“…you see me disappearing like sugar in water.”
—from Rain Trip by Diane Wakoski
My right hand is caving in.
The muscles retreat
as if on the front line
under fire, disappearing.
The winter sun
a sudden development
through thick clouds
through this dirty kitchen window
lands on my hand as it performs
its nervous little act.
A vein I never noticed before
has popped out
a blue piece of pulsating bucatini
I activate with the movement
of my thumb.
April 28, 2016


“What you remember saves you.” ― W.S. Merwin
The barely discernable
up and down hum
of your breathing
is in my right ear
as your hand wrapped around
my upper arm
where my bicep used to be
holds me securely to the mattress.
Memories wash over me,
ones not entertained
for over twenty years.
I lie awake
as the first sunny day
in a week begins
a slow development,
fully aware,
that memories eventually fade.

May 14, 2016


“It’s nothing; I’m here—I’m still here.”—Arthur Rimbaud
After a year of testing
you told me
I Have Bad News!
The hardest part
is acting as if nothing
is wrong.
May 15, 2016



The antiseptic smell
was both reassuring and nauseating
a vase of fresh cut flowers
did nothing to camouflage the fact
that this was a hospital room.
On your side, as I leaned down
to kiss your cheek,
you softly spoke in a voice
like a secret was being revealed,
a fact never uttered by anyone before,
The time has just slipped away.


May 20, 2016



Father took me one afternoon to Ethel May’s.
The bar was in the Black section of town,
which at that time was called Bucktown.
I was small. He sat me on the shiny bar.
She doted over me
and fed me a hot dog with chili,
an Orange Crush so cold
she wrapped a paper napkin around it
so I could hold on to the glass bottle.
We were the only two white people
in the crowded bar.
It smelled of stale beer
and the sweat of the workers
at the end of their day.
The room was made mysterious
by the flickering of a neon Oertel’s ’92 beer sign.
It was dark.
A cloud of gunmetal gray smoke
drifted through the room
with a little escaping
every time the door was opened.
Laughter and tall tales
competed with the juke box.
Ethel May was the darkest person I had ever seen.
She was described by Father,
when on the ride home I asked about her color,
as a blue black.
Mother, when told of the visit,
had a shouting fit.
May 21, 2016


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