Tuesday, December 17, 2013

bath time

water washes through
her hair, smelting gold and
silver down her back

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

casting shadows

under the winter
sun, when noon looks like sundown,
she makes tree poses.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


She's sweaty and warm
in my arms as we sit and
listen to street noise.

She just woke up from
a nightmare, so her little
mouth is cracked and dry.

It clicks in the most
pleasant way when she whispers,
"Kids is screamin.  Yeah."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

when i wear a braid

tiny fingers touch
my neck. "wow, beautiful,
oh my word," she says.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

fight or flight

"wow wow wow" she says
in a giant exhale. "oh
my word.  wonderful."

we are walking through
our neighborhood in the
dark for the first time,

and she is amazed.
i remember when i felt
that same vertigo,

the height and mass of
the city nearly sucked me
in as i looked up --

her father saw my
panic and said, "don't worry,
it's like a big hug."

Monday, November 4, 2013

she knows.

i am frustrated.
our cat has been howling for
forty five minutes.

not sweet little mews
but full-blown MROOOOOOWs that echo
down the hall, through the

baby monitor --
insanity in stereo sound.
a sippy cup drops

and spills.  our dog barks
and paces.  our other cat
chirps, demanding food.

the sonic clutter
is closing in around me.
then from far away,

a tiny voice says,
"bonjour mama. how are you?"
it's a warm blanket;

empathy that she
doesn't even understand.
"all better.  Thank you."

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have 2 more days 
with my baby.  2 more days
because the experts

decided seven-
hundred-thirty-one days is
long enough for her

to be so young.  And 
I would keep her this way,
milky-breathed and soft,

were it not for my
curiosity about
what she'll grow to be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

my gluten-intolerant friend taught me this.

guess what gang? when you're
super drunk, yo sangwitch don't
need no fuckin bread.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Aww. Now that's too bad."

"Your boy is handsome."
"You kiddin me ?  He's gorgeous."
His pit is in tact

with clipped ears, something
I don't normally like, but
this wasn't a hack job.

"And how bout your girl ?"
he says, appraising Siouxsie.
She's a tangle of

leaves, stink, grass, and curls.
"I guess she's alright" I say.
He assesses me.

"Yeah, yeah, I feel ya.
But you ?  You're lookin pretty
damn sweet.  You married ?"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

come here, let's do a quick pony

"you look so pretty
with your hair tied back" i say
in my mother's voice

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"I didn't want to tell you," he said.

she lie there, so still,
with no twitch in her paws, nor
quiver in her lips

i've seen my own cats
dream -- it's full of chatters and
fluttering eye lids --

she had none of this,
because the cruel drop from
the bridge had killed her.

we went to a farm

"how are you, Turkey ?"
her voice is low and husky.
she stoops down next to

the ugly white bird
and traces her nail in the
seam where dirt meets grass.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

she was standing in front of the stove

this living world of
cells will never again be
what it was just then

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

i'll see you when i see you

regrets are more than
just memories when you know
time isn't linear.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

lean in

i watch him massage
her head from behind my phone
for a bit too long.

we don't laugh like that.
why is he taking so long ?
she was a WALK-IN.

when she finally
leaves, i slither back to my chair,
feeling dejected.

"she's so insincere,
i hate her,"  he whispers and
flicks hair from my neck.

in my dream, Jean couldn't catch a break.

"but honestly, who
would wear this thing ?" she's holding
the thong between

her first two fingers.
no one's listening, probably
because this is not

appropriate meal
time talk.  "Jean watched TV the whole
time she babysat

last night, Mom" the boy
declares.  the little fucker
just ratted her out.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Raw is best, but wet will do"

She's our cat guru
and pretty much the only
person I'll allow

in our apartment
unchaperoned.  She commands
an authority

regarding felines
that affords her such blind trust.
Funnily enough,

she is also one
of the few people from whom
I'll accept any

criticism, though
it is wacky and poorly
delivered.  She's one

of those 'better with
animals than people' types
which only draws me

to her more.  I find
her fascinating, and seek
out her approval,

which will never come.
"JUMP !" she says.  I say "how high ?"
"That costs you extra,"

she says. "Oh, of course,"
I say, and neatly tuck the
cash into a card

with sunbathing frogs
on it.  "You really should get
this set of teeny

tiny spoons to use
when concocting the insane
herbal remedy

you give your sick cat
per my advice."  And I say,
"no problem. I'll have

them by Saturday."
And then, "I'd be lost without
your guidance, Phyllis."

She stares through me and
says, "I don't do this for you.
I do it for him."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the rental

it becomes like a
geode -- furniture, art, pets,
memories, books, time

crystallize to the
walls, compounding in value;
you can never leave.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

for the sweaty girl

his face is buried
beneath my arm -- we're drunk
and being silly.

"it's like celery --
your southpole -- all musty and
earthy; umami."

yesterday, around 3:45p

said mister postman.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

a skinned knee

flecked with the day's dirt,
it blooms and re-blooms with each
bend of her body

Monday, June 24, 2013

how to cope with a screaming toddler -- a 3-pronged protocol

strap the offender
into their stroller;  shirt and
shoes are optional.

pop in your earbuds
and crank your fav metal jam
up to eleven.

bask in the judgment 
of others as your child flails
and flops while you walk.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


in my dream last night
i met Ellen and Portia
at some event slash

gala slash party.
there was a pool and hors d'oeuvres
and we all wore suits

and we were hitting 
it off !  i mean, rappin bout
GMOs, being

vegan paleo,
like, Monsanto -- all that shit.
then Portia told me

that I have great hair
(kind of true) and I said, "oh,
I use [Shampoo X]"

and then Ellen says,
"what ?  you know that [Shampoo X]
is made of bison

spinal fluid, right ?"
or some crazy shit like that.
the needle falls off

the record.  SHIT STOPS.
Ellen puts her drink down and
goes, "you make me sick."

and i'm all tryin
to play it cool and say, "yeah
but look at my hair."

Monday, June 3, 2013

when it was just you and me

you bit my ankles,
i'd lock you out in the rain.
remember those days ?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

have i told you lately ?

stepping out of a
taxi cab, from synthetic
frosty air into

thick humidity --
rich, oppressive, abusive -- 
I love you, New York.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

dogs have a different god

bugs hang in the mist
spider webs heave with the breeze
and the light shines green;

we are in her church
walking down the aisle, crushing
gravel with our feet

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

he sleeps on my Zeppelin shirt

watch him curl his tail
and then watch someone tickle
only the black keys

all sharps, all pointy
my chain-link boy, my shadow
stay here a bit more.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

summertime nap

her sweat has congealed
into the most delicious
aspic -- sweet, salty,

somehow buttery --
matting her straight hair into
wheaten finger waves

Friday, May 17, 2013

the truth about marriage

we may not be a
pair of great philosophers
but that don't stop us

from rehashing and
debating our fights like they're
Wittgenstein's poker.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a curbside conversation regarding real estate with my sensei

"my dear, now's the time."
his dog nods in agreement
and mine looks at me

like they're both really
onto something.  the train is
pounding above us

and my head and heart
along with it.  he's talking
about decisions

and of course mistakes.
is he standing too close to
the road ? or am i ?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Just a conversation

"So, how old is your
daughter again ?  All around
the neighborhood I'm

seeing big people 
with their little people." She
cups her hands around

some invisible
small thing.  "They stand so straight and
tall.  They walk so well.

It's such a lovely
little image.  From a distance."
Fran has no children.

Friday, May 10, 2013


"imagine all the
people on Earth doing what
we're doing right now."

i'm sixteen and want
to sound deep and romantic
while we break for air.

"i stopped believing
that when i was 6," he says.
"i knew no one else

was booby trapping
their sister's Barbie Dream House
the same way i was."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

when it rains

the rain advanced from
pitter patter to pounding
and hiding from it

became the only
option. beneath the awning
we stood shivering,

waiting for the clouds
to part, and the skies to make
nice.  they never did.

Monday, May 6, 2013

every night

to not sleep in fear;
to not dream of horrors like

my teeth crumbling out,
or my dog without eyelids.
to wake up rested.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

meow meow (or, a 200 $ trip to the vet)

thank you, dear lady,
for the small token you left
for us yesterday.

this gift, this treasure,
this perfect specimen is
truly a marvel,

and rinsing the blood
varnish off of it first was
certainly worth it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I did it!  30 poems in 30 days (well, close enough) for Poetry Month -- all about our daughter.  A snapshot of sorts.  Thanks to everyone who read and encouraged, especially my husband and sister.  It feels good to be back in the saddle.  

yesterday, approximately 4:10 PM

a sandy snail has
taken up residence in
the curve of her lip,

the delicate trough
made by an angel's finger
moments before birth.

she hasn't noticed.
her concern lies solely with
the playground's bounty:

a collection of
broken toys, sticks, and pebbles,
so full of promise

that she hasn't time
for neatness, this feral child,
this urchin of mine.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


the moist morning air
turned her cherry lollipop
into flypaper

now peppered with dust,
fragments of leaves, curly hairs,
and other such filth

she holds it like a
scepter, parting the masses
on our holy stroll

Sunday, April 28, 2013

lesson learned

fun is zero sum,
he says.  last night was great, so
today's gotta suck.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

mothers and daughters

the words fall out of
my mouth, rocks plopping heavy
into dark water.

they sink deeper and
and deeper, but we know they're
below the surface,

even when it's still.
she will never say these things
to me, i'm perfect.

but this is a wish,
not a promise.  someday the
tape will play again,

the rocks will plop and
the water will ripple, and
i'll have to listen.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Her hand creeps through the
window, a starfish inching
along the remains

of a sunken ship.
From behind the wall, I hear
her chitter-chatter,

melodic and hushed,
as she drifts off deeper and
deeper into play.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

feed me seymour

there are two types of
toddler hunger -- that for food
and that for crackers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


with each draw and blow
her belly heaves -- she sways with
her music and smiles.

Monday, April 22, 2013

'where Mama earring ?'

she gingerly taps
my ear with a touch so soft
it makes my hair stand

Sunday, April 21, 2013

camel on the ceiling (or what we say, part 2)

Big Wing, little wing.
What begins with wing ?
Chicken wing on a string,
wing, wing, wing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fyrn says, (a near-perfect paraphrase)

"last night I was so
sad ... so sad for no reason.
then I thought of her --

that smile and those eyes --
and for a few sweet moments
I was filled with joy."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

lest she stirs

the giant sleeps in
a booby-trapped lair; one false move --
the stub of a toe

the drop of a pin
the creak of a loose floor board --
and i'm good as dead.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

a thousand deaths

her finger unfurls
to a point, and she coyly
sings 'mama' -- at last.

'wow, she's quite a talker.'

"COCK COCK COCK !" she screams
pointing to the clock in the
nail salon. "COCK. COCK."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

we welcome spring

her hair flicks forward
with the breeze and the bob of 
her head as she swings

Monday, April 15, 2013

good game, high five.

the biting game is
where i nibble your arm and
you shriek with delight

Sunday, April 14, 2013

she always wakes up in a sweat

a dream, any dream,
is so stunningly vivid --
colors, sounds, shapes, words

we all need a break

the perfect day she
had without me is the thought
that sings me to sleep.

Friday, April 12, 2013

when she concentrates

a silver string of
saliva unravels from
her lip gently as

a spider descends
or silken gossemer pulls
or icicle melts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ancient grains

golden, flaxen, wheat --
whatever we call that hair
of yours, it's lovely.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

when they come from a baby

kisses start with a
'mmmmm!' and usually end 
with an open mouth

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

what we say

i love you when you're happy,
and i love you when you're sad;
i love you when you're smiling,
and i love you when you're mad.

Monday, April 8, 2013

it still aches

a certain silence
creeps in between blinks; growing
like ink drip drip drip

dripping on muslin.
the sound of your cry fades in
and out, but my heart ...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

te chatouilles

a single green blade
plucked from the ground and tickled
sous le bout du nez

Saturday, April 6, 2013

time machine

today we had a
fleeting minute during which
we both forgot you.

he bit his candy
in half, and I took it with my
teeth --  that's when it was.

when i took the mint, 
our lips met, and i slipped just a
little bit of tongue

the way i used to
ten years ago with sweet tarts,
waiting for the train.

Friday, April 5, 2013


today my big girl
had her first big fall; somehow
i handled it well.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

these are just the facts.

you watch her tear-stained
blotchy face and look at me
like i'm some lost cause.

'big mistake,' you think.
'how could she?'  you think, and then
you excuse yourself.

and i'm left alone
with my child for a moment
while you duck away.

i want you to know
that in that moment -- when you
thought i was annoyed,

tired, and beaten,
i was loving her more than
i've ever liked you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

little lady

chubby little hands
clap with glee at my expense
-- the child tyrant reigns.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

little thrills

it's the little thrills
that this bird likes.  balancing
on one leg in socks.

the split seconds of
weightlessness after she's been
tossed up from my hands.

that moment of pure,
white fear that splashes across
my face when she chokes --

how she laughs and laughs
after i've smacked her back twice,
while i'm left breathless.

that sound you make when you're happy

it's somewhere between
excited chitter chatter
and 'tick-a tick-a'.

Monday, April 1, 2013

powerful magic

the angels gave us
a baby.  a good baby,
a quiet baby.

when she sighed, we sighed,
and all was right because we 
now knew perfection.

but the goblin king
stole her, and left us with you
in the baby's stead.

a heathen, wild with
laughter and song,  breath sweeter
than opium, and

eyes the color of
nebulae, striking me down
with only a blink.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


there is no beauty
in the grit that's collected
on our windows

from rain and neglect.
the sun shining through it is
just a fucking nag.