there’s a soreness in my core
like burning wood & splinters

& nothing, not even the hum
of spring against my bedroom window

can heal this pain.  I think I’d like 
to be sung to as if I were the Queen

Bee tucked away in some corner
warmed by the sound of honey

dripping between combs
& bodies vibrating as one. 



Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.

 The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

So think of me a symphony & break me into parts, slow like a pulse that rises and falls against the chest, it is life hovering mute & you, I take for granted, everything, and bury it beneath sound. When you hear the howl of wolf, know you have heard my song. 



You conquer me.

           ―Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

I have drawn maps 
on this body,
placed x’s like treasure
where your hands have touched,
made of my skin a war―
a country divided & conquered.


“I see dreams as part of life in general, but reality is much richer.”
RIP Gabriel García Márquez


“I see dreams as part of life in general, but reality is much richer.”

RIP Gabriel García Márquez

The New and Improved SAT



In light of the College Board’s recent changes to the SAT, some humorous alternative vocabulary questions:

Directions: Match the italicized slanty word or phrase with its meaning.

1. Mike, like, likes Emily, but not like that. The best meaning of “like” is:

a) you know
b) um
c) similar to
d) derives pleasure from
e) lolz

Photograph by Thomas Barwick.


Doing some translating and need a more aggressive word for pull, as in pull words out of the mouth. The literal translation of the word is seize but that doesn’t work…any ideas

Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it’s heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket.
On Losing

I felt it
long before
I heard it

What will suffice for a true-love knot? Even the rain?
But he has bought grief’s lottery, bought even the rain.

"our glosses / wanting in this world" "Can you remember?"
Anyone! “when we thought / the poets taught” even the rain?

After we died—That was it!—God left us in the dark.
And as we forgot the dark, we forgot even the rain.

Drought was over. Where was I? Drinks were on the house.
For mixers, my love, you’d poured—what?—even the rain.

Of this pear-shaped orange’s perfumed twist, I will say:
Extract Vermouth from the bergamot, even the rain.

How did the Enemy love you—with earth? air? and fire?
He held just one thing back till he got even: the rain.

This is God’s site for a new house of executions?
You swear by the Bible, Despot, even the rain?

After the bones—those flowers—this was found in the urn:
The lost river, ashes from the ghat, even the rain.

What was I to prophesy if not the end of the world?
A salt pillar for the lonely lot, even the rain.

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

In that well at her hips
I tossed two coins,
forgotten prayers
against flesh:
with no real promise
of divinity
but two wishes
against luck.

Somedays I let silence
consume me,
it’s the closest thing
to touch I’ve felt
for years:
a woman on the outskirts
of her own skin,
like an abandoned town,
war torn.

There are things
I can’t unread:
the feel of skin,
like Braille,
beneath my fingertips,
or on my tongue,
your name spelled
out in every
night, in street lights,
and moon.