Dear Comma,

It’s because I’m a poet
that my world
is full of comma splices

I find them in the middle
of ordinary sentences.
They haunt me after “one”s
and before “she”s
and in between
words that are old friends

I just wanted the reader
to pause.
I defend her, my comma
the world has been rough on her

a little curl,

you don’t belong here

please go away

Don’t worry,
little comma,
you can come over here

, , ,

I have a home for you
I have so many options.

What if you had a window?
A glass door?
What if your balcony was
beneath the beaver moon
on Thanksgiving?
I don’t think she knows,
my comma,
how thankful I am
for her soft pause,
clarifying acts

the strenth she shows as
the debate
still doesn’t end after


how to use a comma…,
“but why do you have to use me,
aren’t we friends?”


We each dream for weeks, for hours.
Focusing in ernest on needs, on desires.

I hand you a cupful of time,
I ask you what you’re thankful for.
and I in turn am thankful for you. Our lists go on…
And families speak of rain and food,
Of each other and the roofs above us, however humble they are, keeping us warm and safe.
Yes, warmth, heat, the fireplace, the trees that downed and were collected.


I don’t take things in
I just let them settle over
like cold, wet rain into wool
the smell finds your nose
and doesn’t leave
even if you aren’t breathing

I don’t see small things
I stumble in an open door
and throw myself around the room
till it’s all over everything–
the wet smell of wool
and pieces of my hands

I look for you in the faces
of those on the streets
and in those eyes are tremors
all the walls fall
down around us
the way that winter falls on rooftops

The creeks in your mind
thaw faster than the world’s.
Your left with tangles
of thorn-berries on the banks,
anticipating dawn
just to escape your dreams

it’s okay to bind
your life up with the berries
As long as you plan to eat them
piles and piles set aside
to make sauces
make the pans blue, all winter