Selected Poems


The Southern Review | Autumn 2022

“Orpheus,” she cried, “what madness has destroyed my wretched self, and you?” (Eurydice, The Georgics by Virgil) Step carefully, friends. Follow close at my heels. Trust me to hold back thorny stems that scratch shins, lift low, eye-gouging branches, sidestep loose stones and muddied holes threatening Dryad ankles. Do be careful; use your hands if…

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Sugar House Review | Summer 2022

Taking my order by phone, she asks me What do you look like? So I can find you? Except that’s not how she says it. Dropping words the way my Korean mother did, still making herself understood, she waits while I decide. Pausing, as I do, as I have done since the first time someone…

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Birmingham Poetry Review | Spring 2022

Following the light, their golden faces are, by sundown, heavy and low with cares. Still, I can’t tear myself away, not now. You’d say do it, run from this bright hot porch, this lovely field of sunflowers mocking you with their likeness, with their sacrifice. Mornings they are young and fresh, their tiny florets dripping…

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Guarding George Wallace

Blackbird | May 2021

One May day in nineteen seventy-two Arthur Bremer shot Wallace five times, a bullet lodging in his spine in such a way he’d never walk again. We know that Bremer was crazy, not a martyr for good. Here is madness where we crave reason, bald desire for fame where we’d prefer conviction. My father, twenty-five…

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Orion | December 2020

The wasps are dying in my son’s bedroom, and each morning I rush to collect them before he wakes and finds them on the floor. On my knees, cheek pressed to the thin woolen rug so I can see them at eye level, I pick them up by their wings, by a crooked leg, pinching…

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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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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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