Poetry

Queers on the Oregon Trail

Queers on the Oregon Trail

to Oregon I’m relentless: on holidays I pull at your shawl and beg you to play settler as the men down- stairs pray for our souls long before we understand what it means to be queers.  even the room is magic: austere, New England white, snow-lined sill mapping  the cylinder…
How to make loss real

How to make loss real

Picture someone you love. Maybe your wife, the way she smells when she steps out of the shower, her hair dripping. Imagine her scrunching those strands with a towel, then rubbing lotion onto her thirsty limbs. See her wrapping that towel around her, tucking the ends into the towel dress…
Circa 1994

Circa 1994

after Jason Isbell’s “The Life You Choose” It wasn’t Jack and Coke, it was Southern Comfort in Taco Bell cups full with ice, no doubt on our way to another viewing of Pulp Fiction or to Hoover Reservoir to steam windows and dream of big cities and rock stars and riot…
honey boy, honey boy

honey boy, honey boy

you’re a demigod, honey boy:             a refrain of affirmation though dulcet still             you’re just human learn not to rely on sight             because it’s only clear too late, looking back follow the scent…
The Race Bone

The Race Bone

That old man proclaims, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.” But where in the body does the race bone lie? Can we find it on an X-ray? Is it locked inside the spine? Does it make its home among the vertebral bones? Or is it hidden in…
Orchard

Orchard

to the man who told me he was tired of hearing about Strange Fruit   watch them hang // blood oranges // ripened from the inside out // swollen from the intake of rain // juicy // best picked when dead // sliced from the tree // cut open //watch…