French Like Wild Blackberries

Originally Published: Eunoia Review, December 2021

That’s not quite French, she said, lips
Pursed to the side. It’s like a creole

Not one or the other. Just one house down
Always from being right, one footstep

One century, one president. With soul closed,
Judgement open of course she can’t see

Complex webs of light and life, drums you feel in
Your ribs, warm plantains, and french like wild blackberries

Big Purple Ones

Originally Published: Door is a Jar, September 2021

Would you believe me / if I told you big, purple clouds are moving across the sky / slow, fat, and lovely / at this very moment / and you’re missing it?

No Ghosts, He Says

Originally Published: Door is a Jar, September 2021

My partner says there are no ghosts here.
He grew up in a place where the

Spiritual world kissed the living.
With sirens and zombies, and salt circles, and magic.

I grew up in one where death and the soul
Were not polite dinner conversation.

He says it’s too clean and built up here
Or something like that.

What are ghosts, I ask, at the core? Are they not
beings violated, seeking peace and closure for this world?

If so, we must have ghosts here–
Of women burned for their words,

Black children robbed
Of their future and genius,

People of this land
Forced to march to disintegration.

Though we walk past without seeing,
This nation must be teeming with spirits

In water coolers, construction
Sites, beer booths, dentist chairs,

conference rooms, parking garages,
Sidewalks, gardens.

And mustn’t it gut the spirits and us both,
To imagine they’re a fantasy?

One More Leaf Fallen

Originally Published: Door is a Jar, September 2021

Are you ever filled with a desire
to get close to the Earth?
It comes on quickly like missing
the last step in the staircase.

And you have to drop down
to the level of the dirt.
Belly to the grass,
tops of the feet on the cool ground.

One more leaf fallen and left,
precisely as you landed.
For a moment,
called home.