He Looked like Alex Nightengale 

Jingles of Rubiaceae greeted the eyeless man like a strike

to the abdomen. His breath reeked of a mongrel’s

stolen meal, singeing over my shoulder

with ghouls buried beneath his skin yearning

to be released.


Eyes, reflecting phobias in our membranes, releasing

deadly vibratos into mochas, as the café thickened

into an unbreathable cage I longed to escape

his gaze, if not ensnared.


Sculpted hands hardened on the waitress’s wrist

like the potter’s masterpiece in a kiln

            she cracked.

Smoldering to the touch, leaving nothing

but ashes for coffee.

In My Foxglove Dress

Your fist collided with your honey words —

like a metal pattern woven into your favorite

fall flannel. Your mother molded you as if God would announce

you, a summer monarch.


But when I see you, I see a cockroach

wearing a little hat and pleading with my shoe to spare

its life, guarding its face like I did mine.

All these years I spent loathing

those cherry stems you left on my face.

Once a roach drawn to your sticky

sweet trap and the nectarous crumbs you


Back in the Halls of Sharpsburg

I long for his familiarity like a lion longs

for water in the drying savannah, roaring —

crashing, coursing through forbidden encores back

and forth because I am

mute. A cement tongue in my mouth, my skin

an awkwardness I can’t get rid of.

I shiver like the trees at their first breathe of autumn. 

Frankenstein’s Epidemic

I can’t see Frankenstein create that poor creature

when you created your very own that day –

on your neck and thighs.


Blood seeped from floors and from ceilings and there’s so much

you haven’t told me because you were mute —

as if you already took your life.


Don’t leave me gasping for air as the boa

tightens its grip around my neck, don’t leave

me in this desolate night where your monsters consume

me like they did you.


How dare you make the moon weep when she stands in iridescence?

How dare you?


How dare you leave like the blood that drips from your body —

a taunting dainty plop that knows too much,

that knows more than you ever told me.


I’m okay,

You assured me

as red soaked into the carpet and into my eyes.

I’m okay.


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