Sunday, December 30, 2012

You and Your Love Songs

I looked up
and there you were
as if you'd been there
all along.

Our eyes met,
my heart dissolved
and every word
became a song
that you'd written
just for me.

Too bad I didn't see
that you wrote
songs for everyone.

Then a wind blew
and took you away,
as if notes
were just floating
in the sky
waiting to disappear.

And words
were just words
again
as if they always
had been
and I was the only one
who'd heard the music
in the first place
like I hallucinated
you.

I refused to move,
I waited for you
but all that was left
was your absence.

Gut wrenching silence
twisted my insides
like the butterflies
used to
and all I could do
was wait.

I withered to dust
in the unforgiving sun,
and I wondered
as I faded if you knew
that I was there waiting,
hoping you felt
just a little
of all that I had felt for you?

Surely, if you had
you wouldn't have
left me there
rotting,
anchored in the mud
of your melodic promises
you never knew
I expected you to keep.

You would have
come to my rescue,
my knight
in tarnished armor-
all fairy tale
forever afters implied.

But there is nothing
left now,
just bone fragments
and dust bunnies
of music notes
and guitar strings.

The silence is deafening
and I wish I never missed
the way you sang
when you sang to me
the way you never miss me
now that I'm gone.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Muscle Memory

It's not deja vu.

It's the muscle memory
of the heart
from when you
and I tore
the dream
apart
like it was only ours
to ruin.

It's not round two
for us to try again
and make it work
when it never did
because we're older
but none the wiser
or better
for the mistakes
we made.

It's the glass
we shattered
and tried to repair
without all the parts
to make it whole again -
it may look the same
but the water will always
find it's way through.

It's not a record
we ever should play again -
it's worn with the scratches
and gashes of our words
and pain.
It can't sound the same
no matter how much our ears
want to hear the notes
we remember.

It's just noise
now;
no melody
and we need
to let it rest.
It's just history
we didn't learn from
and muscle memory
that won't let us be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Please Leave, Now Don't

I say the words
that will make you go,
make you leave
before you
can hurt me.

You think I'm someone
I will never be -
a golden girl
with all the right words
who'll make you happy.

But what do I know
about happiness?
Is it smiling the way I do
when you call or text?
Is it laughing at your jokes
because even when they aren't funny
I love that you tried?
Is it wanting to call
every time
anything happens?

You don't see
anything but gold
but what you don't know
is that I bend
more easily
than you think.

I can't take any more dents
in my armor -
nothing gold holds true
and you don't know me
the way you think you do.

I'm a phony,
iron to the core
with a shiny coating
to make you believe
I'm more.

I say the words
I know will make you go
but what you don't know,
what you can't see
is how sad it makes me
when you leave.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Please Come Home For Christmas

The lights glitter
and twinkle
as you weave
each strand
in and out
for hours
until it seems
like the whole
tree
is glowing.

You select each
glass ball,
crocheted snowflake
and sparkling ornament
one by one
until they dangle
from nearly every branch.

Your hands wrap
the hooks securely
in place
and what was once
a bunch of bare twigs
is now full
of love and light.

Every year
it was the same
but four years
have come and gone
and it's all changed.
You're not here
and neither is your tree.
The lights are blown,
the glass balls are broken
and my heart is burnt out.
Please come back
and light me up again -
you've been missing
long enough.

Talk that Talk

You speak sounds
but no words form.
They mean nothing.

You try to make
every syllable
sound unique
and special
the same way you
want to be
unique
and special
but they don't
and you aren't.

You cannot change
the world
by wanting
the world
to be different.
You cannot change
yourself
by just desire
and hope -
they will get you
nowhere.

The world changes
through action
and inspiration.

Stop talking.
No one's listening
anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I made a list
of all the things you like
from turkey and dressing
to old fashioned Pecan Pie;
but it’s not the same
because I don’t have you
to celebrate the day with
and eat all the food.

I’ll never get used
to not having you here;
it feels just as awful
as it did the first year.
Everyone’s moved on
but I don’t know how
because my moving on
can’t include you now.

I wish you could
share this dinner with me
and every moment of every day,
the good, the bad and the unnecessary.
But never again will I see
your mischievous smile
as you go through the line
and leave with a food pile.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mama,
oh how I miss you.
You’re always on my mind
no matter what I do.
I’ll love you forever
even if you’re not here.
Another holiday gone by,
without you another year.

All there's left to say
is pass me the pie first –
one advantage to your absence
is I get to start with dessert!
Let’s give thanks
for all we had
and I’ll do my best
to not be so sad.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Friends Without Benefits

I hid my soul between the ivory keys
only to be found with the right melody.
I play until my heart beats again
and the wounds you left start to mend.

I play until the sadness slips away,
until I no longer know if it’s night or day.
I catch a glimpse now and then
of the life I’ll never have again –
the life I wanted to have with you
a fantasy where you could love me too.

My fingers ache down to the bone,
and I feel a crack in my heart of stone.
I play harder in hopes my soul will break free,
and in this new life you will finally pick me.

I play until my fingers break
but I cannot seem to feel the pain.
All I can see is you and me
and just how good our lives could be
if only I was the one for you
if only you could love me, too.

The tears fall and my soul is safe,
locked away forever in this place
because I don’t know the melody
that will break the spell and set me free.

The song ends and I cannot breathe
because I know you’ll never see me
as the girl you want to spend your life with;
I’m just the friend without the benefits.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Last Time

You must've smelled the rot
as you faded from my mind,
so you crept up out of the grave
to try and fool me one last time.

Now the flesh has fallen away
and I can finally see what you are:
just a cage of bones are left now
where there used to be a heart.

You can crack your hands against the door
and keep hoping I'll let you in
but all you are is a bad memory
and I couldn't be less interested.

I can't remember your face
or the sound of your voice;
your smile is dust in my mind,
your words - just more noise.

You thought you hurt me,
that I'd be lost and alone
but now it's you that's coming around
and hoping to atone.

All I have to say to you
is this final message of goodbye:
you aren't ever again welcome here,
not even for one last time.

Bully

I am drowning in your sea of rage
with no shoreline in sight;
your words crash over me
pulling me

down

down

down.

I let your anger fill me,
let the hate swallow me whole.
Then I let the struggle go
and settle into the muck.

Cold currents wrap around me
like your arms never will;
the blackness sucks me in
as I drown.

Your words echo in my ears
as one final beat escapes my heart,
And who I was is gone-
I am a part of you now

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Victory

No one ever said
this was a fight
we couldn’t win.

No one ever said
it was a fight
you wouldn’t finish.

The odds weren’t in our favor.
The deck was stacked against us.
The house always wins –
too bad nobody told us.

I held your hand.
I stood by your side.
I did what they said.
We did everything right
but it didn’t matter –
you’re still gone.
I keep asking why
but no answer ever comes.

The odds weren’t in our favor.
The deck was stacked against us.
The house always wins –
why didn’t anybody tell us?

Looking back I see it now,
where it all went wrong –
we were doomed from the start
and they knew it all along.

The odds weren’t in our favor.
The deck was stacked against us.
The house always wins –
I’m glad nobody told us.

Those days were ours
and that will never change
no matter how many times
the house wins.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Countdown

Each time I look
at the lighthouse calendar
my aunt gave me
because the corners
wouldn't stay up
properly
and she knew
I loved night lanterns
on seaside shores,
I see I am a day
closer to you.

So many days,
years even,
have passed
between us
and who knows
what we'll say
when our eyes
meet again.

I tense at the thought
and then smile
because I know
whatever else happens
that seeing you again
will be worth
the six hour
butt-numbing flight
and four hour drive
it'll take
to bring me back to you.

We can't go back
or be who we were.
We can't conjure
the past
and become what we thought
we were going to be.

We can just be
who we've always been -
two people
who know how to move
around each other
and laugh with the ease
and grace and warmth
of the best of friends.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Fabric of Our Past

The spring flower fresh scent
wafts through the air
as I fold the fabric
one corner at a time
until it is neatly square
and ready to be put away.

Onto the next item in my basket
I pull out a towel
I do not recognize.
It is worn and tattered,
faded and frayed
like my heart.

I hold it up so I can see
the image of some b-rated
gory horror movie
I'd maybe watch on video
but certainly never buy
anything proving
that I saw it.

Somewhere there is a memory
of you lying in the sun,
brown skin sprawled out
warming in the light.
I can see the corner
of a towel in my mind
and I know it is the same
towel I now hold in my hands.

I rip the towel in two
and throw it in the garbage
the way I should've done to you
when you came around knocking
on my door.

I want no part of you
in my heart
in my life
in my house
and certainly not near my body
ever again.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Closure

I left you once.
Then I did it again,
and yet you come back for more.
Why do you expect the same results
when I'm not who I was before?

Your words are empty sound beats
just like the rhythms of your heart -
a caged beast beneath your chest,
damaged and permanently scarred.

There are only charred remains
of the many promises you made,
and I swept those ashes out the door,
moved on and away.

Your chances with me ran out -
you never were very lucky.
You lost me twice, the past is gone
and it will stay dead and buried.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happiness is You

Laughter permeates the air
as we reminisce
about times gone by
and I try not to think
about it too much
even though all I want
is to think about you -
to think about
"if" and "could"
because lonely hearts
shouldn't have to be
alone.

You remind me
of the girl
I was,
who I wanted to be
before all those
words like "if" and "could"
got in my way.

I like who I am
with you
and whatever
this is.

It could be enough.
There's that word
again...

"could"

I am reminded
of the last time
I saw you
and the memory
makes me smile.

I sat with you
indian style
in your living room
as you recounted
the many hilarious
trials of your youth.

I still remember
the ache in my side
as we giggled
like children
and I am filled
with joy.

The ache in my side
has not subsided
as you continue
to make me laugh.
I wasn't sure
I still knew how.

It is like the sun
has peaked out
from behind the clouds
just for me
and I can't help
but bathe in your light.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Caller ID

I see your name
before I hear your voice
and there's just a moment
where I feel the breath
catch -
my throat muscles tense.

My palms feel damp
with the humidity
of possibility.

I say hello
and instantly
my body relaxes.

My soul sighs
as if your call
was all it needed
to survive
another day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nightly Routine

The cool air of night
blows in through my window
as the white noise
hum of the fan
drowns out the night noises
and my mind.

Sleep drifts in
to curl
its long fingertips
around me
with a grip
that tells me
I am safe
until morning
and I cannot stop
my body
from relaxing.

I sink into my six pillows
and feel my day
slip away into blackness.

Yet still I think of you.

Your face permeates
my fading thoughts
and I wonder
what you're up to,
if you're still awake
or if sleep has found you, too.

My eyelids collapse -
the traitors -
and I can resist
slumber no more.

These thoughts
and you
will be there
in the morning.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blackberry Picking

The sweet scent of overripe blackberries
hangs in the air like Spanish moss
on the Live Oak trees back home
and I want to pluck
them from their slumber
on the vines that assault
every random space their tendrils
can reach.

Blackberry pie sounds delightful
and I know you'd like it too.

How easy it is to do the things
you always wanted me to do
now that you're not here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts

These thoughts of you-
they are mine,
you can't have them.

They comfort me
in the dark
when I worry
I am not alone.

They bring me joy
when tears
threaten my cheeks.

They warm my heart
when it grows
cold and starts
to wither away.

These thoughts of you-
they are treacherous,
they consume me
like salty pluff mud
out past the dock
of our youth.

You cannot see
how the possibility
of you affects me
every day.

They whisper
like crickets
chirping in my ears,
telling me it's okay
to want more.

How my heart
betrays me
every time
I think of you.



Anticipation

I hear my heartbeat
in my ears
but cannot feel it
in my chest

My ribs cage
an empty nest

yet I exist
still...

I feel a flutter
in my bones
and I second guess
myself
that no one's home
that my heart has left
me alone

yet the whisper
of you burns
my insides

and I hesitate
on the precipice
knowing
this is it...

I leap
and take all my chances.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

As Long As I'm With You

This house could burn down
around us,
but I wouldn’t see the flames
or feel my skin melt
or taste the ash in the air.

This car could smash
into a thousand pieces
with us in it,
but I wouldn’t hear the glass shatter
or feel the metal scrape my skin
or taste the busted lip
the dashboard gave me.

It could all end tomorrow –
this world we live in –
but I wouldn’t know the difference
or feel the rot permeate my bones
or taste the dirt as I turn to dust.

“Could” means nothing
when you are by my side.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wordplay

Words on a phone
said moments ago
bridge the gap
of miles between us

A flutter in my chest
says I need to come home
but what more is there
than past between us?

Could our past present tense
lead to a future rest
or is that just wishful thinking?

Across an ocean and back again
I keep wondering
how good it could be
if it was my doorstep
you came home to
when your trip was over.

Are questions like that allowed?

Words on a phone are great
but it's the words you say
face to face
that say
everything.

Empty Nest

The cage in my chest
has been full of silence
since you left the door open
and walked out.

Now you're looking in
wondering
where did my heart go?

It grew wings
and flew the coop
never to return
or beat again

Freedom is a seven letter word
you never should have taught me
if you wanted to come back

You should've tip-toed out,
checked the latch before you went
instead of blowing through me
like a hurricane.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Homecoming

The air is clean and crisp
as it permeates my every cell
I am refreshed
fulfilled
yet I think of you.

There are green sprouts
bursting from the brown
of all the plants
in our complex
and I am eager to see the colors
of spring and summer return,
eager to see this earth
renewed
because maybe
then I will feel better
feel brighter
with so much life around me.

Maybe then I'll breathe
easier
sleep better
watch the night burn brighter
and think less
about getting in my car
and driving 3000 miles
just to see if you're there
because somehow
I still let myself
believe
you are.

I leave the windows down
as I drive home
and I listen to the crickets
and the frogs
call out in hopes
they are not alone
like I am
and I envy them -

They'll go on,
they'll find what they're looking for;
but me
I'll just keep driving
this dark road
hoping
someday
it'll lead me back to you.

I glance at the field
I pass every time I drive
this road
and there they are:
soft brown coats
and black tails
a family of deer
feeding together
and it fills me
with undeniable joy.

There is so much
you'd love here
but the thing you'd love most
is how happy here
makes me and I realize
I don't need
to go anywhere
anymore
to find you.

The road passes
quickly beneath me
and in one quick breath
I am home -
somewhere I haven't been
in a long time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Promises of Youth

Thirteen years between us
and here you are again
back in my life
with one sentence,
nine words long.

Endless possibilities
stare at me
from a computer screen
that has been blank too long.

I click reply
and suddenly feel sixteen again –
when the world was new
and anything could happen.

We aren’t so young anymore.

Age has dulled our shine;
and somewhere between
who we were
and who we became
is the person we wanted to be.

You help me remember
the girl I was
before Life got in the way,
before “If” started my sentences
and regret lived on my tongue.

Let’s go back,
start over,
begin again.

Let’s be who we were,
even if just for a moment –
just you and me
against the world
as the people
we always dreamed
we were going to be –
two lovers of words
and of life
full of steam
and laughter
ready for anything
and everything.

Ah, the promises of youth.


(for JAH)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Acceptance

The days ahead are wrapped in grief
like an unwanted present still under the tree
I just put away
even though it's March -
I just couldn't bring myself
to tear it apart
when it's still so cold outside
and so many of the ornaments easily remind me
of you.

I just can't let you go,
not yet -
not ever.

I remember all the days
we spent warming ourselves in the sun
and I think of the laughter
that spilled out of us until we couldn't breathe.
It was an endless summer
I thought would never end
until the end was all we had left.

It's time to unwrap all the gifts
as this winter leads to spring
and let the grief disappear,
let the tears dry,
and stop letting the fear
of living without you
keep me from living at all.

I know I won't be able to see you
as you stand beside me now
but I believe you are always with me
and it is time
to lift the funeral shroud.

I open the drapes
that have covered my soul
since the day you left
and let Life in.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Breaking Free

You were the last thread
in a frayed rope
I was clinging to
and you just cut me loose.

How do I continue
when there's nothing
left to hold on to?

How do I survive
the fall
when you
were never there
to catch me?

My bones shatter to dust
and this is left behind.

Maybe your life will be better,
no burden tethered to you,
no liability to claim.

At last, I am free of you.

Party Trick

I bound myself in chains
like Houdini
thinking I could escape
but the keys I hid up my sleeve
fell out,
and now I'm stuck -
Drowning,
Alone,
Scared
and hoping you'll have a spare key,
boltcutters,
anything,
but you just stare at the mess,
laugh and point,
wondering when the show's going to end.

The air bubble erupts
and I feel death
singeing my insides,
burning me to the ground.

Another magician up in smoke.

The Flood

Water runs down the walls
like tears on my face
with nothing to catch the grief
or keep it from seeing into our lives.

I left your note on the window sill
where I could find it
read it
touch something you touched
before you died.

The water found it
and washed you away.

Now you're just bleeding ink
all over the place.
Your CDs are dripping wet
and scratched from falling down
like my knees when I was a kid
and never listened
to you
when you said "slow down!".

I want to hit rewind,
go back to the beginning,
find you again
and start all over,
put your letter away
from the water
and dry the walls
of my memory
from your tears.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thirty-Two Minutes

Our footsteps crunch on the sand-covered cement
your callused fingers are shoved deep
into the folds of your pants, hiding in safety
from the chance of touching my side.

We walk straight to where the road
bends to the right.

You suck down the embers on your cigarette.
Only your teeth brim the velvet darkness
from a moonlit sky.

An unseen creature runs
in front of our footsteps.
We feel him for a moment
before he scampers off to the left.

The diamond sky winks and twinkles
at us with mischief
like there's something else going on
but we missed it
the same way you missed me
as I stole a peek at you
like a baseball player stealing home.
My winning streak just keep me going.

The crisp air clears my sinuses like a mint,
and you talk about what it means
to be my friend.

The metronome in my chest
beats about one-thirteen.

I feel warm even with the ocean breeze.

My watch tells me that thirty-two minutes
have gone by
since you told me
I was the one
you'd looked for all your life.
I ask myself why thirty-two minutes ago
was so different from all the thirty-two minutes
of the five years you've let go?

I keep waiting for the cocoons to hatch
in my stomach again
for the butterflies to emerge
and begin their flight.

I listen to see if the world is standing still
and wait on as you speak of "when"
and "until" as if I haven't said those words
so many times before,
losing battles to you,
but still fighting the war
to keep you in my life
as something,
anything,
hoping this winter
will lead to a spring,
and now you're waving
the white flag at me
telling me that you finally see
I am the one.

I am the woman of your dreams.

I hear you.
I'm listening,
but something
is terribly wrong
and I see that the moment
is gone
like all the years
before it went -

silent.

Finally, I get it-

Underneath this ebony sky
another day is going by
and I see that thirty-two minutes
have passed
since you became the fish
I need to throw back.

Moving On

How dangerous your honesty flaunts,
not ever knowing what you want.
You heart has a blackness
where deadly secrets come to haunt.

The wind whispers your name while the river laughs at me.
You inflict pain that makes my heart bleed,
and the rain of my tears
feels like I'm drowning in your cruel sea.

I remember your eyes like torches burning up the dark,
eager to steal the life from my heart,
you were ready to play to the end
no matter how much it ripped me apart.

You say you've never been cruel,
that your love is free, but I'm no fool.
You say to play is the only way to win
but this game is rigged and there are too many rules.

You stole my love like an expert thief
and refuse to give it back no matter how much I plead.
I am lost and left alone to grieve.
Forever without you, and incomplete.

Your love rages against me like a hurricane
You're like a drug from which I must abstain
or else I'll be left with nothing
but a soul shattered and in pain.

You think you're safe because you let no one in
You think the object here is to win
But soon you will see you're all alone
and you'll wish you had me in your life again.

I'll go on and where will you be
but all alone with your misery?
I'll patch up the holes and mend my heart,
the wounds will heal leaving only memories.

I'll always have the scars of your love
to remind me of what never was,
but I know you were wrong for me
and it is you that wasn't good enough.

I'll find a way to love someone new,
someone who loves me back without rules.

My Brother, the Captain

Every now and then
I open your closet
just to see your clothes.
Sometimes, I hold
one of your shirts
up close
and inhale deeply
as if it were my last breath.

They always smell like you:
clean and masculine
mixed with whatever
your favorite cologne
was the last time
you were here.

O Captain, my captain
I wonder where you are.
I wonder if you're safe.
I wonder if you're okay.
I hope I'll see you soon.

The moon was full tonight
and I wondered if you saw it too.
I hope the stars are watching over you,
shining on you with love.

They told me you were going away,
but no one could tell me where.
I konw you've gone to some far off land
I've only seen on maps and t.v. -
a place with a name
I cannot spell from memory,
where the desert heat is waiting
among our enemies.

But I'll be right here, My Captain,
smelling all your shirts
because I always know
where to go
when I want to see them again.

And I will keep you with me,
safe inside the folds of my heart,
for there you will be safe
and loved,
forever.

(Written for my brother when he was a Captain before a deployment)

Daddy's Girls

We lay flat on our tiny backs,
gazing up at the stars
with you as our tell-tale guide
on this constellation tour.

Your large, thick fingers
move slowly across the sky,
touching each twinkling
and winking dot
as our watchful eyes
wait for the Big Dipper
to pop out of the onyx night sky.

The soft green, tickling grass
engulfs our necks,
our heads,
our bodies,
as we look past the stars
to you -
our hero -
the smartest man
on Mt. Vernon Street.

You pulled the stars
in the great Texas sky
and handed them over so easily.
We knew then you could, would,
do anything for the three of us.

As we grew older,
the stars seemed to multiply
the farther away we were from you,
but we can still find
that great Big Dipper
in the sky
leading us home to you.

(dedicated to Jack Hayes)

Sunday Afternoon with Dad

82 degrees with a mild breeze
and you ask me to go for a ride.
I look outside and see why -
the sun is shining bright
and a Z3 sits in the driveway
with the top down.

It's just for the weekend, you say,
so I better take my chances
while I can.
I head out the door
as you slip on your CofC Dad hat
to hide your prettier-than-the-bluest-sky eyes
from the beaming sun.

We jump in the seats
because in a Z3 that is just what you do,
and you slide in the key,
check your mirrors,
adjust this and that,
and tell me to buckle up.
Hurry up! is all I can think
as you prepare to start the engine.

We swoosh around curves
like we're gliding on air,
and you take this road and that,
but all I see is sky above me
and a blur of colors as the worly goes by.

The wind is whipping my hair about
but I could care less,
and I look at you and smile.
You smile back
and I know
that even without a Z3
you are the coolest man I know.

Faded Glory

You built up my ego
until it exploded
the same way you ruined
my back bicycle tire
in the sixth grade.

Every word you spoke
filled me up with hot air,
stretching the seams in my skull
beyond compare.

You just kept pumping
and I couldn't make you stop.
You were all about riding high
even after you saw the sagging tire.

The heaving pump blew its breath,
and you just kept on telling me
every slick phrase you knew
I'd always wanted you to say.
I took it in
every breath of air you shoved
down my throat,
gagging for a chance to inhale something
that wasn't yours.

You just kept on beating your faded glory blue dreams
with every pump into my stubborn head
until I forgot my name
who I was
what I wanted
what I needed
because you wanted me to go places
and do things
and be someone
you will never be.

You didn't care
how I got there
as long as I made it
because then you'd know
you'd finally done
something right.

Cosmic Love

I thought it would be great
to live on the moon with you
except the moon is cold
and I'd never see the sun
unless there was an eclipse.

Maybe I could live on the sun
Try it out, something new
but it's too hot
and my skin would melt.

I'll probably just stay here on earth
live like everyone else does
talk when spoken to
laugh when others do
cry when I'm alone
because my home is you
and you are missing.

Pluto might be the best place
far away from all of you
no more choosing between
the sun star and the moon
just quiet solitude
where I can't see you
and you can't see me
though I want to
need to
love to
love you.

I'm like a black hole
sucking you toward me
needing to hold you
deep within me
never let you go
inside you'll be safe
the dark can't leave you
tell you you're ugly
or wish for someone new.

It just wraps around you
with gentle arms
until you are missing too.

Paralysis

I do not feel below my neck
like a quadriplegic
with nothing left.

My face
my smile
are fake
and immobile.

My heart feels still
in my chest
because I cannot feel
below my neck.

I cannot feel the ache
you left
when you decided
it wasn't me
you wanted to see
coming down the aisle
toward you
in the off-white
off-the-shoulder dress.

It was never me
though your eyes
said it could be
or I just wanted to believe
for once a happy ending
could be mine.

It wasn't meant for me.

My heart is paralyzed with fear.
No one can get close.
I'm a quadriplegic ghost
refusing to believe
you weren't the one for me.

Loss

I don't talk about it,
don't know what to say.
I think a lot about it
and what could've been
different.

You stopped reaching out,
and I let you.
You stopped making an effort,
and I let you.
you stopped everything,
and I let you.

How do I start again
when you're not here
to show me how?

How do I make sense of it
when you can't tell me
what went wrong?

I have my theories.
I have my memories.

Pales comforts
next to your alabaster skin
that has grown cold with time.

You're an untouchable now -
a ghost in the midnight sky.

I see you still -
ruby red lips
pinching a cigarette,
lighting up the darkness
while everyone else slept,
and I drift into a dream
hoping someday you'll be here
when I wake up.

Forever

Your eyes are wide
and enveloping
like a zoom camera
with a panoramic view.
Your lens follows
my every movement,
looking for some resemblance
of you.

You want me to be
someone I am not
You want to see
yourself.

I want to disappear
like Houdini -
only better,
forever.

I want to go places
you can't find,
places in my mind
where you can't criticize,
alienate or crush.

I want to be swallowed whole
like Jonah -
only longer and better,
forever.

Silence -
a seven letter word
for you.

You never wanted me,
not as I am.
You still don't.
You can't see
what or who I am.

I am not you.

Too fat.
No white stork will take me back.
No spell can whisk me away
to Never Never Land.

I want to forget,
to pull the memories out
like a stubborn tooth
that has taken root
deep down inside.

Your words
your hate
they constrict
my heart
my head
with shrink-wrap
and rubber bands
forever.

Need

I need you to be here,
to sit in the dark with me
while I take it all in.

I don't want to be alone now
and I don't want to talk.

I just need you
to show up on my doorstep,
to ask me to go for a drive.
We could put the windows down,
turn the radio up,
let the night air fill our lungs,
drive until we run out of gas,
watch the black sky retreat from the dawn,
sit together in silence
until the numbness comes.

Alone

It is done -
my heart has exposed itself.
It is naked for the world to see.

You are blind.

I stand alone -
my heart is but the night.
It is as black and empty as the velvet sky.

You are the sun.

Time stops -
my heart is frozen.
Fear of love ices it over.

You are a flame.

I am without -
my heart stops.
The ache is too much.

You are lost.

Under Pressure

40 degrees is all the water gauge has to say to me
the day I decide to cannon-ball into the deep-end.

I take a deep breath,
a running start
and leapt
straight up into the air,
waiting for that suffocating splash.

Water that cold
leaves the mind numb -
no thoughts, just instincts.
Once you're under
only reflexes remain-
your arms and legs flail towards the sky,
and your chest burns from holding in the air
too long.

I rush towards the surface like a rocket
and my insides are about to burst with pressure.

My body is on fire
and panic surges through me.
I can hear myself whispering over and over
in my head

"just get there before the breath runs out".

I break free
and it's complete ecstasy -
fresh air, new life
like starting over -
but the jolt of the cold
steals my breath
like a thief in the night.
It doesn't matter how hard
I push myself up toward the light,
the surge of water into my lungs
threatens to trap me in the dark forever.

I hate the dark.
I push against the burn
and find my way to the top.

It's my turn to start over.

Hitch a Ride with a Lunatic

I feel like I'm in a padded room
where no sound can escape
even though I'm shouting
at the top of my lungs.

No one comes running
to see if I'm okay.

The words are coming out
and it's like you
are on the other side
of sound-proof glass.
You see my lips moving
but it's like I'm a mime
or star of some silent movie.

I feel my skin grow hot
and the frustration builds
because you can't hear me
and maybe you never could.

The louder I yell,
the worse I feel;
the anger grows inside
and I just want it to stop.

I just want the quiet -
the sweet solitude
that alludes me.

I want to run away
where no one knows me
where I can be anybody
where you can't be disappointed
in me anymore.

I want to get in my car
and drive until the gas runs out,
change my name,
hitch a ride with a lunatic
because crazy company
is better than a lonely road.

I want to escape this place,
the expectations,
the responsibility,
the world you've put on my shoulders.

Just get away, get lost, for good.

Reality

How many times can you forgive me?
I wish you could say, "repeatedly".

How much do you love me?
I wish you could say, "infinitely".

How long will you stay here with me?
I wish you could say, "eternally".

But you
don't
can't
and won't.

Untitled

I do believe her
though I know she lies.

If she whom I love should love me...
Oh she makes me end where I begin
until I have no more.

Yet this is you.

Now I may wither into the truth
and claim the rank to die-
the grave's a find and private place
and cold as any icicle.

Parting is all we know of heaven;
both robbed of air, we lie in one ground
and doubly dying shall go down
to roll it toward some overwhelming question.

Well so I came -
to stay -
to seal the hushed casket of my soul
if her hands should drop white and empty.

How will I hide beneath the music
from a farther room?

The shadow of the night comes on or...
just some human sleep.

Anticipation

Quiet night
falls around me
like the blue
Egyptian cotton top sheet
on my bed.

The dark blinds me.
My breath deafens me.
I am still in the silence.

The world outside is spinning
but I wait in solitude.

I wait
with a beating heart
a relaxed mind
a body on fire
just for you to answer the phone.

Burning Up the Darkness

I wrote you a four-page letter the other night,
but when the chance came I didn't give it to you.

When I wrote it, I thought I said it all,
that I had it all figured out.
I thought there would be no gray area.

As I read it now, the letter is nothing
BUT gray area
coagulating in one spot,
spelling out confusion.

I pulled out the blue lighter
you left in my car;
blue is my favorite color
and you don't smoke now.

I let the flame dance a little within my view
until it turns the gray matter between us
into ashes.

New Habit

I pulled out the blue lighter
you left in my car last night.
It was between your seat and mine
just waiting to be found.

I've decided to start smoking;
just give it a try
and see what all the fuss is about.

I must be immune -
the smoke doesn't affect me.

Not like you do.

It swirls and twirls around me
the way you do when we talk about "us".
It fulfills a craving
I never had until I started smoking.

You didn't exist until I met you.

A spark ignites somewhere in the darkness.

You fill me up with carbon monoxide.
You singe my emotions with ambivalence,
burning me up into ash
until there is nothing left.

My mouth feels like a charred, burnt cotton field.

Just like my heart.

Silence

The red neon numbers blare at me
as I stare at four dirty peach walls.
The sheets are half-pulled off the bed
and I am wearing your blue Eddie Bauer tee shirt
for the fifth day in a row.
It still smells like your Armani cologne
I sprayed on the collar
before I left lipstick kisses
on your bathroom mirror.

I sink into my six pillows
I have piled behind me
and wait for the phone to ring.

I just keep waiting.

3000 Miles

Three thousand miles between us
and I have finally stopped thinking about you.

Five days of traveling,
according to Mapquest to get home
and no longer do I want to get in my car
and drive straight back
to the place I left you
sitting in your car
with your sunglasses on
so I couldn't see you cry.

I thought you would come after me
that it'd just be a matter of time
until you were knocking on my door.

It's quiet here.

I can here footsteps on the stairs
outside my window.
They never stop
and turn to walk towards my door.

I used to hold my breath
just a little
hoping
just a little
that you would
that you could
be that person
you never were.

Three thousand miles between us
and I don't hurt anymore.

Return to Me

I have lost you somewhere
along the way.
I cannot find you
and I am afraid.

Did you leave me?
Did you run away?
Did you simply want to escape?

You took my heart.
I want it back.

You thief, you fiend,
just please come back.