we go through the motions

nods, hellos, & how are yous

eyes casting down not to impose

swallowed back into a mask that is saving humanity

but depriving us of dimples

a curl at the corner of a wink and a smile

warm creases telling jokes

knowing microexpressions

laugh lines

that dopamine rush of connectivity

that reminds us why

we fight to stay alive

what it is to be human

remember to look up

into my eyes

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How Isabella Conquers Her World

you have descended

from indigenous medicine women

and girl scout goddesses

you came into this life

with power that takes growing


head held high

with strong female role models

confidence you will cultivate

by surviving pain

rising to challenges

you’re finding out

you’re stronger than you know


creating your own peace

owning your joy

making happiness your choice

remembering you have endured

their belittling words


they need to feel better than you

because they have nothing to be proud

how sad is that

pity them

waste no time on bitterness

take comfort

people like this are their own reward

you will rise above their words

you will outlive their petty hearts

the world fears all shades of women and girls

who believe in themselves

do not ever give a bad person

the power

to make you feel like

you are less

to make you ashamed of the way you are woven into the fabric of our universe

or that it is anything but

perfectly divine

to be you


dancing with cigars in the garage

they creep up on you suddenly
when you aren’t looking for
these moments when you realize
you have everything you ever
and you aren’t sure how to process
this much joy
at least everything that went wrong
prepared you to recognize
what is right
light a candle for the lost
they’ve earned it

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cut you

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the creature lighted

on my window

for a moment

before returning to the sky

as if to remind me

though wings become tattered

it is still

entirely possible

to fly


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Vinnie Pupparino as a Sicilian peasant woman…

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the dance of the seven veils

Salome with headold lovers hell bent

would have us dress in mourning clothes


for them

our dead love

they will never accept

our rejection of black


it is an abyss

a futile endeavor

tulip bulbs planted in drying cement

unable to blossom


no, no

we must never yield to this


as it is my nature

to move forward

grow toward the sunlight

moving my body


swaying salome


swooning to the music


the beauty of life in every note

whilst performing


the dance of the seven veils

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cause enough for perfume

perhaps my very existence

invites your lips


however you are the reason

i’ve taken to writing invisible love poems

in the finest of rust belt drinking establishments


my fingertips tracing desires

through saturday night flooded bar top wastelands

of dissipating beer foam and  7 and 7’s gone errant


i’ve become convinced jesus won’t return

to fly us all back to glory land on his private salvation jet

unless i have a bottle of wild turkey in my left hand

and your hand in my right

stumbling through 3 a.m. street lamp heavens

beside a monument to our first kiss


i’ve watched the english patient twice for chrissakes

my nights have become ee cummings sketches


your absence  is cause enough for perfume


we could be a kate chopin novel


i want to share with you everything of value i know

i want to give you all my favorite books

i want to be the woman who pulls you into her

when you’ve stepped too close to the edge of the subway platform

i’ll teach you which one the salad fork is without anyone taking a hint


i’ll tell you the dirtiest jokes i know in crowded elevators

i’ll buy us an old plymouth just so

i can lean over from my best girl shotgun seat

and unlock the driver’s door for you

before we head to the drive-in


i want  to learn to knit

just so i can knit you an ugly afghan

to cover you up with on the couch

when my fried chicken and a novel

have conspired to take you

into blissful sleep adrift


give you passed out kisses you’ll never know about

and present you with the perfect hangover cure

coffee made and aspirin come christmas morning


i want to be the woman who loves you so well

she remembers

to grab the reading glasses you always forget

before we walk out the door

of this daydream

in which

i am perfectly content


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beautiful with

this will be the time of my life

i summon as i near death

beautiful with

the simplicity of a crisp t-shirt

sliding over my willing breasts


the happiest days

to be carried with me

when angels

call me home to rest


the bourbon queen

shall die content


by the love she has given


there is a limit to the penance

one can pay

for a sin someone else

carved recklessly

lover’s initials and pierced hearts

into pomegranate tree flesh


bury me beside the little white chapel

in Sardis, Kentucky

next to my daddy


it will be the first time

his bones

will make

for good company



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high tea

atop a Tibetan mountain

peaking through

a perfect cloud


i will take high tea

with the dalai lama


the platters


and cups

brought to us

upon the backs

of meticulously trained

boston terriers

billy goats

and bull frogs


when  given honey

wag away happily


his holiness will tell me a bad joke

as he pours

“Why is the Christian heaven paved with gold, but covered in newspaper?

Angel poop.”


to which i counter


“How do you make the universe laugh?

Tell it your plans…”


we giggle into our tea cups