Poem from the Vault: Sunflower

The sunflower

bursts with fertile, coppery

lust —

his facetothesun

reflects a thousand

seeds of what will be his offspring —

and likewise

Radhi, tall as corn

stretches toward the sun, face


for the blessing of lush harvest.

He plants the seeds,

follows the patterns

of light through the swaying stalks

till wetness drips

from the heaving sky, and

watches his children

dance dizzily

drenched in sun and rain.

They practice

carving, shaping, digging, sowing,

and the flame of birthed fruits.

Like their father, they learn

to bloom.

[Originally published in Jittering Microscope #1, 1990]

Radhi is a character archetype from my pantheon of characters. He is inspired by Papa Legba (the gate-keeper voodoo loa), and Osiris. In my upcoming novels he is channeled into the characters Roddy in Pieces of Home and Perry inĀ Haunted House Designers. These two represent my “well-meaning but foolish father” character type.

Poem from the Vault: Melting Evaporati

Melting Evaporati

Although I simmer

with waiting to be near

your body, unclothed and glowing

in the sweltering summer,

touching anything now

is like smothering, and

as unbearable

as flies that bite in itching

slow motion.

It does no good

to scratch

when my skin


with a film of sweat

and the air is too heavy

to breathe deeply or quickly.

When our skins come together,

there is a sticky slapping, instead

of melting.

So I will thrill myself

by looking

through the open door

to see

the swooning bliss of you,


in the sun.