Wednesday, February 27, 2019


The Nylon Curtain

You don’t need more reminders of what’s been broken, of the moon floating in a jar of formaldehyde, or the screams of those butterflies at night.  So, you chew the nylon curtain again, the wires and gristle turning pulpy.  Slivers pierce your tongue, splinters stab your throat.  Overhead a slack cord hangs near a naked bulb in the barren garage where you taught yourself how to box.  One step and you’re up on the chair, eye to eye with the speed bag that dangles in the corner like a too-big pedant or a penance no one should have to bear.

Monday, February 25, 2019


Mood Ring

The trees in your eyes have withered, lost their last leaves.  Even the termites are foraging elsewhere.  If you speak at all, the sounds kill themselves upon falling off the edge of your lips.  You play black music all day, watch acid rain drip from the gutter.  Once decadent, your windows and walls have forgotten how to reap.  The stuffed cat’s fur is coarse steel wool, rubbing up against the bloody stoop. Everything means what it doesn’t.  And still you sit rocking in a round corner, twisting your ring finger like a jar that’s not meant to open.

Friday, February 22, 2019


                                        The Swimming Pool

We are stick figures now.  Blunt matches.  Raggedy Ann and Andy.
But nobody knows.
When the kids call, we marry our fictile voices.  Find excuses for lack of laughter.  Paint our days in Technicolor. 
If one of them asks, we shade the edges.  Haze meaning.  Throw tarps over the residual debris.  
If the other asks, we wrap ourselves in ropes of gleaming tinsel.  Attach a bow.  Say, “See?  Everything is shiny here.”
This morning, I study the empty pool.  Its moss and leaf-clogged drain.  Corroded step ladder.  Flaccid diving board. 
A stench comes off it.  So strong, that even the rats avoid it.
Through the barren trees, a diffident sun struggles to yawn.  Reluctant to rise.  As if it’s like us, and doesn’t want to face the truth.
A squirrel scurries by.  Stops to pick up what looks like a spent Band-Aid.  Flaps it at me.  Flings it in the shallow end while chittering like a cartoon.
Upstairs you are putting on a bathing suit.  Applying suntan lotion.  Taking a towel from the rack, as oblivious as a broken mirror.
The wind swirls shawls of dust and pine needles when you show up.  Older, but still beautiful.  Still defiant.
You look my way.  Smile.  Curtsey.  Smile.  Smile.
You dip your toe in the deep end.  Adjust your swim cap.  Adjust your nose plugs.  Take a huge breath.
I watch you float through the air.  Diving in slow-motion.  Arms outstretched.  Palms pressed together.  As if in prayer.
Seated on a lawn chair, I mimic your hands.  Bow my head.  Say, “Amen.”  So be it.