In that former innocence
a second sun bloomed
in my heart, and I
tucked dreams
and hopes

within my small fist
a moth within-
I held it
in careful regard.

I would tear, slightly
a ghostly wing
no space
in a hand to

I shook or would

And so I began
when it was night
and I could hear the
urgency silenced

to still squirrel away
each fold of brain, the
tender stomach
delicate bones of a toe/
all beneath my pillow
where I would remember
I could rest

and today, there
I hold my hand
in sleep, reaching

in my hands.

paper crane prayer

Blooming in dark alleys
these bullets called innocence:
children who discover the world
sting my eyes

these bullets called innocence
pepper on the page
sting my eyes
and they are wet

like my father’s 
when reading, The Little Prince
and they are wet
between the pages

when reading, The Little Prince
and I am riddled with responsibility
between the pages 
a crumpled paper crane, a bookmark 

and I am riddled with responsibility
leaning between pages now a pause
a crumpled paper crane, a bookmark
this tired from saving the world

leaning between pages now a pause
thinking what kind of story is as good as:
this tired from saving the world
and knowing/ the beauty of night jasmine

thinking what kind of story is as good as:
children who discover the world
not knowing the beauty is them,
blooming in dark alleys.


I will build a bridge 
when it is dark
and you cannot see

the mark of your survival

to remind you- take
the birds broken
at your feet where
they rest and sing
to them, humming

in small beaks a song
if you think
they no longer
can hear.

Remember the trophies
we shattered in the dumpster
that night they came in the
mail? – my sadness,

I will hold a fist
to you and pound
until the dirt lifts.

On the night they died and
took truths from which
you were sculpted- I

scaffold the mind in memory
balance upon broken strands
of silk like a spider, and

find the center/

let us read a tale
I saw between the stars
scripting us- it was

just as true
as this tragedy

and build a bridge
of broken trophies and
birds’ wings between

one story and the next.

a moment, still

Seven years ago
I lived in the mist and
rain of the Olympic 

Peninsula to walk where
wild things walked and lay
upon the moss though a
spider sunk into my soft

stomach. It only hurt
momentarily, and 
regardless, it is  
never safe to 
be where it seems 
safest, where

would never touch,
waves, could never crash 
in the long
dark of winter-
never the crackling cold
the moment-stilled
heart though

days pass.

Truth is my hair
has been standing on end
since I was born 
from the shock 
I comb it smooth 
and lay across 
another’s shoulder 
like a cloak

and walking again into the quiet
of the Cascades or the Hoh

I will find a big, 
black bear and not 
be reminded how
any moment 
the sky may fall 

like hers did 
and violent, 
she was afraid,
I keep wondering.

I, am sharp flint
of ebon eye facing bear, am
rock of trembling, St. Helens/
could blow could sleep 
instead, for awhile peaceful 
as flowers grow bright 
upon the back. I

think of my tree that is
only memory now,
how Magdalena
strong and twisted

could lean into the cold
and wild storms, how
memory is
the willowy heart/
a captured 
softness to put 
in a box with her 
gray eyes and
my father’s
calloused hands.


I ran away 
to North Carolina
after my father died,

rented an apartment and
wore these black boots,
dyed my pretty pink hair
back to brown, and
got a job at a pet store
during the recession.

I was enchanted by the fireplace
that would warm me and my guy
in the bare-limbed winters and
it was by a battleground we
walked with our dog
forested with trees
and unmarked graves.

I would leave often on my own
The Violent Femmes playing
on my headphones
something about
wanting to be sedated,

and I found this massive,
gnarled tree
apart from the rest,
and strong,

I named her, Magdalena.

Many days
I’d go find her
to sit against the rough bark
resting there a palm or my cheek
and music in my ears
to look like I wasn’t just
sitting with an old tree/
and always I would say,
goodbye, to her
before returning

As a child,
I used to chase
the falling leaves
from shaky stems
of maples and oaks,
to try to catch them
before they hit the ground,

sometimes jumping
so I wouldn’t miss
and landing on my knees
with cupped hands, the
barely-there weight
like a baby bird.

I began to do it again
after he died,
awkward and defiant
looking for what it was
I had with Magdalena,
so difficult
to carry,

what should be

and unable to catch

I put each leaf in a box-
maybe eight or nine of them,
with a picture of me near
the Natural Bridge in Virginia
I had given to dad the
last Christmas-

my pink hair peaking
from beneath an old beanie,
the snowy world like
a ghost behind me

with bright eyes
too calm in the midst
of the cold and
unknown, defiant
before he has
even gone/

to remind,
the heart a falling leaf
that from a branch
grows again

in the same place
in a new place
twisted or stronger
or sometimes both.


The people we play
the ones remembered

from memory or some story
a ghost beneath the nail we
scratch at hunting fathers'

tender and mothers' dreams
splintered beneath unkindness/

it's the mantle of yesterday
of what is loved and not
yet owned or even known.

Still we choose to be brave
to live a life kinder, flowers are
on the table because we thought

to walk to a garden, coffee brews
on a Saturday morning, little feet
already rushing beneath the sun.
My heart, does

a war rage outside the window?
Are the people who wage it
good? When I blow upon

the palm, even in this
dim light dust looks a little
like stars, and I decide

there the universe is
in my own hand,

and the children receive
this debt, a path lit
by this child we stay,
a joy that is owed.

long arms

When I remember
and pauses, down

What, love?

Palms to face, hold
the baby bird  |  my heart
one old           one new my
father’s smile and
the waves   |    laughter
I hold pure and threatening.
A heart is full, 
dark cry knifed in
the throat crawling,

the bark of trees
I cannot stop putting 
a palm upon, there 

a suspicion of beauty 
is kept. A person can 
become     inevitable-
fresh snow, long arms 
I hold them around the powder cold.