Monthly Archives: April 2012

Every Number is Equal to Itself

I fell asleep repeating the

Fibonacci sequence to myself; each

number spinning outwards, a pattern of

seeds. I studied division and

imagined my body as a collection of

parts in a state of transition; cells

splitting. I spent time multiplying

the number of seconds by the number of minutes

by the number of hours by a lifetime;

seeing how much time I spent

counting the things I didn’t

need. I fell in love but found

that we never added up; our bodies together were

an empty set. It made

life easier to think of it as a

long series of subtractions; no such

thing as loss, just an inevitable

minusing. In a class the professor

wrote down some mathematical truth;

it was the only thing I found that

ever made sense.


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Recurrent Glass

Into the palm of a hand

like marks of saints

the final piece from something broken years

ago and left to hide in dirt

tangled in roots like legs in sheets

after a night of running in dreams.

The flesh reaches down

and accepts it in

like an old lover returning to a bed

and their imprinted shape has always

been there waiting to take them back

and it is a tiny crystal

dagger embedded.

Between palm lines

and waiting to scar so that

one day a fortune can be read there

and it will be told that it was

this moment when the skin diverged

to weep blood which is what

made everything change.

Then later when turned to ash

or dust or dirt

there will be the glass

again waiting

to be taken home.


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It’s Why We Like Looking at the Sea

Sometimes I go to the edge of the water. In dreams this is the place where I see the bones of the dead being carried in by the waves. I asked myself once: what if the ocean surrendered all of its dead? Would they come to us whole? Would they return to the lovers they’d left?

I imagine sometimes that the water will be colder than it is. I’ll dip just a toe in and my body will flood with ice. My blood will form crystals, each frozen cell unique as a snowflake. I asked myself once: why thinking about the deepest parts of the sea causes shivers to run up my skin? Was it the darkness? Or was it the way that being underwater, lost, feels a little like the time I dreamed that the world got emptied out and there were just places where you used to be but would never be again?

There are moments, sometimes, when I dream of walking on water. The feeling never lasts and I always plunge through the surface. The waves cut like glass. I asked myself once: why the water in dreams never acts quite right? Is my sleeping mind unable to ever remember exactly how the waves move or what the sound of a splash is like? How will the ocean sound after it has been emptied out?

Sometimes I go to the edge of the water. I am always about to reach out but never do. The waves pull away from me, the surface breaks apart, the sky isn’t a reflection but rather really there under the water and drowning. I asked myself once: what would I do if I chose just once to jump into the water willingly? Would the waves not let me sink, but instead embrace me like a long lost lover returning? Would I drift for a thousand years until the water and the waves and the sound eventually turned me into just another piece of the tide?

I woke up, just the once, from a nightmare about the sea. I could never remember what it was about, but I know that in it every question I had ever asked of the waves was answered.

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Images of Glass on Painted Roads

We watch the falling

Down and it never seems like it.

Sometimes played backwards

They are being saved, or

That is what we wanted to

See, but really they are just falling

In another way.

Sometimes, we glimpse

Others, people we used

To know, at the edges. We think

They look most beautiful when they aren’t

Falling, that second before the drop,

That second before they know

That falling is something

They can do.


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Spiral Staircases

Spiral Staircases

In movies, always,

that one shot, at least,

of the curve, of the

turn, of the spinning away.

Did I ever tell you

I dreamed once of a house

made only of them? They

sprang down from ceilings,

we paused halfway up,

to kiss, and then you and me,

and the steps pressed

into my skin until you

gasped. Did

I ever tell you

I took the call while

walking down one?

I didn’t fall, or buckle,

or weep, but sat down

until they said your name,

three times, they said my

name three times. Repetition,

mantras, patterns are the

best way to keep from falling.

In movies, always,

that one shot, at least,

of the curve, of the

turn, of spinning away.


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Talking about Grendel

They say that you were

born from scars, out

of them like the seeds

spilling from a pomegranate split

unevenly in two. They

say that the mark of your

ancestor sunk deep

into your blood until it

beat with you, each breath

a constant pulse, thud,

push of what he’d done.

They say that you knew

nothing but the rush

of claws, the gasp

of teeth, the taste of

salt-copper between

lip, on the tongue.

They don’t say that you

once shook from nightmare

and your mother wrapped you

in her arms, safe as

mice in nests of fur,

hair, dust. Safe, safe,

warm as silence.


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Screeching into the Sun

Like tires bleeding

across the pavement,

you swerved in almost time,

time enough to almost miss.


Like his daughter

at the fair,

top of the Ferris wheel,

churning to a stop,

stopping only for a second.


Like her mother

turning at the sound,

thinking only about her daughter’s hand,

hand in her own hands.


Like him as he fell,

imagining the lights

of the city from above,

above everything laid out in little colors.

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