Day 22: Things I Wonder

Why can’t you give
a rabbit a bath?

What’s at the end
of the garden path?

Are rainbows all squished up
inside drops of rain?

Will I get to the ocean
if I’m sucked down the drain?

Do animal mommies
sing babies to sleep?

Will I run out of planet
if I dig way down deep?

Will my brother look pretty
with stars in his hair?

When spring turns to winter,
can I talk with a bear?

Will the sun turn to stone
when it’s all out of light?

Where do my goldfish
swim off to at night?


Day 22: Write a poem for children.

Silliness ensues. I really did wonder a lot of these things, though.

Day 21: saGuijo

when we were in high school
the trendy way to tell someone
you liked them without actually
saying anything was to bring them
to places they’d never been
take the convent school girls
swimming with sharks
make them miss Mass on Sunday
let down all their glorious hair
so you said come hear my band play
in exchange I’ll give you a guitar
pick and let you watch me
swig a Red Horse in two breaths
and in all my youthful ignorance
I was just like what even
are these bands’ names
what is a Sleepwalk Circus
and who is Dharma
I hate crowds and loud music
it always makes me hyper-
ventilate but I did not just then
hate you and in fact I think I
may have quite loved you
that is the only explanation
for my sixteen-year-old self
in denim shorts and a cardigan
past my bedtime on a weeknight
drinking iced tea in a hole in a wall
you made me hyperventilate


Day 21: Write a New York School poem.

This story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual places, events, or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Day 20: Two Sisters

purple wall
curling scrawl
stuffed toys
no noise
hundred books
eyes and hooks
locked gates
armor plates
ramrod spine
white wine
elder daughter

crinkled frown
pink wall
trust fall
funny bone
Christmas star
blue guitar
weekend breaks
shower singing
sweetness stinging
spring water
younger daughter


Day 20: Write a poem in the voice of a member of your family.

I’m a bad actress, so I’m not adept just yet at assuming voices, but I did have my dad in mind when I wrote this–if I inherited my own voice from anyone, it’s probably him, and he was always best at seeing his children in sharp relief.

Day 19: Lazarus Jewel Box

something not to tell the children
when you go barefoot together
across the hot sand:

dig deep with your hands
into the foam where
the water breaks itself

after the sea has dispensed
with its dead, we come
sun in our eyes
to collect the coffins


Day 19: Write a poem inspired by an unusual seashell name.

… I just miss the beach so bad. :(((((((

Day 18: Coffeemaker Rhymes

There is no greater love than to
rise early and begin to brew
a cup of coffee for the one
who sleeps in hours after you.

Though I would rather, much, have tea
the joy is greater still to see
you, dearest, lifting up your mug
to drink the day’s first toast to me.


Day 18: Write a ruba’i–a Persian form consisting of a quatrain rhymed AABA.

Nagpapacute lang powhz because while I’m not a coffee drinker, I’m almost always in the company of people who are, and they love me more for being able to educate me about it.

Day 17: Pink Salt

my mother brings it
home in jars

medium grain
fine grain, pure
infused with garlic
and herbs

all carrying
the promise of eighty
different essential
minerals, all claiming
there are things
white table salt
forgets in the process
of refinement

I unscrew the lid
the salt rolls and bumps
into my palm
like gravel in surprising
colors: blush and sand
and dusky rose

sweet colors
I think perhaps
they belong on a cake
or in the morning
and evening clouds
you can’t possibly
dig them out
of the ground

what a surprise
it is, then, to place
a granule on my tongue
anticipating sugar

and taste the sea intact
in its sharpness—see
where it has married
itself to the earth
in a mine under
a mountain range


Day 17: Write a poem in which you describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses.

This is such a horrible poem, but it’s just that my mom is really into pink Himalayan salt right now and I’ve developed a childlike and slightly absurd fascination with it–the grains are huge, and it’s PINK. And I’m like, WHY.

Also, I was going to write a poem about an entire meal instead of a condiment, because what else do you write about for a full sensory experience (???), but this juice-diet I’m on makes it too much of an ordeal to try and think about food and all its wonders without bursting into floods of (largely figurative, but still somewhat literal) tears. Huhuhuhu. Uhuhu. Huhu. Hu.

Day 16: Origin Stories

  1. In the beginning, people shed their skins and uncovered new lives every day.
  2. Death came airborne into the world when lightning first cracked open the sky.
  3. The moon was once a dragon that gorged herself on the sun’s fire.
  4. Some airplanes fly off the edge of the world into space and become stars.
  5. Trees, too, are people. Their language is silent. Through this they will inherit the earth.
  6. A bird building a nest in your air-conditioner is a sign that you will never learn to sing.
  7. Tidal waves signal the onset of reaping and harvesting season under the sea.
  8. The spirits sometimes take a person’s eyes and leave flowers blooming out of the empty sockets. In common parlance this is known as falling in love.
  9. Because the heart resides on the left side of the body, left-handed people are less able liars.
  10. The smallest people in the world spend most of their lives completely in darkness and have no eyes. When you boot up your computer, they light their lamps.


Day 16: Write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie.

Day 15: Origami

Lotus Blossom

Stars on the surface
of the green lake, roots twisted
down into the mud.


They lean together
in the glass jar like women
with their hands folded.


Fold the paper birds
into life, and imagine
you are sprouting wings.


I want aloneness
wide as water, the moment
the shore drops away.


Day 15: Write a poem in terza rima.

I actually wrote a poem in terza rima once back in high school when I was still handy with stuff like rhyme and meter. But I would rather fold origami than write any kind of poetry, so here, have some haiku instead. Will doubtless add to this as I learn how to fold more things.

Day 14: In the Event of a Catastrophe


Day 14: Write a poem where every sentence except the last takes the form of a question.

Jumped the prompt again and wrote a procedural instead, but the questions that medicine tries to answer are some of the biggest and most important questions there are. I was once a trained first-aider.

Also, the surest way to write a poem lately: mishmash your research, add feelings, mishmash more research, add more feelings, cover them up with numbers and imperatives and words like “determine” and “regardless” and “triage”, add line cuts.