your cartography

the sun slips past the shade

to paint planes of light and shadow

across sleeping face.


fingertips, a protractor

measuring angles of jawline

of cheekbone

of curve under bottom lip


while navigating blindly

the labyrinth of heart

Tanka 4.23

the north wind cuts through

our masks and sweaters sharply

stealing away breath

my hand curling within yours

warm and safe in your pocket

Tanka 4.18

I stand at the sink

your hand trailing down my arm

lips brushing my neck

I turn and lean into you

as breakfast begins to burn

when I weep at night

Its never the onions

sliced for supper

still lingering on my hands

long after the dishes are dried,

stacked in neat rows

behind a closed door.


You smell of crisp frosted air

and pine needles swept from the dirt path

when the wind rushes past.


I layer pepper, salt, spices

hoping to add enough flavor

to the meat on my plate.



Inspired by

Waiting on a rainbow

It’s a dreary day

grey clouds, no sun, cold rain, and

not a word from you

finding a backbone

Leaning into you

your hand travels down my spine

strengthens my resolve


rain tapping windows

tree limbs’ shadows on the wall

your breath down my spine

silver and gold

bare shoulder bathed

in the waning golden sunlight

you turn towards me


I’m blinded by the

sun, your smile, as my face tips

upward for a kiss


your arm anchoring

me to you, rocking on waves

of each sleeping breath


eyelashes casting

lengthy shadows across your

cheek, all tips painted

silver from the gibbous moon

hanging in our sky tonight

What you put on your plate

I brought you

freshly baked cookies,

again, when I saw you,

and you took them.

Thanked me.




you pushed me away

with silence and

sparse words

magnified each time

by the number of minutes

between text messages,

every hour stating

more definitively

that you can manage

alone without me.


I’m just cookies

straight from the bag,

devoured on the spot.

Empty calories,

not worth the trade-off

of the other choices you picked

to fill up your plate.


Suggestion for a prompt from a friend…write about love and the subject line of the third junk mail in your inbox. :-). It was “stop filling your plate with empty calories’.

The ways in which we deal with anger

I brewed tea

in your grandma’s blue crystal pitcher,

setting it on the window sill

all day while I worked

until it was strong, deep


two spoons sugar

stirred into your glass

already sweating in the heat

before it languishes

barely tasted

on the counter

leaving watermarked rings


I take my tea

in hard, fast gulps


relishing slightly

the bitter aftertaste

lingering behind

then I rinse my cup

and put it away

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