hungry equality

consensus declares
that a lick from a dog
is worth far less
than a cat’s slow wink.

before the dog’s eyes,
you sit, blemishes
airbrushed through grain
and accepted, like undone ribbons
of VHS cassettes, their tops
glistening like cured resin on tile
one finds on tables yielding meat
that any girl may offer for trust.

eventually, you will admit
that this dog is just one
of the five that kissed your hand
and the few warming up to your meal.

it will tell you
in rhythmic nudges
that people are not interesting,
though that one Saturday
introductions played their tricks
as the dog continued to ask
how you could just walk
so ignorant of your depth.

you committed no wrong
as the dog moved quickly,
perhaps in a two-hour span
to yet another slice cooked medium rare.

Pre-order Connie Undone on Amazon. Or, buy a signed copy from me directly for $12. 

conventional nothings

told to pack your bags, I guess.

whatever they contained, no one
remembers. perhaps they’re
lost in a dandelion thicket, paper
airplanes’ missing wings stuck
on the roof, or further broken on
sidewalks leading to a gas station
that grows in its barren longevity.

I feel that everyone already knows
that some books sell without the
last page. coffee stains reveal
more than we’d hope to awaken to
while the rain misses its quivering
targets. we’ll see there’s another
flash flood warning, and agree that
a lot of people shouldn’t be talking
on roads, or water that’s not wet.

doublespeak and jewelry hang from
wrists as you point at the breathing
sky, its grayness so dark. maybe “you”
means “we” in proper sense, etiquette
taught some time ago with too many steps
to follow before ten o’ clock p.m.
only the unseen speaks the nicest word,
but letters never leave closed mouths.

we all need an umbrella.

Cat No. 118 of the 500 Cats Project

to breathe

the windows do reveal some emptiness
that left bruises on our thighs and
calves dry as the June of my childhood
that I barely remember, now that I want
to sleep a bit more, eat all I can afford
until the news says “no,” and morning
cuts cheaply made blankets that never
kept us warm when we noticeably shook
and spoke some kind of dialect imitated
by the loudest midnight storm in a year.

to breathe is an art, especially while
singing among those who talk more about
the dress you wore inside the church, and
if it was proper, and if there was a good
enough reason for you to stand in the light
when the past few times were spent back and
forth in bleak ditches and blunt ambiguity.

of course, people say what they will, what they
want, and what they wish they could do
without any sort of consequence.

profess and open your mouth more often, and let me
know when perfection waters every lawn in our neighborhood
to where drinking from the tap becomes mildly cool.

it would be nice for all of us to stop looking
over our shoulders perhaps for one day, or an hour.

to breathe can be oh so daunting.