’twas twilight on the inner rim
& in orbit husks did glow,
those rusting hulks aflame again
that died so long ago

when Major Thorne set out to seal
the locks against the Kl’o
but failed to ram the hammer home
& bargained this shit deal

where Kl’o can come & Kl’o can go
as pretty as they please
through the gates of hyperspace
while we must bend the knee—

but now m’boys you see the sign,
writ in the stratosphere:
the reclamation has begun—
let’s teach the K’lo to fear


my brother ate spaghetti
right out of the can,
shoveled cold noodles
& fat-laced meatballs
into his maw, red
sauce flinging down
the aisles, the grocer
stomping & yelling &
my mother shrugging
as if to say what do
you expect when you
stock can openers
within reach of a ten
year old with a hankering
that must be obeyed
more than a mother
working the late shift
after her no good
husband ran off
with that bitch jolene?


wrens lie sweet as apple
butter or so the grackle
says but who can you
really trust these days?
ask the crow shrugging
across the evening sky
but don’t expect straight
answers since crows too
stretch the truth when it
suits their blood-soaked fancy
& everybody says starlings
are good for nothing
except gossip, hot takes,
& revenge so best keep
secrets close to your chest
unless that dark-eyed junco
comes around because
honestly who can resist?