Circle of Cinquains

We were
so immortal
we would jaywalk across
Washington at night defying
our fear.

knit their stories
to a high chain link fence.
Who knows how or when it will fall

I’ve been
dining with one
mannequin for decades.
She wears that old vial necklace
he made.

all the mirrors.
Turn up the radio.
Admit it, you do miss them. Damn

to dine inside
together till you see
plexiglass pendant head surrounds
in place.

Helmet shields. How
many boys did you kiss
in those couch graveyard cellars
back then?

I don’t
remember what
happened to the front porch.
Gone overnight, wood railings, steps,
and all.

And that
whip-its mishap.
She said she’d never seen
anyone with singed-off eyebrows

past lives collide
inside a tank covered
in tally marks I drew without


I wish I could be there
for the seahorse
when she growls.
Build a coral cave for privacy

when she and her future
mate begin to click.
I wish I could propel myself
slowly through eelgrass beds

and sing of sunken nights
as I reach the next
stratified layer
in the water column

without choking on the wait
for a miracle.

If I Could Be the Designated Duende

If you think you are an impostor, I am
the swindler hidden in the weeds
wishing to become a dandelion
before the earth swallows us whole.
I play exquisite corpse by myself,
folding thoughts from view quickly
as I breathe in new fabric particles,
a smear of blue across the upper lip.

A stack a half-filled Mad Libs books
piles up, handwriting slanted
backwards and filled with rust.
Which one of me demands parts
of speech from the other?
I look to the mannequin
for answers. Then we silence it
on a bed of iced petals.

We straighten our tongues,
kicking up wire along the way.
Imagine painting a miniature bicycle
on your knuckles to blur the line
between art and windows.
Imagine all the blanks
where words might have been
to spill laughter into the darkness.

All Those Prompts I Took for Granted

Gone. Suddenly blooming,
prairie smoke and bloodroot,
a smattering of violets
tucked between blades of hillside grass
from yesterday’s walk
stay fresh with me
into the second day of May.
This fractured year. Props

refract light on a window sill.
Gifts from my mother, Baltic amber

frog and cat figurines glow into late morning.
Trapped in this moment, I swear

I can hear those ancient trees
moan as they seal their wounds.