I think that this is the time of year to be sad.

The thin light, the frail dustings of snow.

Everyone is sick with something, love or death, a lack of magic;

it shows up everywhere on the body:

gathering under the eyes,

cracking the bottom lip,

softening and scratching the voice like strep.

I am sick with you,

sick without you;

somehow I finally understand

and it seems so unfair that it should happen for us this way,

staggered, at different times, on opposite sides of the coin.

Soul mates is a heavy phrase. I am afraid that you cannot

take the weight. Pain and love. Single syllables.

Sharp and poignant both, like shined knives. We had to set

our time aside, and it was like breaking a bone

just to watch it heal.


The Dream of the Dance Floor

My tequila lover,

I first saw you through the earthquake shakes

of the heart rumbling music that night.

I thought it was my own thirsty

heart doing the work, but

I thought wrong, I saw you

and I saw you

and my mind still loops back

to the picture of you–

tall, slouchy, patchy in splashes

of neon light and holding a drink

and drinking and dancing

and touching, me touching you,

I think this is how it went.

Our bodies kissed but not our

mouths and my face swam

in the pupil of your

eye as it spun, searching,

ravaging my features

for some echo of the girl

you had once dreamed of

meeting on a dark dance floor.

But I knew, you see, I knew that

I was not the girl of your drunken dreams,

no matter what you told me.

the dream of the living

Every day, every moment, without knowing it,

You dream the dream of the living.

You yearn to piece yourself together,

To turn halves and quarters and eighths into wholes,

To fit the myriad parts of yourself one to

Another, like some puzzle of traits and attributes

That when complete will spell the perfect version

Of a you, glimmering, shiny and wet like a fish.

You will be what you always wanted,

How you always envisioned yourself,

Golden and pirouetting like a miniature

Ballet dancer atop a chiming music box.

You know that you are now but a fraction of

What you could be, that you are just

Unmolded clay, a lopsided face, a chuckle

Instead of a laugh, a head of unbrushed hair.

To dream the dream of the living is a cozy, easy thing,

As natural and latent as breathing, or moving.

To dream the dream is to keep your head down.

But what should happen if you were to raise your head,

To look your own quivering reflection in the eye,

To acknowledge that maybe the hair looks better a mess.


I always wished that
I had compact hips
Instead of my
Sprawling, basket-like own.

The triangle that forms between
My belly’s button and the two
Rounded handles of each Hip bone
is lazy, relaxed, like reclining

On a bed with golden sheets of
Egyptian cotton in my boyfriend’s
Basement of a room. Now those other hips,
That structure so unlike mine,

They seem so, ah, easy.
Easier to contain, to hold.
But I suppose that they aren’t
Like mine for a reason.

Although that reason is
lost to me.

My River

Sometimes I see my life as a river, flowing wide and fast

Toward an endless drop.

The water rushes fastest just before the fall,

Gathering speed, quickening and

Bracing for that

Wink of a moment

When the world  will shift on its axis,

When horizontal will become vertical.

After the fall-or maybe even during

The sickening earthward plummet–

The river will wonder, coolly and whitely, soft as mist,

Was there ever really another way to go?

3. I

In another life, I might have been a gypsy,

Dancing around the fire with hands like moth’s wings,

Fluttering closer and closer to the flame.


In a different life, I was a pigeon with one foot,

Hobbling, hated, along the streets of New York City.


I was once a sailor, a pilgrim, a black plague victim,

a watchmaker driven mad

By the endless golden hands that turned about all of those

Sweet round faces but never once reached for his own

Flesh in a tick of tender greeting.

Ungrateful fucks, he had said, as he polished the silver

And aligned the gears so his newest creation

Could be locked in time, forever on schedule.


My past lives,

They shutter upon my closed eyelids

Like a dream.


Strange that I don’t have the memory

Of any of my deaths.