You watch him walk into the kitchen for a drink of water watch him turn to open the cabinet for a glass, his profile sharp against the soft pine, and by now you know he isn’t going to offer to bring you anything while he’s up, and he helps himself to a bowl of berriesContinue reading “Reductionism”


It’s my twelve o’clock lunch break in Brown County State Park with orange October glowing all around me, and this picnic table offers me a view of a childhood memory: my brother’s tenth birthday party was right here in this spot when I was seven years old, and Ziggy was on all the plates andContinue reading “Numbers”

The Right Word

What is the right word if the right word isn’t fair when a man prepares to leave his wife after thirty years together, believing he has found himself right at home in the arms of a younger woman who is about to leave her older husband because of the way it feels when she isContinue reading “The Right Word”


I know exactly how many of them are out there who would come right now if I called them and they would happily undress me fuck me with tenderness and maybe even love me but I am wasted for another for the one that ruined me for the one that has never had me feltContinue reading “Men”

Street Corner

It’s 10:50 a.m. and no calls are coming in from employers needing my un-degreed skills to wash dishes or make beds or sell shoes or dispatch emergency vehicles or cash paychecks— and I haven’t had a payday in a while but there’s still food in the fridge and in the pantry and the electricity hasn’tContinue reading “Street Corner”

Without Light

Desperate, you almost reach out. You almost make the call that would undo the tight little knot you made with the loose ends that have been dragging behind you like the dead weight of love after it can’t stand up straight— so you leave the house after dark without a lifeline without a light hopingContinue reading “Without Light”


Like a prisoner in a cell I live in my imagination because I can’t walk into the world with you— but in my mind my dreams can make love to my favorite memories and for a moment I exist in a kind of paradise of happiness past— that first night around the campfire where weContinue reading “Waiting”

Simple Math

Don’t go. Go. Touch me. Don’t touch me. Simple math says it doesn’t make sense to keep adding and subtracting the same things if what I want is to change the way we live the way you love me— and by now you must be so confused when I walk away for a crime soContinue reading “Simple Math”

Perfect Love

My granddaughter puts on her father’s t-shirt before bed on this night the whole family has gathered in a hotel for the weekend and when I see her dance and twirl and laugh when she sees that the hem nearly touches the floor I am 3 again and for the first time in over 40Continue reading “Perfect Love”

Sweet Potatoes

Funny— I don’t know if they are a fruit or a vegetable or a tuber or something else entirely because they look almost alien like something too imperfect to have been born in the earth— but there they are covered in mud like a newborn covered in blood— ugly pink skin over flesh so tough itContinue reading “Sweet Potatoes”