15 Apr

What is worse than to fear living on your own planet?

Like a raging fever, the wish to leave your skin.

What will they call the passport that one day

allows us to leave our ugly Earth?

And won’t we have ruined

the galaxy by then, too?


8 Apr

The improbable brotherhood:

I couldn’t have guessed

they would take me in

and I would take them with me when I left,

their hearts too big,

the creaking stair,

the one with his love written bold upon his face.

We used to lay scalloped on the couch,

our heads at each end and our feet wedged underneath each other,

it was too sweet, it was too tender to last.

The clogged drain and the always-chance,

that a lonely silhouette would show up in your door frame

for a good night kiss.

I wanted it to be the unforbidden kind of love 

but it was too rich,

it had a life of its own and it lived under the staircase.


5 Apr

Her son, the eternal child,

pacing the kitchen,

unsure of his role in the holiday dinner.

He loves music, skiing, YouTube,

porn, if he thinks no one’s looking.

She knows him deeper,

loves him without any shred of disgust,

has never once recoiled from the lopsided smile,

the rare attempt at touch.

Her husband, he fled,

remarried, got two majestic cats,

moved down south and 

watches the turtles with his heels in the sand.


Morning Breath

4 Apr

Are we settled or settling?

Are we too young for such comfort?

Will you line dry my purple sweater

when you do our laundry that week?

Will you ever remember

not to blow your nose in the shower

when I’m brushing my teeth?

Will we open a joint account

or take turns buying hand soap?

Do you ever even use hand soap?

How can our love to be this broken-in,

and the sex still be as good as it is?

I fucking love you.

The Kingdom

3 Apr

I can see he was brilliant,

but now he is waist deep,

in a putty that’s pulling him deeper each year.

His fingers quiver when he draws or types,

and he sighs, shakes his head in anger

at someone;

isn’t blame, after all, the name of the game?

When he hands down his kingdom,

what he will best have taught me

is political, visceral,

equal parts earth and sky,

how to be the jester,

the king, and the army,

how to plug the hole in the boat

with a rolled up white lie.



Upper East Side

2 Apr

When did it get so hard to tell

the snow from the cigarette ashes?

The dogs are wearing raincoats

and Victorian-style strollers are laughing at my paycheck.

It’s uniforms for the little girls

showing too much prepubescent thigh,

the street meat’s gourmet

and there’s no Duane Reade in sight.

The doormen wash their sacred plot of sidewalk,

take pride in polishing the brass rods of the awning,

dog walkers pulled to and fro by five, six, seven, ten dogs

hooked to their belt loops.

All of us looking at each other, knowing we don’t belong.



My Parents’ House

1 Apr

My parents’ house

where my parents live

with my parents’ dog

and my parents’ car,

only 50 miles away,

from here where I stand on a street corner

eating Didion’s peach,

taking long strides down the avenue,

admiring the taper of my calves,

memorizing the heft of the apartment door

and the spitting sizzle of the radiator,

feeling awfully disloyal

to the house and the dog and the car

that I used to call mine

until one sudden day when I decided

we no longer belonged to each other.


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