Friday, May 15, 2015

This Morning

This morning I slept five minutes late, because a dream of you wouldn’t let me open my eyes. I stumbled to the shower, and turned the water all the way to cold, knowing that you would hate it if you were here. My body goes through the motions, but today is not like the days before. Today is 

the day of letting go.  A hummingbird meets me at my window. He dances wildly around a banana tree, tempting the street cat perched on the fence beneath him. Unaffected, he darts from bushel to bushel, taking in the sweet nectar before the blooming fruit consumes it. In different ways, they both 

remind me of you.The song playing reminds me of you. I change it. The next one reminds me of you as well. I accept that will probably be the case for a very long time, but it doesn’t mean that I will stop listening to music, that I will change my daily routine because you are no longer a part of it. 

Instead, I will find new things to associate with my feelings. Even with the world at my fingertips, my hands feel vacant without yours, so I fill them with keys, a wallet, a cell phone, anything to replace the empty feeling. In the car I find myself traveling at speeds of five miles per hour. 

Los Angeles cannot drive in the rain. In the distance I can hear the thunder traveling in the opposite direction. Everyone leaves eventually. I am not angry with you – I am confused. You are not the person I thought you were. I allowed you to take my love for granted, but that ends today. 

This morning I promised to never love someone who doesn’t truly love me in return. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What I Heard In Silence

My fingertips are donned with battle wounds, paper cuts and scars,
from writing draft after draft of love notes you’ll never read.
Yours are pointed in contempt; I am not the person you hoped

I would be for you by now. The punching bag you expected
turned out to be a blanket that you have no interest in being
wrapped up in despite how cold your heart has grown.

The usually steady buzz of my cell phone against hardwood
has ceased, and in its place I hear only the dripping of the faucet.
I meant to fix it weeks ago, but haven’t noticed it in a while.

The memory of you echoes in my mind, how I laid out on that grassy bank
beside you, my fingers traveling like fearless soldiers across the dirt, conquering
each blade to rescue yours. You told me that you didn’t need saving.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ode to Pixie

Her step leaves glowing footprints on blades of grass
There’s glitter in her hair.
I’ve got scraped knees and a mending heart,
But I can bare it when she’s near. 

She said "They can't get to the both of us.
There's too much happening in the universe. 
I'll distract them while you run around the sun,
If you promise you’ll love me first.

I wrap her in a veil of time and patience
She learns to love the way that it feels.
There are depths in which I haven’t been
That reside within her still.

The clock will stand at ease ‘til Fall,
When she first breathes Pacific winds.
I’ll loop a dream around her heart
Soon life will begin again. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I miss the way your hand feels in mine. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to holding you, and in my mind – Fingers are arms, pinkies and thumbs are legs, and I do my best to wrap them completely around 

yours. We haven’t said it yet. We’ve hinted, and I can feel it, but that word still weighs so heavy on my tongue from the last time that it was used. I do my best to separate you from my past, but all 

hearts feel the same at their breaking point. It has taken me only weeks to do with you the things that I couldn’t accomplish in years with anyone else. When I hear your laughter, I remember that 

patience really is a virtue. At nineteen, you spun my heart into a frenzy. The once steady beat, skipped and danced through my chest whenever you were near.  In the darkness, I sat next to you. 

Your eyes, nearly as heavy as your heart. It is difficult to keep yourself afloat when everyone else tells you that you’re drowning. I wanted to reach inside and pull out every bad thing anyone had ever 

said to you. Redefine every word until you were full of compliments and promises that would never be broken. It isn’t difficult fall for a woman like you. That feeling is measured in moments, not days. 

With you, forever is not more than a smile or kiss away. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

In Flight

My heart is a scratch-paper canvas with many layers of memories I’ve tried to cover
up before you. For me, being let go is something that I’ve grown quite accustomed to. Stroke by stroke, I struggle to paint a picture of a life without you in it. The colors
bleed beneath my teardrops. Repetition reminds me that you won’t be easy to hide,
but I am no longer afraid to make mistakes. They’re expected.

When I woke up this morning I wiped the sleep from my eyes and your smile
from my mind. It found me again by the time I reached the bus stop. I didn’t expect
it to hang around for very long; historically speaking, I’ve never been difficult to
walk away from. I can be a lot to handle at times, but you ought to know that by
now. After all, I’ve given you plenty of fair warnings.

Somewhere between gates 6 and 7, I find the deep breath that I have been searching for
since you said goodbye. “It’s not me. It’s you,” you told me sympathetically. “Your heart is too beautiful.” Apparently it’s possible to love too much. I never knew, but I’m also not surprised. This isn’t the first time that I’ve been here. Summer after summer of
bed sheets and broken hearts. Sometimes, I forget whose side that I am on.

“What do you love about me?” You asked.  I meant it when I told you, “Everything.”
I should have added, “Even the parts that leave me breathless and torn. Even the arguments and the panic attacks. Even the sound of your footsteps when you are leaving. It reminds me of the beat of your heart. I love how brave we once were and how close we almost came to everlasting.” You don’t believe anyone could love those parts. But I do.

Never before have I met someone who believed so strongly in fairies, but could not
fathom forever. Permanency has never been appealing to a heart like yours; full to the brim with unsettling wanderlust. Your soul wants freedom and your mind sees me as a cage that you could never fit comfortably inside. I press the pads of my fingertips
together. I wonder how your hands feel after all these years of holding on to someone

else’s. Four years ago, I would have flown across the country, caught a cab to your doorstep, and set your heartbeat into a frenzy as you unsuspectingly rounded the corner.
I would have only gotten through a few lines of poetry before breaking down. Through tears, I’d ask you to make promises that you could never keep. You would gently squeeze my arm - apologize as you sidestepped around me- already late to where you were going.  

Instead, I’m on a flight to Missouri writing poetry that’ll never change the outcome of your decision. It will only document the many times I’ve managed to get ahead of myself. My heart thinks it’s a pioneer blazing trails that lead to fairytale endings, and yours thinks that I am trying to burn down the mystical forest in your mind. I’ll never understand what makes you feel you cannot trust me. You will never try to explain.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chicago Never Loved Me

At three years of age, my mother moved us up to a tiny suburb outside of
Chicago so she could pursue a relationship with an undetected drug
addict. That’s all I remember about him. That and how it felt to come home
to coke on the counter and everything my mother had worked for, gone.

The best thing about him was his family; particularly his niece. She taught
me how to love. How to pronounce a few words in Spanish. How to say the
Lord’s prayer. How to build mounds of Autumn leaves tucked in the corner
of the yard against the fence for jumping into. She also taught me how to die.

She was five when the doctor diagnosed her. Stage four Cancer. Even
through the chemo, I remember how vibrant and full of life she was. When 
she left the city after her last treatment, a drunk driver ran a stop sign killing 
both she and her mother instantly. I knew then that Chicago didn't  love me.  

Years later, I found myself speeding down the highway well past midnight. We
met in college, and although you had to take a train from her house to get there, 
she swore she was from the city. Instead of bright lights and roaring street sounds, 
I found silence  on an air mattress in their rural guest room. I couldn’t help but notice 

how much she looked like her mom in those photos. I recall the steady sense of normalcy
that rested in the house the next morning. We ate eggs. Together. She curled her hair in an 
antique mirror, her mother read out on the deck, her brother was busy somewhere still being
a kid and I couldn’t for the life of me understand the fairytale I’d stepped into.

I think that she really did like showing me the city. It was tall. Bright. Beautiful. 
Something my sheltered self had never seen. My neck broke as I stared up at the cloud-laced skyscrapers. I couldn’t keep up with her brisk city gate. Maybe she didn’t like showing the 
city to anyone. Maybe the city was her secret. See, Chicago never loved me.

The heart plays games. When people say things, I listen. And when they ask me to 
love them, I do. I let myself get caught up in the poetry of it all, so close to sharing four 
letter words with a figment of my imagination. No matter how many mediocre lines I 
write for her, she will not forget how big the world is. I would never ask her to.

Sometimes, I give her everything I have. Even when she isn’t sure yet what she has to 
offer in return. She is not a vending machine. I cannot push things in to pull others out.
Instead, I take her as she comes, with split ends, snagged threads, dimples and half smiles.
Her beauty is not validated by whether or not she is loved by me. Maybe she is 

still learning to love herself. I know that I am not her greatest victory. That is what I love about her. I receive another picture. And another text. She fills my heart with lyrics and my mind with clouds. Then she stops. Because she has to wake up early, and Pacific time is not universal. Even time is against us, and I know Chicago will never love me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

We Talked Today

We talked today.

Not in the “let’s catch up.” Sort of way.
But the “this is your last chance.”

Standing next to the water. Toes dipping just above the edge.
I could fall in. But I can't swim.
I wonder how deep it is.

It wasn’t him this time. It was me. Maybe I feel guilty.
Maybe I know that he is right.
He is sorry.
It wasn’t his fault.

It wasn’t mine.
I fought.
He ran.
Maybe I resented him for that.
Not for leaving. But for going back to something just as bad.

Sometimes, I wonder how he’s doing.
What he will amount to. I run it over and over in my mind.
Is there something that I could do to help him?
Does he just need an opportunity?
Or does he need a miracle?
Because I’m a little short on those lately.


I went down to the lake the other day hoping that I’d find a dreamer.
There’s an empty space where your thoughts used to circulate, and my
reasons make less sense than before.

I’m still tough to love after all this time. Your heart says it’s time to try something
a little easier. So you've packed your bags, found an ocean wave, and planned a trip
into the setting sun.

It’s just like you to hesitate, and it’s like me to be in over my head. Of all the things
I've forgotten, you’d think I’d remember this feeling. We've been here before;
a step too close. For years you kept that door shut between us.

Your neck is strained from glancing between coast and home. Sometimes the things
we don’t say resonate the most. You ask for space, overwhelmed by the expectations we
let cultivate. They hang like fog in all the empty places. 

I steady my breath and speed my hand – there’s not much time to reach you. Because,
lightning never strikes the same place twice and I've heard love is the same. You’ll come
back around when it’s way too late, only questions unanswered could save us.

As you read this your blood runs cold, uncertain. Besieged by promises and broken pieces.
The reality is heavy, the past is dark, and I’m more than just someone’s distraction I once said 
that I’d beg, but I meant your pardon. I’m sorry you see the trees and not the forest.