Three Poems of Separation

The tree outside the barbershop

was struck down
sometime last
night, its Siamese
wrenched from
each other
in violent
divorce and
the weaker
flung to the
someone, some
official someone,
has hedged
the afflicted area
with yellow
cautionary tape,
as if to fence in
the tragedy, or
the location of
a corpse—
and misting
from the open
wood is
xylem and
phloem and
floral guts,
the aroma of
a pure body.



lineage. there’s no escaping tradition. histories drag
behind me like so many beaded pearls.
my name is your name is the name
that knows me, commands me,
medicates me, you see—

blood is not thicker than
blood mixed with
expectation and ether.

we are hooked
to this jubilant operation
all these
-ectomies,       self-ectomies
ex(or)cisions                      in the name of survival
in the      name of joy,       in the name      of virtue, of
some tapestry of souls.

how do you      isolate
a muscle, or a single woven thread.
out of context, what is a daughter?
[I do not

remember what it means to be birthed]
so conjoined are we, the harmonized that I will tug on your
heartstrings and       bring myself to weep.


If eyes are the windows

then ears are the doors, flesh waves in
every gentle roar. I hold the memories

of August in my ribs,

when the moon felt like teeth—
in the dark of scaffolds and juniper trees,
I recalled the things I both fear

& revere        like graveyards at dusk
or elderly librarians;       things which
linger in spite of physics. And

the sonata blew through

me in windsong while the leaves
thronged to forgive
me my earnestness. I am fluent

in all of my lacks—how I have
claim to neither rubble nor soil. It is said
the moon, too, was once earthen

debris: an involuntary gasp

floated from the lips

of the firmament




& how to learn moonlight
when you’ve never seen at all?
(the slipp’ry smooth of a seashell,
a flute’s hollow lilt)




Image: Photographs of a Falling Cat, Public Domain Review