It is not commanded.
Not peaceful nor calm.
Not the warriors clad in white
trained to protect their queen.
She doesn’t wear a robe,
but an apron of pale blue
and listens to her advisor speak
not of devotion, loyalty, or love.
Instead he has a warning.
Their purpose forgotten,
her soldiers attack and
her bed floods with blood.


Villa Philmonte

Near Cimarron, a scout camp sprawled—
a smorgasbord for my virgin lips.
The dusty, cracked shrub encased perfect
bluegrass and a terracotta villa
with trophy heads of gazelles, buffalo hides,
and an ivory keyed piano.
But outside someone not so exotic attracted me.
My finger curved, beckoning the faux-cowboy
to follow me down a dirt trail to a dead
tree grove. Famished hands wandered up my back
and I pulled them away. Mouth clamping,
teeth carved my lips. The cowboy
only held back because of a black
tag and white garments.
I left for my tent, trying to hide
my swollen face.

Ode to Vitamin B12


My terminal ileum—a stricture
half-digested eggs,
milk, and meat, neglecting
nutrients I need. Without
the strawberry red
liquid vitamin B12, my brain
and shuts down.
With a 1.5-inch needle, I extract
the 1mL vial and plug
into its battery
as I stab my naked
thigh, installing the vitamin,
rebooting neural networks.
This amped little 1mL vial,
taken once a month,
keeps me at full capacity
so I won’t be defunct.

Life Lines (or Queue)

There’s not a place her footsteps won’t tread
across—the lost valleys, through trails
of experience, the fools’
purple mountains crumbling
under, up to peaks of triumph,
and into purging tombs—to heed
the echoing cries of loss
and longing playing repeatedly
inside us all.