She’s Fine

Solitude suits me— no susurrus of exhaled breath or half-formed words chasing ghosts from my pillow case, no warmth weighing solid against the small of my back or circling my hips. I am just fucking fine.

The Osprey

The osprey understands the physics of falling feet-first—talons snatching at soft bellies shifting beneath the murky surface—and emerging with nothing save a spray of salt. Mottled wings row a steady beat, breaking the shallows’ grasp and carving a tight trajectory clear into the clouds. Its ochre eyes sight a second flicker of shadowed water. Later,

Dead Letters

Every December I carefully address cards to my extended geography,  scribe canned sentiments trying to recall faces, discern whether familial patronymics are appropriate and realize I can't remember names, new children, wonder if I'll ever meet them or if I care to, if this ritual still invokes the belonging I require knowing persons missed most are already

Like Stones

Sometimes when it's dark and the quiet rises like a solemn ghost, I hear my heart thudding past the whisper of my breath, feel my ovaries like stones, weighing my belly with useless potential, and if I cross-examine the moment, brush too close to the seat of my anxiety, my lungs swell against my ribs.

Exposure

Leaf peepers, those voyeurs of dappled death,  perverts accoutered with disposable cameras, deviants hoping for a bared glimpse of a rouged  maple or slender birch paling by the roadside. They delight in nature's subtle malevolence, the slow turn of chlorophyll unrenewed, the brilliant rigor mortis of carotenoids, anthocyanins: a deciduous lividity. Always, they depart before

Clowder

When the last cat is chloroformed, and we swallow the frightened cries, steal the rumbles from their throats; when we bare our teeth over the pinned bodies, hold the warm hearts in our hands; when we draw sanguine whiskers with scalpels and slowly shed our clothes, stalk the halls wearing their matted coats, and we forget

Sleepwaking

Misfirings begin at dusk. Already she’s cognizant of the minute hand marching forward, announcing the triumph of a second passing, her skull buzzing with six thousand anxious insects. There’s no time. She upends bottles of water into her bromeliads, refolds rows of clothes, piles Tums in rounded, impossible little pyramids. She counts spare cylinders of

Solicitude

Before it rains, a low-pressure system swirls beneath my patella and slips slowly past my internal Coriolis back into pure atmosphere. Before it rains, I feel the aching damp, a catch in each unhurried step – umbrella spines briefly declining to align before reaching an understanding. Before it rains, I carry this interminable gray sky,

Anger Management

“You’re two apologies short of an anger management problem,” she says, folding hands with chewed nails into the v of her lap. I mimic, adopt a placating posture, explain—I don’t get angry. I avoid confrontation, use the restroom two floors down to eschew through-stall conversations, take the stairs rather than risk the possibility of an