history poetry

my uncle martin the 7 foot giant

rounded up 8 men

still bitter

about being forced away from his

english degree at the college of

William and Mary

and hung them from a gallows

above fishin’ creek

for being northern sympathizers

kicking a tree the size of god

from beneath their feet

as their wives and children watched

in horror lashed to a tree

and let me say

to the union

my bones are still sorry


film literature sociology the arts

sepia toned lithograph

i find myself longing

to live inside

a sepia toned lithograph

from the civil war


you’d be shipped to the mysterious

far off north

while i embalmed bodies

along side Thomas Holmes

my apron covered with

the sins of man

on blood soaked battlefields of the south


after a thousand letters written

and lessons learned

you’d come back home to me

with half yourself blown off

so i would decide

as a good woman does

to love you

all the more


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the way wars make windows

you were standing there
enjoying a cigarette
the orchestral way you do
as i came around the corner

i stood still to watch
the uprising

it’s a part of your machine
and i accept that
the consensus view is
if you quit now
you’d die of not smoking

never having expected
to see you again
it was all the more overwhelming
to find you looking so beautiful

succumbing to the desire
of examining every inch of your skin
to verify
it is
as i left it

i thought i loved you
but i realize now i didn’t
i wanted you to fuck me
every moment of the rest of our lives
the final glorious act
in the perpetual stage show
you are
we were

but don’t blame singing sirens
or my absent daddy
they can’t help being dead myths

on the contrary

it was how deep our tongues
were buried
in conversation

the way we instinctively knew
how to kiss
mouth to mind

bend me over and teach me
yes, all of that

but i didn’t love you
or our silver-trimmed matching sets
of unrealistic expectations

in fact i came to hate you

i’ve forgiven you
i’ve forgiven me
and the death
i chose to take up with
but i’ll never forgive your mother

i now find myself
clear of mind
and intentions

if these things happen
they happen
you said

that being the case
and the blue of your eyes

i promise to be a better me
and not to love you
the way wars make windows


the museum of a lost southern family

my steamer trunk of historic things
holds familial treasures

the jersey my father played high school basketball in
and the schedule upon which he penned
eubank high school’s 57-58 winning tally

my mother’s wedding china

news clippings of an uncle perished at sea
whose suitcase crossed the river of the dead
to come back home and tell the story

microfilm of my grandfather’s death certificate
ruling it a homicide by gunshot wound

engagement rings that took and a few that didn’t

but what i truly desire
to hold in my hands
then place into a glowing glass case

is the first copy of Gone With the Wind
my grandmother fell in love with Rhett Butler to