Break Room

Walls, once milk-white, now scalded from the flame

of years, a broken black line from folding chairs

leaned back, scuffing paint. You can tell

full-timers—propped-up feet, the way they sit

on brocade cushions brought from home,

while temps eat erect, not knowing how

to spot employees from Loss Prevention.

Half a vending machine sandwich is drying out

in a plastic triangle—someone called back to the sales floor.

Lettuce too green to be real droops over

stale crusts like clocks in …

More In: Poetry

Yellow Wallpaper Resident Alien | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Yellow Wallpaper Resident Alien

Tie my shoes, my self-portrait running for fun

in the deep woods, poisoned with the soot

of another forest fire in the distance, another Oregon
 

I didn’t know how to spell the …

Guns on TV | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Guns on TV

I like guns in TV shows.
The guns on TV shows are just like guns,
Like the people shooting other people
On TV shows are just like people.

I like …

WWW | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

WWW

In childhood, you thought that the world

could be had: consumed like cut-up melon.

 

Looking at the map curling up the classroom wall—

its gradient landmasses and oceans—

 

you thought, what sort of …

Beefy Heels | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Beefy Heels

“Put your shoes on,”
he says from the couch,
“There’s thorns on the porch,”
only I was knee-deep in the mop bucket.
The soapy grey water wouldn’t protect my feet

Obsession | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Obsession

In sleepless nights
In the depths of despair
where not a ray
can be glimpsed
I think of you . . .

The ties are broken
the ropes snapped
and …