No New Goodbye



When there is
No new goodbye,
Only soft, sweet greeting,
Finally, will there be
A safe place to land.
I haven’t fallen,
Though I have stumbled down stairs
And into open doorways.
Tripping turned sprinting
I’ve made a cardio routine
Out of running away,
Leaving other people to
Bandage the scrapes.
The heart is just
One more muscle to sprain.

Soon, I will be a new machine,
Stainless-steeled, sparkling.
Only taken apart by
A meddling handyman
Too adept with a screwdriver
For his own good.

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DTJ or Broadcasts from Locker Room

Even the postman stopped
To scratch his head and say
He’d uh thought that
We’d uh fought a war.
I didn’t mean to disappoint
That dear old boy
As he handed me a postcard,
With a few lines,
“Wish I were somewhere
But here.”
I wanted to hand him back
A message about
Criticism, prosperity, and depth,
How these blueprints for battle plans
Makes me want to vomit on your boat shoes,
Like rancid canola oil going down.

You can kick us like your ex wife and
Beat in my teeth with your insecure hands.
Call the fire department to extinguish my bra,
Teach me how to take these blows like a man,
And I’ll teach you to blow better,
And take it like a lady.

Think of me,
Busted-up smile, untrustworthy face,
While you think back to
Your locker room afternoons,
Embarrassed about how quickly
Your ego would show,
How strikingly pathetic and tiny it was.

You use adjectives to tell us
What we can do to you in heels,
Every shrieking moment
More crass, less relevant
We know how to do these things in flats.

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In The Back Of The Temple

Biblically, you ought not spill your seeds on infertile soil-
You’ve come to know me as your lush,
Dirty grounds, an ethical gray area.
Taking matters into our own hands,
You spill in my open palms,
On fertile hills and a bitten smile.
I will kneel before you in prayer
That we’ve met God’s demands.

“Abba” means “daddy”
I haven’t screamed either for you.

In the back of the temple,
Is a bath for the unclean.
Bathe in water,
Before devouring a sacrificial lamb.
It’s blood touches your lips,
And you will finally know what I taste like.

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Count on one hand
Then the next
Everything that is here

Looking from afar
To see things moving farther,
Muttering, “just go”
Mulling over
Why you haven’t just disappeared.

Just check for
A co-creator in morbidity
Deceptive conceiver,
If I were you,
I wouldn’t be you
At all.
If I were here
By now I would have left


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A Study: The Economics of Dying



Vegetables don’t feed flowers
The way a body will.
A legacy of “I
Was here, too.”
Grown from decay,
Wilting again
A hand-picked bouquet.

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No New Gods


The machinery of his heart, always at war with his mind-
He, who wrestled life away from scraps; those husks of peace left in compost buckets.
Off-brand savior, who nails sleep to a cross,
Sacrificing restfulness for children who were no longer child-sized.
He, who loves animals because they live exactly as they have to
He, who mixes ink and poison, takes a drink
And writes his last will and testament, perfectly in meter on the back of a receipt.
Inevitably, death will reach out a hand and find
There is nothing to take.
A litany of collapsed idols have arrived,
Their ghosts parading through hallways and streets,
A march lead by fanatics and faint-hearted paranoids,
Full-grown kids,
In chemerical clothing,
Espousing that there are no new gods,
No new gods,
No new gods.
God isn’t dead,
He’s just napping.

Here is the church,
Here is the steeple
Open the doors
And here is a lion,
Here is its prey.
Here is a mirror,
That reflects like stained glass.
Here is the face of a man
Dreaming through an endless labyrinth
Of creatures and cultures he thought he could abide by.
Here are mountains that look
Strikingly like giant’s shoulders
Only when he stands at the bottom,
Looking up.

Books and planets,
Convulsing with creation,
He observes this, settles on rooftops
To drink wine that had gone sour decades ago.
We are the last men here, maybe.
Swimming in the night
Through fenced fluorescence
That smelled like freedom, once.

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She Tells Us Her Creation Story

A flush of abundance that trickles into vacancy,
Rushing my ideals back and forth in empty wheelbarrows-

This man here, chose the wealth of forbidden fruit
Chose this body (not mine)
Chose these limbs (and no others).

I baptize it as self-preservation,
Sanitizing what they call treason;
He chose missive,
I launch missiles into avoidance.
They rewrite history, giving memories a new name.

I do not recall my genesis,
The full moon birthed from my mouth,
A foaming, deadly, hissing pearl.
I live, a creation myth in reverse,
With the boy-god who sinks into his mother’s side
Unswells, stomaching the covenant of milk and honey.
Ask her bones to break into atoms,
To light up whatever we have left.

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To The Man At The Bar

From across the bar you grin
Gin on my mouth, I smile,
For a while we exhaust
A lost idea of completeness;
Less talking, please
Seize the emptiness
Of fading youth,
Ruthlessly melting
From our lips.
Slip into something less comfortable
Than the lie you wore out
Before it’s time;
I’d wear mine
If you’d ever notice the difference.

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To Both of Them

A rock within his ribs, but here’s a grin
To soothe me for now.
Here’s freedom, in the shape of smoke and whiskey
Here’s fighting a war he never meant to win,
So let’s begin our slow descent into something else.

Peace can be as savage as a battleground,
Both generals saw the best of themselves die
In the cross fires of contentment.

Here’s my cherry heart,
You tied its stem in a knot,
Then spit it out.
Leaving me pitted.
At the core of me is
The softer part of me, which
Loves the hardest of everything.

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The Day He Told Us


A lifetime is easy,
Just scenes arranged
To make sense of
What we feel; As we
Experience things that
Will never happen,
Sadness is not something
We are able to
Hang on to.

The day he told us
He wasn’t going to make it.
The day he died.
Every day afterwards
I still couldn’t get it together.

Always hoping for
The adoration of the past;
Forever waiting for a future
That tastes differently.

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