The Taste of Ice


After the attending ordered you shackled to the gurney
and fed ash that you geysered back
like an anguished volcano —

After the medical student inquired about your scarred arms
and lectured on “liver function impairment won’t show
for another 24 to 48 hrs”

After the technician adjusted the slow pulsing drip of your IV
and left a cup of ice chips to feed you
if you ever woke up —

I watched even the backs of your hands sweat
and thought I heard in every rattling breath
a cart pushing closer through the hospital halls:

Nurse Death, making his rounds.


[image via]


benton_carried away_collage


If you would house your secrets
in the body of a child:
Be certain the burden crushes her like tin
and padlock the madhouse door behind her.

For one day she may break open her chest
like the hatching of an egg —

and release from her rib cage
a winged poet. Fluttering and dewy,
implacable in the morning light,


Continuing with National Poetry Month!

Featured image: “Carried Away.” Collage by Bridget Benton (via). More of the artist’s work can be seen here and here

The Octogenarian Asks the Feminist Sex Educator

[Welcome to Day 2 of National Poetry Month!

As you can see, I’m still toying with the idea of writing a poem a day — anyone else doing that? Or done it in the past? I’d be interested to hear about your experiences.] 


The Octogenarian Asks the Feminist Sex Educator

you got me thinking

that thing you said about
what was it

not just no means no
how it’s gotta be yes means yes
and now I’m wondering
I mean

we were both 15, maybe 16
I guess
her parents weren’t home
she seemed into it

I mean, she seemed like she was into it

I know
she’d been into it with guys before
lots of guys

from what I’d heard

and she had really large breasts
really large
like this, yknow

I mean
you don’t think I

do you?

[Featured image via]

King of Pentacles

Happy National Poetry Month, folks!

I have no idea what poetic practice (if any!) I’ll stick to for the whole month — but it felt appropriate to at least write a poem on Day 1. And completed with seven minutes to spare, no less!

Let it never be said that I don’t like to live on the edge…


King of Pentacles

The night my mother drank chardonnay until 4 am in a friend’s kitchen
looking for a third answer to the question
stay or go

I too sat in a kitchen
cradling my father in my arms and praying
hail Mary full of grace—someday

let her mail me the map
for leaving.



(image via)