Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sense Memory

The crisp breath of air
across my back awakes me;
for a moment you are still here.

Just before I open my eyes
I can smell the faint hint
of your Cool Cucumber lotion.
"Dry skin is never an option"
you would say as you rubbed
down the cracks in your skin,
masking them.

My eyes open and I am alone.
Perhaps you are in the bathroom

or in another room

in another house

in another town

in another state

somewhere I cannot see you
but know you're okay.

I close my eyes, inhale,
and go back to sleep.


When I think of you
it’s like eating ice cream
too quickly
a total brain freeze
where my thoughts
my words
do not coincide with speech
a normal person speaks

you’re like hypothermia
to my hypothalamus,
cerebral cortex,
all things that reside inside my head

the breath stops
the words stop
the brain freeze begins

but my heart burns
like a lantern in the dark
and I wait for the ice to melt.

I just keep waiting.


You're not here anymore
But pieces of you remain
I can spot you sitting in your chair
or using the red duck umbrella in the rain.
I don't know why you had to leave
There seemed so much life still left
Tell God I don't need money, answers, or happiness
If He'll just give you back, he can keep all the rest.


Split me in two
so a part of me is always with you
put me in the folds of your pocket
and take me out when you’re alone
so you can be with me
and no one else in that moment

Just you and me
the way it was supposed to be
until I asked you to leave
and you believed I wanted you to go.

Break me into pieces and hide me
away in the safest places of your soul

I won’t feel a thing
It’ll be like you never left
It’ll be happiness

With you always
even when you think I’m not
A little piece will always be there

Leaky Faucets

I cannot turn the love off
like the dripping faucet
in my Caribbean blue bathroom.
No matter how tight I turn the knob to the right,
water always leaks through.

You say you need time
to figure all this out,
to see if you can live up to the words
uttered from your mouth over a month ago -
promises made of forever
that quickly were forgotten overnight.

You said no matter what,
but the limitless boundary
has found its limit,
and I cannot make it stop.
I cannot take back any words
said by you or by me.

Now I just sit and listen,
Cross-legged on the tile floor,
to the ever present drops of water
splashing against the hair-dye stained sink drain,
and I wonder if the pain in my chest
will ever stop the way you
found a way to stop caring
after swearing on your Tabby cat
the love would not end.

I want to stuff the pipes with bath tissue,
cement, anything to make them quit;
clot them and my heart until they do not trickle an ounce;
make them back up until they explode
like the toilet trick in Goonies;
until they cannot leak anymore,
until everything is quiet again,
and there is no drip left.

But I do nothing but sit and listen
to the water seep past metal screws
to the love dribble past the aching thoughts
and I wait for it all to stop.

Friday, December 2, 2011


3600 miles driven through twelve states
Only four of us left now
Half of our lives are still in boxes
The other half we left for the repo man
or whoever was there for the taking

We found a lamp at the local thrift store
to replace the three lamps we couldn’t fit in the truck
Each day we find another item we are without
and wish we’d made better use of that 16 feet
that I packed for three days before we left.

I make more lists now
of things we need
of adventures we had
of lives lost along the way
of places still to visit
of why we’re still here
of why we should go home.

But home isn’t what it used to be
and maybe it never will be again
This way, thousands of miles between us
I can remember it how I want to
and no one can tell me any different.

Here I can be whoever I want to be
and my heartaches are not public knowledge
and my sadness is mine to hold
and my worth is my own to determine.

But here you are not with me
You are just memories and intangible moments
I cannot grasp or get back
and as the snow falls around me
I feel that old life fading away with the last
of the autumn leaves.

I let myself fall on the white floor of the earth
and feel the coldness around me
I wave my arms and legs about me
until a snow angel forms underneath me
and for this moment I am grateful
for all 3600 miles
for all the losses and failures
for my one great adventure.

Mount Baker

Mid-July and the top is down
we’re driving towards the mountain
as if we can climb it with our 4 cylinder
and never look back

The sun is high, but hot enough
to flush the pink out of the palest skin
Rows of wildflowers and crops drift
out beside us like ocean waves
as we drive faster and faster
toward the “Great White Watcher”
the natives say is a man that left
his flock tagging behind
and I say is a woman
majestic and beautiful
stark white against the bright blue sky
with her sisters in tow

Squint your eyes against the unyielding light
and you can see her there
with her smaller mountain sisters to the right
She is constant, vigilant
A mother overlooking us all.

Beauty Routine

I watch the sunshine
slip down the drain
the way it does over the horizon
when the night fades in

Dark hair again…

Maybe now you’ll see me
Maybe now you’ll want me

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go back blonde.

Paiwacket the Cat

Blue eyed bandito,
masked and black faced
lying next to me –
Do you know how lovely you are?

Do you care?

Your round belly and waddling feet
tell me I feed you too much.
I try to stop but then you cry,
and I cannot limit you.
I will not be my mother –
not even to you.
I love you too much.
Is that true? Even possible?

Your sandpaper tongue
licks my face as you purr
loudly in my ear
and I know you’re happy.
How I wish my life
was that easy to fix.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I remember finding you.
It was 11:07am on a Monday.
Your hands were ice cold.
Your hands were always cold.
I stared at your chest
to see if it would move.
I listened by your mouth
to hear you breathe.

I tried to take your blood pressure;
I wanted to see the heart blink
on the screen just once, twice, anything.
I thought if I could just do something -
find a way to keep you with me -
it would all be okay.

Silence filled my head
and my chest filled with pain.
It was as if someone cut my heart out
with a serrated blade and no anesthesia,
no antiseptic,
the moment yours stopped.

I am a walking wound now
without you
unable to move
through this barren land,
abandoned and without.

There is no heart
left in me, in my chest
just a gaping wound -
bloody, infected with rotting flesh.

My friends keep trying to pack the hole
with plaster, love, tissues, anything
but it won’t fill.
The maggots have settled in now
soon will come the flies.

I couldn’t save you, couldn’t keep you
here by my side,
and nothing can take this hurt away.

I am a shell of a woman
ghost on the phone
fugitive from my life.

Little Girl Lost

This house, this tomb
holds so many memories
of you and all the things
we were going to be, do
and now you’re gone
and I feel like I’m gone too

I don’t know how to get back.

I don’t know how to make it better.

You’re six feet under
in a steel box
you always hated tight spaces
you always hated the dark
I wish I could dig you up
Resuscitate you
wish you back to life
and tell you
how much I
you in my life

There is no going back
this is the life I have now
empty and grey
without the color of you

I can’t go home

I can’t remember where home is

Because home is you
and you are gone.


It only took you
One hundred Thirty Days
to build me back up
to pull me out
of the deepest, darkest hole
I buried myself in
hoping I’d never have to see
the light of day again
and then break me back down
into the tiniest of pieces
throwing some away
so I’d never be whole again
and throw me back in
like it was nothing
like I was nothing
to you

So easy for you
to be the superhero and villain
in one fail swoop
leaping from girl to girl
like they were tall buildings
spinning your web of lies
like a Spiderman would
plotting the end
for the easiest escape route
but promising the end
will never come
such a superman
and arch nemesis
you are
breaking my heart
the way
you promised
over and over
you never would

I knew it was coming
I knew it was all a lie
You swore it would never happen
You swore forever plus two
It must be so easy for you
to tell your lies
break your promises
walk away
like it was all in a day’s work

You pretended
to be my savior -
a superhero in disguise -
But you’re just a man
Hiding behind your cape.


No machines sit by my bed
No beeping noises are made as I sleep
I do not wait for the snoring to stop
I do not fear waking you

I burned your mattress and box spring
Watched the flames disintegrate every inch
I folded the sheets and put them in the back of the closet
The pillowcases are useful, but I put them away too

I lie on the pillow top of the full sized set
I bought before you needed me to stay
the night
I stare at the smooth ceiling, so different
than the popcorn blown ceiling you used to see
with your pale blue irises and blonde lashes

No revelations come
No dreams haunt my sleep
Just the memories of you
And the moments we will never have.

It’s quiet at night now.
I find it hard to sleep.
If I could go back
to that plain day in March
I’d beat on your chest
until it start beating again
I’d lock the doors and keep the priest out
and tell the mourners they cannot come.

There is so much I would do
in a world where “if” is king.

Girl Disappearing

If your life was a picture
someone hung on a wall –
a painting or drawing
someone put time and effort into –
I’d be the girl you cannot see
because the artist
painted over me, drew me out,
decided I didn’t quite fit
the way he originally thought.

But, if you looked hard enough,
past the pencil erasures
and oil brush strokes,
you might see this girl disappearing
out of your life;

and maybe, just maybe, you’d decide
I wasn’t quite the misfit
you originally saw.

Maybe you’d take the picture
down from your wall,
take it back to the artist
on your day off
and ask to draw me back in,
start all over,
paint me head to toe
with the familiar colors that I am,
find a way to fit me in again…

But your life is not a picture
that someone hung on a wall,
and “maybe” leads
only to a blank canvas
full of possibility,
hope, and dread
of who you will let the artist
and who the artist
left out.


I see you all the time
and I wonder if I left,
went to another town
another city, state, planet
would I still see you?

Would you be there
reminding me of what wasn’t?
Would you be everywhere
I didn’t want you to be?

I feel like I’m standing
in the snow
with no clothes on
and you’re there watching
behind the glass of your home
with a fire and double-paned windows,
drinking espresso
with some long haired, long-legged lost cause
that makes you feel purposeful…

and I’m freezing,
outside in the blizzard
that has been my life
since my memories began.

why couldn’t you ever see
I needed to be saved too,
to be wrapped up tight
with love and blankets
by a warm fire
with you?

They say after awhile
you go numb from the cold,
from the constant exposure,
and pain…

I’m still waiting.


The seconds, minutes, hours tick by
until I see you again
like an addict waiting for her fix,
I watch time go by in slow motion.

I see your car, then you.
A smile on your lips
and in your eyes
My heart beats
like a snare drum
going into battle
or before an execution.

Your hand slides
from my neck to my cheek
to my lips
and I shiver-
I want more.

Your tongue tastes crisp, sweet
like cold watermelon in July.
Your hot skin is electric
as it touches my own.

I feel like I stuck my finger
in a light socket
and I want to do it again
I lie back and take you in
over and over until my mind
flies high away from here
and I am free.

When I wake, my brain throbs
against my bones
as if it were trying to escape…
I want to do it again, take you in
anywhere I can until the pain
the ache
and the rest is silence.

I know I am addicted
you are crack/cocaine, heroin
All I want or need
Fill me up again
I can’t think of or feel
anything else
I’m begging for it
Just to get my fix
To feel you on my skin
To smell you, taste you
Euphoria to my senses.

My body burns for you-
Fire cracking and popping
beneath my skin-
the anticipation of you.

I am intoxicated,
absorbed by you
kidnapped from reality
and thrust into Love.

Soon, will I be immune
or need too much to get through?
Will that be it… no more fix?
Emotional detox, love’s death…
I cannot accept
the possibility
of the end…
Just one more hit, quick
before reality sets in

Pull me back to that place
I ache for
since the first time
safe in the dark, in your arms
lost in love, at least for the moment.

I need to be free
just one more time
just this once
I swear I can quit.

Driving Home

The hot summer wind blows through your hair
as your hide-the-eyes sunglasses block out
the dust and the sun. You look like a Hollywood icon,
or maybe some Bond girl on the run.

We swoosh around the curves like we’re riding waves
until we hit a straightaway of smooth sailing.
This road, this sea, is ours as the night rolls in behind us.

We miss our turn twice, but keep driving.
The onyx sky is a high tide rolling in over
the azure ocean above us. We are just ahead of the wave
of darkness overcoming the day.

You drive faster as the air is cooking around us,
and throw your sunglasses in the backseat.
Your eyes are bluer than I have ever seen,
and your smile brighter than the rising moon.


Break Up

Each word rolls off of your tongue
like a wave rolling out to sea
easy, effortless
as if this is the natural order of things

You say “I love you” like it’s a “hello”
like it’s something to say to everyone
you meet on the street
or when you’re delivering pizza

You smile at me
and I smile back
no thinking involved
no real happiness
pure instinct

You don’t want to be the bad guy
the one that is like everyone else
but you say all the same things
as if everyone else gave you the script
ahead of time just so you’d get it right

Your voice cracks
tears are in your eyes
you don’t want to hurt me
so why are you doing it then?

So many lies
so much time
all because you
tell me the truth

You aren’t like everyone else
You’re worse

Baby Blanket

The needle weaves in and out-
hours spent crocheting-
until a blanket begins to form.

The yarn is soft and pink
for little girl feet
and sweetness
only this little girl
could have…

She’ll be pink cheeked and petite
like her mother
Quick-witted and charming
like her father
a bundle of joy and delight
after hard times have gone by
The perfect end and beginning
all in one for a year full
of too many withouts.

She’ll be so much to so many
wrapped in her pink blanket
warm and snug
with all the love and hope
I could stitch into one place.


I can’t feel you, can’t breathe
in this tomb you left behind

I want to set the mattress on fire
Burn the house down

I can’t get away from the memory of you
And it is suffocating my every thought, move

I want you back
then I don’t
I want this freedom you thrust me into
then don’t

The absence of you
burns me like a brand
and I cannot move my mind
past the moment you left

I feel free one moment
Jailed the next
The highs and lows
your absence brought
are pinning me to the ground
and I want to cut off every limb
just to escape
Mutilate myself
until this pain stops
but I can’t bare the sight of blood.

I turn over and over in my mind
how it got this far
and I hate that I’m still here.
Each breath is a reminder
and I want to hold my breath
forever until I see you again.