the titles reached up high,
the mountains of fantasy
dominating the upper reaches
in long stretches of hard-to-say
names and strange england-like
lands, then came the crime
in black-and-white city streets
and men with eyes too haggard,
then bright-souled coming of age
novels, asking for optimism and love.

at the bottom sat the poems
tucked into notebooks.


“Sensible Ink”

the ink makes more sense
when your bruised, when
beautiful pain bursts
behind your eyelids
and cracks your wrists
with the fury of all
you wish you could say.