Prose and Poetry

 

(berry)

I want to know

why

I love the sweet, broken ones

the sun
selects and burns away
segments
of the aggregate fruit

I cannot throw away
the last blackberry,
hold it, bleeding
in my palm.
ease away
the ruined drupelets.
guard
the raw remains
in my mouth

as if

my tongue
could heal a fruit of nature

loving, this way,
one isolated berry
could revive its far-gone cells

the renewal
of a berry
could take me home again
and make it good
this time.

The Safe Places

What occupied my dreaming
in the crabapple tree in
the grove above the lake?

in the dark closets of my mother’s
attic, the pieces of her purple river
dress taken one torn
square at a time for the tiny
talismans of my
happiness

in the Brigadoon under the bed
appearing only
with the trundle pulled
away, my
vaporized
escape dream unrecoverable

under the camp pine tree in the hollow left
in summer by my father’s feet
where he stood each afternoon with his
guitar,
the coniferous scent sticky bark a
protective bubble around my
secret tender
fears

and by the boulder I thought
was hidden
in the trees I thought
made an entire forest.

Where did they
go, the
winged longings, when they
ceased
to circle above me?

                                                       

asthenosphere

a baby
was found between the wooden shards
beneath walls in ruins
perched in irrational safety
on a blue bucket over traces of ocean
in a teddy bear suit
blinking and cold and living

an ancient man
was found
on a roof on the surface of the ocean
protected by the inverted reality
of the house he’d built
expecting water from above
as his adversary

a jailed man
was never found

a girl running from the erupting core
of her father’s anger
was never found

a mother bent before the kitchen altar
in a pressed blue suit
kneeling lightly on her young son’s yellow schoolbag
was never found

a pair of middle-aged lovers
laughing on the floor atop abandoned blankets
was never found

a stiffened body in a dedicated room
awaiting its own reduction
was never found

a thousand bodies
drowned before half the world awakened
were never found

**   *****   **

is there,
somewhere in here,
a baby,
unexpected
between the wooden shards,
blinking and cold and living
borne along, unlikely and protected on a wave
radiating outward from the brutal shift
of these – my own – tectonic plates?

Selected Publications in Prose and Poetry

“(berry)”. Pyrokinection. (September 2012).

Reading Brainard”. Storm Cycle: The Best of 2012. (February 2013).

Reading Brainard”. Jellyfish Whispers. (September 2012).

Persimmon”. New Sun Rising. (May 2012).

Underneath”. Louisiana Studies Folklife Journal. (August 2011).

Wasps”. Glimmer Train, honorable mention, (2010).

Safety”. Poets for Living Waters. . (Summer 2010).

Sochi”. Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies, April 2010.

Necklace”.  One Hundred Stories For Haiti. (March 2010).

North of Inverness But Not as Far as Wick”. Belmont Humanities Symposium Creative Writing Award.  (Spring 2011).

Girl”. Belmont Literary Journal. (Spring 2010).

We Discover Baseball”. The Tennessean. (Spring 2008).

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