Such Risk

a smile from you is at once glory and responsibility     it’s a beautiful razor
threatening to slash history    (every minute with you is such risk)    a glowing
orb that soothes while illuminating a peril without match

your glance sets me on fire     (the color of love is red)     it knocks together the match-
ing decanters of us     still your hand next to mine is a razor
needful but shimmering     playful with danger    we are embers glowing

from the forest floor      we are a resting gun (look around: the threat of loss is glowing
from all those in love)     have you doubted whether your flood and my fire match
too perfectly     how an eon of us fits on the edge of a razor

how we are this razor glowing on my cheek     we are this match burning in my fingers

Early draft of a tritina. Constructive criticism welcome.


One sequin, Venus, stitched to recent night
A mourning dove on gnarly sycamore
The glint of Sun off failing satellite
Gray marble rolled across an onyx floor
My hope you travel safely home once more
The universe, our humble patch of yard
Til your return it’s here I will stand guard

Early draft of a rime royal for YeahWrite. Constructive criticism welcomed. To read other fiction and poetry, click the badge above.


what if we flip this crimson doubt
release each expectation lark
to skies refilled from looming drought
would we still form a question mark

beneath astonished flannel sheets
our viscous whispers drench the dark
forgotten hist’ry made complete
would we still form a question mark

If I’m omega hanging, high,
above the finite point you spark
would I ignite or gratify
would we still form a question mark

(Photo credit: Quintin Gellar/

Writing this kyrielle for YeahWrite. Click the badge above for more poems and stories inspired by prompts.


When I wake, I am lying in a field stretched taut over a hill. The knife in my hand gleams in the still-blinking dawn, and I see the patch I’ve cleared in the switchgrass—a circle on one end, two prongs on the other. Its shape reminds me of you. The fire is slow to rekindle, but it is rare that something stands between me and my day. Stags scatter from the creek bed when I move to gather blackberries and wild mint for breakfast. I stare at the flames as I chew and sip coffee. I write in my journal of last night’s Cheshire moon—how its malice kept me up too late—then I swear to the page that I will find a hill every twilight on my journey, and I will slash the switchgrass into that same shape. After a week there will be seven oracles. After a month there will be a knowing army. I say a silent prayer to the birds. That they will use the path of my men to find their way back. That they will whisper what they’ve seen in your ear.


Apartment Full of Trees

Follow me to furloughed
fields, to cities fitted
‘round a sea less salty.
S’there we’ll start our garden.

I’ll blast far ‘neath flagstone
for you; till a trillion
seedlings strewn by starlight;
foster future forests.

This is my first attempt at a drottkvaett for April’s poetry slam. Read more great fiction and poetry by clicking the badge above!

Eau–de–vie, New Year’s Eve, 2000

Fireworks crackle over Bronson Park; the crowd hoots. You mention your toes are numb
despite your boots, so we walk hand-in-hand to a booth and I buy you a warm brandy.
I say: We’re standing on the rim of a century. Your reply—Two centuries.—is tinny, dressed
in blue.

I think: The night is a snifter—its base in the wide-bottomed park edged in cobalt blue,
the glassy highlights of snow, the stem of a single oak shrouded in December, numb.
Tinted streetlights offer the only source of warmth, casting this jubilee in the caramel glow of brandy.

Only you distill me. The rest of the city is hidden in plain sight, like the brandy
crouching behind the taste of port or the flashes of cerulean and topaz blue
from the folds of your purple anorak (despite the dim light). Tonight I am everything
but numb.

Though my fingers are numb, I hold a chilled glass of cherry brandy as I drink in this blue, tapered night.


*This tritina brought to you by Rowan and Christine. Click the badge above to read other tritinas by my friends at yeah write.