new suitcase poems

11. Keys lost [—-] ago–edges fray, you mend summer of building— how it all comes a — partthat parting finality it echoed silentcold——- Nothing in the right placewalls patterned wildlyshe—-once blonde It—all—lost—here we pack essence,this entering 12. I will draw the case aroundtake you to meet mother—father nodding approval Your name resonnates blanknessa blank look…

suitcase series, continued

This does not fit—– background looming “Don’t tell me WHERE“ now, staring—–blank star—-blue so vibrant hand on hip, hand on handa bellow or a sigh now a glass bridgepeeking through to the floor arms, only armshis face ragged, unshaven cramming it into—–are we home?

some new suitcase poems

7. This time, you travel alone–slowly the leaves drop his hands—rough—againstthe—impossible—silence Names, faces, how to use a forkthey vanishno words to describecardinals in trees,water slapping sand wood discolored from rainneighbors talk through gapsthe blurring vision wrap tight the bundleheld against shoulders, walking 8. Seeming heavier with each stepthe mud sticks to boots–orange clay, orange coat–his…

another suitcase for my grandma

6. WHEN ——– I want////to gothey faded, the polaroids of the beach that day you, the [ ] housewifewho never liked to cookthe cracks–gaps–your face–un-famil-ythe way the breath just stopped. dulling varnishthe lacquered box blackcabinets barelooked backholding on———-the pain open rusted clasps curl yourself inside its walls.

two new suitcases

4. He will want–a sweater for the evening–milking the cows, feeding the catsthe morning–eggs and toastthe routine breaking apart She lived in———-THIS IS A JAIL–I want to—freedom of movement It is a grazy day–on the coast, the clouds condensered sliding, white shudders He was there for so long,then gone—the soft-sided bags expand, take on new…

suitcases, continued

3.You will make everything fitinto a finite space–the bails of haya container for grief– He stacks, you sweep–There is no sweeping, not tonight. This–is–called—-weepingwhere he lay sleepingor is it—–the falls, the canyon, your journey Stack and fill and stackthe walls emerge in her vision–you look away–find the bags–move to the next new moment.


I went to see some short films on Friday night, and one of them was about a woman’s experience of Alzhiemer’s. It was really interesting, and it reminded me to go back to this series of poems I started writing about my grandmother’s deteriorating dementia. She went through a period where everything she did centered…