here is a present to
the girl whose ring I
pawned I slipped
that turquoise
ring off
of her right hand
I put her back together
painted the back of her
shirt when
she wasn’t looking


I went to visit my mother in Florida
she greeted me with a scar on
her forehead from when she
claims to have fallen while gardening

I told her that it looks like harry potters scar
there’s a lot of pain associated
with that scar
I can tell
her teeth are also missing
but that’s not new

half of her mouth is teeth
she says that it’s normal,
that’s what happens when you’re old
but she’s only 60 years old i tell her

when I arrived the dog greeted
with enthusiasm
my cat slowly looked back at me
in recognition
it all felt like a distant sense of home for a solid
four days
the same waves of sadness would come
and I left mute

a short story

I seemed to have lost the magic along the way. Perhaps it was stuffed in an old green backpack, lost somewhere in upstate New York and covered in leaves from several years ago. It doesn’t really matter when your in a new place or in mountain town. I’m making friends with the people I have known in a different lifetime. But still I feel like I lost something along the way.
Everyone is on a journey to a different country. I’m in a new place but still looking for that new country. Experience, yes, that is what I have acquired. Observation helps, like the observation I made of a temporary lover. That’s all I did actually. I watched him. I watched him as I let him into my house. He would tornado around my room and kitchen and then ask to use my bathroom. Announcing profound romance but not looking at me in the eye. I would watch the blood stains on his shirts. What’s crazy is the amount of effort he would put in to hide a major part of himself. The worst part, the addictive manipulative part. He wanted to keep that close. Let it shine. Let some air in. He’s cornered in the bathroom holding onto the thing that he has grown accustomed to and the ritual he would die for.

dog on the floor

I’m sitting with the
dog on the kitchen floor
the walls in this house
are sand timers
slow moving honey

it stops for a second
as I look at the reflection
of me and the dog

in the background is
yelling, screaming,
singing out of joy
it’s hard to tell
but its heavy and delusional

moans and groans
a heavy head
a heavy chest through
the wall
paralysis on both ends

lines …I’ll make lines
and pretend
that I’m showering
lines and
we both pretend he’s showering

make lines
tie the belt real tight
the shower water is running

How to Subdue the Sadness in a Cruel World

1.Take a day to avoid all human contact. Turning off your phone is a crucial part of this step. You want to embark in a day of pure ignorance and disconnection. Trust me, as much as you will hate missing all of the posts about drug wars, high school friends having babies, and the overall cruelty of the world, this is for your own sanity.
2.Draw yourself a bubble bath. The warm water will cradle your heartbroken body, making you forget, even if for just a minute, all of the hopelessness in the world.
3.Read a book in the bath, but not any book. Choose one with plenty of contemporary poetry. Then read a few lines and begin to relieve your past traumas. Attach the trauma to the poems. This is a time for feeling.
4.Cry on your way to and from work. You’re existing in a late capitalistic society while working a low skill hourly job that you have zero passion for. You are constantly bombarded with the realization that you will never completely wipe out all of your student debt. I don’t know, just cry.
5.Take a walk. The fresh air, sunlight, and flowers will help you through this process. You are the flowers. The flowers are you.
6.Pick a few flowers from this walk and put them in a vase. Place the vase in your bathroom or stove top. They will die the next day but remember everything is temporary.
7.Help someone in need. Whether it’s a friend, lover, or stranger, community support is crucial in times like these.
8.Even if you have zero artistic ability, make art, make bad art. Make lots of bad art. This will keep you open while allowing you to process all of the injustice that you encounter.
9.On a sunny and hot summers day, roll down a grassy hill. After that, take yourself to the local artistnal donut shop and eat a donut. This is joy.
10.Call your mom. You’ve missed her calls this past week. Remember that she Venmo’s you $50 every few weeks for no apparent reason. Call her and tell her that you love her.
11.Create a morning ritual. Whether it’s journaling a few pages as soon as you wake up or making your favorite tea; routine will create the illusion that everything is in order. This is also a great way to have something to return to when it’s all chaos. The world is burning but at least you are calmly taking sips of chai tea while it’s happening.
12.Spend your Tuesday afternoons birdwatching. If you see the same bird twice, say hi.
13.Find a therapist. Sure, you have to pay them to listen to you, but they will be your biggest fan during any weird transitional period in your life. They will also help you get over your fear of knives.
14.Hug more. Hug your friends, acquaintances, lovers, coworkers, pets. Hug objects, trees, your bed. Spend the day hugging everyone and everything that you encounter.

didn’t I

I had to tell my therapist
and everyone that I’ve come across
since you left
that I’m hiding all of your artwork

you wanted me to keep it
probably because you know
that I would take good care of it.
there is one fond, maybe two, fond,
memories that I have of our summer romance
one being the warmth I felt
on a hot rock
with you by the river

then driving home in the rain
while you nodded off

three, getting lost on a mountain
while trying to find the best spot
to watch the fireworks

we resulted to a playground
where you took a picture
of us kissing
I don’t remember it

in this picture the
light from the white firework
is illuminating my hair
the halo of frizz looks red
silhouette shows eyes

your face is barely in it
it’s mostly me, on fire
with a grey sky behind me

to the sea down the road

the best part of me
the good qualities
are hidden in my car’s
glove compartment

amateur self-published
books of poetry that I had
written a few years ago

the passenger sees them
untouched every time
I reach in to grab
my poppy red circle wallet

you read one
while I look out of the window
it’s the best part of me
you don’t understand
why I hide it