Selected Poems

Cooper’s Rules

American Journal of Poetry | January 2020

I. “All guns are loaded.” Except for this: as soon as you realize that some guns are not, you let your guard down. And before you know it a loaded gun slips into the mix and you find yourself in real trouble. Say the gun is sexy and shows some real talent. Maybe its lines…

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Four Way Review | November 2019

Looking down from my second story porch I see the flowering quince they say will thrive in almost any soil. This one is no doubt dead, though its faithful branches reach up and outward, insulting the brittle dry sticks that pin the massive bush to fertile ground. Watery red flowers the color of diluted blood…

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Steady Girl

The Cortland Review | October 2019

They say the best ones stay forever, no matter how skittish, how wild-eyed and restless their stall mates, the horses they’re meant to calm. Entering the pen, the goats draw out the twitching dark poison, work quietly to free mile after mile of glistening horsehide from the hard tug of fear and longing, the animal…

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Bamboo Wife

The Southeast Review | Spring 2019

If one bright day you find yourself moving through the rooms of the Jeju folklore museum, you might pause at the domestic exhibits, wonder at the strange, closed basket as wide as a drum and as long as a yardstick. They call it “bamboo wife,” and carefully printed signs tell you that in warmer months,…

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The Arkansas International | Spring 2019

A man I admire, a good man, asked me Are you a nun, too? and I thought of all the mornings, what a question to ask! It was a natural one, given that we share an acquaintance, a nun I told him we both know. But on this morning I laughed too loudly with an…

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Doll’s House, Provincetown Museum

Crab Orchard Review | October 2018

Walk through the giant open jaws of the blue whale, back toward the stunned faces of the china-headed dolls wearing Victorian clothes and clutching real leather purses to find the house that’s the size of a small gas stove. Set on a three-foot platform so you can peer into its windows, point at its tiny…

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Sun and Moon

Prelude | April 2017

If you ask me anything about him, and I mean the simplest question about his age or what he likes to do, I’m likely to answer in a complicated way that you are not prepared for. You will judge me, and I will hate you, and we will not be friends. In earshot of the…

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Virginia is for Lovers

Little Patuxent Review | Winter 2017

(after Henri Cole) How long will it be before I start feeling like this place is our home? Before the strange corners squatting in this house stop gouging my hips. Before our neighbors quit bringing us bread and handwritten notes. Will my new license plate always taunt me with its prescription for love? Everyone says…

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North American Review | Summer 2016

It’s 4:37 in the morning and I am almost all here. Listening for the heavy sound of the fan kicking on, muffling the thuds of the delivery truck unloading fruit, the rumbling, irregular traffic on Mill Road, the inexplicable banging in the hallway which will probably wake the dog and start him whining again, I…

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The Journal | 39.2 Spring 2015

In the fourth grade Billy Morton calls me a chink and I think at first it’s because he sees my mother sitting quietly in the last row behind all the other mothers on back-to-school night (her black ink hair falling down to her waist like a curtain closed to everyone whenever she bends her head),…

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