Helium Hydride

Astrophysicists found it crushed into the crevices of the universe
Hidden between some god’s couch cushions
Now they can learn how everything created itself
How gravity drew elements to its breast but couldn’t contain them
How all the pieces found new ways to fit together
And the pieces lumped into chunks
And the chunks massed into planets
And planets broke into moons and asteroids
And there were stars to spin it all
And there was light.


Last Night at the Divide

I shoveled Deluxe Nachos
Into my mouth, dark beans
Clinging to melted cheese

Stretched from plate to chin.
Salsa hot enough to cry.
The final debris I scooped

With my greasy fingers,
Dragged the jalapeños
Across my bottom teeth. Full

For the first time in weeks,
I grinned at the waiter over
An empty plate for two.

Camilo Catrillanca

I make change in the depths of my purse,
Where little is found—crumbs and supermarket receipts,
Histories no anthropologist would catalogue
No university will buy these papers
To preserve with a careful note:
She bought pasta on Tuesday.
I wonder where the point tips,
Where driving a tractor is probable cause
For Colombian jungle-trained bullets,
Why I out-lived a father kept alive on deleted footage.


I am braiding my hair
With bits of wire
Saved from the street
By my love,
Because You never know,

While I coat my nails
In vegetable oil,
The gel oozing into
A saucepan by the stove.

I am beneath my desk,
Expecting alarms,
Or shining my shoes
On the living room carpet,
The confidence to claim
The space.

So many aches
Last just a peach fuzz second,
They breathe musky rosemary
To cover the sweat.

I am falling asleep
At lunch and wondering
How I’ve woken up
So far from home,
Drooling in a library
Quiet study room
I already graduated from.

The evenings
I put my name
On a list to
Stand in line to
Get a number to
Schedule an appointment.

Half Life

I had lines in my head
When I woke up first thing,

Something about Pinksy
And people I’d pray for
Though I don’t pray at all

But full light dissolved
Each word into the drool patch
On my pillow.

Something about
The glowing mundane of contentment.
The easy dinners and radio broadcasts,

Furniture shopping and
Reading on the couch.

Making up stories about the neighbors
Whose windows face ours.