to say no to the little thoughts and voices and
the notes you write to yourself
the lists of wrongs and never rights
that keep you up at night, I’m telling you
are unproductive as it gets
you’re a little bit scarred
a little bit scared
to ride for a while
and when you do you
fasten your training wheels back on
with a little shame
but eventually, you can
take them off again
I can’t survive this mountain climb
and stormy nights where I lose my footing in
the torrent of your apathy
and then I see a misty light and live for that
make your engine strong and
gallons of your bitterness
to fuel the fire to make it fly
and distant stars will light your way
far far away from even the sunrise
Memorize a simple phrase or two
just do it.
But is it really that simple?
they can’t see the invisible
like the goodness of your heart
or how you cry yourself to sleep
because words sting a little
okay, a lot
turning over a new leaf
is hard in the dead of winter
trees are bare and I can’t
bear the unforgiving nature
of the snow, the branches, and
I will step back into the darkness
‘cause hearts hide best there
while it burns I will drink ice water
and watch you from afar
some days it’s unfair
that the rain clouds my mind
and the pillows and blankets can’t make up for
the words people say
a string of lights that only half-work
some mascara stains on a white dress, hanging
waiting to be saved
a borrowed book mixed in with all the rest
too many blankets and pillows
for just one bed
sometimes losers are more fun to be around
in my honest opinion
it isn’t the same
without you around.
I see beauty in the
three-legged cat hobbling
on my back porch
and in my shed that has
needed a paint job for decades
and in the way that “I love you”
doesn’t quite sound as good
as when I was sixteen.
they’d forgotten to invite her,
just an oversight.
It skids across the groundand smashes into the wallA thousand shards.
The other day I saw her walking
with a cat on a leash and
a huge sun hat so I couldn't see her face
just wisps of grey hair and
stumpy legs under a pleated,
they’ve told me what
a beautiful life this
sometimes I fail to see.
but a much bigger view reveals that
I am much too small
for something as big and blue to be crying for me
it’s not crying for you
but I am.
I would’ve loved to know
the you I imagined in my head
or any you at all, really
some would watch her drop her book-bag to see if a boy would pick it up for her
and sometimes they bit at the bait
but mostly they walked on by
"I blame the roots for tripping me
and the rocks for scraping me
but I’m the one who falls."
"the glorious fall
peace or simple dilemma
we tangle in life"
"I h o p e that you squirm
and I hope that you cringe
If y o u think of m e ."
"The words that would stray from those thin lips
And the contemplations of that unbeating heart."
"Loneliness rocks like a grandmother
back and forth on a chair
can’t seem to find stillness
in a room all alone
the fireplace crackles
the creaking continues
and on and on"
"The reds speak of the heart she lost
one summer in the evenings
the passion that ran wild like rain
is scarlet splatters on her ceiling"
"No two words ever work the same way,
so my light side has become a philosopher and poet
so accustomed to twisting and turning and finding new words that mean the same things."
"The shadows ride on my back
hide in my purse
follow me to school
to the coffee shop downtown."
"I sit at my kitchen table.
He painted it white for me last year when I begged him to
I pick at its chipping edges with a cracked fingernail."
"But I've lived in fifteen different countries to fill the void
and none of them are any better."