Love in the Injustice Age

Updated: May 12

First featured in the Gyroscope Review


Love In The Injustice Age (published in the Fall Issue of Shantih Journal [Oct. 6, 2018])

is when you know someone so well

you could be her scream.

Tia and I, we have caught a glimpse

of our extinction; we are hunting it down.

We build peace with justice, Tia and I.

She cracks jokes like belts and I dig like an insult

and the scant trees seize in the wind.

We make this ditch with pick axes

and fear and sick hope and just us.

We are trying to prevent wasteland –

place where no mystery can live – at least somewhere

and so we have to dig. Past dirt, through

the fat bones of old trees, below

water tables, screaming with life.

Barrier. But we must find what everyone

will believe is worth saving.

Tia shares personal opinions about love

and cancer. I press her to keep digging with me.

We must find something gold for humanity

and we must find it here. We do stop –

for snacks, for sleep, to watch darkened light

plunder the growing thunderheads.

Birds fly in off the tsunamic sea that is hooked

like a rubber band around God’s thumb.

‘Do you hear that sound?’ Tia asks, leaning

her shovel into juicy soil. Nothing from the birds

but the moon, small but good shepherd, yelps

against our never-dulled blades. Frogs, the ones

we haven’t dissected in our hurry, waddlecrawl

across sticky leaves we’ve tossed aside.

Blades buzz in the sepia breeze. Tia gets to the ground,

wrists, elbows, triceps, ear. “Here.” She handprints

the pulped dirt. “Here.” I see the scream –

blue holes in my vision – before I feel it gash my throat.

Tia buries her face in the slit shoulder of earth.

It is painful to believe that every rock is sacred because

nothing survives love.

Instructions For How To Live My Life published in Issue 10 The Rush (December 18, 2021)

if I should die.

Use resistance as formaldehyde.

Refuse to accept the fact of change.

Reserve the right to refuse,

and refuse the right to be reserved.

Stop eating when you’re upset.

Burn off the rest in punishing workouts.

When you hear about emotional eating

or exercise addiction, don’t identify.

React to every word or change like it’s a harpoon.

Pump your cortisol day and night ruminating on safety.

When you have to set your alarm,

forget to turn it off.

Believe you can remember everything else.

Resent always being called upon for miscellanea.

When you read—and read everything,

save acting on it for later.

Make mountains out of marginalia.

Believe the dark is made of bears.

And if you should die…

Clay