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The Fossil Wall



More often now, my father feels

them, pockets of air opening,

half-winking windows exposing

the edges of yellowing circumstance. 


The hibernating

awaken slowly in corners

of the present, en route

to extinction, sure

as the short-faced bear’s

short-term existence—


A hand or paw might soon reach

through, rippling the glue of an ordered,

fossil wall and waving

or shaking the bars of my cage.





Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editor(s) of Assaracus

who first published this poem.






The singularity 
of the dapple I will 
move into, the last 
glisters of autumn. I tell myself 

it was I 
who began it, 
the fusing 
of each 

spell, and the subtractive, 
ebb bays of brass: 

Boy I saddle who cannot 
shake me, and I will not 
slide off.





Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editor(s) of Muzzle Magazine 

who first published this poem.











The Last Day of Summer



Soon the reflecting pools will refuse

to do their jobs, the ashes from urns

dissolving clarity, mist lifting to claim the season. 

Deep within seepage, a new order rains—

flooding plateaus and drowning leaves.

I keep looking over both bladed shoulders

for anyone following me. The Council

places a wanted ad, carving urgency

into bedrock: Sun God needed, apply

within. So multiple the heroes, each dying

their symbolic death. Mother Jung spares no one—

night is collapsing and a legacy

will feed on its remains.

Dionysus’ replacements arrive

with the autumnal equinox,

evaporating my pool, leaving me displayed.

I pray for Prometheus to return, stealing fire

to bestow it again, though a modern god

might avenge it by neutering—scarring sex,

and branding a warning in flesh.

Grapes will combust from vines

in mid-winter and mountains loosen

into metaphors and verbs re-route every river.

I will for the first time in emergency, reach

for another, seizing merely towels,

absorbent as Egyptian cotton

but far too late to wipe the venom

deadening this rind.





Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editor(s) of Assaracus

who first published this poem.


photo by Sherrlyn Borkgren
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