Day 3,115

The taste of dish
soap in her coffee ruins
any chance to spill

dirt about you and that fire
fighter beneath her lilac bush
before it rains.


These northern potholes could be
sculptural—but no.  Wild ginger

in her hair, no one’s going to tell
her fest is not

a word. Rain
won’t dissolve

the definition. She’ll know by scent
when to pause, take cover, push on.

Lemon in Her Water

A reminder to taste
life. A gritty pressure
she climbs the old freight

house stairs—fair trade
and organic maybe, these coffee beans
he roasts are not grown locally

in some Minnesota backyard. A transplant,
she will never be as sustainable

as those local boys
she’s chased into bars, ditches,
haystacks, church

basements, the mouth
of the Mississippi. She’s a trickle
trying to cut a figure

worth restoring. Lime
was her father’s choice.


Birch logs lean against a bearing
wall unattached
to any story I can see. I live local
except when my fears go

express. I would roll my eyes at the one train
town except I would do it
all wrong. The rolling. Never could
raise one brow unhitched

from its mate. That tongue curling trick
goes unnoticed—a genetic disposition
toward depression and intensity
without regard for subject

or consequences. No one left
to blame—just a single obsidian
countenance to spill
onto this blanched nature.


She hates me. I don’t know why
I told her lover the only thing
he would get from her
is an STD. There’s more

to this story. Don’t tell. Just do it
behind the bridal shop. She could
dance, I could play
ukulele, her lover wrestled

everyone down. She accused me
of stealing her minutes. Find me
relief from this pressure
to time share before it’s too late.

She’ll Do Better

With this table flush
against the peach
wall. Words and precious
residue won’t spill. Salvage

everything save time. Nothing
but it will do. Wobbles is a copout
term. Tabula rasa even worse. Clutter
corrects itself

while she works. Evening retrieval
would secure her—sustain us best.

Pocket Dial It In

What’s to become
of the Carnegie—its proud
welcome in columns and fire

places, not flexible
enough to withstand e-books’
mid-morning LED yawn. Even question

marks lose ground as text dispels
subtext contorts context contrives
textile streams this side

of the muddy—I’m gone.
Am arrivals in line with departures
without delay 80% of the time.

Thick Skin on Back Order

Egg-sized but not shaped
hail knocks a fright against the brick
façade. Almost a century standing,

the building won’t fall down
in this maelstrom. The cat yowls
and races across the small-spanned

apartment (rectangle not railroad) before tornado
sirens begin to howl. He knows.

Windows open or closed, ricochet bent or pressure
cooked, twister real or exaggerated—this shelter for survival
may not withstand submission’s ache.

Fact Finding

A clogged bathroom sink
drain propels her
into a Monday morning
thunderstorm. Most organs can’t be

recycled. Is command
really an alternative
to control? A name attached
to a body is still

just a name. Who she is
when the afternoon sun evaporates
pavement puddles
is another truth.