it wasn’t the look of confusion you saw in her eyes

it was the look of fear

for even the cattle know when death is coming for them

much like those hyenas at my door again

coming to torment me, even though

I left them a feast at the table

patrol about and contort their ravaged mouths

causing me to flee, much like when I run

from him when he turns savage

but this time I remain, to open the door

to his frantic moans and pained eyes

whisper to calm my heart while his brain loses control

seize him into my mending arms until his terror has passed

then kick the hyenas aside

to walk my son back to his dreams



watched you burn our mouths with gooey, orange

marshmallows; the sting made us close our eyes.

cringing, watched you sprinkle Tang on the floor.

it stuck to my feet as i envisioned

so many bangs; my dumb brain felt the heat.

watched the smoke rise above the green buds with

pink tips while rubbing my arms; damn arms felt

whipped.  watched you tear through my muscles just like

they were cotton.  watched you forget all the

sweet words i spoke; good life, it’s forgotten.




dreamt my life was leaving last night.

panic threw itself on top on me – crushing my breath.

soul escaped my fingertips, fled from my

O shaped mouth; much like what he likes to draw,

minus the teeth, minus the red.

dreamt my life left me; flat like a sheet, empty like a shell.

it was tired of being anemic and pale.

motionless, I watched it walk away.

tried to scream, plead for it to come back,

but my cold mouth froze up, still shaped like an O.

felt the wind rush over me one last time.

instantly made me regret that I had to go.

une fois que

you felt too much once,

feel too much still.

his pain was your pain,

like his pain is my pain,

now and always will.

you cried too much once,

cry too much still.

with hearts crumbling,

souls fading,

we loved too much,

once and always will.




A few days ago she held the branches like a parasol – shielding her face from the heat she once loved, lived for even.  This same woman used to plant her face against the icy window on a February afternoon – just to sense its glow.  Close her eyes and envision the red.  Remember the way grass felt under her bare feet – lick her lips recollecting the smell of water leaving a garden hose.  Mutter under her breath, wishing winter to leave – she was sick of seeing dead leaves.

This woman now settled in the place of perpetual summer – feels the all too familiar chill to her bones.  She puts on extra layers while the lizards lie like statues at her feet. Watches the hawks bounce on the January winds and forget that she is driving.  Digs out her grandmother’s quilt from her closet (the quilt of pale random squares, playful tufts of thread, and white downy backing), and she will remember the sweet dreams of her youth.

Winter found its way to her, and she just wants to be warm again; be happy again.  She wants to remember what hopes brought her to the land of palms.  Stop cursing the march of time.  Mutter under her breath, and wish winter to leave – she was sick of certain memories.  Be grateful that her winter really isn’t winter; except for right now.


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.



I want to build a house by the coal sea.

You say Mr. Take Awayer won’t find us

there by the dark sea that rocks us to sleep.

Mr. Take Awayer will wear a shabby

garb of white.  You tell me he floats sideways

in the contrast of night.  Always at night.

By the vast sea I pray his calls are drowned

out by the violent waves and rocky shore.

He beckons to deceive you far from me.

But you won’t hear him I promise.  I swear.

I hope you’ll be happy, hope we are too.

When I build a house by the jet black sea

and every night have its torment sway us

to dreamland.  Find comfort knowing it could

swallow us, forgetting this pain on earth.

Hidden afar from Mr. Take Awayer.




the panic waits till I’m asleep

lifts me from my unstable trance

to remind me that I need to feel it

that panic echoes in my ears 

“Yes, Sheila, you’re going to feel it.”


makes my heart jump and skip 

as I peel my shirt from my chest

start chanting prayers 

visualize where he’s at 

start covering him in prayer 

imagine angels by his door

his sleeping body under its wings 


tell the panic to leave me alone 

let’s go back to that unstable sleep

then tomorrow I’ll feel it, I promise 

“Yes, Sheila, you’re gonna feel it.”