Burned bridges are difficult to cross
Prophecy from the bowels of a fortune cookie

If you're not prepared
This might be true

One summer the footbridge across the churning irrigation canal
Was burned by a troupe of zombie spray paint huffers, baggers, sock thieves

We still made it across
Again and again
Difficulty is relative


Bailing wire twisted, turned
Knotted symmetrically
I don't even know the conjugation
For what the pliers inspired
In that thin metal column
But it held fences
Transcended politics
Conducted electricity
Wired together communities



I’m eating my last boiled egg this morning.
Casual Thursday morning of yoga, squats, and routine hygiene activities.
I boiled a half-dozen last week, and have been eating them off and on.
Six Grade AA white eggs jitter-bug in the red enamel pot.
Trembling to a simmered beat. I depended on them.
I’m not sure what I am going to do now.
The barren forearm of future breakfasts stretches out before me.
I am anxious.


Time is Relative

Yesterday time was measured by the
speed of tears running down my face.
My universe contracted.
Exhalation. Removing toxins.

Yesterday was a day on Venus
Minutes hobbled by on creaky wooden crutches
Super heated air trickled in
I finished reading a book and re-read interesting sections
I tried to lose myself in music on Pandora
I tried to lose myself in my favorite movies
Meditation was my only recourse
Marinate in the time alone
Back to the basics
Continue to breath

Yesterday I lost my muse
Pluck inflamed with grief
But that is the nature of muses

Today I am better
Tomorrow I will be even better
With each turn of the Earth
I will be further from this nadir
Spirals of time
my wounds



Cold air slows molecule vibrations
Snowflakes with jazz hands
Water plods into ice formations
Crystallized into a
Clean flavored candy shell
Ice Floats at first
Then slams shut
A vertically clawed adamantium prison door
Liquid incarcerated
Not quite ready to be stilled

Cold air annihilates cell walls
Expands liquid into a solid lattice
Squares explode
Ninety degree corners become chaos
Triads joined at the electron
Harness the power of the atom
Then everything dies
Green, red, purple, pink, white
All fade to flat yellow
Bright sunflowers fade
To that same hollow yellow

My heart fades
Hollow yellow
I count the seconds
Until snow falls
I count the seconds
Until I am frozen
Seconds until
I can sleep and forget.


Wool Socks

My father taught me to recognize
The faint jangled vibrato discord of a spent incandescent bulb
He saved these bulbs so that he could teach me to darn my socks.

He didn’t use the same needles that my mother used.
He didn’t use the same thread.
He sang and whistled.

He asked me what I was doing...
Where I was...
When I wore holes through my wool socks.
I was…

Wandering along the gray irrigation ditch road
Carrying a stick. Followed by my mutts. Smooth river pebbles
Piled in my pockets. Pretending.
Pretending to be Spanky, Darla, Alfalfa.
He let me pull arms lengths of thread from the spool
It took quite a bit of practice to snip the threads cleanly with my even front teeth

Selling seed packets to my grandmothers and grandfathers
Inspired by black and white ads
At the ends of comic book adventures.
I wet the uneven thread ends with spit
Bringing the wet ends to a point between my lips

I was riding the bike that he helped me build
From parts we found at the trash dump
From parts that I bought from the scrap metal guy
A dime for each glass soda bottle
I enjoyed watching the caked sand
Melt from the glass
In water
It made him laugh when I exaggerated
When I scrunched up one eye and stuck out my tongue
While I threaded the big eyed blunt needles

I remember the day
We found the basket for the front
The dump smelled like rotting flesh. It smelled like burning trash.
I was cultivating another hole in my right sock.
The basket corner was as beautiful and precise as any elbow
I used my stick to scrape and pry it from the dirt
He showed me how to anchor and span strands of warp
Across the severed thread chasms.
Threads kept loose

My favorite dog learned to ride in that basket.
She was my constant companion
Silent witness to the erosion of my wool socks
Until a cruel Aunt shot her in a fit of drunken ennui
He told me to be patient
He told me to be precise
While I stepped the weft across
While I closed the gaps worn through wool socks by my adventures



Aaaahhhh, LIFE.
You are a mysterious and enchanting mistress and sister.
I kiss your smooth hands and cheeks
I gaze gently with so many questions into your dark eyes.
Life, you are simultaneously the goddess I worship
And the demon that haunts and hunts me.
Only you, Life, can wring and shred my heart with challenges and strife,
But still caress my soul with a touch as distilled as bird’s whisper, a butterfly’s sigh.

“Hi!” I smiled. Step on a calculated concrete crack.
“Hi! Come on—let’s go get a burger.”
If he had been a few hours earlier
And had chosen something vegetarian or pescatarian
Maybe we wouldn’t now both be lonely
But, as it now stands
We are both the 1/10th
Unholy 1/10th never mentioned in gasoline prices.
We are only visible when we congregate in unfortunate and unwieldy clots
We are the spit out lime rinds
Fragrant, but inedible
Indelicately perfumed
We are the bits of salt unlicked
Crystals—too large to savor—tenaciously but delicately clinging to the glass rim



Drama at the laundromat

The laundromat is not the place to have emotions.
At a laundromat, any emotion is interpreted as drama.
Sit silently and watch the rotating metal drum spin your clothes.
Slosh. Wash away memories. Whir. Rinse away pain. Bzzz. Spin away heartache.
It's best to quietly admire and acknowledge the water jets flooding the detergent tray.
Minutes digitally ticking down to zero.
The centrifuge slows, reverses, slows, reverses, slows, reverses, slows, reverses...
Until you are no longer interested. No longer care. Gaww-dammit!
Build a callous around your soul and other tender parts because...
You don't need the cumbersome baggage of drama
to weigh you down while you're fighting for dryers.
You need to be clever, calm, cunning, and quick like crinkly aluminum foil.
Drama is a big ol' bag of 50 gallon water.
Suppress your emotions.
The folding tables know too much.
Their hard surface can no longer absorb your drama.


Dead Gray Bird

My ears heard it last week.
And my eyes widened,
and my pupils dilated with fear unconsciously.
Ice shards crystallized instantaneously through my heart.
My trachea and esophagus spasm-ed, shuddered.
My lungs steeped in warm saline.
Sodden tea bags, flavor faded and washed from the desiccated leaves.
My ears heard it,
but my brain refused to believe it.
Override. Override. Override.
Not until yesterday did my neurons register and process the horrific information.
And I know
and understand now
what my skin felt last week.
Damn my brain for stupid optimism
and silly idealist notions,
no better than thimbles.
It's my heart that has kept me safe and alive.
My heart that feels the struggle in fingertips, earlobes, knees and lips.
My heart that deciphers, in an instant, heart beats like Morse code.
My heart that tries to warn me with arrhythmias that make me cough.
My heart that adds, 3 + 8 and verifies that, no, they don't equal 13.
Verifies that the shine in my hair is no longer beautiful.
Verifies that it is increasingly blinding and migraine inducing.
It is my heart now that must bleed, while my bumbling brain watches.
Giant thumbs that cannot peel the covers off the bandage adhesive.
A loathsome dog,
my brain,
all teeth and paws...
Disappointed that the fragile gray bird no longer flies,
but lies limp on the ground.