You Speak Lonely

And now I leave you finally here, Alone –
a place I surely know you know the tongue –
and though the walls with moss are overgrown
until it slivered soft to throat and lungs,
you’ve spoken Lonely long enough to say
your clotted red confessions, lungs or no,
and eyes like bottled messages betray
your glassy guard to those who look too close;
though I surely cannot myself bring,
from either lack of will or fear of loss,
to leave you here without a map or key,
lest your heart lose love for walls and moss –
find me, would your ire for lonely fade,
but I am staying here, where I was made.

JS (c) 2015

You drink like man who drinks to forget, and I hate that you want to forget me.

For longing lasts longer than fear and regret, 

and I hate that you hate that you love me. 


I call your arms Michigan –

the closest thing I have to home,

by narrow margins almost a memory.

Warm hands like wet mosquito mornings,

sweat like dew drops, beads on

furrowed grassy brows.

Collars snuggling into

cardigans, awaiting autumn’s

crinkling brass leaves in cold choirs.

Evergreens leaning their ear to the frozen

ground, listening for earth shivers

under the snow.

Blue irises

blooming at midday,

withering at midnight in the dilation,

pupils desperately expanding to absorb each

star, each stroke of Michigan

milky way,

like freckles.


Your eyes as sunken as the sea,

like sleeping water still,

they know not at heaven’s gate,

nor on ocean’s floors, the weight

of winds that bring her chill,

that scrape your cheeks with salty breeze

and wake your mind from silence –

when rattling rattling ring the pleas,

you cannot help but stare at seas,

and pray for songs of sirens.

But each amen is folded into

waves like beating fists,

and dragged away with grains of sand,

in each angry tightened hand,

and sinks like heavy mist.

And alleluias crumble soft,

with prayers like wetted stone,

but slowly slowly come the calms,

for your grasp remembers psalms,

from tracing bible tomes.

Your sepulcher is sunken now,

the coral calls it home.

I wish to sail your prayers like seas,

but all the pleading bruised my knees,

and for your tomb I’ve lost the key –

you’re finally alone.

JS (2015)


rivers running fast through his veins like electrons

zapping through tick tock machines, sneaking smirks into

coffee sip sip sips slipping down a thirsty throat throwing

caffeine back and forth faltering and back into the tick tock

span reciting lines we’d forgotten forgetting forgiveness.

Whoops! we watched weather cloaks fall into

a long year, which glasses he wore and when rims rang

memory memories missed rapidly retarding responses

he wished a spark would start rain reigning the cloaks and

drown the tick tocks but sparks start engines revving runs

and riots falling in the cracks he sanded out of his forearms

furrowed brow fingerprints of handwritten masks reallies

breaking weird walls of conversations about conversations

personal preference accidentally wounding young pride,

we didn’t think this would happens dead and gone like summer’s

Blacksmithing tools


I break like waves,

folding cold into myself stirring up

parliaments of sand to hear salt stories

from my overbearing undercurrent,

to drink my mistakes from the stale flask

of my broken curl.


I break like dawn, crawling

across the laughlines of dried river beds

into their cracking tendons of forgotten thirst,

shining yellows into the black and orange into

the blue to help forget the blood of starry nights

and the red dawn.


I break like silence,

louder than whips in punishment for bitten tongues,

sharper than letter openers on wax-sealed lips,

creaking like shining keys in rusting promise locks

sawing wide past wounds to sketch in every stitch:

better never, than late.


I break like catch, like

sighs becoming yawns to beckon peaceful slumbers

to your sheets, tacitly asking for bedtime stories of worlds

where nightfoals never grow up, and monsters

live in parchment prisons, and tomorrow never sounds

like a threat.

JS (c) 2015


He is black tar heroin mosaics,

molded by broken pitch pieces of rushing

gushing, mind over matter overdose paintings –

incoherent under microscopes from cracks

that look too much veins, but a monster

mountain range captured in monochrome,

snow mistaken for ash in damning strokes of

blind bristles; a face sculpted in the summit withering

thinner through narrow oxygen.

He breathes wanderlust wound around campfire

flames consuming both wood and stone,

crackling pine needles like cracking whips

and branches tumbling in forest infernos

rumbling over tracks of hypodermic trains,

piercing veins of valley roots and hillstone,

drawing red life from dry bones into vials

of meadow green, baked and dried in sundry

browns, dying his hardcover histories

shades of storybook bark leaving slivers of

themselves in fingerprints.

He dreams in city grids, one way streets

stretched like violin strings ringing like struck

hubcaps on bustling taxicabs; metallic sound

landing on heaving chests beating with

paper heart pacemakers, accidentally pinching

nerves in valves bleeding into networks of

memories falling from high rises’ high tides

and high times to go home to black hole

towns, past the event horizon of backwoods bartending

in forest fire mazes that started forming

in his veins long before he ever touched

the needle.

JS (c) 2015