i am a nurse, gardener, and mother who writes poems– at a wooden desk in a 112-year-old house, with the window open. i am a graduate of brown university and the jefferson college of nursing. poetry is a practice, a surprise; a motion to lift up any given thing. it is always on my to-do list.
Longlisted for 2022 Emerging Poet Prize , Palette Poetry
feeding the horses, Brink (Fall 2022)
built to wait , (November 29, 2021) The New Yorker
where something happens, Philadelphia Stories (Summer 2022)
the task (for daunte wright)
accidents, the unexpected: a too-cold night wilting what would bloom but for this, the forecast. swell of the wooden door on damp days, and the task of pushing it in to fit, into the frame. that the officer meant, she says, to take her taser, instead of her gun. heat, that the light makes by repetition on the man, climbing, in the tinder. we should know him. frost, of having turned to ice what moved then, meaning before. just left with it, what’s been endlessly done. looking for a word in the pile of flowers. that one, accident: too thick from use, mistake: the edges curl, weakly. call this a fire: sound all the bells for it, a burning wrong. not an accident– this weather, the fast pull. tender things everywhere, opening, on slippery leaves soaked through with it, the rain.
a thousand trips [ a collaboration with artist Rebekah Scotland, for the Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library ]
to view video of watercolor images accompanied by verses, click
a barn swallow might make a thousand trips to build a nest, each flight there and back, starting over and coming home, every time: a beakful of mud. imagine looking for it, diving, choosing one slick mouthful, knowing the difference between silt and clay, slippery and thick, what might keep and hold. imagine the mud on her wings, how she’d wear it: just where it fell. how it might streak along her feathers and how, a hundred trips in, she’d have just barely cast a shape with a name. there’d be grasses, pale yellow ones, last season’s yellow grasses, bent from all that trying, loose from their roots, light from being done, hollow so that the wind might move through them on the way to the eaves of the barn. no one counts this. beakfuls. mud, grasses, and string. sometimes you need a sharp tool to make sense of shapeless things. sometimes you need questions to live in the air. they’re known for it, the swallows: the low-diving, the up-lifting, feeding as they go.