Riding Waves, a book of poetry, was published by Finishing Line Press in February of 2018.
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Fire Season
as published by Comstock Review

A whole town has burned to the ground: cinders
of homes and the lives they hold burn our throats.
We fled October's hot fires and smoke halos
but even here, the sun's red skull peeks round
the headland, stifled, like a cough interrupted.

Whimbrels and curlews patrol the beach, sanderlings
glide to and fro, skittering for crabs; for them,
it's just another day. A few people wearing masks
walk their dogs on the empty shore.
"We don't get to feel sorry for ourselves,"
said the Stinson Books lady. She doesn't know
about my girl, how her bearings rattle out of kilter.
She's an injured sandpiper, single leg hopping,
sharp as a sewing machine needle.

Is grief allowed only for whole flocks of pain?
My girl is fighting for her life. I can’t help but blame
my vigilance for bringing the very thing I feared.
Friends tell me, "It's not you," but they didn’t see
me hovering, peak flow meter in hand.

What else could I, could we, have done?
Let asthma win? Let fire run?
Our minds aren't bent that way.
It was always fire season.


My Late Breast
as published by The Sun Magazine

My late breast was a model citizen:
humble, honest, kind. She gave
to her community, always erring
on the generous side. I never knew
her to shy away from a challenge.
If there was a need, you could count
on my late breast to show up.

She leaves behind her two children
and her husband, who each adored her
in their own ways, and a lifetime
of loyal friends. She is survived
by her devoted twin, for whom
life hasn’t been the same.

My late breast loved the beach.
She loved the mountains, desert,
forest. Being close to nature gave
her joy. She's been gone now
fourteen years but not a day passes
that she isn't sorely missed.


The Helms Man
as published in New Ohio Review

The Helms Man, we called him. I mean the man in white
baker’s trousers who drove the Helms Bakery van
around our bright California cul-de-sacs and streets —
coastal hills carved to asphalt, tract, and pink ice
plant that we broke open to write on sidewalks.

He drove slowly down our block, stopping to open
wide temptation’s door, inviting adolescent girls in
to view his wares: jelly and glazed doughnuts,
cinnamon twists, sparkling crystal sugar. We ponied
up quarters for paper bags of treats, to be consumed
out of sight of perfect mothers, lying out in lawn chairs,
all Coppertone and Tab gleam, who gave us Teen Magazine,
left us to banana and milk diets, vertical stripes, and scales.

Left us to ripe womanhood and the gaze of men,
to shape and flavor we could never taste ourselves.
To motherhood and stretching of skin, joint loosening,
the joy of being food. Then cronehood with arroyo
of wrinkle, slump of breast, lump of belly.

Each one alone now sees herself in hollow mirror,
flattened chest, belly bulge assessed, while outside
the window, teenage girls parade in short cutoffs,
long legs supple and smooth. And our long-gone
mothers watch us watch them. We, who still hear
the van coming and run, hurry, to be ready, radiant
and thin for the helmsman, just turning the corner.

Social Distancing
as published in Oberon

Stepping into another world.
And then another. And still another.
Uncertainty. No answers.

Opening the refrigerator. Again.
Same yoghurt, chard, cornbread.
Is there enough and for how long?

What about the guy wrapped in plaid
blanket a hundred yards from here,
sleeping in a doorway?

Text. Email. Screen. Battery. Hollow
shelves at Safeway. Smiling at strangers.
We're in this together, yeah.

Purple finch, black phoebe: dawn chorus,
sun peering over hills, clean, ready.
Bright gleam from San Francisco towers.

Red fox squirrel on bird seed pole.
Someone running by. A whiff of soap.
First hawthorn blossoms.

Tomales Bay
as published in Atlanta Review

Nymph, in thy orisons, be
all my sins remembered.

--William Shakespeare

Last night the moon drizzled mercury
on black water. Orion leaned over
Tomales Bay. I dreamt an animal,
stranded on the shore, slipping nearly
under, eyes reaching human-like
into my core. Huddled in blanket
on the torn-up pier, I try to pray.

Dimmest dawn breathes frail light.
Water, wooded ridge, three moored sloops,
invisibly suspended in grey-soft mist.
The loon glides by, scoring her silent music;
dips her bill twice, then dives, leaving no trace.