Heartfelt Persuasion

I was born to
convince kings
that the jewel
they long to hunt
is simply tarnished



God said to Adam:
“You may partake in all
I have made, so long as
you remain obedient”,

so goodness first required
willful ignorance.
But for all that women
are well practiced mutes,

we have never been
afraid of information;
it is the only weapon
that requires no strength

physically, leaves no trace
beyond tongues, and remains
useful without any polish.
Eve knew this without

Knowing, just as she could
not know that she should
feel shame for coveting
that which is forbidden.

Thus the greatest paradox
of her sex was born before
Eve had cause to act:

a woman is to be shamed
for wanting
before she has the opportunity
to decide what it is she wants.

Salem, 1692

Goddesses whisper in the woods
and claim to know what I have known
of the midnight constellations
sunken beneath moss-soaked wood.
Father does not hear them speak,

nor feel the Solstice burning weak;
Mother cannot see the figures dance as
strands blur and glide over bleached
cotton and dewy skin, un-trapped
from tightly-wound knots and coils.

My sister cannot hear the Maiden
sounds of feet and water clapping,
nor will she ever feel the icy smooth
surface of an incandescent pebble

beneath her earth-crusted heels. Even
my brother does not feel the spirits
shriek and laugh deep within his
bones, as they proclaim she was
drowned by covetous nymphs.

The preacher vows that he will find
what we’ve done and where we hide;
that he will hear, see, and feel. But
they whisper in twilight jade to me
alone, as I march– smiling– home.

The Modern Dream

your multicolored celebration
saturating the blackened sky
smells an awful lot like
gunpowder and as I notice
the air is popping with
laughter and I wonder
if we are as delighted by
the actual sun as we are by
the red orange spark blend or
if we are as concerned by the
event as the smell and I want
to ask why disaster stories are
now considered trite or looked
over or overdone like grandmas
pecan pie the older she gets the
more burned are the edges and
we are somehow not bothered by
that because grandmas pies are
the american dream and the
american dream has no time
for unconquered tragedy.

The Library of Alexandria

Some sorrows breathe heavily
through bone, blood, and bellies
of time, across countless souls,
from innumerable furrowed lips;
they leave a sacred remnant,
a visceral fear that echoes from
the terrified ache in our teeth to
the fitful churn in our stomachs.

We cannot possibly remember
the sickly vibrant hues of worn
sand, sinking leaves, and mottled
feathers that rivaled the stars

in light, nor have heard the guttural
cries–the weeping, catching breaths–
of parchment as it shriveled, lungs made
decrepit, or papyrus as it weltered.

Yet something inexplicable in us
raged when we first found the tale
of mislaid wisdom; lamented through
a weighted chest and the inkling

–the barest remembrance–that
the knowledge was not new.

The Blind Girl’s Blue

She imagines it’s like
a slow kiss on a hot day,
a full body mirage next
to crashing waves;

She imagines it bleeds
from her bumpy novels
and intertwines with
airborne symphonies;

She imagines it falls
softly and dampens
the earth just enough
to squish between toes;

She imagines it feels
like looking love in
the face. Not the hot kind
(the lead you to bed, dip you

between beats, gasping kind),
but the roll over softly–brush
through duvet and ripple with
internal sunshine–kind.


I want to say we’re so
but that’s been written
in stone and bark,
washed over by
foamy waves, and
screamed into the
twinkling vastness
more times than the
billions of seconds
I’ve been alive.

So I’ll say:
we have been smaller.

We have been microscopic
pieces of one day humans;
we’ve been monsoons
and sun showers,
soft ice and hard snow.

When you feel
the enormity of existence,

remember what you have
grown from,
and know that being
is entirely a matter of

Nature’s Beauty

Standing at the edge of a lake where

the clouds are gray as a swallows bellies

and the sky is low as the sloping hills,

you wonder how an image can feel

far too vast

for a simple mossy dock over tepid water.


As the water reflects the sky,

the worlds meet like kissing horizons

and you’re suddenly left staring


over the edge of eternity

in your ice-thin sneakers and ratty coat,

your mind its own extraordinary infinity.

Shrouded Meadow

Trapped sunbeams glide

down stacked leaves

far over our heads

& creep slowly toward

shade-blanketed skin;


your vision fades, lids heavy

as they resist the seduction of

whispering flame-dyed petals

(a natural bit of Monet

beset by cracked wood),


& my hands frolic, bursting

full with poppies & hydrangeas.

Our fingers interweave as my

daisy-chain crown splits apart:

wishes blown on the wind.