drunken engine, some
shining, six-legged god.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Stars are Yellow, Surrounded by Black

At 6am, I splay my tender feet
on cold pink tile, pretending

I can't remember your name. House
in the palm of my hand. Stink beetle

nestling in my ear, whispering, this
is the way we wash our hands.

color was always SALMON PINK, like
this sky. My families were never

big enough, floated off to one side.
You have to use the whole page,

the teacher said as she gave me a fresh
box of wax. The blues didn't taste

as good as they smelled. When she
asked me to make a face, I drew

your mouth in black, a place
like a locked door, and me
on the wrong side, or under it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Doe Star Angel

Doe Star Angel,
he said to her after
he was done, his hands
finally tired, one nail ripped.
That's what she heard.
Then he said, don't start,
and she realized
he was worried she might
cry, but she was just hungry
and thinking of the bagel
shop, the one on the corner
with the torn awning,
the windows always steamed
blank, the display cases always
full of pink sweets and flies.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baby Brother

At times, I miss the days before
your birth, the short cotton dresses

made from pillowcases, stained
ric-rac around the neck and hem,

the powdered hot chocolate I strew
across the counter each morning,

my time on the basement floor
with the fat grumpy cat and Sesame

Street, the way my skin constantly
burst into red when I banged it against

the world. A week after your arrival,
I tried to cover your noisy face in hot

sheets from the dryer. I thought you
would disappear once the fabric was
pulled back; a magic trick I saw on TV.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big Rewrite

At the Museum of Fire

you stretch arms made of styrofoam
and snow around me

you offer to take my pain away,
quick as a methadone-flavored gumdrop

you whisper into my neck, Don't
worry, nothing's really on fire

as I touch the painted flames along your
knees, I wonder if the guard can hear us

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Go to sleep, I whisper to my brother next to me
in the hammock, go to sleep. He keeps jerking

and fussing; he whines ants are crawling in his ears.
I pinch him again. His legs against mine feel sticky

and hot, like he's covered in piss-scented honey.
He rolls over onto my hair, his mouth full of

small sleeping moans. I twist my head away.
I put my fingers over the nape of his small brown

neck and hum, waiting to pinch -- sometimes,
I just like the sound of his shriek. Every few

minutes, branches break in the distance, as if
something heavy is falling and picking itself up.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I can see my breath.
No windows.

Everything not moving
is painted white. Here,

in your mother's basement,
I lie back on the bed

tucked under silver ducts,
offering the whole mottled

bag of me on these
delicately stained sheets,
bleached and bleached.