I pour cream—a rare treat—into
the steaming coffee in my clear glass cup
and find myself watching the seconds-long
dreamy adagio of mixture, the leisurely swim
of darker and lighter in constantly
changing interplay, seeming to surge
as unhurriedly as clouds aggregate, or thin out,
implementing mysterious algorithms, making me
think of swirling schools of fish, or swerving
murmurations of starlings in slow motion.
And I want to take my life as languidly
as these liquids eddy in the glass,
as if I would then be in tune with rhythms
at the heart of the universe—mine to comprehend—
unpushed, not pressuring
But the coffee and cream
seem not to fully blend until I stir,
and I must drink up, get in my car,
and onto the already clotted
has four full-length collections of poetry published, including Bird Flying Through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths (2nd ed. Antrim House, 2012), winner of the Litchfield Review poetry book prize for 2007. Groaning and Singing, her fifth collection, will be published by FutureCycle in early 2022.
Her poems have appeared in Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Connotation Press, Ghost Town, New Ohio Review, One (Jacar Press), Rattle, Slant, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verdad, and other journals, and in more than three dozen anthologies. Her stories are published in The Madison Review, The North American Review, Literary Mama, and other magazines, and her creative nonfiction, in Under the Sun, Hippocampus, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, and elsewhere. She is Lecturer Emerita, Department of Creative Writing, UC Riverside, and an Associate Editor of Poemeleon.