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They get so close so fast he can’t tell
the difference between his body parts
and hers. Nor can she. No light even squeezes
between. Their limbs twist and turn,
tightening into knots, the kind that break
enamel and spirit. The fable ends
when they disentangle and turn back
into the ones they were before they touched.

Abject Relations

When I shuffle things from one
place to another because I have
nothing else to do, or way too much,
it's time to check the time. But

I don't. Instead I keep doing what
I'm doing, following the path
of things doing what they do
after years of not being touched.

Grief Stage Sixty

As I lose people along the way,
some drop off gifts they forgot
to give when they lived
next door, or sat beside me.

It looks like they are floating
toward me; I watch and wait.
Clouds disperse. I welcome

whatever comes, even the quietly
descending trinkets of forgiveness.


I look back but mostly not;
whenever I do, a fierce wind
forces open my eyes and spits

twigs, pebbles, grains of sand
and other tiny hurtful things
at every exposed part of myself.

Today the clouds resemble loose
cobblestones, words in water,
floating farther and farther apart.

Hot Potato

I hold the hot potato in my hands.
I squeeze until my fingers are red
and sweat beads on my forehead.

People wait for me to toss this
seething stupid object to someone.

I tend to keep things to myself.
Even the truth has feelings it has no
intention of sharing with anyone.


When I dig my heels
in too deep, I lose my footing,
my dignity too, until

someone props me up,
and loosens my stiff
resolve into a slump.

Let’s say I’m not
the kind who learns
quickly from experience;

the next time I behave
like this I won’t be
so fortunate. Plenty

disappear in quicksand,
ending midsentence,
leaving a legacy of awkward silences.


I play this game so often 
I do it in my sleep    
every night, even when
I dream I am asleep.