How Can I

end this,
end us, or
end anything

with an Oxford comma?
These things
I will never give up:

black coffee,
pink socks,
saltwater swims,

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Airplane Mode

Assuming you are a compass,
the white jet flies
into an eastern orange sky.

No clouds or bird’s eye views
of city or farmland grids
to distract you,

it has nothing to do
with compassion.

If when the plane lands,
you keep it this way,
photographs you take

will be in focus.
Voices will convey words
you want to digest.

Local will mean local.
It has nothing to do
with compassion.

What you know
will be what you know.
Your memory will kick in

(or not). No one
will tell you

what to taste
or what it tastes like
on your tongue.

You will remember
you have toes and elbows
and earlobes.

There is no east or west
pole. The top
of your head will tingle

in a good way.
It has nothing
to do with compassion.

Feel free
to cry over the death
of department stores.

Your hiking boots
will arrive
by special air cargo.

Who knew your feet
could get so big.

If a person takes a selfie
and never posts it
on Instagram or Snapchat

or Tumblr or Pinterest
or even Facebook,
does the photo exist?

Does the self really exist?
It has nothing to do with compassion—

how you can become you again
without needing
to be recharged.

Alphabet Destiny

only one letter
separates Ireland
from Iceland

ire from
I’ve forgotten
my heritage

beneath a slab
of hope
to catch a glimpse

of the aurora borealis
before it’s too late

I sew initials
into the heart
of the base layer

and stand before
the stage door
wondering when

I might be
let back in
to confirm rumors

green room
green pasture
green sky

Carry the One to a City’s Rustic Oracle

A prophet won’t stand
on line
or wait to be asked
to leave.

A strand of hair
gets baked
into the cake
and ruins her

life. No one remembers
smelling the odor
of singed death
till it returns

to torture a child
into adolescence.

A carpet whisperer
and light whisperer
laugh under
a half full moon.

They read fractured myths
and ingredient lists
to one another
without squinting

or harming the soles
of their feet.
They remind each other
not to forget

the boy who sold rugs
most of a life
snuffed out
too soon.

A visit
to Vertical Endeavors
could help her
confront her vertigo

or push her too far
off the wall.
She would rather grasp
a real cliff rock

overlooking a remote hollow
and risk
falling into
a black hole

where there are no alternatives
to the truth.

He tries not to stare
at the woman.
She could have been
in a brawl,

or it’s Ash Wednesday.
A dandelion print
drapes legs and the walk
they take

to see and be seen.
A High Line modern
dance performance
ends early.

He remembers how
she would toss
out the first pancake
and close her eyes

before blowing the seeds
off a dandelion globe.

By nightfall
to another day,

her mercy wheel has disappeared,
and murderous mistakes
made with a pencil
don’t add up.