Cross country


The wailing begins again at 3am,

so he wills his sleep-heavy body

out from under blanket warmth,

his wife's curled body motionless

as he rises from the bed.

Heavy feet arrive at the infant's

room. He raises her to his shoulder

and sways back and forth to

the mating of crickets and house

sounds while he walks towards the

coat closet, finds his spring jacket.

The episode is over quickly,

her late-night terrors subsided.

He gently tucks her back under her

pink blanket and creeps out.

Digs into deep pockets searching for

a lighter, sneaks into the backyard to smoke,

into the garage to contemplate, into the car,

out onto a long stretch of highway to find

the life he imagined twenty years ago,

far away from suburbia.




Something of your own

(for H)


You cling to the tangible images

of what grows inside of you.

You hold a print of the ultrasound

in your hands, carry it

to work with you and place it

under the glass desk mat to watch over.


You cannot let this one pass through you.


You hold your breath and count the days

to your second trimester, a deep exhale.

"This one won't leave me like the last",

when afterwards, you hid in cyberspace

and tweeted your anguish.


You watch your best friend's stomach swell and

listen to her argue over names with her husband.

At your small, rented house, you distract yourself

by packing boxes with dishes and ornaments,

baby clothes and toys never used

in wishful thought of moving

into something of your own.




Without touching


We decide to avoid a night at a table,

as chair fillers in the conversation of people

who aren't terribly interested in what we have to say

and spend over an hour in a parking lot.


Me, talking and staring at my feet a lot.

You, on a tangent about the idiot who hit your car,

while I chime in about the scrapes and dings on mine

and soon the conversation shifts to the many

tribulations of trying to find the one person who

won't fuck you and run away,

or how family is just fucked in general and finds

ways to hurt you and themselves

by drinking themselves into oblivion or

staying in marriages where they barely speak to

each other, let alone fuck on a regular basis.


And that's when the helplessness in your eyes

makes me sadder and the little voice in my head

tells me to walk over to you and give you a hug

just so your arms will stop flailing and maybe

it will console you for a few minutes before

you have to immerse yourself back into the

frustration of living with someone who created you

yet knows not one fucking thing about you.


Instead, I look down at my shoes again,

repress everything I want to reveal

and we leave in our scarred cars

without even touching.