that t there

yep, I crossed it

those i’s

all duly dotted

sticky notes paper my desk

reminders scrawled

in inks of many colors

attention grabbing hues

I list like a realtor of to-dos

my calendar chimes

who what where and when.

I have a head for details

the memory of an elephant

and keep going and going and going

Energizer bunny

in gym shoes with my skirt

the better to keep on runnin.’

more competent than most

I know what I know

suffer few fools

speak my mind with authority

until my OCD

does a dirty tango

with principal-office fear

I was never called

and I am wearing ill-fitting plaid

eyes downcast, shuffling

catapulted through decades

to Catholic school girl


The Emergence

she had languished

nearly submerged


in the skin-pruning depths

of the deepest dank well

clinging with full tenacity

achieving uprightness

in incremental measure

nostrils hovering

barely clearing

oily-scummed surface


in fits and starts

she slithered and clawed

wedging toes

scrabbling fingertips

ignoring the slough of dermis

fighting swamping suck

of shame

that feeds night creatures

from her putrified detritus

quivering in exertion

infinitesimal rising


climb, arduous and wearying

beneath shredded digits

stoned grips dry

slime drips off

truth stretches her limbs

stench thins

diluting its nasal infiltration

above, the rocky lip

backlit tantalizing

beckoning daylight

zenith surfaces, as does she


(image: Wikipedia, artist Jean Leon-Gerome)

Findings and Leavings

in things that drop from the sky

are tears that drip from my eyes

and dapples of sunlight and moonshine

feathering tired heartstrings of mine


in things that rise from the earth

burst flowers singing rebirth

alongside pungent eau de decay

fermenting, overwrought, from dismay


in things that rides on the waves

soars hope that my soul saves

scouring away, with salted tenacity

shame swamp that buried me

Faces, Decontextualized


faces from the past

(when she was a whole person,

not this brightly colored

amiable hologram)

stumble upon


hidden in plain sight

inadvertently blasting


in her composure


she swallows the panic

imagined awkwarding

shrugs imperceptibly

shouldering back

shifting ever-present

cloak of shame


brightly, uncued

“how may I help you?”


astute, registers

lack of recognition


in dementia clouded eyes

a faint flicker

can’t see past

the internal cumulus

to place her

momentary relief

hastily chased

by crushing sorrow

and humble gratitude


her fate, at least

has reversibility


clear-eyed interloper

assumes any

twinge of familiarity

setting abides


she is practiced at this

pretending she wasn’t

witness to

someone’s darkest hours


superficiality managed

she sighs relief

gratified to note

evident functionality

vestiges of her efforts