top of page


An Instinct 

An instinct- these men make

fragile daughters. Their sons join the

military. Their wives wax and wane under their clouded eye

like the tides, and when the gulf swells under yet another

keen push, I arrive squalling onto the bank. 


Once, a camp counselor told me I remind him of

a friend who was decapitated by

her husband on a road trip through the desert. 

He offered this as though, at fifteen, I did not

already know that if I did not leave these shores 

headless, I would leave gutless, 

stomachless, toothless, shameless-

some kind of less that I would name missing

as though painted in the rear view mirror 

a mistake. 


An intention- these men, bloated and full as a rounded moon,  

pull wives from daughters like a consequence of

aging near his vastness. His sons enlist in the navy. I am flat as 

a punctured tire on a ford stranded somewhere in a desert,

and now I dream that someone twists 

my head on the axle, 

a spare. 

I hope that woman never had a son.


Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly vengeful, I picture them as very very old men, toothless and trembling and slathering their saliva on plastic spoons. He’d shake out a “what’s your name, sugar?” and I’d be able to answer anything I wanted and he’d nod appreciatively before he’d admit he couldn’t hear it. Maybe I’d say his daughters name- maybe his granddaughters. He’d tell me “sugar, that’s the sexiest name I’ve ever heard,” and his lungs would spasm on the last word, but I’d pretend he was giggling with me, and he’d be ever so thankful I let him keep his dignity. And the nurses passing by his room would see his hand on my thigh, gnarled and obscene against unblemished bare skin- they would feel the same sickness coating the back of my throat; they would smile with the same tight lips to hold it back. He’d say “baby, let me get you a drink,” and it’d be a lukewarm glass of prune juice. Very very old men only have so much time left- I could smile around my glass for however long that was. 

There's Something Thirsty

In the sparse grasses

Brushing the roadway,

Heavy compact bellies low hanging like

Overripe fruit;


The sun a fist,

And I flinch first.

Knees melted to the asphalt, I am too liquid 

for the smog of this city, too viscous to pass 


Through these streets with legs slick enough

To not get stuck;

There are streetlights and stop signs and cigarette butts tethered 

In the spittle of my skin


By nightfall.

In skin strewn down this city,

I am the new curtains-

Wide arms stretched wider and wider as they

Sour in the sunlight, sagging as


Every gaseous body in this city is burning,

Swaying off of my arms, new curtain skin

Growing over their shoulders and their heads and their mouths,


Every body is wearing me


Town. I feel them in the thick liquid of my 

Fingers, feel their mouths gasp against stretching

Sheet skin-

None of them will let me borrow their cellphone,

But I might just be speaking too softly for

Their new syrup skin ears-


I wonder if I should ask louder,

But my mouth is too dry, it is


Burning, I am burning, a rush

Of flames rippling down my spread arms 

In wet whispers-

Licking the streetlights and the stop signs and 

The cigarette butts and the ground. 

A Ghost in a Blouse

She spoke backward-

As though she were born lined and soft and


Lived her life gazing back on some sleepy image,

Every sentence spliced with

“did” and “was” and “had.”

She’d grown into the walls of this one 

Office building and


When she rooted around in a file cabinet,

Fumbling and squinting,

It looked as though it were her head,

Heavy and stooping her body like

A melted candle.


She waxed and waned under the fluorescents,

Bloating heavy with tears at every sharp 

Word, deflating and shuffling listlessly 

From door to door, uninterrupted,

A ghost


With mayonnaise on the sides of her mouth,

Chipped nail polish. 


When she wore gray, perhaps they

Mistook her for the printer-

The men that worked there all said they had loved 

her, speaking backward as though they no longer

Felt her in their gritted teeth, hiccuping in the spaces between 

clenched fists,


Round and empty like her 


Gelatin Can’t Call a Taxi




I am fifteen in my first club in los angeles

and all the young tissue buzzing around my bones

sloughs off in the heat and I

am a gelatinous blobbed wave

spilling over the sides of the bar and lapping

my way up the walls.

I coat every body in the club,  

and they go home with my stain on their clothes,

and their necks, and under their nails.

“some girl,” they’ll shrug off,

getting in a shower, picking at the skin around their

nail beds until it hurts when it catches on their

jeans the next morning.

“some girl,” they’ll say, but I was not a girl anymore,

but rather gelatin, and gelatin

can’t hold a shot glass, or say excuse me,

or call a taxi away;

and if I were still a girl, the bouncer would’ve 

turned me away and the faces would’ve turned away

and I would’ve turned away and, like girls could,

called a taxi.

bottom of page