topography: of an apartment

topography: of an apartment

the sheets are still in the dryer.
I wonder how long they would stay there if
there was no one around to take them out.
my bed looks naked for years, wastes away on her frame, becomes dust. how many times have I died there, closing my eyes and waiting
not to be.
an empty cup of tea with the bag
still inside sits on the dresser.
next to my favorite book— I have to ask
whether its spine would ever crackle like wildfire again
if there was nobody around to pick it up.
how much would stay closed, how much would go cold.
how much would gather this dust.
dishes in the sink,
plants on the sill, waiting to be watered.
succulents can go a long time without, but
the dishes would start to stink.
there is no point.
we will be back here, next week, doing this
same thing. over and
over again.
setting the plants to kiss the faucet, and
washing the faces of plates and
rinsing the throats of glasses, and
sweeping and brushing and
paying and praying and putting away,
just to do it all again the next week. and
for what.
the window opens, curtains fluttering and
it comes clear:
all the plants I have yet to water. all the sheets untucked. the faces
unknown. the books unopened, the tea undrunk.
how much would gather this dust.

topography: of a letter

topography: of a letter

this paper warmed by your hand
inked with your mind,
without a backspace in sight
will sit in my pocket
until the next one.
see this bump, a breach
of papyrus where your
hand slipped, or maybe
the pen deceived you
into thinking she would stay
sweet to the end of the line––
i love that bump, proof
of our humanity.
this little stain here,
on the northwest corner
of the page, what
was that?
water or wine or
tears? your words bleed
a little, curve around it,
petals opening
to the sun.
it smells like you,
leaves and haircut grass,
perfumed distance.
My hand pauses
over the page–– what to
say in the face of that beauty?
How to convey love and
hope and missing
but understanding
in a few words?
I ask about the weather.

topography: of a mattress

topography: of a mattress

see here, this divot on the side closest to the window?
I have watched a hundred thousand phases of the moon
through the blindslats, light cresting over the ridge of
this off-brand Tempurpedic.
the covers here, in the center, never seem warm enough,
a lake in the valley between my legs, hushing
memories into fitful sleep.
two hills rise from the springs,
many-peaked mountain range
where I spread my avalanche hair.
pull that snow blanket overhead,
but hope not to wake in the drift.
rivulets between summit and holler
recall remains of another body,
another mountain range, another
set of lakes and winding paths
now eroded,
fossilized in memory foam.
a discarded bookmark
at the bottom of the canyon between
sill and tossing body
reminds me that I’ve lost my place.

view from my driveway

view from my driveway


See the ridge in the distance, rising
    peaks that touch the dawn.
Green risers in steppes from the base
    prove the diversity of the deceivingly
monotonous greenery,
    betraying deeper wisdom.
How much they must have to teach.


Ancients gaze from their heights,
    not down but out,
daring me to reach,
    to touch their
         burning edges
and endure the sunrise
    without remorse.
How far their eyes must reach.