Acceptance Letter

I wake to rumors
of the season’s first
snow fall, to a tickle
in the back of the throat urging
me to utter:

I am a fraud.

But I won’t
play, won’t say a word. Laughter
comes next. Good news
makes me anxious—what to do
with my hands,

lungs, knees. How to wear
my hair, my lips. Glasses
on? Off? It’s true—secret’s out.
Time to put the moment
on display.

Eve of Dropping

How much time
she can cram
onto a single sheet
of paper (without foldouts)
will not exceed
the days it takes
for her to erase
another ill-suited lover
from her imaginary dance
card. And the wiliest
of the ill has a sister
whose voice will soothe
during those marginal nights.

I Remember Vodka

Is it enter or exit
through the red door—I
forget. A tumbler stands
squat on that counter. It was that easy

to reach across
decades to discard those too vivid
memories. A high pitched voice ruins
this whole non-narrative

hymn. I crumble
on a stoop behind a threshold
wide enough for both ways.

Aphasia Part II

A lifelong conversation winds
around the trunks
of bare trees. She’s left
to support his silence
so he won’t fall

down the rabbit hole. The one
she can’t peer into for fear
she might like
what she sees. Might not ask
for help again.

Eleven Cubed

Whoever erased
all thoughts of him
from my head while I

slept last night
will become the new
mystery I expand

into an obsession
before snow falls
on another civil

twilight. Could be spitting
out toothpicks
for all I care.

Ordinary High Water Mark

This pink
sky before
twilight touches
a rim no one
sees. To awaken
to 11.11.11
tomorrow will be
her version
of so many
lines fluctuating
against one another.

Pricked by Blue Flowers

Wears out
a pen is
a good sign
was something
she wrote
in a journal
30 years ago
to dig herself
out is still
a message
she can use
to get
your attention
off those dreams
onto hers.

You Said You Had Souls for Sale

I’ll take two—one
for tonight’s winding
down those final shafts
of light. One because

the first could crack
open like a skull
against a ladder. Could be stolen
in that half

hour before sunrise. Could just wear
out. An autumn blizzard
could barricade access. Or
it could be

an addiction
to that fearless insanity to look
a stranger in the eye. Do you make
home deliveries?

New Background

No famous mobile
cutouts on a lawn
will work. A classic dance
piece from 1958
won’t do. None of those

instantly recognizable faces
disturbing the natural
world. Not a mountain—
or cave for gangster ghosts.
The names I know

come from the wrong
household. Your voice
seeps through a vent
beneath the porch.
Meet me there.

aka AA

Turn the lights way down
low—let’s tell ghost stories to the street

lamps outside. I’ve been looking
at those shadows

on your face all my life. It’s time
we should meet.