Sometimes I watch other women 

Lithe creatures and voluptuous curves

Bodies and souls I imagine 

I could have inhabited (inherited?) in some other life

Life led by hips 

Bared breasts not too sensitive to touch

Fluid movements and intentional spines

(I must have been born too stiffly pale to dance)

In love even with blood 

While I lie awake writing poems in my head

No paper by my bed

So I think them to myself 

Love letters set aflame

Mandalas left to the will of the tides 

Carrying those grains of colored sand 

Broken and diffuse 

To fish who don’t care

While shame-stiffened muscles

And life with clean-cut men

Stealing the seduction from the small of my back

Make me dream of feminine embraces 

That teach me the fullness of the sea


Nesting dolls

My convalescing mother
The child inside me
And me
Curled up together
To let us all heal
Or grow
Maybe this growth
Is the purer form of healing
The three of us
Strange nesting dolls
Watching horror movies and listening to the rain
Telling the smallest about the sky
Trying to find a dress to cover me
As I’m doing more nesting
Than the rest of us
Letting neglectful men
And well-meaning narcissists
Wait in the wings
Because I was her first fullness
And the little one is mine
And we don’t need any more completion
Than the one nesting dolls feel
Each a home for the next
The smaller filling the heart of the larger
We are enough.

Bicycle dreams

I wish I had learned to be

One of those lonely

Lovely poets

Who found love in their mothers 

And the children they adopted

When their wombs 

Had past their date

Not yet another woman

Living in a man’s house

Hoping her hands

Her breasts

The sway of her hips

Are enough

To bring him back from oblivion

(When really she knows

Oblivion is a place 

You visit and leave 

Without some girl’s prompting)

I wish I had learned

Before I stopped being a bicycle

And became a cable car instead

But here I am

Wed to these wires

Following the paths I’m allowed

Yearning for the mountains


Maybe we say pencils have lead

(It’s really graphite, I know)

Because of how heavy it lies on paper

Superman can’t see through that

So we shade in the corners

Hoping the impression

Of the bedside pad’s previous note

Will be more transparent

Revealing some half-asleep line

A dream you woke up from 

And tried to capture 

Before it dissolved

You let that dream

Lie lead-heavy on the page

So when you’ve had your Saturday coffee

And you look upon it quizzically

It will reveal what you forgot

To tell yourself  


Keep the light out a spell longer

The night keeps us sheltered
From the wind’s teeth
This blessed womb of twilight
Making us forget
That our passions remain elusive
Trying our hands at all the hobbies we can afford
Hoping something hits the spot
Awakening the fires we extinguished 
When we settled down
And did it all right
The fuzzy border between sleep and wakefulness
Contentment and complacency
Enveloping us warmly 
We are home

An end to Barrenness 

She waits patiently 

(The numbness lends itself
Well to that front)
As suburbia finds its pleasant awakening
The childless in the neighborhood 
Have no rhythms
Summer is just the same as winter
Cicadas merely a momentary occurrence 
Seasons are differentiated by complaints
The heat, the humidity, the leaves, the shoveling
It’s all we fill the center tables with
At the local diner
And so
She waits
To be given 
That rhythmic undulation of expectation
That fullness in her hips that reminds her
That the solstice is always on the horizon 
And the intoxicating summer nights await 
Sweet on the tongue 
Something to hope for

honey darling

I suppose I love Jesus
but I drink a little
(more than I should
hush, don’t tell
let a broken girl have her vices,
Honey Darling)
I miss what we were
when you were my savior
and I the flaxen-haired damsel
crumpled in the corner of a dirty apartment
your arms took a familiar role
rescuer, protector
cleaning the dirt off my teary-eyed face
until I tried to tell you
my feet were steady again
and you realized you’d be caught
if you let yourself fall
so you fell
my arms are so tired now
catching you each night
as you stumble over our threshold
your hands falling heavy to the floor
(they’ve forgotten the shape of me by now)
But vodka still knows my tender curves
so let a girl have her affections
where they come