a digital chapbook.
(best viewed as desktop full-screen. clicking on the titles will allow you to jump to a poem.)

most of the poems currently posted here were written while i was an undergraduate student.

they address themes and content that may be sensitive for transgender readers.

tu fui ego eris.

table of contents

actaeon of narbonne

in our body: stags
born with arrows for bones
sleeping in the cloaca maxima
then the slow awakening crawl
no saintly limbs outstretched
catalyst syringes traction in mud
needle prongs
shot through with truth
bucking in the light of it--
bend back your blunt fingers
cracking thin calling loud
to hounds to hounds
here: with crushing jaws and sharp teeth
let's help each other
out of our skin.

we will not be mounted
eyes glazed
but bellow, heads low
and fangs spit-slick:
our feet dipped in blood, cloven,
click out love in morse code.

cutie song

we are sweating
he walks shirtless pushing
through swamp air rising from virginia's red mud bones.

he is talking
about a friend like me he says

when all we share is a contour of the body

and pregnancy. can you do that, he asks
(like a party trick)
then the scientific inquiry:
how long
what have you done?

he punctuates his sentences with

you're a cutie


so let's talk about you
smoking gas station cigarettes
putting off final exam angels
medieval and wide-eyed
wings covered in gold: stone
for maryland.

a row of plates along the walls
like stars or scales growing
wart-like: one face fifteen times
a gorgoneion in a green beret.

when he laid you out
did he see john wayne
or barely eighteen, soundless
red mouths wrapped around
plasma skin glowing--

when he licked your lips
did he taste cheap maple vodka
the nicotine spit of a desperate boy
or the girl you buried--

you saw it because you had to
not because you wanted to
remember the blood

the ego

the bad acting:

he said "you've got a great ---



---this is what the world wants of you

so keep your mouth open

and your eyes shut.

cryptid song

oh child--
his teeth click, sharp:
these are god's secrets
and you are wrong.

(no--i am the hunter, building
my body to find and keep
this country's promise

the loveland.)

he hands me his photographs
each one of something dead
stitched together and washed up
on the shores of montauk
and says: now
this is something real.


You borrow his clothes,
discarded, smelling
like him on the floor--
spilled Bruichladdich
and three kinds of smoke:
wood, grass, and bone.

Send him out naked:
teeth eye-bright, he'll go.
Take his proverb shoes:
breaking glass, he'll go.
Flense his flesh darling:
turn his face out to
the world for a day,
run hollering down
streets covered in his
skin, empty fingers
flapping behind you.

Keep love in your mouth
like heartmeat, kicking,
and you'll get it right
this time, surely, so:

Dig the pit deeper,
fool-proof-- watch him pace,
turn skinless circles:
he sings aulos songs
double-reed throat songs
and sounds of love, low.


He is not on the moon because he cannot breathe there and anyway you've already been.
He is not in Mexico where you walked underwater dragging your feet in hydrogen sulfide
and he is not in Columbia South America where the river oscillates from one color to the next
and he is not in Alabama California Indiana Iowa Kentucky or Louisiana
and he is not in any of the Columbias strung out across the northern continent
and he is not on the other side of the Atlantic in the worn-down mountains
and he is not in the Great Rift Valley where bones younger than yours are buried
and he is not on the map that you shake out with its folds cracking in the air
and he is not in any country state or kingdom with a name
and he is not in one place but crossing borders moving always moving like he's chasing a storm.

He is not chasing storms.
He is not in a house looking out burnt glass at the rain
and he is not in the park with the ground slippery from dead wet leaves
and he is not under the tree daring lightning to strike him down
and he is not at the tailor's buying you fabric and thread to match your burnt coat
and he is not in the store buying an umbrella for the next time it rains
and he is not in any of the churches where you thought he might belong
and he is not in the parking lot where he surprised you with his Latin and his tongue.

He is not in the cave where forty days and nights stretched into years
and he was pulled out by you across all those dead bodies so he could sleep--
and he is not in the bed with its sheets still warm and wet from his body
and he is not in the bathroom with the mirror steamed permafrost white so he can't see you
and he is not in the kitchen stocked for two and feeding one
and he is not in the motel with its checkout at ten
and he is not at home because he does not have a home.

He is not in the old car he drives like a sweetheart through sharp turns
and he is not in the junkyard where he tore the smell of you off the seats
and he is not in the jukebox bar with no quarters and your name in his beer
and he is not talking to anyone because that is not what he does
and he is with his brother but they do not get along
and he is gone before you get there.

He is not at his father's grave because he could not be buried
and he is not at his mother's grave because she was buried too soon
and he is not at his friends' graves because he knows where they are
and he is not pulled over on the highway where you asked if you died first what would he do
and he is not in the roadside field where he hit you and hit you and hit you with love.

He is not lying with anyone because he does not know what to say
and he is not lying to you like all the last year
and he is not where you keep thinking he will be
and he lives now where you cannot breathe
and he is here but he is not with you
and he is not sorry because you said the words first and they were not enough
and you can still touch him but he does not want you any more.

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