The Rice-Eating Ceremony

Nine months into my life, I am asked to eat on command / These tiny bursts of cylindrical snow that will reappear / Again and again

On January 24th*

It’s been proven, they say— / the bills like a line of ants, / the glamour of the new year / grown dull like a tin ring

My Friend in Flapping Stages Tries to Take Flight

April is my favorite month. / Its stormy flowers / and puddled rainbows are captivating / as is the lightning / that breaks cool spring nights / like a child’s scribble.

Speech Derapy

Dey discovered it in dird grade / whenever we practiced counting / money, candy, or people / I kept saying dirty, dirty—


Passing by the burial ground, / I see some flickers of light. / A friend tells me / it’s the bones that flash.

Out Back, Behind the Hospital

We shared cigarettes and jokes / talked about anything except / what we’d seen, the baby we’d X-rayed, / his bruises…

The Oncologist

Do you have an appetite? No. / Are you anxious? Yes. / Irritable? Yes.


I’ve given away the black Samsonite suitcase/
that for thirty-five years enfolded my suits/
like a wallet

Six Weeks into Chemotherapy

To be unseen, unprayed for, to be unhugged / in the grocery store and left alone // to select a melon.