THE HALLUCINATOR

The hallucinator sees
the contents of their mind

spread out before them,
like dusty old knickknacks

brought up from the basement
and strewn out in the front yard.

Their minds become a
kaleidoscope.

They look at their life
and see themselves
as a miracle.

An accidental poem by this article in The Atlantic.

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Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle

PHILADELPHIA, NAKED.

It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus: elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike: so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
ever still when I am

By foot: so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

 

KEEPING TABS

The floating faces
on any garden variety
newsfeed are guaranteed
to radiate larger-than-life
satisfaction.

◆ ◆ ◆

Distance and timezones
three removed, I’m a
fool to rely on a daily
scroll to keep tabs

◆ ◆ ◆

A cherry-picked,
carefully composed
gallery is suited for
general consumption
only. Acquaintances,
rejoice.

◆ ◆ ◆

Time and again,
my heart tugs with
longing: they are so
happy and I’m missing
all of it.

◆ ◆ ◆

Time and again,
my heart leaps: we
chat, we text, we
converse. Their lives
are just as varied,
uncertain, exhausting,
lovely, rich and complex
as ever.

INTACT

There is no convenient
time to start over, share
bad news, be ‘off’ at work.

No convenient
time to be heartbroken,
a fact that keeps some
relationships dutifully
intact.

After seeking the abstract,
we search for absolutes.

Routines.
Fresh fruit.
Woven blankets on the sofa.

We labor over mutual interests,
Myers-Briggs compatibility,
and shared domesticity.

Moreover: affection!
Freedom from gender roles!

Still, the Venn diagram:
You maintaining your you-ness,
me maintaining my me-ness —
it’s what keeps our relationship
beautifully intact.

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Greenlake, Seattle

AUTUMN MORNINGS IN PHILADELPHIA

What it takes is
not thought but
action, rejecting
the snooze button,
flowing in a
a soft pocket of
warmth into
the early morning
chill.

The silver
diamond-patterned
food cart on the sidewalk
puffing its essential
oniony fumes
and kaleidoscope
reflecting
a new sun.

Gone is the summer
air, which incubates
into stew of
nothingness.

Autumn mornings isolate
on white, like a museum
of scents held hostage.

Punched into the
sweet aroma of
wood shavings from
the lumber warehouse
as I turn onto 18th,

suddenly grateful for
the icy tug at my
ankles, the blue
wind pulling
gentle fingers in
my auburn curls,
wondering how
to dismantle that
snooze option
altogether.

my philly

Philadelphia.