the pea

everyone thinks
that the princess
is a spoiled brat.
she’s such a wuss.

but she wasn’t lying
when she said
she could still feel the pea
under all those eider-down
mattresses. no matter
how hard she tried
to muffle the source
of her discomfort,
she couldn’t shut it

imagine trying
to be intimate with a person
who has to have certain things
her way in order
to fully enjoy herself.

Continue reading the pea

your bracelet

you left a piece of yourself
at my house the night
before last. I’m wearing it
as I travel across
the city to see you.
I like the feeling of it
around my wrist;
surprisingly heavy,
a little chain to remind me
that I’m blissfully
yours. it bears a
which makes me think
of how we grow closer
together, entwined,
and stronger
because of it.

if my subway car crashed
right now, emergency medical
personnel would be very
confused. I wonder if
they would think
I was you, or would it be
obvious that this does not
belong to me.
except for how
it’s a part of you
so it does, just as
you belong
to me and I
belong to you.


for someone who claims
to never make
eye contact, you sure seem
to meet my gaze
a lot. that said, I’m
having trouble figuring out
what color
your eyes actually are.
I had thought they
were dark blue. but
now I think
they might be brown.
maybe hazel? there
never seems to be
enough light
to tell. can I
shine a flashlight
in there? perhaps a
miner’s headlamp
would do the trick.


when I type “hate” into the tags
on my poetry site, the next tag
that wants to auto fill
is the code name
I use for you.

that’s not
of an unhealthy
or anything.

you don’t even care
enough to read all
the angry poems
I write about you.
why am I bothering?


he’s right, damn it.
your presence
shouldn’t be able
to ruin my night,
or even be noticed
as much as it
always is. you’re
a constant
in my side
and I wish
I could pull it out.

no, but
you have some nerve
continuing to exist
in my presence.
this whole thing
would be greatly improved
by your absence.

if I turn my head
and don’t look,
will you oblige me
by ceasing to exist?

box of crayons

swimming in the great saltwater
aquarium known as the ocean,
I see so many wild sights:
delicate periwinkle fish;
velvety black fish with electric blue
borders on their fins;
turquoise and green fish;
smallish fish with tiny
bright blue spots
on a field of darkest
midnight blue, a starry night,
electrified; green and pink
fish who look like they got
their color scheme from a
Polo Ralph Lauren catalog;
muddy brown fish with lighter
scales like pebbles and
dusty orange bellies; small
black fish with bright yellow tails
who dart out and attack
much bigger fish when the latter
invade their territory; tiny
fish with mud-brown heads
and ghostly white, almost translucent
bodies, who hide themselves
in holes in the coral so that
only their heads show.

Continue reading box of crayons

the Swan

my brother bought
an extremely large
inflatable white swan
for the pool. I helped
him to blow it up –
it’s full of our
mingled breath – but
I don’t always like
the looks of it.
it floats around
and stares at me accusingly
with its big eyes
when I’m smoking in the
middle of the night.
even when there are no
water currents, it
seems to move
of its own accord.

creepy white swan,
I’ll be glad when I
no longer have to
look at your stupid face.
I secretly hope
you get punctured by
a falling branch.

the Last Poem

every time I write a poem,
I think to myself, what if this
is the last one I ever write?
eventually one poem
will have to be the last.
I could make this one
the last by refusing
to write another one.
I did that twenty years ago
but then I wrote another. but
what if the Last Poem
isn’t any good? what if
the first poem
I ever wrote was my best,
and it’s all been downhill
ever since? these are the things
that keep me up at night


this place is wild with nature:
great green leaves like jewels
trembling in the rain with sips of
water held in their emerald cups,
little brown striped lizards
bopping and hopping around
like windup toys, sleek
dark grackles with feathers
that gleam iridescent in the bright
sunlight. at night the tree frogs
creak out their intermittent,
ugly song, while the pool
lights change colors with
aching, subtle slowness
like the way my mind changes
when I’m not noticing. I look
and they’re purple; I look away
and then they’re green. only the
steps and the walls remain
the same, like buried ruins
from some underwater civilization,
some long lost cousin
of Atlantis. I could live here
and forget about life
for a while.