How Our Strengths are Reflected

always not
what i make
of you

always special

except others
to know
i am not in them

always isolate

always myself
as such

i am not
what i make
of you

at protecting

delicate in lies
and pursuit
of poor health

those interests

that the better
parts of me

are ones
i have been asked
by others
to hold

The Exact Moment of Small Comfort

No one likes you or dislikes you
whatever that color is in the middle

a green, just inside
being closer to dying

the mean, the law of savages
the point at which your face

becomes caked in need of nothing
muddy camouflage, carefully applied

to whatever greenish-brown thing
happened to you, that is still happening

something will get a good meal out of us
that’s why it’s not sad

Nobody Knew Anything Except for What They Had Done

gammy says i brought it on myself
but she doesn’t remember why
she might’ve meant how much i’ve grown
or the tree i told her has fallen in the yard
i hope she doesn’t think a tree
has fallen on me in the yard
or that i might have already called her
she might have already told me
the things i am supposed to know
like how to get out from under a tree
how to clean a fish over the phone
my parents could’ve looked it up themselves
or probably done it for me
but they made me call my grandmother
who walked me through a process
i’d have to call her again to do
that little perch, its bones
like splinters in its own flesh
newspaper torn, black blood &
sunlight shifting in the winded
tree, fish glinting
it had the look of still writhing
or still writing, which is the back
& forth of fear for me
a dead thing still moving
an alive thing that doesn’t

Infinite Divisibility

maybe we adopt
a highway first
pluck the hairs off its back
spray poison
on the cans as folks
drive dead
down the middle of us
ignoring signs
of what to ask, when
& how come
our trash bags, our rival
lemonade stands
freshly squeezed
piles of request
husks of yellow wanting
shimmering in the sun
ants lubricated. is there
a little bit of juice left
in everything?
like a theory of things
cut in half forever. like
half of us is still here
in each of us, even
if we can’t see it
even if we hate each other
seeing us like this
the objects, the objective
literally broken
a man pulls over
& asks for a glass of milk
we both feel bad
for not having any
we give directions, but
neither of us has been
past this point
the grass unkempt
& green on either side
hiding the mile markers
the number of times
I have had sex with you
& you have had sex
with me

The Earth & its Atmosphere

there must be a hole
for needing to be better
& hating yourself
through which
it leaves

we park somewhere
a trap
of green gasses
idling, a sun roof

the large holes
in front of our bodies
the stolen art

the certain parts
of air that stick
being sent back

the false ones
the hopeful ones
the oxygen
the nitrogen

the courageous others
tagging along
swept up in it

we give each other
something good
a little less each time
here in the same place

but it’s still
some good

we finger the holes
in our hoodies
& in the atmosphere

we crack a window

we finger our mouths
through which words
emerge from
soupy throats

but where
before that? i struggle

“perspective” or
who was there
when it happened

a police officer?
a father?
a friend
who learns the world
by looking at you
looking at them


the eldest pursues an ice cream truck
on his bicycle. he goes much farther
than he is supposed to. when he gets
back he has to funnel the ice cream
into cups. they drink it like water. the eldest
drinks real water, such is the length
of the neighborhood, the surrounding town.
at night the eldest is last to sleep. there
is something about being the last awake that
appeals to him, like being alive is a trick
that’s easier to do when people aren’t looking.
look at the surrounding town, the approximate
length of the known world. a dog barks through
it. it responds to its own sound. the eldest
dreams of being understood, or swiftly
diagnosed, but there’s no one awake who
can do that now. there’s no point worrying.
it’s like that everywhere he could go.

The Point I’m Trying to Make Is

it starts out as a thought
which is to say

the only thing
between nothing and thought
is me

what am i mostly?
tonight i caught a knife
after i dropped it

at first i felt impressed
that is not unlike
an immediate thought

a knife
falling through the mind

i’d rather have a spoon
an egg

the things i feel second
thirdly about

to balance my egg
down this botched,
carnivalian raceway

keeping the spoon straight
with my mind

i’d avoid the knife-jugglers
who are looking
directly at me

their points connected
to my sternum

it’s like my body knows
it will die that way
in some freak accident

there is one long
accordion squeeze
of life

we leave our eggs
in a basket
at the end