She translates the drip
better than the swish
of paint. Mosquito versus
human better than
mosquito alarms versus
congregating teens.

At what frequency
will they lose her?
Will she choose to give up
delicious solitude
for an evening inside
a crowded music venue?

She doesn’t hear
the answer. She sees
she’s got it all wrong.

The highest frequency
leaves a trail
of graffiti
along a sea wall
she has loved
more than water itself.

Grime Written

I will not use
elephant snot
to remove

the truth seeping
into our concrete
facades. I will not

scratch my way
into your heart.

Won’t turn
“Wash me”
into a mission

statement. I’m not
on a mission
after all.

That can’t be
my voice I hear

narrating this
poem prose poem
preamble. That’s not

the man
I pretend to hide
from when

another hot air
balloon crashes
against a sea wall.

And Martha Graham
dances to the end

of a branch
in this sketch.


when it’s too cold
to snow
or wait for the bus
she walks
with purpose
along a city sidewalk
into a tall building
up a back staircase
through a skyway
to nowhere
reinventing what it means
to arrive

Paradoxical Sleep (or, What the Living Statue Sees in Himself)

Black squirrels, albino squirrels,
skunks, raccoons, no fish
infest walls, ceilings,
crawl spaces, window wells.
The marsh bleeds in. Whorls

from rushes sprout suddenly,
dangerously as a rogue
eyelash that gets stuck
on the surface. This is
no Cocteau film. This is

my dream to star in.
I’m no star. I’ll be

your Planet 9
for real this time.
I’ll give you a wide berth.
Just let me exert gravity
over some frozen volatiles.

Just give me time
to make it all the way
around in the dark.
No one has seen me
with or without you.

I won’t be demoted
this time. It’s been so long since

I ate meat,
I can’t remember what you did
with the knives.

No Tessitura

I can do that?

Become who he will be
before his father’s voice changes
for the better. Without question.

He wants to believe stars
look different when
dandelion clocks fuel

the bonfire rather than
punk or other tinder
before tinder was Tinder.

Become who I am
in a Kokomo family room
when Ziggy sings on TV.

I was an alien
in my own backyard.
The words won’t come.

Ziggy dances,
but someone else plays
guitar. I play piano

left-handed. Become who he is
when he became a she.
I can do that?

She has the deepest voice
in school. The boys
haven’t cracked yet.

She sings left-handed.
We keep time
by the leaving seeds.

and the tangerine does

spit in my eye
as I skin it alive
and it does sting

and I do finish
the murderous peel
and it does taste tangy

sweet the way
I never did dream
you would be

Ride to the End of the Last Stroke

I want nothing
more than to be
writing another poem
on a train

as it tunnels through
January fog. Who

knew the impression
could cloak
so well. Who knows

where my bare shoulders
will reappear, or when.

Then the fonts—
so physical, so metallic—
will leak precious
angel spit.