There is a museum of feathers
in that wisdom tooth: this is the real
reason your dentist is taking it out.
The insects of his anxious fingers
pry apart sprays of raw tissue,
bare pink stalactites of your mouth.
There is a museum of feathers
Gloria watches him intently, her perfect first child.
More swimmers arrive and go to the raft. Her son swims away from them and joins her on the shore.
“I knew you would come in when other people arrived. I know how you are,” she says. “You have always been a loner.”Read More
I remember not realizing I was only wearing underwear and a T-shirt until I caught one of the responding police officers checking out my ass. White granny-panties with pink polka dots and a man’s neon green tank top with Kennebunk Maine written across the chest. We went there every Fourth of July. I’d bought the shirt only a month earlier. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear it again.Read More
My father was always shy
when he loved me in his way
breaking his back cementing
the cracked sidewalks of Brooklyn
Shortly after her first period, Valentine begins finding traps around her house. At first they are small—snares made of shoelace that snake along the hallway, glue traps in her bedroom closet—and sporadic. In no time, though, she’s finding larger traps: nets that span the length of her driveway, fishing lures cast from panel vans, muscle cars, matte-black Mustangs measled with Bondo.Read More
surrounding her, other bodies
clad in scrubs, their synchronized
motion as marvelous to me as any
miracle, as commonplace to them
as every workday.
We throw our uniforms in a heap
Brush on red hot lipstick
We roll our lashes with mascara
Pinch our toes in pointed pumps
And practice how to walk.
He snaps off the radio and goes after the man, asking himself what kind of person would be contemptuous of another man’s tears—whipping himself towards righteousness, he thinks his rage is not with the man in particular but a condemnation of a prevalent attitude toward vulnerability: that our feelings are excremental, involuntary, a mere accident of our relationship with the world, motivating but unwilled, thus in some essential way not our own; an avalanche coming down upon the self.Read More
Micah took pecans from his pockets
cracking and chewing them an impossible slew
of pecans cradled in his arms the crows roost
out here he said my father abandoned me he meant
we had the same language scuffed knees scent
Halfway through the night I still cannot explain, we saw it all—
the fractal glint of something hanging above the birches. Orange
& white & drumming. On wet knees in the open field
Across the desert, marines are touching themselves. This is happening. One is slouched against the rear wall of a guard post at the north-facing perimeter of a forward operating base unbuttoning his trousers to air out his barrel, to clear out his bore before his partner returns.Read More
You can make a guide to anything by simply writing
bible after the subject. For example: the bread bible,
the car owner’s bible, the dog owner’s bible, the fairy
bible, the bible of biblical figures, the bible of
My grandmother sewed sachets and other things. She filled these little packets with lavender or scented them with strawberry oil and tucked them into drawers with underwear or socks or shirts. I still have tiny bundles of lavender I’ve brought with me from house to house, dresser drawer to dresser drawer. The scent is long gone.Read More
look, we tried this time,
mainly because there was
this one already-established
actress we wanted to use
who’s easy to work with
What frightened me about my time
on the farm? Let me start
with the death of it all, electric
fence plowing field, my great grandfather,
mounted on a rusted tractor,
sat me down one morning
when I was old enough to play
What was less clear:
Why would an underwater pig
require further moistening?
But such are the mysteries of life.Read More
…nonetheless, I pull the trigger and the spring lock releases
and the two fly swatters double smack you in the face
—and this wasn’t because I thought you a fly
—Mother won’t have him in the house. Malodorous little rodent, she calls him. Have to keep you here at the station, don’t I? You’re not a rodent, he said into the ferret’s fur. You munch on rodents for breakfast. We’ll never have rats in our jail, will we?Read More
when i say, i’m crazy, they hear,
i’m an adventure. when i tell them
about the disorder, they tell me
i am beautiful. i know i am
beautiful. i also know i have
It’s another nice mess they’re in. This time the boys
are working in a sawmill, and they’ve driven their car
through a band saw, splitting their differences.
Ollie fumes. Stan blinks and scratches his head.