For Brayden

We sang for you lightyears before your arrival,
space cadet, suspended across a galaxy
of potential. How will your star shine:
as a yellow giant, bright gold like the sun?
Or a nebula, as swirling and amorphous as a cloud?
Maybe it’s new moon circling a distant planet?

To us, you are already a constellation.
Your touchdown to earth was traced by lights
forever suspended far above our eyes.
You do not know it yet, but it tells your story:
the story that is yours alone to tell.
Astronaut, discover it! Find your place

in our cosmology.


Glass votive candles
in the sky led me to you,
fierce bright lights burning

themselves out too soon.
In the dark I wonder
if ghosts sense fire

when their lives blink out
into whispers unobserved:
blank and furious.


Like the lottery,
I will not win it
because I will not do it.
This afternoon the sink clogged
and I thought it was over.

Mourning a flying piece
a heart stuck with its hands
pointed to ones and ones and ones.


These days I carve holes
into the palms of my hands
with the thin pale tooth
of my silence.
Beside the window
I touch my hands to the glass:
the pale light dances
across my breasts,

A New Scene

I will go first, dear.
Consider the cinema
of another kiss:

the protagonist
aims to capture in one take
the longing with which

a letterbox heart
constrained by words, not pictures,
can barely contain.


days we think: not rain
again. We do

it brightly: screw
in the lightbulbs of

The itch we scratch

a filament.


Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.

I wanted to have the baby. I wanted to feed it
lye from my breasts. I wanted to raise it
Catholic, swaddled, blank.
Left beneath the oak tree, never
minded. Like a mother I baked
the bread: round, full.
Glutted myself on the taste
transubstantiated whole.

I drew the ellipse around your name.
This one, only.
A promise.

Then the dark was too clear
and too perfect
and I saw it as it was,
another chain to



There must be a finite limit to our love,
he said. But I could not draw it on a napkin,
doodled in the margins of crumbs and stains,
nor could he join the points of the graph,
which we’d once thought carefully plotted.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe
he had quoted,
standing astride the genesis of our cosmos,
our Big Bang: the yellow bedsheets, the atoms
of oxygen swirling through arteries and hearts.

Now he sees boundaries where had been promise:
A universe expands only so far before collapsing.
We are not scientists, mathematicians of love
who have committed the natural laws to memory;
we’re theorists who have yet to scratch
the correct formula across the paper towels
and x-axes of our lives,

the limits still unknown, untested, unproven.



I wonder if, like mine,
your bones are quartz

covering a heliotrope
heart, unpolished.

What fills and breaks
you? Does the light pass

slowly through your skin
or not at all?

There are things inside
me which you do not know

and I’ll never tell,
but you’ll see through

to the other side
while I tease you



Your hands are sticks
bound to your arms with twine

we bought from the Home Depot.

I am a bed lofted high,
touching the exposed beams.

We want to see the beautiful things
in magazine photographs:

a sky is the color of paint chips,

a moon is a plate we found
on sale, half-off.