I regularly oscillate
On the whole “god” thing

As a second grader
I openly wept in the bizarre child-bride outfit
Given to me for my first communion
Feeling blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit
(I still think it’s a little fucked up to feed seven-year old children the flesh of a deity)
In my teenage years, thrashed wildly between
Deciding I was a witch
And praying ceaselessly to Jesus and Mary
In the early college years
Turning to science
And deciding not to feel anything
Years later
Stumbling over spirituality
Like a log in the path
While practicing yoga for sport
Accidental wild crying
To ambient-nothing music
While laying on my back on the floor

Eventually, an older and more
Self-actualized me
Prided myself in managing my feelings
Sorting them into neat, labeled Tupperware containers
Having tidy explanations for everything
But I wonder if to live beautifully
Is to find meaning in everything
To see intention
In the director’s every decision

Having reviewed the arch
Of my swing
I cannot help but giggle a little
I did not know then
And I do not know now

But I do think that:
Perhaps a good life
Is not measured by
How well it is managed
But how artfully it is interpreted


I breathe in
The poison of missing you
And feel every inch of the room around me
In its contemptuous

I hear my stomach turn over
And see my heart beat in my chest
And feel everything ringing out
With the absence of you

If I let it
It takes me over like an ivy
Grows into my ears and eyes
Through the web of every finger

But if I can fight it
It is like a heavy hum
That buzzes in my bones

A tightening of the skin;
Like you
Living inside me
Trying to get out

I still look for your ghost in places you have never been


To be separated like this
Feels too old fashioned
You in your high tower
And me in my moat
I do not beg
Or ask you to come down
I tired of shouting months ago
I just row this little boat
The smell of you
Wafting through tapestries
Out of stone windows
I do not even know
If i would like it
If they lowered the bridge
To let me in
At this point
I think I might
Just rather row


Conservative, old-fashioned, god-fearin’ folk,
busted trailers filled with odd treasures
post offices the size of dog houses
proud American flags
Potato Salad
Abandoned video stores with sun-bleached cut outs of Indiana Jones
1,000 newly opened craft breweries
Checkerboards of soybean fields
Three generations of broken tractors in a front yard
Hill-top cemeteries packed tight into thick wet soil with the bodies of people you love, decomposing
A lake that looks like an ocean
Amish buggies in a Kroger parking lot
a place to tie up your horse at a gas station
Farm dogs
Log piles
Confederate flags
Little hippy towns with blue-haired 11 year old kids playing chess
Septic tanks
people feeding other people and calling it “a ministry”


If home is knowing
Then we are far from home now

out on a long walk
with no shoes

out in the unnameable tundra

or hiding

building or denying

but all trying

all trying

if shelter is complacency
we are without nest

all of our belongings
torn from dresser drawers
thrown in the streets

all of our ummentionables

if a bed is a place
to hide from truth
we fear we might never sleep again

standing in fields
clutching cold pillows
wondering when the gift
will be ours again
when we will belong to sleep again

we are frightened
but bold
we are learning a new craft
learning how to build
new houses
new beds
fresh comforts

the security of knowing is gone
but we will not
always stand in the field

not with our newfound

creativity and fearless construction

we may never go back to the places we know

but we can build new ones

and they will be homes if we say so


The dominant means for perception
Are not the only means for perception
Did you not know that one can
Touch to see
Sign to talk
And roll to run?

There are worlds unknown to you
Nooks and crannies
Nuance of gestural language
Finding rapturous joy in the discovery
Of adaptation

There are so many means for perceiving
And enjoying
Left yet to be turned over
So many uncharted paths
To take in our world

Slowly we build bridges of understanding
Make new tools
Shift the culture
Make windows where there were walls

Humans are change adept
We can live in the coldest
And hottest parts of this earth
And survive

Consider what we can achieve
When given the small leg-up
Of a ramp
An interpreter
Printing in braille

It is time to build a window
Where there was a wall


Cancer is the crab
From ninety to
One hundred and twenty degrees
Highly sensitive to his environment
And keen
And ruled by the moon

He is also the same crab
That has made me cry in the shower
Wondering if I, like my grandmother,
Should put sticky notes on the bottom of all my treasures
With names of those bequeathed

The same celestial crab
That walks sideways
To avoid truth

Has slyly walked by us
At night
Scratching his claws on hardwood floors
Keeping us from sleep

Apparently, one can build trust
By not looking at him dead-on

But I do it anyway

Staring into his arthropod eyes
Knowing that he can see me
From every direction

We play our games
Dance imperfect circles

What does he know that he will not say?

The living fossil
He is older
And wiser than us
He keeps his secrets under hard, treasure-trunk shell

So we wait
And watch
His direction

Sleep with one eye open
Dubiously following his moves


I simply cannot wait
For anything to happen on its own
So I tend to
Pop the bud before
The blossom

Like a child who peels back Christmas paper
Just enough
To read the text on the box
Retreating to my room with secret information
A squeal of silent delight

So too am I
Peeling back petals
To glimpse at
Style and stigma

Perhaps they are better
More fully realized
More apt to show their rich color
If I were to wait

Because I could never tolerate such a punishment
I will gladly accept the center for what it is:
Green, green
And unprepared


I attest that I am
Ruined by tattoos
Ugly with broken teeth
Destroyed by wrinkles
Withering with exhaustion
A dying light
A smoldering heap of jealousy
Tempered with experience
Old with love

But also, at times

Gorgeous with laughter
Insane with pleasure
Ablaze with desire
Giddy with invention
And new with longing

I attest that I am not undone
I am not done



Standing at the river
On a Friday morning
Watching the wind blow the face
Of the water
In the opposite direction of the current
Ignoring the perfect clouds
And the song of birds
And the smell of flowers
And the rustling of trees

Fixated only on the
Divided motion of water

A gust peeling backward the surface
Like wind on old skin

I see myself there
Not in the reflection
But in the motion

The deepest parts
Flowing steadily
In the manner
In which the geography intended
Moving downhill to reduce potential energy
Relaxed in its inevitable outcome

And the face of the river
Belying its prevailing motion
Fighting against the
Mighty power of fate