Goodbye Letter

This is just a note to say:
Our time together has come to its end,
Unwinding like a clock spring,
And I will always treasure
The places my hands found purchase,
The scars you dug into my skin,
The rainy days and the cold clear nights,
And all the drinks we shared.

This is a note to say: goodbye,
The only thing that separates me
From you
Is an ocean,
and I am not done with this country yet.

Round One: Lepidoptera

The wings of a butterfly
Are nothing more than
Flattened hairs
(But then,
When your hair is flat,
How beautiful is it?)

Another Confession

My biggest secret is universal
(Or maybe it’s small,
Not all-encompassing, but
a matter of degrees)

To the Rock of Dunamase

I do not wish for you
To be made whole

For if you were,
What would I have climbed today?
What lonely Irish hill
Would there be then?
What castle given to
The weeds and the birds and the

Wide-eyed wanderers who
Drove down winding country roads
To arrive at your doorstep and set forth
To hold history in their hands?

Ode to My Keyboard

I built you
Out of too much money and
Too little impulse control,
Dressed you like a child with
Blinking lights and
Designer caps and
Clicky switches

If I’m making this much noise,
With this much color,
This expensively then
I must be making something worthwhile


I’ve always been tall

But I didn’t know I was King Kong
Until I saw a girlfriend climbing
Onto the kitchen counter
Risking death and snarky words
To search for the salt and pepper
I could reach without trying

I didn’t know I was Godzilla
Until I went to Japan and
Stepped off the plane and into
The past, walked through buildings
Built by and meant for
People half my size

I didn’t know I was Gogmagog
Until I perused the Royal Armory
At the Tower of London and saw
Armor meant for a giant
Two inches shorter than me


There is no word for the way you smell in the dark of night,
Your body pulled close against mine,
My nose buried in your hair and filled with the warmth of your love.

Poem Assembled from Soul Songs

Sitting, wondering if she’s going to stay,
then I watch her roll away
(Nothing’s gonna change.)

Wasting time, ain’t no sunshine
sitting in the morning sun.
(When the evening comes,
nothing’s gonna change.)

Ain’t too proud to beg and plead,
But I don’t succeed, love’s departed
(What becomes of the brokenhearted?)
(I know.)

Para mis tíos

They always told you
you’d catch a bullet running
with them 155 boys,
but they didn’t tell you that
you’d actually catch it running,
like home was base and
you could tag it and
be safe

And they didn’t tell you that
they’d stand over your still warm
body and look at eyes going dull
and hot summer concrete going wet
and say,
Well, he had a gun
(you didn’t)
Well, you know he threw it away, then
(which makes it worse,
if you think about it)

But what you don’t tell them
is that you can do this all day
You can fall over and over,
paint every street in every city
the scarlet of guilt,
and when they’re out of bullets,
you’ll still be there,
and they’ll be too old and weak
to lift the gun


I am the moon
dying of thirst,
desperate to pull
water to itself
even as it
pushes away the world.

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