Honeyballs or, more poetically (and Italian-ly), “struffoli”

Trying to Outrun The Holidays (Before They Even Start)

Be thin, they say, be
fit (a thing to do, not have.)
                                          (no, never)

But it’s getting dark
so much earlier.

Soon there will be candy, cookies
cake. Mashed potatoes;
baked. Turkeys; cider;
Deedee’s struffoli,
besprinkled in rainbows;

The sun is sluggish,
it doesn’t want to get up
or out of bed. Still
the alarm is set. It’s getting dark
so early now. The park
in the dark is scary. Bad things
happen to girls in the park
in the dark. But
(you must)
fit, they say. Get up
out of bed and in the dark,


I woke up after
dreaming of men on horses,
to the sound of rain

through trees. My mother
turned the television on;
light flickering, white,

black, blue. News anchors
spoke of illness, of violence,
and Renee Zellweger,

and I thought, calmly,
but certain and sure:
This is the end of the world.

Then I stood up,
stretched, folded the sheets,
poured coffee.


I remember how
each morning in the school yard
Viv C. made me cry.

She saw my pale legs
covered in dark thick hair, while
her legs were hairless.

That “Girls don’t have hair
like that,” distressed me each day,
’til I called her fat.

Then we became friends.
She helped me with algebra
all through middle school.

We liked Pokemon.
We drew invented maps;
we waged imagined wars.

How strange, to befriend
a bully this way: over
our shared discomfort,

in our bodies: the
aching changes, relentless;
the eager growth-pain.

In sixth grade I shaved
my legs with my mom’s razor.
I wore dresses, I learned
to perform.


On Getting Into Arguments With Men

It must be nice to
throw around words like flowers
like they’re made of fluff

and fresh growing things,
so natural, existing
and welcome, always.

How nice to know in
your bones, you’re right, not ANGRY

But right, and real, too:
the way stones are right and trees
are real. How lovely

to be so filled
with quiet steady sureness
to live on such a sunny,
sweet plateau.