late october

for all the dreams short lived
for all the sighs brief and deep
i will build a castle

cars have their streets
people their houses
we     moved to the wind

for all the nights i walked to nowhere
and ended at your side
for you, who waited     arms crossed
i will build a castle

to moments we sent
like arrows to autumn stars
i will dig a grave

the rooms are empty in october
in what we once called us

Your Voice on the Wind

Timeless feelings, the Appalachian trail
and the love I hold for you like the sky.
A time zone countenance and research
that’s gone all wrong.

Have you noticed, how the trees like to talk
mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays?
They whispered in my ear,
if you get it wrong, you’ll still be alright.

Lock jaw and tact as hard as rock,
you broke the ground and found something
none of us ever talked about.
You’ve been my hero for a while now.

I still read about that Golden Child
you say you saw,
still wonder what’s true and how to behave.
When I’m with you, I feel the freedom,
and the weight.


there is another person that figures
the sandwich will be tough to bite into and
the road will feel much shorter on the way back.
grief is a shoe, unlaced. all rocks look alike, but you are special.
this person knows that the long trench coat was made for you.
they adore the fit. they see it like a permanent blanket over the body.
the small scrapes in life will become part of the frayed quilt, still unfinished
apparently. the much larger problems will become the sunset, red and drippy.
this person knows the figure eight made with a pencil, encoding infinity
onto our schoolwork, for probable solutions and determination,
was not really to test knowledge, but to scaffold endurance.
this person would like to sleep inside warm thighs.
you have thighs. you have washed the green grapes.
they are ready to be plucked from their stem, rationed
like bad advice, then devoured in seconds.

there too, is a love out there. it is waiting for you, ripe and ready
to be plucked from its dry stem, and rationed, then devoured
only in seconds.

Hair Up, Hair Down

He likes G better with her hair down. The boy tells this to G. 

            G leaves her hair down and it gets caught in the blender. 

She is processing her emotions plus her thoughts about him acting out. 

            The other day, she sat down to write a poem, and pulled 

Back her thin lines of time, and he went, wow. He told G he likes her 

            Better with her hair up now. In a bun, a ponytail, or two braids. 

G could never say it, but she likes him with his hair all self-aware. 

            Hair that says thank you, and you look beautiful, but 

You are the most beautiful beside me. G likes her boyfriend best

With kind hair. Straight and to the point hair. Newton’s law

of gravity hair. What goes up must come back down hair. 

Isaac must have been staring at G’s straight, honey mane.

If G’s boy is not careful, Newton might steal his girl, but

G is concerned only with the words of Matthew, specifically

Matthew 5:5. The meek and gentle shall inherit the Earth. G reads

this to the boy. G hopes that the boy will love her like god loves her. 

Counting and loving each hair on her head. G raises a thick, wild

Strand of hair up to the light and she sees right through it. 

another thrifted thing

the lamp is my new favorite
it’s brass
and the whole thing gets hot when it’s been on awhile
and the lights bend and move
and it’s perfect next to the pull out bed by the fireplace

and it reminds me of the ones
in my grandparents’ house in hendersonville
where squirrels come to the porch for walnuts
where sometimes, reading in the green chair,
you can see a black bear roaming
where my sister and I used to sprint
without abandon down the golf course hill
in our swim suits while the sprinklers ran

back when catching fireflies in jars
and looking for frogs with flashlights after dark
was enough
I found one that still had a tail, once
not a tadpole, but not fully a frog

caught between one thing
and the other.

Conversation With a Would-be Lover

I sit here staring at her because I am afraid to say the words that will prove to her that I am fully alive. Why must we move through life with such formalities? We are catching up over coffee, using other people’s words to talk circles around each other so that our conversation holds a kind of pathetic absurdity. I want to say I like the way the tenderness shines through your eyes and the syntax of your sentences; I like the way your frame moves when you walk so much that I wish I could fall into perfect step with it and feel it as my own. I say, “It’s good to see you,” but what I mean is that the shape and sound of her voice feel something like a weighty summer breeze, and when I’m with her I can’t help but to pay extra attention to what it means that blood is coursing through my veins. “How are you?” But what I am really wondering is if she feels this, too: does her body somehow also house an incompressible galaxy that feels all at once like an unending expanse of sky and a dark, empty room in which you can’t see your own hand in front of your face? And if it does — I want to believe that it does — why are we behaving this way? Why aren’t we planting fields of wildflowers just so we can lie in them, or holding each other constantly, or singing, loudly and without fear, because our voices and every other part of us may as well belong to each other anyway? Her hands mirror mine as we reach for our cups. Knuckles brush. “Oops,” she says.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN