Voicemail to My Sister

I am delighted to be featured in the 2024 Alumni Edition of The Dickinson Review. This publication ran in print-only, thus I link to a photo of my contribution.

Annual Performance Review

Hey, look, one of my 5-7-5 poems made it the Washington Writers' Publishing House collection of tiny poems! It will be worth it to scroll to very nearly the bottom of the page to see it in all its glory (plus, lots of good tiny poems before them). 

As We Wait for the Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade, I Mourn 

As a participant in OutWrite 2023, I was invited to submit a poem for publication consideration in Metro Weekly. This one was accepted and is viewable through the digital platform of their magazine.

We Don't Eat Rocks

In August of 2023, I participated in OutWrite, DC's annual queer literary festival. This provided me with the chance to share two poems as part of a panel reading. The first was a "Testament of Love in the Yogurt Aisle of the Mansfield ShopRite." The second was "We Don't Eat Rocks." Links take you to the video recording of each poem!

My two-year-old nephew

has many words, more

than four hundred (there’s

a spreadsheet, newly

decommissioned because

the accelerating pace

of his expanding diction

surpassed the utility

of real-time record-keeping),

but even with all of these words,

my nephew still reaches for them,
pointing and

repeating to us

what is so very clear to him.


For all of the shapes

that his mouth has learned to make,

for all of the Sundays that we have toddled, and walked, and eaten pasta with


baked a cake from the perch of his helper tower,

sat in the tub

while I sat on the lidded toilet

while my sister kneeled on the floor

doling out shampoo and body wash enough for

my nephew, and his pelican, and his duck,

he has yet to bestow upon me

the name of aunt,

calling me instead


the first syllable clipped and quick,

the elusive “L” eclipsing his tongue.

I tell myself that

ka-yee plain and simple

is an expression of

non-hierarchical relationality (and

maybe one day it will be),

but today it’s an irrelevant fib to distract me into patience

as he settles into his body.            


My sister is teaching my two-year-old nephew

how to eat cherries

without obstructing his respiratory tract.

She tells him that

cherries have pits,

that we don’t

eat pits, that pits are like

rocks, that we don’t

eat rocks.

She tells him

to take tiny bites.

To my mother’s surprise

my sister has been feeding my nephew solid food since before he had teeth,

and I know from his magpie ways at the playground

that my nephew is well acquainted with rocks,

so I shouldn’t have been surprised,

but still my heart

did a little pitter patter

when my two-year-old nephew

took a tiny bite

and adeptly spit out a pit

the width of his windpipe

because it means that regardless of the constraints of his expressive vocabulary,

this little being of human

has a grasp on metaphor, and me-oh-my,

“like” and “as” are the scaffolds of my mind,

the only way I know

to learn something yet unknown,

beckoning tangential points,

weaving them into the fractal patterns

of our very world,

and now,

him and me,

we share this,


and I love that for us.

A Testament of Love in the Yogurt Aisle of the Mansfield ShopRite

Pride Poem-a-Day 2023 featured this poem on June 2--which means I got to record a video of myself reading this piece! The Pride Poem-a-Day website also features a text version of the poem. Just click the link and scroll a tidge to find my contribution (it's in the first full row on the left).

5-7-5 Books

They're not haikus...but

they're still pretty cool, so, give 

them a read, okay?

[It's a whole special project and gets its very own page.]

Ceci e Pasta

By the time you’re in year three

of the pandemic

that everyone says is over,

you will know well

how precious little

is within the realm

of your control.

And it’s not that

you ever wanted

to mastermind it all.

It’s just,

in the before times,

you used to be able to do things like

invite friends into your home

without quietly calculating

how many days it’s been since

an airplane brought them back

from their professional conference in Toledo

because you worry

about the vagaries of incubation windows,

and the limits of rapid tests,

and you are so tired

of being afraid

of every sore throat,

of every slight cough in your body,

but not tired enough

to be the weak link

in the circle of protection

around your elderly parents

who every week push their Rollators

and their old lady carts

from their neighborhood to yours

to save a dollar fifty per carton

on half-gallons of organic milk

because there have been five fiscal quarters

of inflation surpassing 6%,

the cost of food up 11.4%,

and they are on a fixed income.

You are not on a fixed income.

You are on no income.

Well, that’s not true.

You’re earning minimum wage

a few afternoons a week

because quiet quitting

wasn’t your jam,

and you were too depleted

to be conventional, and reasonable, and responsible,

and also, because,

deep in your tired body,

you knew

how precious little

is for certain,

so, expecting safety

in return for playing it safe

seemed like a gamble in itself. 

When you’re not working for minimum wage,

you will take naps,

and you will read books about the violence of capitalism,

and you will dodge people’s questions about what’s next,

and you will fumble towards something brave.

Because the price differential is threefold,

and because precious little is malleable

in your already lean budget,

you will stop

buying canned beans, start

soaking dried ones

overnight on your counter

with ample water

to plump them up,

and with a bit of planning,

a bit of cooking,

a teaspoon of salt,

you are rich with chickpeas, and,


their cooking liquid,

unsuspecting magic

that makes bean soup special.

You will try a recipe

for ceci e pasta

from a book

borrowed from the library.

You will break spaghetti,

and add tomato,

and garlic, and rosemary,

celery, onion, carrots, bay leaf

to your chickpeas and their cooking liquid.

It will be slurpy, cozy, filling. 

You will bring a small bowl of leftovers

of this special soup

the next time you visit your parents

because they don’t eat

in the middle of the day,

but you do.

And because she taught you

that good things are meant to be shared,

because she loves to cook and appreciates good food, you will say,


do you want to try a spoonful?”

And she will say,

“No, no, it’s okay.”

And then she will smell it.

And she will say,


maybe just a spoonful.”

And you will get a clean spoon,

and she will try it,

and she will utter something

that sounds like deep satisfaction,

and she will tell you,

“You know,

your father would love this,”

and even though the man

doesn’t touch food

until late afternoon crudité,

she will knock on the door of your father’s study,

and she will say,


do you want to try

a spoonful of Caly’s soup?”

and he will surprise you

by indicating that, indeed,

he does want to try your soup,

so, you will get another clean spoon,

and he will try ceci e pasta

and he will ask you for another spoonful,

and this little, precious moment of soup sharing,

this moment of humble comfort,

of plenty,

it’s a nourishing kind of resistance,

which is exactly

what you’re fumbling towards.

Today I Woke Up with My Period

My fatigue and discomfort

are entirely navigable

with heaps of gentleness.


Tell me,

is gentleness practiced here?

Are bodies welcome

in this place?    

A Blessing for Those Who Are Questioning

enfleshed is a fantastic queer-centered source for liturgy, and they published my blessing in 2022.

Accountability Is a Lesser-Known Synonym for Love

Twinneth, do you remember July

when we were six, and seven, and eight,

the one week each year when

ShopRite sold blueberries for a pittance,

and we feasted, feasted, feasted,

day after sunny, summer day,

aimlessly pacing the lawn,

you holding the plastic pint,

lid sprung open,

and we’d pick the biggest,

the sweetest, the juiciest berries from the top,

re-assessing what constituted “big”

as our options narrowed, clucking

at each other when

our fingers grasped for more

while our mouths were yet full?


We didn’t

make much of it. 

We weren’t petty, just

wanting, both of us,

sweetness and goodness

and knew we should have it