he also put fire on the moon after

he came through the ice and tormented our

tree, made it beg to be put back in the

cold ground, made it sorry it was ever

planted, but its jewels sparkle and shine – much

like my diamond wedding ring he flushed down

the toilet, never to be seen again –

my finger misses it, my eyes miss it.

he also put fire on the moon after

he broke those round shatterproof ornaments,

flashy shards of glitter and gold brought blood

to our feet just the same, but now the tree

matches our house, all bare and plain – needles

tremble to the floor, made the nutcracker

run and hide, made Santa scurry away,

even he didn’t want to stay, but we

will put on our smiles and pretend to play,

after all, Christmas is just one day – but

after he puts fire on the moon he’ll want

to devour his presents, devour his food,

devour our time, and he’ll burn himself out

like all good fires do, and all will be calm.



washed ashore, no breath left.  rocked to death, their

life emptied into the torturous sea

that swallowed them.  promising them lives, but

it brought them back against the wood, against

the rocks.  their pale faces charred from the sun,

their thinning brows white with salt.  their hopeful

black hair tangled with the splinters, their bones

rattling, their bones done.  I pray God saved them,

even if they didn’t believe.  please let

there be some mercy in that mystery.

but I’m afraid there are more coming,  more

running, being chased, fearful, while ever

so mournful.  lost ones being swallowed up

by the sea, washed ashore with no breath left.


gently place the bow to string.  tiptoe on

ice, nearly silent.  how do you do it?

appear and then leave almost without a

trace, but I witness your shadow depart.

I reach out to air to find no one there.

here, nearly silent.  how do you do that?


Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by that moss-green?  The color stained our eyes for minutes as the seaweed crumbled from our lips.  Salt made me crave water, but I didn’t reach for my drink.  Instead,  I asked you, “Isn’t this beautiful?”  And you said, “Yes, it is.”  I wanted to stare at it for hours, but you were “done” after one square of nori.  You then said, “When I get older, I want to marry a Spanish Girl.”  Before logic took over, I indulged in the fancy that one day you would marry.  I didn’t mention the harsh realities or misconstrued negativities.  I just laughed affectionately and said, “As long as she’s nice and loves you.”

I imagined her hair dark like mine.  She’d love red lipstick but never wear it.  And she’d wear ankle-grazing floral skirts made of long, gauzy fabric with puffy blue, pink, and yellow flowers.  Blooms you could run your fingers against; roses you could get lost in.  Perhaps her name would be Maria, and her tan hand would always reach for yours as you crossed the street.  She would take care of you and love you, even after I left this Earth.

You grew impatient with my lingering and went inside to play with your dry erase markers or something.  I let go of the fancy and watched you walk away.  Maria went back to that vague place where particular thoughts crush my heart to a million pieces, and I lose a little each time it happens.  She joined the thoughts of your future everything, your future anything.

Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by the moss-green?  That moment, those seconds?  Life was certain, life was divine.