Femme Fatale

It's hard to be a femme fatale
with a sheet-creased face,
sleep frosting your lids
like salt on a margarita glass

and your hair radiating
in black Medusa helixes.

It's hard to be a femme fatale
as you rise from night's bed
in a rumpled T-shirt

and watch, mesmerized, in the mirror
the morning's glory that is you.

Yes, it's hard to pull it off
but somehow...

              I do.

**originally published in Collection II: Poems and Art from Members of Arts on the Park


But she wouldn't, would she?
The knife, the car, the plane
were in reach, if only she would.

It hung there, a subtle singing
in her ears, saying This is the way
out. But she wouldn't, not her.

Everything, she knows, turns on
a single step forward into darkness,
into light, into the subtle singing.

One look back and there it is,
taking on whatever form that challenges
testing her mettle and all she knows.

Knife. Car. Plane. A singularity.
Her ears sting. It has to stop. The step
looms. But would she? She did.

Excerpt from The Language of Prayer


It is sibilant and blood-flushed 
filled with keening voices 
wafting high on fragrant air. 

It is words without form 
bearing witness to lives 
before and after us. 

It is the relief our aching throats 
find in singing praises, heads 
flung back in open gratitude. 

It is ritual and incantation 
letting us wash our bodies 
of rusty burden and regret.