This This is the End
And when and when my snaggletooth wife
Backs out of the driveway beside a grinning fool
I think this this is the end
I drive all night I run over a cat
Her kitten clawing scrabbling blind in the dirt
I scoop her up she purrs
In the hook of my arm for a year
And when and when
My mother my impossibly kind mother
Holds an X-ray of her skull
Her finger upon a crabapple lump
And she no longer talks and she hums
That is no song I say and her eyes are stones
I think this this must be the end
I speak to the ocean at dusk
I say Dear Ocean am I not the worst thing
The spinning world has ever made
The waves drink my hair
The waves urge me like a leaf to my bed
And when and when I am kissed by a bus
The crystal bowl of my ribcage
Bursts and the ripened fruit within it
Burns to fossil and to ash
My father stands in a forest a Vicodin moon above
And my few close ones hold hands
And when and when a war erupts
For the water of my country
And survivors encamp in the ruins of malls
Thawing their souls at bonfires of books
Still the women walk slow
To the virulent river the rapturous river
To wash their hair at dawn
And when and when the last bird shuts its eyes
And the flesh of the last whale
Drifts like pollen in turquoise ink
And dust devils are lords of the squares
And trees reclaim the stairs
Still the stars glister like sparklers
Aloft in the hand of a girl
Still the earth our grave hurdles with grace in the dark
— (first appeared in American Poetry Review, 2018)
Other poems online
The Most Handsome Man in the Neighborhood. Literary Matters, 2019.
The Epic of Senge. Philadelphia Stories, 2019.
A Briefe & Marveyllous Hystory of Franklin. Literary Matters, 2019.
PC Song. The Awl, 2017.
Tale of the Boy with the Horse Head. The Stinging Fly, 2015.
The Unspoken word. Dalhousie Review, 2017.
Utøya. Malahat Review / E-Verse Radio, 2012.
On a Metro Gliding at the Edge of Jungles where Tigers Walked. Subtropics, 2015.
Crow & Fox in Love. The Puritan, 2016.
Last Words of the Old Man with the Photographic Memory. PRISM / Going Down Swinging, 2016.
An Old Man in Black Slippers at Rush Hour. Cortland Review, 2014.
Three Photos of Jayne Mansfield. Rattle, 2011.
Hypochondria Song. American Literary Review, 2015.
The Death of Jolly Dolly. Mudlark, 2014.
Festus, Hansel & Grendel. Literary Review of Canada, 2015.
Only Child Poem. POOL, 2016.
The Prince with No Asshole. The Puritan, 2016.
The Confession of Chunosuke Matsuyama. POOL, 2016.
Hydra. Literary Review of Canada, 2011.
Public Cremation. Asia Literary Review, 2012.
Tiny Pageants of the Soul. The Puritan, 2015.
Returning What was Stolen. Mudlark, 2014.
The Last Death. CV2, 2012.
The Falling Man. Forget Magazine, 2013.