for the light

There is a girl
in front of me.

There is a tear
down her face.

We meet each other here-
across a low table,
beneath a large clock.

We are repairing
something invisible
that only she can touch.

We are deciphering
a code
we can only read together.

Every week,
another teardrop
soaks into her cheek

and I imagine
it traveling
deep into her core,

where a small tree
is growing, and thirsting
for the light.

thirsting for the light


Indoor Climbing

This is a piece I wrote several years ago. The exercise was to write down all the vocabulary  you could think of for a particular activity (in this case, rock climbing) and then to write about something completely unrelated using as much of the vocabulary as possible. I found it to be a helpful way to approach a subject from a new angle. Enjoy!

Indoor Climbing

Stripped of karabiner and harness, I am pinned
against a chimney. Your hasty
approach shoves
me into a fissure full
of gravity that extends
to the horizon. I am
horizontal. You free climb, I scramble–
desperate against
the fall factor as you belay
yourself into a crevice widened
by the spread of thighs-
an airless
abyss. No time
to acclimate. You jam
a fallacious pendulum
of peril, no longer
malleable, into the fissure.
Your quickdraw release, a meager
zenith, a zipper fall.
One slope declines, one climber strives,
straining to regain
the balance. Now, lowering yourself to
bivy by my ear, you smear
the detritus
on the chalk bag
at your waist- pumped.

How to Wait in Line at the Southwest Counter for 4.5 Hours


When the baby next to you starts

crying because he’s thirsty, when the girls

you recognize

from social work school are cursing

out the airline worker, when the boy with

dreads starts playing his

guitar and the man

behind you won’t stop telling you his life

story, when the people in front of you

share granola bars with a

stranger and the woman

who is a nurse scowls and

calls the whole predicament

disgraceful, remember

how your niece will hang

her arms around your

neck, how your sister-in-law will

grin, how your brothers will

pick you up

from the terminal in style

and deliver you

to your temporary home

for the week, how your sister

will have left you chocolate

on your pillow and how

in the morning

the sun will warm

this quiet room.