“Under mango green”

Published in the Amore: Love Poems anthology (Spring 2016).

Under mango green

sheets, down comforter
the tropical colors of
papayas’ and cantaloupes’

inner fruit, your walls pomegranate,
avocado furniture, ceiling a bright plum.
We would slurp mango slices
on piled pillows, legs tangled together,

juices dripping from our wrists,
your soft chin, lips skating
across the heel of a hand,
trailing sticky liquid behind.

I never got to tell you how
those tastes influenced me:
my love of fleshy unknown fruits,
of lush brazen women, the way

I still think of you when I savor
sweet juice creeping down my chin.

“The Contents of My Purse”

Published in the Santa Fe Literary Review (2017).

The Contents of My Purse

Gum to chew when you’re talking over me; keys; cell phone and charger, obviously; glitter pens to absentmindedly swirl your name, those fat Sharpies to blot it out; tampons for surprises—including, to be clear, nosebleeds and spills; that book you told me to read forever ago, with no bookmark and not even one page dog-eared; a smooth stone you found way back when we used to walk by the river every week; business cards—mostly other people’s, but a few of the ones for my paintings with my old phone number crossed out; my name tag from work, a smear of long-dried-but-still-sticky gravy over the last three letters; wallet, stuffed thick with receipts and pictures and credit cards I can no longer use; a small notebook for random reminders, phone numbers, grocery lists and angry notes to shove under your door; quarters for downtown parking on the off-chance you offer to pay for dinner—even just coffee—if we meet up; a plastic airplane bottle of chardonnay; mace for might-be-muggers; that ring you gave me, the prongs around the little glass gem crowned with lint; a coupon for two-for-one steak dinners, probably already expired; the first—only?—letter you ever wrote me—the envelope folded in half and in half again, then tucked into a side-pocket and accidentally through a tear in the lining—the scent of your cologne still lingering rich and spicy on the crisp paper, perfuming my bag from silky depths I can never quite seem to find.