after Khaled al-Asaad

bonepole bonepole since you died
there’s been dying everywhere
do you see it slivered where you are
between a crown and a tongue        the question still
more god or less        I am all tangled
in the smoke you left         the swampy herbs
the paper crows        horror leans in and brings
its own light        this life so often inadequately
lit        your skin peels away        your bones soften
your rich unbecoming        a kind of apology

when you were alive your cheekbones
dropped shadows across your jaw        I saw a picture
I want to dive into that darkness        smell
the rosewater        the sand        irreplaceable
jewel how much of the map did you leave
unfinished        there were so many spiders
your mouth a moonless system
of caves filling with dust
the dust thickened to tar
your mouth opened and tar spilled out

The Double Blind

“What is more intimate than a fist? / Than the champagne cork / pop / of cartilage and bone?”

What I Could Have Said at My Father’s Wake

“My sister is wrong. She said he never hit us, but that’s not true. When you grow up in a big family it can be easy to forget your story isn’t the only story.”


“Celebration of a new year in April — The flute player’s wooden flute — Sinn Sisamouth; his soothing voice played before sleep...”