On the 4th of July, we confuse gunshots and fireworks
As in this conflation of sound causes a parallel of death.
As in the body flattens on concrete. As in the body roasts on tar.
Calves ache from the stillness. The tongue swells, overfilling the mouth.
This is a box step, forward and backward.
Glancing at the appearing town you take a night rush of january air
though it might never be the same
In the woods behind our first house, that picketless patch
of silence where we buried a precious yipper named Pinka,
seven years of christmas trees laid to RIP in the grip of kudzu
Everything Worth Knowing I Learned at a Kitchen Table
My cousins know what they know like loose seeds, like the future
blooms from an archive. We smoke hookah in Patterson and flag
the waiter down with our dim coals, thin smoke, we are a pain
in the ass, walo, we know.
I’ve Been Smelling the Lavender Alone
But presently what interests me is my soul.
He’s been absent for weeks. He left one night
when the clouds flamed purple behind the lacy tree,
and usually he loves this type of thing.
My brother says his next tattoo will read Made in China,
even though he wasn’t. He tells people his birth name
is Ching Chong, which is a lie, and that he can’t speak
any language fluently except for English, which is true.
I. When you enter my mother’s house it smells like dirt and sweet cotton, peppermint maybe too. She hugs you and you feel like crying in new ways as the wave of her love crashes with the weight of time and space it took for you to arrive in her womb 30 years ago and […]
Server at a diner in Nowhere, Oklahoma
Lately I feel like a Hopper girl, face
turned away from the happening, adrift
between birth—that inaugural death—
and after. Mostly I worry my hair
is thinning. Glances in the murky glass
partitions confirm I might exist: real