The Dogwood Tree

staring through the white plate, completely through the kitchen counter and laminate floor;

i saw the way the tendons in her neck cinched rigid.


a string of rubies pulled too taut: bursting, then an echoing scatter across the cold tile;

maroon, maroon, spilling into the ochre-pallor bathroom
she spills out of control / squeezing her fists so tight, she can feel too clearly when it wrestles out of her fingers / she wants to be (seamless vessel) but she can’t just can’t, she just…

she just spills.
steadying herself in the corner, against the far wall.


smudges of dirt on her Michelangelo cheeks.

a pearl peering out from the cracks of a gritty, crusted oyster.


the Dogwood Tree: branches like tendons reaching to the spring sun,
thinly veiled with their delicate blossoms:

teardrop white opal petals, suspended
in shadow & light;

she dances.

she dances, intricately
suspended in shadow & light.


welcome to the butterfly pavilion, i’ll be happy to answer all of your butterfly questions today

the magnificent flying sunset we all know as monarch butterflies were previously scheduled to begin arrival at their migratory destination :: the only monarch preserve in the state of avocado california namely in the region of natural bridges state beach of santa cruz rest in peace jay moriarity where many will come to gaze upward and most likely agape at the fluttering group-hug clusters forming orange cities in the ever insightfully fragrant yet invasive eucalyptus roosts allowing these milkweed tigers refuge to stay warm and beautiful:: this october.

however in a surprising turn of events a rather large tribe of monarchs have veered off course from their traditional sojourn and made landing in the nearby redwood town of felton floating in descent with remarkable aggression into their new-found and notably visceral habitation :: namely the stomach as well as swarming in and out of my windpipe the frontal lobe of my cerebral cortex and mysteriously the superior vena cava :: in a markedly early arrival amidst the fading moments of september to be exact.



in the sensation of
“i miss you, dammit.”

and that’s really all the courage i have to say;
i can’t just give away those words about how i think you might be a little different,
in a different way than i am different,
but how i still miss hearing the river sound of your voice,
as you would talk and talk way too much about the things you care about while i would drift
away into the pattern…

all i know is that you had a habit of caring about me and i had a habit of picking up strays.
not sure if that’s changed.

so, what sort of rooftops do you like to climb these days?
cat got your tongue?

“it’s like watching a lion cry,” you said,
while i was busy cutting myself down to size in front of you.
i’ve still got some salt in my mane.

is this the natural progression of things?
when i think about how you softly fell asleep next to my feet one night
while we were sitting together on the couch,

i remember that it all seemed strangely natural.

Nightfall, or simply falling


the right word never arrives when you need it but i’m not sure i actually knew it in the first place.

the functional ability to balance resides in the vestibular system,
and mine laughed at me while i teetered on a boat dock in the middle of the night.

perhaps scorned that i tried to call it ‘the limbic system,’
the ironic Captain Memory,
or perhaps because i let go of its hand on purpose.

nightfall / simply falling / falling asleep

most everyone at some time or another
jolts out of sleep,
seized by the sensation of falling.

but that night i swear — my heart pounded so hard — i was buckling into a bottomless void at such a violent speed…

well i have my own theories,
considering the potential terror induced by the occupation of the inner-ear,
suddenly reconnected
out of context.

still haunted by what you said about falling.

it’s funny how we think that gravity is spiteful in the way it makes us keel and collapse,
when really we’re the ones trying to leave its constant embrace — only to find ourselves yanked back into its arms.

neither you nor anyone i’ve ever met has loved like gravity,
and i still wonder whether or not i should count myself fortunate.
some days i find myself envious; that attempt to hike Half Dome inflicted a day-long plague of thoughts about how much i wanted to hold your hand.

and when you did on the rainy streets of San Francisco — i could barely talk about it,
could barely talk about how sad all the art made me feel,
could barely talk about why i just needed to sit in the upper room of the bookstore and read poetry about coping with the death of loved ones.

nightfall / rainfall / or simply falling asleep

i just wanted to tell you that — every once in a while — i’ll fall asleep with the tears,
remembering the hollow withering i felt as i sat at his bedside and watched him die.

and i just wanted to tell you that — three years after the fact — the right words finally arrived.