Dog Ear

I am a page torn
but not easily removed
from the journal
you didn’t keep. I’m 

a face in the crowd
you can’t look at
but recognize
with your eyes closed. I’m 

the book you bought, thought
you’d devour, never read. 

I’m the last word
you wish to utter.
I’m that regret.

Tiny Changes at the Last Minute

Accidents no longer
mistakes. Nothing
about buildings or fences,
not another bridge, 

a scrap of graffiti rides 

out on the 11:45 train. Her net
is small, her heart large. She just wants
to take a closer look
then let you go.

Set Up for Reverie

A hinge creaks, the trap
door swings opens. She passes 

through. It’s these details.
They weigh on her. She’s not
catatonic—she just can’t complete her day 

dream. She needs to fill in
all the blanks.  Where? What
begins in a coffee bar on Hennepin moves 

to a Linden Hills basement
to a truck parked
on the street to a pedestrian 

bridge over the river. When?
Civil twilight to midnight 

with a full moon. What? 

An encounter transforms
into a planned meeting
into a passionate charge 

down to experience the unforgettable. Why?
Because it’s finally time.
Who? You 

would like to know. If
she could just get to the kiss,
she might reveal the shadow 

hands pressing against
her hips. Until then,
you can hover overhead.


Scotch on the rocks—the ice
sculpture would have lived 

on for months
up here. Someone decided
it was time
to get smashed 

under this loading dock
where caterers lock down.

Into the Lens

A waking smirk paints her face
young. Her daydreams
have become pages
from old journals ripped 

out, restacked, sewn
back together
in an order she believes
would have sustained 

such animation. Plagiarizing is
alright as long as she
doesn’t plagiarize 

herself. But it’s too much
work to steal from others. That look 

is for no one—now it belongs
to these worn-down back streets.

Peel Away

She lives
in a land
of layers/she wants
to break 

free from
strength. Why
can’t her own 

skin be enough?

Pulling them apart,
them with an old press,
she wants plains 

and straightaways
to be enough
poetry to land on.

Weathering Rock

To fall down
the rabbit hole 

of regret is
to roll in Georgia red
clay mud without 

it was once dirt.
It will be 

again. To sidestep
and walk quickly by
is to begin to accept 

rain without pretending
you can predict the depth 

of its source.

Not a Thief/A Thief

A tiny stuffed brown
bear in the snow
in the city, she rescues it

even inanimate ones need
shelter. Or, because
she can’t erase the concrete
image of careless 

disregard, active
rejection.  She wants to build
a story from repurposed pieces
of lives she’ll never know. 

She’s willing
to make it up.
She accepts her shortcomings
with plot, character, 

continuity, a driving force.
She believes the tiny blue
eyes and red inverted umbrella
mouth stitched in 

will be enough
of a lyric to loop 

into a rhythm of how things
get dropped, picked up, and
passed along—or pocketed
for later use.

Long Player

Cover the Murmur
railroad trestle in snow, it is still

going to be there. Look up
my sleeves—nothing

hidden but a dusting
of time on my forearm,

a ring of vinyl never played
around my wrist. That I like the old

photographs printed and mounted
over song is a symptom

not the disease, and one
of the best ones I’ve got.

aka (Day 2,649)

She thinks she hears
a confident blues 

guitar play across
the alley. Or, 

she may have just read
a caption to a movie— 

it’s come down to subtitling
her own language again.