When the news said tonight was the full moon,
the strawberry moon, I thought it was
some sort of metaphor, not that the moon
would glow a pinkish-gold over black trees
in a night thick with the scents of flowers,
rabbits like statues under dark bushes,
quick deer hooves clattering under streetlights.
When we prayed for gun safety, I didn’t
realize how the memories would rise
of all the survivors tracking the cracks
spidering towards them from those old impacts,
waiting helplessly for glass to shatter.
I almost forgot that years ago this
was the day you surgically removed
yourself from this realm in favor of that,
a kind of cesarean section, when
everything was too full or empty of
everything else, when the edges were plump
and raw. You swore there was nothing like God,
and I swore I glimpsed you climbing up stairs
made of glass floating in the infinite.


The End #NaPoWriMo

All the times in life we anticipate
harm, pain, fear; shrinking away, leaping up,
or nonchalantly thinking “I would hate
to live if …” (fill in the blank). The empty cup
of our future swirls and settles, tea leaves
we never expected fleck the bottom.
Whatever they say, the message they weave
is full of surprises. Just that — solemn
where you expect pain, or the reverse, then
something vivid & sensual: ginger,
peppers, jasmine, mint; the song of a wren
or robin as a jazz leitmotif heard
with that droplet of delight, a tickling
of “I take it back, I want to keep living.”

Inanimate Objects #NaPoWriMo

Aching bubbles.

Play-dough bones.
Odd knuckles
(good for dice).
Hollow tubes.
Stretched strings.
Ladle or bowl?
False comb for
teasing hair.
Spines of books
on shrinking shelves.
Half, that’s only
half a body.

Murmuration #NaPoWriMo

Through this room —
red & black,
white & gold,
fancy gowns,
suits & ties,
sequins &
glitter, gauze
rainbows float,
murmurs &
bright spotlights —
the brown man
moves, awkward,
flannel flecked
with green &
orange. His
cane, even,
is brown. It’s
a slow dance,
of some sort.
he moves, they
move away.

Dear Unknown #NaPoWriMo

Dear Unknown,

It was the beginning. You weren’t there.
My beginning, your beginning.
My ending, your beginning.

You can go fast,
you can go far,
you can learn
along the way.
Pick two.

Let’s start over.
Again. This is
an erasure.

I take away your words.
You take away my words.
We are silent together.
Dear. Dear one. Dear.

What Is It That Water Means? #NaPoWriMo

I knew I was walking on knifeblades,
but I didn’t know why. I was swimming;
I didn’t know I was swimming. Thirsty,
or not even aware of thirst, but still
drinking water, drinking salt, as if
my blood was running out of me, and this
was my new blood. It is all as if
sleepwalking in a dream of waking.
When she asks what water I am made of,
it is as if in a foreign language.
What water, indeed. Drinking is breathing,
or breathing is to inhale the wet salt
and burn with it, each step a hissing
sizzle of pain, fizzing of bubbles.

A Sonnet for Mighty Casey #NaPoWriMo

I was a prude and you were crude,
but we still laughed in the hotel
where we shared a room, a double,
you by the window (me, the tube),
swapping stories of ex-husbands,
stories suitable entirely
for your confident mastery
of snark and the pointed comeback.
You sure had some choice things to say.
Tonight, watching a car tailgate
my neighbor, then shifting scooters
blocking the walk (bruised my arm gray),
I kept thinking, you, even yesterday,
were still full of choice words, but not today.


In the open green part of the park
a solo garlic mustard stood tall.
I considered it, its cheerful leaves,
imagining a crop-worthy crowd
of them, enough for pesto pasta.
I considered my neighbor’s passion
for eradicating invasive
species of all kinds, sighed, & turned back.
Plucked up by the roots, I was surprised
how clean they were — white, thick, sturdy, strong,
not a crumb of dirt that stuck or fell.

Most years there is one warm day the yard
shifts overnight from the cool of grass
to a fierce carpet of tiny suns,
dandelions bursting open like a band
marching, all gleaming cacophony.
Not this year. Those first warm days other
flowers bloomed, but not those I watched for.
A couple days later I found two:
scraggly, squashed, far apart.
The next day five. Today a dozen
scattered haphazard across the green.

On Study #NaPoWriMo

This is the way we begin: “Baruch atah
Adonai.” Or is the beginning when
Lives emerge, new ones, from a father and
Mother, and grandparents, and more, into
Unseen stories, remembered in fragments?
Dayenu. Dayenu. We exist in
Times of questions answered with more questions,
Unquenched curiosity, ancient roots
Expanding through now into infinite
Somedays. Oh, lifting somedays in laughter,
Dusk is another new day. Someone says
Awe is a waystation between questions,
Yes, and learning the next question to ask,
So grateful to learn from one still learning.

Storytelling #NaPoWriMo

Once upon a time, children, pixels roamed
over the lans, great herds of them huddled
together for warmth. With enough of them
sometimes fires started, spontaneously,
but more often they’d migrate off the edge
of cliffs or monitors, then migrate back.
Pixels, you see, evolved to be in groups.
A pixel alone was a pyx or pax,
poor thing. There were stories that they’d survive,
but I’m not convinced. A happy pixel
was a congregant pixel with neighbors
and friends. If you’re very good we’ll visit
a museum of pixel life. Doesn’t
that sound like fun? But no, no fires this time.