her breath trembles

with human awe—


impenetrable scents

& pain—pain like the understanding


of what goes on during


of shrieks

& ecstasy                     —the calm

of the air

drunk by fire—


an upturned breast.



Closed Windows


She had rusty eyes,

& when we made love,

The leaves were new,

Winter stayed.


Snow was spent like lilies

& lying in bed after,

Nothing was left

But the ashen skin

Of the dead.


We rotted

Behind closed windows

Until just bones remained

& the air dissolved our stench

In dust,

Disgusted only by

Our perfection.



Steven grew up the first half of his life northwest of Chicago; the second half he lived in Ohio. He prefers listening to people in bars, being drunk. Remembering happiness in times of pain, a profounder pain sets in, and without bread, love, art—dead lands are his only hell. His vices (drawing, painting, writing, reading, etc.) are solitary, so he cannot brag of accomplishments