Amore Sanguinis

(Honorable Mention, Neon Literary Magazine 2014)

He said I should not go— the snow was strong
and falling heavy now. The roads were dark
and covered, treacherous to ride my horse.
But staying here with him was just as bad.

I saw his eyes when I cut my hand. They
were red and shining. Demons, Father said.
He warned us in church, they live among us
and blend with humans, charm then lure us in.

I should have known, even the moon was dark
tonight. It lay behind the clouds. He looked
at me, his eyes now dark obsidian.
He held his hand towards me. Please sit down,

the hearth is warm. I felt his breath along
my neck. He brushed his lips across my jaw.
They were cold. I closed my eyes and waited.



He had been to Iraq.
He squeezed the trigger
on people whose names
he didn’t even know:
fathers, uncles, brothers.

But, it wasn’t the carnage
he remembered, not the blood
or the bombs, the hundred degree heat.

His memory
was of a man driving a car chassis.
There were wheels and an engine,
but no body.

Can that even be legal?
He asks.
He had an afro out to here!
He gestures with his hands.
And you know what he was listening to?
Short pause.
70s disco music.


How to Successfully Murder your Spouse

We lay in bed plotting each other’s death,
where to hide the corpse, what weapons to use.
You’d prefer to chop me in small pieces,
while I’d make it look like an accident.
You’d stuff my parts in a black garbage bag
and I’d blame it on a faulty brake line.

We picture a life without each other
and know there would be no one to pick on,
that life would feel meaningless without you.
The anger wears off and you turn to me,
murderous thoughts gone as you open your
arms to settle in for another night.


If Poetry Was Like Driving
After A.R Ammons A Poem is a Walk

Leaves spiral off a truck
towards your car, and only your car.
You pass castle-like mansions.
Will I ever make it?
You drive past the park,
now crowded with children in their new playground,
complete with an ice cream truck.
It is no longer yours.

You drive
with the hopes of getting lost.
You turn and twist through neighborhoods,
but only to end up on the same road.
Fetal Position

She cocoons herself around her swollen belly.

“Stairway to Heaven”murmurs in the background.

Venetian blinds slice up the moon.

She watches as it moves across the sky.

The blood appears like demons in her dreams,

dark and swirling on the ivory tile.

Glittering like pools of ink under moonlight.

She grasps at what could have been.


Rita Dove


Big Baby’s Dollhouse World

The moon is a hole in a box.
The light escapes through.
A colossal child sticks in her stubby finger.
Her giggling is thunder.
She picks up cars and crashes them together.
California redwoods are matchsticks
in her hands.
Her swimming causes tsunamis.
Her breath blows roofs off hinges.
Those that fear her
mumble to themselves at train stations.
They say if you bribe her with candy
she’ll hand you a Mercedes and a mansion.

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