How could I have accepted someone so flawed.

I ask myself this with the understanding that it didn’t start the way it ended.

Like he, I found myself to be a misnomer to life, and young, believed in the sprightly truths

of turning 28 when he was turning 39. I loved his age and the wisdom I thought came with it.

I didn’t see the drink clearly. And when I did he didn’t like it.

And because I did, I tried to unsee it. I wanted a family, for better or worse.

But the weaponry was above my pay grade. The psychologies

darning needles were cultish ideologies: no vaccinations hissed mother

and daughter, after that they snarked with supremacy about not trusting

higher education, common sense, conspiracies,

and griped when I suggested that humility is a virtue.

(Today, their perspectives would have been seen as QAnon material.)

Ultimately, the crime was that they deeded themselves better:

Two high priestesses of the crestfallen dynasty, always on display

with pride-smiles across placid irretrievable shapes.

I was grateful and beleaguered by the time they changed their minds.

But only after they used me like a bank, as did he.

And he bought all this drink. All these pills. All this technology and software.

All these clothes. How could I not see what bestowed

our scudded ground? But it’s because I’ve experienced

the sanctimonious self-regard too many times to count.

It was true the misogynies she charged

and there was vanity of equal stature:

there it is flapped in books and in mirrors and its salacious anger slaps all faces—

but it’s due to the insults her father spatted: words snaked into our lives.

That flew out of his mouth when I tried to hold them back,

but drunk on scotch and his scrimmage of self-loathing he scuffled

them to her and she recoiled into fractured mutations.

I understood because I was sunken into my own.

In the end, I believe nobody meant very much to each other.

It was evident in the way all the alienation was set up to

anchor her to one side. So he burned it down, and I tried to tack it

back up with fabricated sticks. He was an angry spirit set up to lose.

And I was in everyone’s way but I thought I wasn’t.

My new therapist instructs me to let go,

as did my old therapist who knew us all.

They say this is a re-wounding: to have never been really heard

To be treated like I hurt them both when, if they understood,

their pain led me along with its broken rope of magical thinking.

I have thought now our family is no longer real.

The blinds are thick horizontal shutters that keep me in my place.

Now we are all in this plague and acrimony bleeds from the government

portal. My forehand and all this historic paramountcy make me rage

but I am almost done with it now. The past is a record, a parting, a settlement.

I hope to stay away from people who are malleable and whose ideologies

rest in those superficialities that skim addiction and its uniting vanities.

Neatly Obsessed with Being

am neatly obsessed with warm concrete
am neatly obsessed with my favorite water brand
am neatly obsessed with tercets & triplet hearts
am neatly obsessed with names that a hold a home
am neatly obsessed with streets that overflow in obscurity
am neatly obsessed with trails that go on for miles
am neatly obsessed with packages that read like blankets

The Apocalypse Survivor’s Aubade

I know you’re out there, lost in your pillows
of ash and grief, to rise only to mourn

yesterday, today, and all tomorrows,
wrapped alone in strange strangling sheets, worn

as little shrouds after the little death
of another sunset celebration.

Each night a worship of pink delights, breath
held captive in our private elation

With You Asleep in Texas

In Spain some say: the streets are not yet paved.
If I were not walking here and standing
and standing and looking so early this morning,
I could occupy a chair of metaphysics


Why do I with coffee carve out hunger and the edge
in the morning nearly dire as a man on a ledge?
Because in the dark the peeling eucalyptus trees.
Because you are subtle as a ballot box
perfumed with the oil of cottonseeds
magical with possibilities, odd as a fox
or a girl organizing seven keys.

Eye, year

the third year they had known

tried to listen over

warplanes wild cats & windmills

if only one or the other had a third eye

Cold, little

I remember nothing about that day

but what I do remember is that little was said

I mean you said very little

& I heard much of what you said