I’m in “The 64 Best Poets of 2018”
Two of my poems were chosen for inclusion in Black Mountain Press’ “The 64 Best Poets of 2018” international collection.
I owe a profound debt of gratitude to poet Bruce Beasley for working with me on these poems, part of a manuscript that is currently out to publishers.
Come now. Pull me into you as wind lures
leaves into a vortex, reeling. My skin remembers
fingers trailing and the touch of someone’s tongue.
If you push your breath across my wrists, I’ll feel
your most sacrificial secrets brush me. Betrayal
and devotion, both. I will allow your breathing message
to be borne to me the way a tiger carries cubs:
with fierce attention. Summer opens everything,
autumn rakes it all together. Will winter sting
us into immobility? Are there moments left
to finish songs still playing on my skin?
Sometimes voices clamor with such strong
insistence that I cannot mute myself.
Sometimes silence deepens and I arise
reborn. Will we ever come to equilibrium?
Will we ever ride tempests
of our own creation? There could be ritual.
There could be awe and worship. Listen, I know this—
Someone will bow down. Someone will kneel.
Someone will pick up the rhythm and sing.
When we Swam Together
No oyster knives lie on my table, prying open what was closed; no sea salt,
to be rubbed in wounds. Far from the sea, I strain to hear the cries of gulls.
Once, we inhabited the sound of waves. Our minds held bowls of pearls,
iridescent, overflowing. We spoke in parables of water, let the years’ tides
sway us closer, then apart, and when our oceans overflowed, we never
swam to shore. Will our heavy bodies float, or will you learn to swim
your skeleton through coral reefs? The water’s weather moves from calm to storm,
tell me—do you also face unruly seasons, currents pulling you into a drowning sea?
You may try swimming to me from the past, but I will be distracted,
sitting by an open window, pulled into undertow.