To Tin Men

To the man who made

the tin men with no hearts

you tinkerer

no love of your own

so you built them to entertain you with pretty lies

and oily smiles

but the glassy wax on his eyes

gives away the show

what if one had went rogue and ripped out Dorothy’s

while she was still breathing

so desperate from his manufactured affection

like food he swallows

or the words he mechanically bellows

all hollow

To the builder bent over

precariously at his bench making metal men in

his own image

to pry open the ribs of others

and take love wherever given

how dare you force life on

this dead scrap of bolts

then bid him sing and dance


Hello God, It’s Me

Hello God, it’s me

its going on day three and

still my baby won’t sleep

I cradle him close to my chest

steadily tap

rhythm on his back

like that of a rocking ship

the downbeat of the bass

we syncopate with the slow motion of gravity’s pull

back and forth


his angry flailing lulls

still restless I feed him my dreams

since circumstance has taken my breasts

I hold him closer to my now flattened chest

and smoothly sing this prayer

let my voice be the milk

that fills his little belly

let it be like honey

so that he may never go hungry

loud enough to mask

the dissonance of gunshots

down by the deli

please help him sleep quietly

and I will sing

nina simone, etta james, and ella

into the unholy hours of the morning

before the daily grind of the laborer begins

I will sing

until the day he walks upright


no longer needs me

to get through the night

I will sing calmly to let the devils know

that God blesses the child

of the mother

who works hard to give him his own

nineteen pounds, dark brown

after snaking his small fist into the fold under my arm

and pinching my fat lightly

on night three

of wrestling


Finally, we sleep

The Holy War

we are born cradling our knees

as closely as a guitarist plucks his strings

holding onto the spark

buried deep into the tissue

subconsciously, we expose our torsos


to those who make us feel vulnerable

i’m bound from heavens doors by these blankets

false advocates reach for my stomach

ao while i lay and pray

the devil dances on this mattress

i’m breathing heavy

and curl up

rocking between heaven and hell

there’s no more left of my spark to sell

but i hear the bidding for my organ’s 

are going quite well

that’s when sleep swoops in and

saves me

when everything fades

thoughts begin to fall like dominoes 

the battle follows, a shadow

i can’t feel my knees like a wounded soldier

my war’s peace

is somewhere between death and defeat


we are born

cradling our knees


like a guitarist plucking strings

holding onto the spark

exposed torsos

i wont kneel with my back to God

try to recount His words

im bound from heavens doors

by these blankets

while i lay and pray

the devil dances on this mattress

i fetally rock

between heaven and hell

when sleep swoops in

eyes faded to black, nothing phases me

thoughts fall

like dominoes

simmering hot coals extinguished

dark ash my witness


morning peeks

and i know

holy war’s peace

is somewhere between

death and defeat