Photo: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University.


Once When Light Returned After a Blackout, I Found My Face Pressed Into a Wall Asking for Help

Enter doubt,           and inevitably the sun begins to less

behind the trees,

glinting like a caged animal.

The dark bruises-wide a storm, blackening

eyes airless,

and those lacerations long since sown, regrow.


Like the ghost,                        like the severed leaf,

that only knows itself               painted on the face of the air,


I throw myself

I break myself

against this opened palm we cripple across.


Breathing in


and out

an existence


and faceted as pane frost.


There is no protection.


Though I knit prayers:

Some heavy with violence as cancer,

some roped with emptiness          as atmosphere.


Yes, I know what comes after the flame:               Aglow

that crumbles into ash.


Still, I hunger to claim

that grace

—that fire infolding—

singing out

from the deadness of its hold.


You,                 out there,



Apart the walls,

unclose the light.

Let me pass.


Outside My Window a Tree Is Singing Flowers So I Cannot Sleep, I Cannot Sleep

One morning I awake to find

a new place did begin.

A silence


fallen through my skin,                       covering

everything I knew



And when I pressed my ear

to the scar,

heard my cells rebuttoning

that which—innocently—

I wounded open,


I could only listen so long before           wonder

grew in through the grief,

put roots

where I'd arrived.


A soundless glare on the road.

A midnight late in breaking.

A violence with a stranger's name.

A body opened for the taking.


For us, the story will always end here.


How does anyone ever forget that flash of malice

that swallows everything loved

into its deep waving

and then ripple-less



One day someone will unmake even you.


Though the worst is,

they will put no thought into it

and afterwards, away.


The silk griefblossom of a new face,

stumbling up

from the fracture.