Your city is 2,192 miles from mine, so why
do I feel you trying to crawl into bed with us, clawing the
sheets away from my naked body, pushing yourself closer
to him, wrapping your arms around his chest possessively,
as if he were yours to begin with.

Desperation clings to your skin like yesterday’s perfume,
coating the oxygen around us with toxins, permeating everything
like so much smoke from a fire you lit yourself. And I
wonder if my name tastes as bitter in your mouth as
yours does in mine.

I hope it does.

I hope you choke on it.

Hobbits are the Worst Heroes on Record

The sexual tension between Samwise Gamgee
and Frodo Baggins makes me want to fold up
like a partially done origami crane
that has been crumpled up and discarded
like so much bygone garbage.

Stop with the anime eyes of adoration and the
Samwise the Brave
and the I couldn’t have done it without you!
This isn’t a Warner Bros movie where
a closed-mouth kiss between
an awkward ginger and Dan Rad
can slide by with its PG-13 rating,
but is somehow more uncomfortable than
every eternal second
between Leonidas and his queen when your parents
are next to you and throwing altogether too penetrating
glances in your direction,
scalding into your skin their knowledge of
your escapades last night.

In case you hadn’t noticed, my dear hobbits,
you are heading into Mordor
to destroy a ring before it destroys you,
and before Gollum’s sticky fingers find themselves
threading around your neck
like the spider web you walk through
one time but somehow ends up in your mouth,
and before the Orcs and the Uruk Hai and Saruman
and the fire eye of Sauron all find you
and simultaneously kill you like some demented
team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.

This isn’t a first-person shooter; this is your life.
You can’t take a grenade to the face and still
beat someone down for the game-winning kill,
making your screen echo with the caps lock shouts
of praise from your 28-year-old man-child comrades,
half of which think you’re the best thing
to ever happen to them since, well, birth.
The bad guys will kill you for real
and take away your respawn safety net,
and they will dance an ungainly dance on your tiny hobbit graves.

I hate to break it to you,
my delicate little halfling friends,
but the need for nine hours of movie in the extended edition
is largely due to the fact that hobbits are the worst heroes on record
and have serious issues with goal-oriented problem solving.
The moral of the story here?
Stop being the stereotypical college frat boys of the fiction world and
get a move on with the task of saving Middle Earth.

Sleep Paralysis

A guttural voice muttered
from the shadows that engulf me,
reeking of danger and death.

I am blind. The impenetrable
blackness consumes the light
around me. I suffocate.

The words from the darkness are
inaudible, yet somehow are more
frightening and true for that.

I need to wake up. I try to move
a leaden arm to my slumbering
I am frozen.

A face begins to reveal itself,
emerging from its gloomy cocoon,
a death moth to burrow into my skin.

I breathe as hard as I can, hoping to
wake my sleeping brain. I cannot
escape from my poison sleep.

The darkness evaporates and light
permeates my retinas, burning them.

I am awake. I am safe.


I thought that this time would be different
That you would at least pretend to care
And you’d see what you were doing was terrible
But I guess I was wrong
I remember it like it was yesterday
That day that CPS came to get us
You were crying
Saying how much you were afraid
Afraid to lose us, your children
We left with the lady that came for us
I looked out the back window
As we drove away
I saw you standing there, alone
I felt sorry for you
We arrived at the little blue house
With the white picket fence
My phone vibrated in my pocket: my mother
“Lie” she said on the other line
“Please just lie”, pleading now
I agreed, remembering your tears
I passed on the message to my brothers
“Just lie, okay?”
They agreed as Mom knew they would
As you knew they would
The room where I was questioned was cold
Two chairs, a table, a whiteboard, a clock
“Do you know the difference
Between the truth and a lie?”
The questioner looked at me with penetrating eyes
I nodded, and the questioning began
They came hard and fast
Like hail on a dark night
“Has he ever abused you?”
“Has he ever abused your brothers?”
“Does he drink?”
“Does he yell at you?”
I shook my head, over and over
It almost seemed too easy to lie
I didn’t think I’d ever regret it
I guess I thought that you’d change
Somehow, you made me believe
That you would be the father I’d wished for
Every night before I fell asleep