Almost dead

fewer grains

fewest grabs

learn your trade

you had to save her back

given the gift 

to return the favor

After leaving a few socks

alongside your kids 

forgotten in dresser drawers

Plays out on the desert stage

Peaches have gone out of season

think of your affair

you can’t dig sand, baby

you can’t touch a cactus

you won’t see water or roots

and water won’t see you

But the children knew

you idiots,

the children knew

You should

know better

than to make

another human essential

drag this damaged anchor

plowing the sea floor

the more

I honor you

the more you


write it

gain praise

she’ll hide it

your sparkle lips

can’t sink no ships

these dead ladies

won’t tell no tales

There is no heaven

I’m in her eyelashes

her halo hair is soft and sparse

we dress in prepackaged grass skirts and fraying fabric leis

her yellow bikini matches her skin

and the grace filled sun


Cocoa lives forever

Cocoa’s last memories are tropical

laughing with a little redhead girl with oversized glasses

Skinny and slight she was still alive in Hawaii



at ease in her sick

On island’s watch

Cocoa swam

Cocoa danced under palm trees

Heated wind brought us home

we wrote letters

they soon stopped

My first friend who died was

7 to my 5

Here is a placeholder

for the thoughts in your heart

for late night talks

watching the stars time out

wish they were sloths

throwing innocent dragons in the air

pretending to be monsters

now monsters we know

are really there

my arms will always hold you like my baby

pray my words are always

with you

what you need to hear

love filled

love guided

help you climb your own mountains

descend the other side

your fears are human

your heart is the biggest



heated earth 

feelings with muscle 

flag your worries

negativity hurts your delighted soul

we search

and search

and search

to find our smiles

find your dreams

sweet child

find your dreams

His clown makeup is rock dust and blood

They fly

we die

The luck of a boy to have just one eye smashed in

not two

We could love you

imagine their eyes closed

bones crushed so flat there are no feelings

they float

Dream of favorite foods

petting soft cats

holding babies

eating sweets


Why think of the dead



           lost to time

When you have 

a keyboard


and fear!


to every star

that you only view from America

The scent of holy water

fills the street where she lives

like church every day

like amber to a girl who studies

silver statue catches spiders in the late day sun

we’re green as pollen

wind doesn’t change her

I asked for paper

she asked for records

I asked for photos

she kindly took them

if you know what confession feels like

memories of

mass on Christmas  Eve

always kneeling

holding your little fist to your heart

each time the bell rings

than I know that you know

the scent of holy water and incense;

these streets of spring



How did you die?

Working, bleeding,

starving, alone?

Did you die in your heart first?

Did you dream of gold?

Was there time to race the children

to believing

lies of happiness?

How did you die?

Was it in the fields under stars singing you home?

Were you loved?

Were there other’s eyes who saw your fear

decorated in uniform

among the religious

in the heat?

Did you fall into bloody mud

under blue skies

where birds flew by

and you’ve never been

so jealous of wings?

Was the fight gone from your soul?

How did you die?

Did you see regret in murderous faces?

Did you know you’d be mourned

by millions of strangers?

How many witnesses to the end?

How many

How many

I hear you rise when the rain comes

in forms of talking teeth

walking bones

weeping clothing

to roll our thoughts

to touch our foreheads

to plea for something more

How did you die?