Behind my open eyes, I’m taking pictures of the lightning.

You see, I’ve got pitch-perfect timing, the shutter speed

Of eyelashes fluttering, stuttering through a thousand flashes.


And all the ribbons of this clacking typewriter in my ribcage

Spin faster than aging, ink hammers exploding,

Pumping blood just like it’s flooding.


So I pull back the curtained skyline, tear the North Star from its system

And grip it till it trembles, tremors shimmering like fool’s gold,

The cold charm of blindfolding a supernova in slow motion,

Surging through the paper-thin skin of my grasp into the bloodstream.


They say it’s not enough to have this engine

Raging in my iron bones,

But I’m so full of green lights, I’ve got Gatsby in my vision,

New York printed in my vein lines,

And I’m showing no signs of stopping,

For like that shining city, you know I will never sleep.


‘Cause this bonfire’s been howling, synapses hyper in the sparking,

Sending signals like embers

From my thoughts into the evening,

Till they burn from all this dreaming, decades in the making,

Taking laps around the circuits in my hands

As they seize lightning,

Rope it down and crack it open ’til I find the silver lining,

Write this poem before it blinds me, then rewind to the beginning.


Though these words may be my ending,

They may also be my living,

For that’s what passions do, they claim your life,

Like fire you just can’t take them lightly.

So let them course through every brainwave,

Even after my touchscreen flatlines,

‘Cause in ten thousand years, this typist will still be typing,

Writing on the pages of forever, etching metaphors for glory.


Till then, my lens is calling to open my eyes a little wider,

To fill my teeth with every whirlwind of dusk

And all this lightning, palms ready for thunder.


Little Icarus

Little Icarus stood by the wood chips.


He was twelve when both his wings broke, tangled up,

Trying to tear through the fabric of his polo,

Caught beneath the floorboards of his shoulder blades

As his cheeks flushed with shame.


He wore a slipshod buzz cut and chubby jowls that

Framed his braces and the crooked grin they fenced in,

Standing alone as yesterday’s rain lay simmering on the blacktop.


A blur of children sprinted past him, laughing,

And he buried his dry tongue beneath the dirt in his throat,

The stiffness of death in the mouth of a boy

Who never knew what to say.


Not a word about the jungles he’d seen in gym,

The knotted rope of humiliation and the sting of the lash

As the rich kid rat-tailed his back in the locker room

And all the cool boys snickered behind their elbows,

The cute girls giggling later over sandwiches.


But don’t you fear, little man,

For I have brought an army of book nerds,

Dreamers and choir singers,

Carrying their lisps and scars in rucksacks,

Glasses, buck teeth, and southern accents,

The boys who cry at movies and the girls who still have nightmares,

Walking our bikes over to invite you to our treehouse

Where white-out is outlawed

And your freckles are the confetti of God

Like He cut up the birthday cake of the sun just for you.


And together there, we’ll patch your feathers

And tell a couple of stories

Before we lean our heads back against the beams of our home,

Look up at the stars through the crack in our creaky roof,

And slowly drift to sleep.

In the Park

Along the snowy patches of field,

Almost blue in their cold whiteness,

I find a wooden bench and sit

To retie my weary shoelaces.


As the chilled wind tightens around my ears,

Lifting lightly at strands of my hair,

I notice a single cardinal, warbling and

Shuffling through the twigs and crystal ground.


I decide to draw a pen from my coat pocket

And a rolled cylinder of pages

To write of his ragged beauty, the deep red

Of his feathers, the drop of ink around his beak.


We keep company between us for a while,

He beneath the veil of a cherry blossom,

I on my wooden bench,

Sharing this large plot of blanketed earth as I


Jot down the detail of his eyes,

Aimed steadily toward the thaw of spring

When the warm winds will cry out from hibernation

And awaken us both from sleep.


I look up from my paper and nod as

The cardinal turns the corner of our little spot in the park,

Raises his patient eyes into the grey air,

And leaps into the frost, soaring into the future

Of years and years of sunlight

As I stand to walk some more.