November, 1997
                           walking to school alone this time,
they say my brother is sick--at home, I stride
through gutter leaves, draw my coat inward, closer, it's
so cold and I can't stop looking around me, I believed
in spirits from an early age, they didn't need the cold
nor the darkness in order to be felt, they didn't need
anything...except us

January, 2014
                           I am reading: "Search
for missing reporter reaches 6th day" as
an elderly woman asks me if I will pray
for him, I say "sorry, I don't know how"
she grabs my hands by the fingers, head down
speaks low, I close my eyes, I say "Amen"
(knew that part) and she let me go, I can
remember the feel of her grip but
I never felt the release

October, 1992
                           oatmeal in my infant head as I'm
trying to make out words and ideas, "starvation,"
"surgery," "survival rate," my own ghost wants
a handshake as he watches on, nobody would let him
in the room, the choice was warmth, and scars
the choice was me, the choice was theirs, my family walked
on broken glass to carry me home

Is anybody receiving out there?

August, 2018
                           they found my brother
in St. Louis, it looked like he'd been caught
in a rain of soot and bile and claustrophobia
no evidence of color, it was like staring at
an empty paint-by-numbers, like touching
an abandoned beehive, ice dripping from homes
one would think that life would take longer
than anything else you could ever do, but in

March, 2011, Chinese food is getting cold
in the passenger seat, my foot feels locked
on the brake, how long have I been here?
I can't stop watching the lake as the cool
fog creeps up the dam like dusk itself and all
I can hear are ghosts collecting shoulder brushes
like they were picking flowers, and abandoned
children counting every chill they send
down living spines like human-sized avalanches and I

will stay here, eyes closed and
freezing, until my sternum is a radio

mist around a blood antenna
picking up the static of a glow


January, 2014, edited since

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