Sample Poems

From Histories Haunt Us:

 

“Self-Portrait As Someone You Might Like To Meet”

 

Because I like to arrange pills in patterns

before I take them.

 

Because there are no elephants here.

 

Because I’ve mentioned elephants.

 

I was broken–I’ll say it plain

and that’s what you’ll like,

the plainness, smooth

face, pop of blue in the eye.

 

I read ’til I was green again

(new and ill and envious).

It didn’t work but I kept going.

 

The words weren’t enough

and neither is this.


From Splitting Off:

 

“Dreaming Your Anaphylaxis”

 

In a parkette, on Bathurst, a bench

I passed by chance. You and the swelling,

foreign protein, one more reaction.

 

How many times have I asked

how to work the EpiPen,

which end to open, which to stab you with.

 

The chest will not quite fall.

 

Something this obvious–

respiratory distress, the city,

a black X marked on your skin–

bears repeating,

 

waits behind the eyes like a bruised hip

under corduroy jeans.

 

Evidence of something real,

sensitivity,

panic and the bleak collapse of circulation,

inappropriate, waiting.

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