Between Your Heartbeats

You were born to battle.

A hand grenade’s entrenched

between your lungs, ticking

down, at war

with your own existence.

Yet when your head falls

against your lover’s chest,

you do not grieve to hear

the bomb.

No one ever suffered

who didn’t give a damn.

So when you’re entangled

in your lover’s limbs

and the weekday alarm

calls you to lay siege,

make peace —

make love —

between your heartbeats.


Your Mind, a Shark

Your mind is a shark, moving

for a living.

In the depths, layered currents flow;

but when you dive

below the waves of daily life,

you cease to hear your thoughts and believe

you have found


darkness and emptiness.

The pressure is too high; you want to rise

back to the surface, where words tell

you what you’re thinking:

dishes, bills, annoyances, neediness —

all those little quandaries.

But the deepest current is not

silent or still or barren.

It’s quicksilver at lightspeed, too fast

to hear, too refined for words.

Here, at maximum depth,

is you, your soul:

the thoughts you can only feel

in your gut, the thoughts you must enact


or else sink.




Poetry: You, a Soul

You, a soul, free-fall

at the speed of time, a comet

hewn of ancient rock, waiting

only to awaken, to feel.


The shattering

is never what you think.


It’s to be aware

of solar wind dancing

on your surface, tugging

at your edges —


the first sense

of sense itself —


and to surrender, to collide

with this immovable experience,

your first lover.


You birth life.

You become you:

a soul traveling at timespeed

with the wind in your hair.

Sometimes I Want a Job as a Metaphysics Imagineer

The Poet-Contractor


saw physicists kitted out with clockwork swords

and atomic muses, half-mad with an old velveteen dread

from childhood existential ventures

back when monsters were real. As grown-ups they were soldiers-


turned-philosophers, knapping their obsidian equations into

the only weapons that could pierce the beasts’

too-vivid eyes, so they might pluck them out and see

through æther into everything.


He sucked on recycled air like a cigarette, wired. Around

him, the world rested on levers and valves and electric

angels, in suspense before the first collision: the moment

he was paid to document for the unlike-minded

– but he hadn’t slept lately, he’d stayed up reading dry-erase

boards when everyone had gone, and now hallucination crept

into his overwrought ideas, supersaturated fields of

wild-grown dream-logic.


So it seemed to make sense when

he figured colliding particles were like a doubled mind

churning in a violent metaphysical reaction, and the test-run

results were like his kids leaping off the couch,


half-believing they could outwit gravity if they really tried.

He wanted to tell his colleagues, but he was a

self-admitted waste of resources,

having nothing to do with the flightpath of quarks


or scientific creativity.

Kassie’s Song


She writes in blank Bibles,

she lets dreams loose to play,

and knows her love is wasted

if she won’t give it away.

It can’t be squandered,

and it can’t even wait,

because Kassie knows, love has

an expiration date.

She never goes missing

thought she’s often gone,

from here and there, now and then,

she leaves lives on a dare.

She leaves houses, she leaves pain,

she’s often missing, but

she’s never gone.

Slips into other houses

and turns on all their lights,

she eats in their kitchens

and patches up their fights.

She gives to get everything

she’s ever had,

she plays the game

and she knows,

love and life are all the same.


Poem: Soul Suits



We’re souls in suits, she says

and touches the airlock, ready

for adventure.

She’s just a helmet away from home:

everything she is

and everything she could be.

She clicks the airlock switch: a pop, a hiss,

and she’s out —

in untamed spacetime’s embrace,

infinite yet intimately familiar,

a quilt with her scent

on its fabric.

A place where everything happens

and her imagination

is real.




Poem: Energy




pained him. He knew

æther when he saw it, watched

theory take a cure-all to smooth

out the night.



the word, a poultice,

patched up physics by tradition and verse,

familiar hearthside legends.


But him? He’d rather run

with the toothed unknown: the untamed science

replete with attributes more rich unnamed,

more honest, in a time when honest work

was rare.


Yet the word came dawn-to-dusk, swinging

its toolbox, whistling worksong.



old jack-of-all-trades,

rough-handed, stead-sure, employed

to do what a certified labourer couldn’t –

to push, to pull

planets around the sun, carry waves

across the cosmos, or make the Universe



And, he’d concede, every job it took

to screw in a bulb and fill imagination

with the idea of light.