Monday, December 23, 2013

The Thing About Hope

Hope isn't a sweet blue bird
of happiness
perched lightly
in your soul 
or waiting
on a high wire
that somehow 
never gets electrocuted
or blown away. 

Hope is a carnivore,
a bird of prey,
watching the fields
waiting to devour

Hope isn't selfless
or eager to help.
Hope demands
your first born
and your last breath. 
It crumbles your resolve
and makes you stay
when you swore you wouldn't. 

Hope is a bitter thief
who steals your smarts
and makes you dumb,
makes you believe
in the impossible
because just maybe
this time it will be different.

And it never is. 
It never changes.

The only thing different
is that Hope
made a fool 
out of you.

And unless you're ready
to shoot that bird
out of the sky,
a fool is all
you're ever going to be.

I Blame John Hughes

I blame John Hughes
every time I open my mouth
to tell you how my heartbeat
is no longer a beat
but more of a ticking
of your name in my chest.
It's a countdown
until you finally see
that I am exactly right
for you.

I just can't seem
to give it a rest,
to let it go
of the ifs
and the whens
and just be
your friend.

You've burned me
to the ground
half a dozen times
but I rise
like a phoenix
over and over again,
still loving you
the way only I do.

It's masochistic,
this love,
but I am addicted
to it,
like you.

So burn me again
and remind me
that life
is not a John Hughes
no matter
how much
I wish it was.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Wilds

The world is shut out
just for a moment
as a white blanket of snow
is laid on the ground.

How silent we all are
as we stare in awe
at winter standing before us.

So still
So peaceful
So quiet.

No matter how low
the temperatures drop
we cannot stop looking
at the white flakes
falling from the sky.

We raise our hands up
and let the heat out
as we dance barefoot
in the cold
like wild banshees
in the wind.

If you listen loud enough,
you might even hear us
howling at the moon.


If I drew a picture
of the person
I wanted to spend
my life with,
he would look
exactly like you.

How fitting
that I should realize
this as you say goodbye
one final time.

A heartfelt embrace
and an easy smile
is all I'll ever have
of you
but at least I'll know
better for the next time
someone like you
comes into my life.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


It's getting cold again
and they say it might snow. 
I hope it does
because the world
is so much easier
to face
under a blanket
of white silence. 

Fat Girl

I think about
how it will be
when I'm not trapped
in this prison
that is my body.

I cannot move
or breathe
the constant reminder
of what I'm not,
who I'm not
and what I can't be
I choose food
instead of life
every time I open
my mouth.

I wish
would kidnap me
and make me
be the person
I've never been -
someone strong
and able to resist
the comfort
every morsel gives.

I've never known
even in the smallest
or kindest words.


Because fat
doesn't deserve that.
Fat is bad.
Fat is disgusting
and lazy.
Fat isn't good enough
for humanity or love.
Fat is less than human,
a zero on a scale
from one to ten.
Fat is nothing.

I am nothing.

You don't see me
because you don't have to
because fat shaming
is not only okay
but expected of you.
It'll do me good
to feel worthless.
It'll do me good
to feel this bad.
It'll do me good
to hate myself
every time I look
in the mirror.

Keep telling yourself
you're just trying help
but I know you're part
of the problem.

We all are.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm Not There

I'd like to think
you're out there
dreaming of me too,
conjuring me in your head
like a birthday wish
or magic spell
and hoping someday
I'll be real.

But maybe you're not.

Maybe instead
you're going on with life
and meeting the next best thing
since you haven't met me
and she's good enough.

Maybe she isn't everything
you want or need
and you know
she might not ever be
who you thought
you'd end up with.

But then again
she's warm to your touch,
her hair smells nice
on your pillow,
her name fits
inside yours so easily,
and she's there
every day
the way I'm not.

I wonder if "there"
is even real.
How can it be
without me?


I have locked my heart
in an iron cage
and thrown away
the only key. 

The heart beats
drumming against
the iron walls
are my only company.

There's no need
to send help
or to try
and break me free. 

Don't you see?
I did this to myself. 

That way
I can't hurt you
and you can't hurt me. 

Ink-Stained Secrets

Every word I write
must be typed or written
in ball point pen.
No. 2 pencils
or automatic
I can gnaw the erasers
off of
will do.

Ink-stained regret
that doesn't wash out
with the next wash
is the kind of permanence
I need
when I write
the words
'I love you'.

Words I can't take back
and will never want to
no matter how little
you deserve them.

I write them in a note
that I fold into fours
and light on fire.
Just because
I love you,
it doesn't mean
you have to know. 

This Weight

There is a heaviness
in my heart
that took up residence
when you left. 

It's a permanent 
sort of thing,
this weight. 

A change of address
took place
but nothing changed.  

It is years
of laughter
and tears
and every memory
in between,
this weight,
and I can't seem
to set it down. 

My heart holds on
as it grows stronger
from carrying around
the burden of you
and I know
I will never be rid
of it,
this weight.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life Without You

I pick up the phone
to call you
and tell you about my day
but the number I'd dial
isn't yours anymore. 

To say I miss you
will never be enough. 

I still haven't figured out
how to live
you no longer
or have never
even visited.

I wish I could go back
and find you again
but even the ghost
of you is gone,
and I feel like
an asthmatic 
always trying
to catch my breath.

There's just never
enough air.

Not here, not there,
not anywhere I look 
because you are gone
and you are not
coming back. 

There's no cure
for the hole
you left in my chest
when you took
that last gasp of air.

We suffocated
even though 
you're the only one
they buried.

I put the phone down
along with the life
I imagined for myself
when you were still here.

Someday I'll remember
I can't call you anymore,
but that day is not today.


If I counted the days
from my first breath
to today,
I would find I've lived
12,479 days so far. 

If I counted the days
your heart beat drummed,
I'd see that you lived
just 22,958 days in all. 

I can't imagine
that my life is more
than half over. 
Of course I never
thought yours 
would end so soon. 

The loss
is heavy on my heart,
like a 10 pound weight
hooked in 
and dragging it down
into my stomach. 

It's been 4 years,
which seems like a lot
but then I look
at how many days
you have been gone - 
1,646 days -
and it seems 
so much less

Now numbers
define me.


How empty
the numbers are
that matter so much.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering The Fallen of 9/11

I will not forget you,
my fallen friends,
even if I didn't know you
we are still kindred.

The world stops in silence
and we silently hope you hear
the prayers we say to remember you
every single year.

We light candles
and erect monuments
in the hopes
no one will ever forget

because the sacrifice
you made that day
isn't one any of us
thought we'd have to make.

Almost 3,000 souls
were forced to say goodbye
and so many more since
without ever asking why.

It started out quiet
like any day in September,
but ended with us in mourning
as our hearts burned with the embers
of all that was lost.

We cannot cry enough
or remember you enough
or hope for enough
or love enough.

We cannot, we will not

ever forget.

As Long As My My Memory Holds

Time stopped when those planes hit
but the t.v. showed the footage over and over,
as if maybe the next time it would be different.

I picked up the phone and heard you
but I just couldn't believe it - 
things like that just didn't happen here, right?

Almost 3,000 lives lost prove me wrong.

Fingers pointed, we looked for answers
but no answers came. 
No answers will ever be enough 
for the cruel way our security blanket
was ripped from our clutched hands
like children forced to see the world
with adult eyes and broken hearts.

Where were you 
when the world changed,
when a tattered flag was raised
over the rubble of our hearts
and the fallen?

I remember that day clearly
like it was just a moment ago
and the thought of it 
fills my heart and my eyes
until all I can do is cry.

I reach out my hand to you
and hold it tightly in my own
because no matter what happened then
or what happens now,
I am proud to stand by you,
free and brave in this country I love
without fear,
without ego,
without anger,
without hate.

Terror will not win.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Months ago
you burned
my hopes
up in smoke
with five words
it took
eighteen years
to say,

"It's not you,
it's me,"

and one phone call,
one hour later
all is forgotten. 

I am exactly right for you,
don't you see?

Of course you do.

But it's me,
not you,
who's blinded
by a dream
of what will never be.

I love you too much
to ask you
to settle
for me,
no matter how good
I would be


You split me open
and scooped out
the good stuff - 
everything worth knowing,
everything you loved. 

Then you stuffed me
full of paper
and stitched me back up
so that no one would notice
you took more
than your cut. 

Why is all of me
still not enough? 

It's like eating
the pie filling
but never the crust.
Nothing good is left
except the crumbling flour dust. 

I fall apart
without my heart
to pump
the blood
to my hands
my head
my feet
my knees
and I can't breathe.

I am hollow
to the bone,
a shell
of the being
you used to know.

You took it all
and never thought twice
about the lack of life
you left behind.

I could name you enemy
or thief,
but what's the point?

It won't change
how easy
it was for you
to leave
or make you
come back
to the nothing
that is left of me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Settle In

I feel the urge to take root
as if I am a potted plant
trying to bust through
the plastic or ceramic
and dig into the dirt
with my fingers and toes
until they are buried deep
in the earth. 

Each day the yearning
grows and I know
it is for the dirt here,
not back home
where all the memories
of you 
are interwoven
into the trees,
the ground, the grass
and everything
in between. 

I need space
that is my own,
where I can spread out
my roots, 
my branches
and leaves, 
where I can let loose,
where you 
aren't a part
of the landscape
except for where I
(and only I)

The space here
is an infinite breath
I inhale and never release.
It is magnanimous
and full of relief
all at once,
with the sun forever lingering
upon a horizon
too far out of reach.

My heart is as wide
as the open land
around me
and I have never felt
more free.
I stretch out my arms
like plant limbs
and wait for my roots
to set in.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


You turn up at the places
I wanted to go
with you
and take pictures
with her
because she's your person
and I'm the substitute
waiting in the wings.

I'm on standby
for a flight
that always seems
one passenger too many
so I wait.

I just keep waiting
because waiting
is better than admitting
there's nothing to wait for.

You seem happy
and I'm glad
but I wish just a little
that it was me
who made you smile
like that
when the camera blinked
its shutter
over and over
at all the places
I wanted to go with you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Turn Out the Lights

Seventy-one days
of sun
and the only thing
I want is rain.

It's hard on the eyes -
all that sun.

It dries up your soul
and makes you feel
thirsty for a life
that  doesn't exist
in December.
But Christmas
doesn't exist in July -
so which would you
rather have?

I like the rain.
I like the overcast
and the grey.
I like the cool chill
of winter
kissing my neck
and whispering
frosty words
in my ear.

The sun seems to stay
too long
this time of year.

The light burns
across the sky
before even the Lark
can sing its tune
to the dawn
and the sky
stays lit
until even the owl
begs for night.

The day
prolongs itself
like an unwanted
and I just want
it to leave.

Go now
and take the sun
with you.

Defiance (Love Conquers All. Even 8th Grade Bullies)

Sweaty palm
to sweaty palm,
I tightly held
his hand
by my side,
from prying eyes.

No one needed
to know he
was mine
and I was his -
for just a moment
of teenage bliss.

But then the whispers
and words
like "whore", "slut",
and "traitor"
were spoken
in the same space
as my name.

He held my hand
unafraid and unashamed.
She'd let him go
for another
like he was just another bull
in her boyfriend rodeo.

I hid my face
in his shoulder
as the whispers
grew louder.
We sank below
the horizon of the seats
and hoped
everyone would leave
us alone.

They didn't know.
They didn't care.
They heard one side
and never bothered
to ask mine.

One word of a lie
became two words
of the truth,
me against you
and words said
can never take back.

The windows
on the bus
fogged over
as we all rode
into the dark.

And then came
the light.

Blind for a moment
until gasps
and focus
your whispers
had become
on the windows
for everyone
to read,
to laugh at me,
a friend
you so easily
made an enemy.


I let his hand go
and gave you
what you wanted,
but it was never

You always wanted
to somehow prove
you were more
than I ever could be.
But what you never saw
was that he didn't want more,
he just wanted me.

I reached for his hand
and held it tight.
Sweaty palm
to sweaty palm,
we were ready for you,
your words,
your followers -

Because words
on windows
wash away,
but his hand print
on mine
will last forever.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Death and Skittles

All the colors of the rainbow
couldn't save you
from the color of your skin
or a bullet
aimed at your heart
by a hand
shaking with fear
and anger
at "people like you".

The law
may be in tact
but your life
is not. It ended
where you dropped
to the earth's floor --
stopped short
at seventeen
with Skittles in hand
and a hoodie
that won't keep you warm

You were a stranger
in the dark
and now you're gone --
a childhood ended
one February night
because one man
couldn't just stay
in his car
and leave you alone.

We are a nation
wild with unrest
that negligence
is somehow still

But the law
says something
and we all have to
live with it
or change it.

But not you.
Never you.

Your life stopped
before you
ever really got to live.

You'll never vote
for a president
or have a say
in the law
that offered you
no justice.

You'll never go
to college
or buy your first car.
You'll never own a home
or get married.
You'll never witness
the birth of your children
or bury your parents.

Your life ended
before it really began
with one gunshot
to the chest
as a pack of skittles
fell from your hand.
We'll never know
what happened
but one thing
will always ring true:
not guilty
does not mean
not responsible.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Long Live Red Lips

I never had the face of youth.
It was like I went
from twelve to twenty-two
and my face didn't change.

Makeup stains
and lipstick wonder
brightened my day
so easily
and you
to stare
at the red
I painted
across my lips
just the way
I wanted you to.

It was so simple
for a while -
the blonde, blue-eyed girl
that made you look.
Then age intruded
on us
like a scolding parent,
eager to keep the discovery
slow and snail-paced.

I still have that shade
of lipstick
and every once in a while
I swipe it across my lips
just to remember
what your stare
felt like.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day into Night into Day

The sun burns to the ground
as all the lights go out
and darkness drops
like a curtain on the day.
No trees or light posts
stand in its way
as the world turns over
on itself into night.

It is quiet,
a welcomed silence
I have been waiting
for all my life.
I sit in the dark
and inhale
the solitude;
let it slip around me
like a summer afghan
my grandmother made
me when I was nineteen.

I let my lungs deflate -
all the hope
of the night
goes out with the air.
The night is like the day -
you're still gone
and I'm still alone.

The only thing different
at night
is that the light
is gone too.


You've moved on 
so I tried to, too,
but how do you move
when you're at the end
of the road?

There's no turn,
no detour,
no path carved
letting me know
I can be found

Am I lost
or hiding?
Even I don't know. 
But the solitude
gives me
more than you
ever did
and that's enough,
isn't it?

It's more. 
It's everything.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Shedding the Skin of Our Youth

I watched you slip out of sight
as I drove out of town
and out of your life
like it had all been nothing
serious or worthwhile. 

No tears fell
for you or what was
because I knew
what was wasn't real. 

It wasn't the fairytale
or the second chance
for a high school romance
gone bad. It was just comfort
and punishment -
a different kind of pain
to help us forget
the pain of everything else
because everything else
was just too much
to deal with alone
at the time. 

Three years 
have disappeared
since then 
and suddenly
there you are
with another girl
in the paper. 

I always knew
there'd be someone new
standing where I stood
like I was never there - 
not once or twice
or for life
like you wanted
(a prison sentence
I wasn't comfortable with). 
It was your way
of moving forward
and it looks like
you've done it -
found your way
to a new life
where I am just 
what was,
not what is
or what will be.  

My way was to leave
and never see
your face again,
knowing you and I 
weren't right
for the second time
or ever again
just like we weren't right
the first time around. 

You look happy,
but it's just a picture
and I have a few
of my own
with that same look
on your face
and we both know
how well that went. 

Maybe you just take
good photos
when it counts
because all the other times
when the camera
wasn't out
you were always 
somewhere else,
for someone else
to keep you going
like I was never enough
even though
you said I was
over and over
like you were hoping
if you said it enough
it would be true.

Or maybe you 
just wanted me
to believe it too. 

I don't know
but I certainly hope
this girl is enough
to keep you focused
on her
and her alone
because you both
to be enough
for each other. 

I smile at the thought
and toss the paper
out with our memories - 
I don't need them
now that I know
I didn't break

Monday, May 27, 2013

Welcome Back To Your Life

I see your face
as you walk my way
and I can't help
but smile
because your face
isn't like any other
and today
isn't like any other
because I am here
with you. 

It's been a while
but you've made it through,
walked on fire
and reached the other side
of a life
you didn't think 
had another side
because you couldn't see
anything you wanted
beyond what you wanted
right now. 

But I knew better - 
I've been there too - 
and here we are
on the same side
staring eye to eye
at everything new
and our wasted youth
we've left behind. 

I knew you were better
and now you do too. 
Do you see it - 
the silver lining
and crystalline horizon
waiting for you?

We embrace the moment
and each other
for just one breath
and then you're gone - 
off to wander
the world
with new eyes
and a smile
I haven't seen 
since you were a child
of eight or nine, 
before the hurricane
of your life
washed you out to sea. 

How good it feels
to know
you are no longer
aimlessly wandering,
but moving about the world
and ready to learn.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Woman Unchained

I am a woman
ably capable
of breaking away
from the lines
you've drawn around me
that never fit
to begin with
she doesn't exist.

She is a fantasy
I will never be
and don't want to
because she is
a shadow
stick figure
with no words
or heart,
just scars
from where
she's cut,
trying to
the mold
you shoved
her in
without even asking
if that was who she
wanted to be.

I am a woman
thanks to ever woman
who broke the mold
before me
and refused to submit
to your version
of what a woman
look like
dress like

I proudly move
through this life
free to be who
I am
and not who
you think
I am.

I am a woman

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Another Birthday Without You

As the sun sinks below
the skyline
and day gives way to night,
I light a candle
to honor you.

you would have been 
another year older
if you had lived past
but Cancer had other ideas. 

I did too. 

I had career changes
and wedding plans, 
the pursuit of happiness
and second chances - 
everything in a life
you can imagine
that needed you
and your opinions.

I just have this candle
and it will burn to the ground
or until the wick burns out. 

No wishes will be made tonight. 
No cake will be served. 
No party hats will be adorned. 
No gifts will be exchanged. 

It's just me and a candle
and an unused wish
sitting on the balcony
as the scars of your loss
bust my heart and the dark
wide open for no one to see.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

10,825 Days

When you sit down
and count out
how many days
we had together, 
it seems like a full
and robust number.

But it's not. 

It is a life cut short,
bucket lists
forever interrupted,
a broken chain
of events
never to be connected

10,825 days is not much
when someone you love
is the one
who didn't make it
to 10,826. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Time to Climb

I can see Mt. Baker
from my window
as it rises towards the sky
like a white pyramid
of rock, snow and ice; 
and it is like all 
of the things
I want to do
in my life - 
too much all at once.
From here,
the climb
seems possible,
but up close,
it's too high 
in the clouds
and I cannot
thinking about
each step
it would take
to reach the top.
And what if
when I get all
the way to the tip
and there's nothing
to see? 

It is all the CAN'Ts
and WHAT IFs
I've said to myself,
all the dreams denied,
because I just couldn't see
if what was on the other side
was worth my time. 

But time is short-lived
and the world
won't turn forever.
It's time to throw
on my snow boots
and grab my gear,
and stop speaking
in the riddles of "if"
and let the hope in.

Who knows
what comes next,
but standing still
isn't working
and even one step
forward is still

Mt. Baker
is my mountain
and it's time 
to see
what's on the 
other side.
Even if there's
nothing there,
just reaching
the summit
is enough.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Land On Me

I am like a tree
with roots buried deep,
and problems that grow
deeper than my roots
can reach.

And the root of every problem
comes back to being brokenhearted
every time you don't say
the words I want you to.

You're like a bird
who landed on me,
and in one fail swoop
I was underneath
your feet
ready for you to walk
all over me.

You can fly away
any time
without a word
or wave goodbye.
But I'm stuck in the earth
with no place to go
except where I am
with a perfect view
to watch you leave.

I wish I could shake you loose
every time you land
so I never have to feel
the emptiness when you leave,
but I'm stuck here
waiting on you
and hoping
the next time you land,
it'll be to stay.


I read the lines
and could hear your voice
telling me
everything I didn't want
to hear. 

I'd been waiting
for so long
for you to say
that I never thought
what I would do
if what you said
was that you didn't 
pick me
love me
want me
need me
the way I
always knew
you would

because the thing is
years ago
you were the one
saying something
telling me
I was the one
you'd looked for
all your life - 
a title too big
for one girl
to wear
and one
you weren't 
to give. 

And so
I've just been here
sitting and waiting
on someday,
not realizing
that someday
came and went
without me
even noticing. 

It went without
a hint
it was going
or even a goodbye. 
It went without
a kiss on the cheek
or spending one
last night
it would stay. 

Maybe it was gone
before I got up
or before
I even fell asleep.
Maybe it was gone
the moment
those words
left your lips
and I was too lost
in the sentiment
to know better. 

It doesn't matter
when someday
came and went.
It only matters
that it's gone.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Grey Sunday Afternoon

Grey skies
which match
my mood.

Bright and shiny
has been missing
for a long time

I close my eyes
and go back to sleep.
Maybe the world
will see the sun

Maybe I'll wake up
and smile.
Maybe I'll even laugh.
Maybe a lot of things
will be different.

But today,
grey skies and sleep
are all I've got
and for once,
I'm okay with that.
Sleeping in never felt
so good.

Coming Clean

My heart is stained
by your smile
and I can't seem
to rid myself of it. 

I could try Pine Sol,
bleach, acid or fire
to burn it clean,
get the stink off me
but that would kill me too.

Sometimes it feels
like I can't live like this - 
without you,
without this want
for you
that's been one-sided
for so long. 

But I have to,
carry the stain of you
until my breath leaves me
for the last time. 

If only I could have
stained you too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


when I think
I've gotten past it,
moved past you,
the phone rings
or a text comes in
and there you are again.

I can't breathe,
the wings beat
against my insides -
butterflies aching
to be free.

And I just want you,
just as much as before
and then in a blink
you're gone again
like it never happened

And I can't breathe,
can't feel my heart beat
or anything else.

All I can think of
is to say "Please",
not because I want you
but because
I need you

to let me go.

Friday, April 26, 2013


The phone rings
and I wait for you
to answer.

I'm always waiting
for you,
for her,
for someone
to be there for me.

It's an epidemic,
a plague,
I cannot escape -
this constant waiting.

It's like living a life
on pause,
in mid-sentence
or in mid-breath.

No relief,
no movement
or back,
just the stillness
of what is.

I just keep waiting.

Then, I hear your voice
and the beast
that was lurking
in the murkiest
waters of my soul
settles down
as you say hello.

He's always waiting, too.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Coming Home

I step off the plane
and immediately 
feel the weight
of the humidity
as I walk
towards the gate. 

The sweat
rolls down my back
making my shirt
and I know
I better make
a pit stop
before I see you.

The overnight flight
didn't do me
any favors
and my hair
is matted
to my face
as if I stuck
my head
out the window
as we were landing. 

I slip into
a different dress
and try to soak
up the stress sweat
with toilet tissue
and paper towels.
I must look a mess
as I head out
of the bathroom.

A moment later
I see your face
searching the crowd
and our eyes lock.
I've been gone too long - 
I can tell 
by the way
you look at me, 
searching for the changes
and the familiarity. 

You hold me
in your warm arms
and though
I'm already so warm
I can barely breathe,
I bury my head
in your chest
for as long as you
will hold me. 

For the first time
in my lifetime,
I feel at home
and I never want
to leave.
Whatever you do,
don't let me go
when my two weeks
here are over
because I don't know
how long it will be again
before I can come back
and I can't take you
with me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I drew a picture
of what I thought
I looked like
and realized
it's not me at all.

It's just who I wished I was.
It's who others want me to be.
It's an ugly fantasy
that pins me down
and suffocates me.

I light a match
and hold it to the corner
of the paper.
The flame crawls
up the side
and the image
floats up into smoke
and ash.

The mirror is my enemy,
you're either with me
or against me.
I'm beautiful
even if I don't see it
or tomorrow.

You and the ashes
can just float away.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Sort of Happy

I feel the sleep needles
in my toes
and know it won't be long
before my lids
give in
and shut.

My sweet faced feline
nuzzles in for the night
and surprises me
with a lick
from her sandpaper tongue.
She's found her spot
in the crook of my elbow
and once she's settled,
I'm settled too.

This isn't the life
I pictured
all those years ago
when I imagined
what my 30s
might look like.
But it is my life
and it's good for now.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Birthday Moments

Blow out your candles
and eat your cake.
Let me just watch you
as you clean your plate
because this is a moment
I never want to forget.

I remember the day we met
and how our eyes locked.
It was then that I knew
my life wouldn't be the same.

I don't know if you felt it, too
but it's a snapshot
of our lives
I carry with me in my heart
and it sustains me
in the darkest dark
and sings to me in the light.

Close your eyes
and blow out your candles
because I don't know
how long we'll get,
but I'm holding your hand
and you're holding mine
and this is a moment
I'll never forget.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Words on a page
stare back at me,
but they do not say

They are empty,
of what could be
if only
I was someone else,
who lives
outside of the box.

I like the box.
I like living in the confines
of life
and my mind,
but it never lets me
think about
anything more
than what I have
right now.

I crumple the words
and throw them away
because I know
they will never say
what I need them to.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Laid Plans

I ripped my heart
from my chest
and left it
in the finest
on your door step
of your front porch. 

Too bad
I didn't know
you only use
the side door.

I thought I had
the perfect plan;
nothing was left
to chance. I hid
in the bushes
and waited,
hoping to see
the happiness
on your face
when you 
my gift. 

The sun rose
and set
but you
never came. 
My breath
and the beats
but still 
I waited. 

The moon
lit up the night
and glowing eyes
peered back 
at me,
but the present
sat alone
still waiting. 

My blood
ran cold,
my eyelids
dropped low
and you,
you never came
in time
to save me.

So much
for the perfect
the romantic
the sacrifice
I made
that you'll never see.

What did I prove?
Death comes quickly
to an empty chest.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Up in Smoke

Your words
an 18 year
love affair
we'd had
in my mind
and now
my thoughts
are empty.

I have nothing
to say
but I can feel
the embers
of hope
still burning.

The phone rings
and there you are
like nothing
and I just sit
and listen
as you talk
about yourself
like you always did.

For you,
is the same.
I wish
it was that way
for me, too.
But the life
we could've had
went up in smoke
like feathers of hope
on fire.

I'd be a liar
if I said
everything was fine,
so I say nothing,
like always,
like my heart
is whole
and beating strong
in my chest
of ash
in the wind.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Shadow Dweller

Your words
are my shadow;
they follow
me wherever I go.

I can't rid myself
of their bitterness
or the bite I felt
when I heard them.

It's like you're saying
each syllable all over again
and I cannot breathe,
or think
of anything
but how much
I wanted you
to just be quiet.

Silence was the one gift
you never gave me
until it wasn't yours
to give,
and now all I want
is to hear your voice,
even those words
that hurt,

I am stuck
with your words
like the shadow
I cannot escape
except in the dark
where I cannot stay.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Like a Tree, Ever Growing

Like a tree,
ever growing
towards the sky,
I keep reaching
hoping I'll fly
like a bird
on a summer's day
and never touch
down my toes
on the land below
because all I want
is to fly away. 

But I can't do
but reach
because I am root
and soil,
stuck to the earth
unable to move

I can only grow up
and out,
and hope one day
the wind will take me
from this place,
and bring me 
back home
to you
where I 
was always
meant to be
in the first place.

I still keep hoping
for nothing
I can touch
or taste or see - 
just love
I can feel 
in my bark
and heart. 

Like a tree,
ever growing,
I never stop
because I know
maybe someday
my leafy tips
will finally hit
the clouds.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finish Line

Lines drawn on the road
and I know
I'm almost home;
just a few more beats
under my feet
before I cross
over to easy street.

Flash and a sound
and closer
than it should be
throw me to the ground,
and I cannot breathe.

drown out
my heartbeat
that seems to have stopped
or is beating so fast
it is not
one beat per thump
one long wave
of fear.

My lungs burn
with smoke and dust
while my legs
are numb
from what
I don't know.

and a moment
skin on skin
helps me up
and moves me
until I can find
my way
across the line.

I don't stop.
We won't stop.
I push my body
until I get beyond
the line others
have stopped
before me
and I keep going.

This is
who we are
who I am
who we will be
plus infinity
because we are now
and always will be


(In honor of the events at the 2013 Boston Marathon)


There is a girl
in the glass
that I can see
out of the corner
of my eye.

from her hair
and Atlantic waves
roll in her irises
like a pending storm
on the horizon.

Full lips
and a gentle-tipped
her look.

How I wish
my lines
could mimic
the lines
I see in the glass.

But she is not me.

She is a stranger
I catch a glimpse
of when I don’t try
to see her,
a ghost in the glass
I never catch
looking back
and she is lovely.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lost in Translation

I listen
and take in
the words
you say,
how you
say them
and hear
what you
really mean.

You always
in "I" and "me"
as if you
are the only
that matters
on this planet
of seven billion
or more.

It's a language
I do not understand
or speak myself
but I keep trying
as if my deaf ears
have betrayed me.

I keep listening
but hear nothing
because first person
is not second nature
to me. I'd take a bullet
for you
because that is me,
my weakness,
my incurable disease,
my cross to bare
as you run from the room
the minute you see
the sleek black barrel
of the gun.

We aren't the same
but I keep to the script,
pretend like I hear you
and understand
even though I don't,
and probably never will.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


You pulled the strings
too tight
and when they popped
you were surprised
as if you didn't know
you were pulling
too hard.

I still bare the scars
from all the fights
we had over the years -
me running
and you yanking me
like a dog on a chain
trying to run away
but never getting the chance.

and loyal to a fault,
a kick to my stomach
if I didn't do my part
like a feral cat
you refused to put down
and never would let out
again once you
captured me.

You held me down
and smothered me
until I bit you back.
Then you took
my teeth
like that
wasn't barbaric.

When others come by
and I lie obedient
at your feet,
they never see
what you've done.

They just see
how well
you've trained
me to stay.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Your words stick
to me
like a second skin
I can't get rid of
or remove.

They follow me
everywhere I go -
I can't escape.
You made sure
of that.

It's like you etched
them on the folds
of my brain
and every thought
I have

If only
they were words
of love
of words you used
to tear down
to create a better me
like you
were some kind
of Frankenstein -
single minded
after a goal
that made no sense,
that nobody else
could see
but you.

You brought
me to life
I wasn't what
you'd dreamed of
when you whispered
so many words
into my ears,
and hoping
for more.

Now the monster
is loose.
What do you do?
You burn the words
into me like a brand
so that I cannot stand
to be touched
anywhere your breath
has landed upon me.

I am suffocating
beneath your words,
struggling for air
that you have not breathed
before me.

I wish I could shed
this skin,
like a snake
in the grass
or under a rock.

I would hide away
from you
and your words
if only
I weren't me.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I stand in your shadow
and shrink myself down
until I am inside
your chalk outline.

Look as hard as you like
but you won't see me.
I blend in
even though I wish
I could stand out.

I am the background paint,
the slate grey fading
as the sun rises.

I wouldn't know what to do
with all that color.
I slide back behind you
and stay where I belong.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Kitty Tribe

Adopted strangers
living under one roof,
you depend on me
and I depend on you
as we move
towards life.

We are elastic,
and stretching,
each other
to see
if we'll stay
or run away
the first chance
we get.

is staying
when the scars
and the wounds
are just memories.

I close the door
and look around.
I'm still here
and so are you.

We wrap ourselves
in each other
and fall
into sleep,
giving up the day
to our dreams.
I'll be here
when you wake
and you will
be here too.

This is my new life -
spending my nights
with a band of kitties
I call my kitty tribe.

(In Honor of National Pet Day)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Our paths
have differed
over the years.

You've gone
your way
and I've tried
to go mine.

I know sometimes
it seems
I've gone awry,
but I always know
how to get home.

You taught me
You kept me
You showed me
You pushed me
You forgave me

Miles may separate us
but we know who we are.
You are my brother,
my hero, my friend
and family,
my heart,
my love,
my home.

(In honor of National Sibling Day, I celebrate my brother)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Separate But the Same

Take a minute
to pick up the phone
because you never know
how my life is
until you can ask
me yourself
"how's it going?".

I want to know
you and how you are
but the words
run from me
before I can speak.

I never know
what to say to you.
It's not that I
don't want to talk
or share
or confess
because I do
every time I open my mouth.

I'm just always
the problem
and never the answer.
I wish I was more
or less
than who I am now
because maybe then
I'd know how
to be around you
without wondering
if you think I'm an idiot.

Because I kind of am.
Aren't we all?

The world is finite
and so are we,
so let's not try
to make our history
the only future
we have left.

You are my heart
and you always
have been
even if I
am just a stone
in your favorite shoe.

We are one
of the same
but still different,
but yet separate,
which means
you are love,
and everything
in between.


not because
I have to
but because
I have loved
you since the first moment
my lungs held a breath
and it's an ache
my heart
refuses to forget
no matter how many times

don't choose

We are connected
forever plus ten
because in the end
there is no choice
to how this life goes
or how we fit
in it.

We just do.
Me and you.
One heart
us two.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Long Live Regret

One bad choice
can lead to a lifetime
of regret
but I
would rather have
our memories
to forget
than wonder
what if
every time
I see you.
There are too many
ifs in that sentence
for me to sleep
soundly at night.
Give me the regret
and I'll give you
the best
time you've
ever spent,
showing you
what the difference
is between me
and all the girls
that came before
and anyone
who might come after
because I know
than to assume
this is going to be

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Three years
have come and gone
since I moved
3000 miles
to a place
I'd never been,
never seen,
never knew how to find
on a map
until I had to.

I've settled in now,
rooted down
in a space of my own.
You'd be proud
if those slate blue eyes
could still see me.

I've come back
a couple of times
only to run away again.
Nothing is the same,
maybe it never will be.

Maybe it never was
what I thought it was
in the first place.

I want it back -
the life we had before.
I want to change it all,
be different, do more
because then maybe
I'd still have you
to get advice from,
come home to,
share stories with
instead of the granite
and flower pots
that sit in honor of you.

I'd tell you my secrets
and listen when you spoke
instead of always thinking
I know what you're gonna say
next. I'd live in the moment
and let you live there too
instead of always waiting
for the other shoe to drop.

I never used to regret,
I thought it was useless -
we can't change the past,
only learn from it.
But now I feel it -
the anguish and pain
of "should have", "could have",
"would have" and "if only".

Now I know
how it feels
to live among the ifs,
outside the lines
of happiness
like I was forgotten
here the day you left.

What I wouldn't give
to undo it all
if only
I could be the person
I should have been,
then I would be
all that you dreamed I was.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


It's just after 3am
and I can't sleep.
I never really sleep
anymore. I just close
my eyes
and wait for daylight.

The day slips by
without a second glance
and it's night again.
I lie in bed
and try to think
of  a way
to break
the pattern.

When did I sleep last?
Was it before you
or after?
Was I alone?

I can't seem to remember
the answers.

The thoughts in my head
rotate like the blades
of the box fan
I keep on
even in winter -
the air stays cleaner
that way.

It comes back to me
in a flash
like a lightning strike
before dawn
and I remember
the last time slept,
really slept
as if the world
didn't exist
beyond my next breath
and it was in the womb.

Thirty-three years later
I'm still hoping
tonight's the night
I will rest again.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Everyone told me
you weren't the one
but you never said
as if even you
were still deciding,
still mulling over
if you could be
something different
than what you were.

One kiss
One night
Never one word
of warning
that I was in this alone.

Eighteen years later
and you finally tell me
you never felt the same
never wanted more
never looked at me
with the love
I hoped you would someday

Someday came and went
and what is left?

Six thousand five hundred seventy days
of ifs
is all I have
like I should've known
that what was good for you
that what I could give
and how little I'd ask for in return
wasn't ever going to be
what you wanted.

You have freed me
from the prison
I stuffed myself into
all those years ago,
trying to become someone
I was never going to be -
someone you could love.

I should thank you
for my liberation
but why
did you wait
so long?
What do I have
to look forward to

Take back your words
and lock me back up.
Throw away the key
and let me wait
for someday
to come again.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Absence in our Present

The words aren't the same
as they were before.
They don't sound different
and they're still spelled the same
but I can't hear
the possibility
in them anymore.

It's like hearing
a song
sung by a man in love
and then hearing it again
after his heart is broken.
The words and notes
did not change
but whatever it was
that made you love
and connect to it
is different.

The love is gone.

We are a melody
that never found
its voice -
a song no one
ever wrote.

We are words
that never found
a sentence -
a story no one
ever told.

I don't miss you
because you're still here.
I don't miss what was
because nothing happened.
I don't miss the memories
we shared
because we never created any.

I just miss the ifs
that I never said out loud.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Awakening

I can tell Spring is near
the frog symphony
outside my window
is evidence enough.

The darkness retreats
from the light
and whispers
of warmer temperatures
linger in the air.

The skeleton branches
of the hydrangea
is now covered
in green leafy skin
and soon its blooms
will adorn the plant
like bright and shining
baubles adorned
for a night on the town.

Soon the bones
of winter
will breathe again
and we will all laugh
in flowers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beachfront Daydreams

I daydream
about southern beaches
and warm white sand
I can bury my feet in
as the waves lap at my feet
like a puppy
begging me to play,
wishing I were there
instead of stuck
in the middle of this overcast
wayward Pacific Northwest spring
unsure if it's here to stay.

I can almost feel the hot salt air
whispering across my skin
when a brisk burst of cold
hisses in my face.

Soon I will see you again,
my sweet southern shore
and I will wrap myself
in your sandy arms
until it is a daydream no more.

I blink the ocean lull away
and notice the sun has come out,
all the world shines green
and I remember
this is paradise part two.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Flower Soldiers of Spring

It's April now
and I can breathe
than two weeks ago
but there's still an ache
like the remnants
of pneumonia
or some flu
that stays with me
since the day you left.

The sun is out
and the flowers
are starting to bloom.
It's your favorite time
of year - 
and maybe mine too.

I remember you
smiling bright
under a too-wide
brimmed hat
in the sun
and southern spring heat,
burying your hands
in the earth
with bulbs and seeds,
ready for the new life
to color the yard.

It is your happiness
that still catches
my breath
and burns me
from the inside out
like a disease
that won't leave.

It's cool here
this time of year
but the tulips
and daffodils 
are coming up
in droves,
lining roads
and fields
like soldiers
of happiness.

You'd love them
and that makes 
the ache
fade just enough
so that I can breathe
a little easier
than I did before.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Allie Cat

Your green eyes search mine,
afraid I am going to hurt you
like somebody else before me
may have,
or at least you think they did
in your unexposed mind.

From that moment,
I knew
I was meant for you.

I brought you home,
all wild and untamed,
claws out
and ready to strike
if I said or did the wrong thing.

I, too, am a bit wild
and untamed,
but ready to love you
no matter how many scratches
or bite marks
you leave on my skin.

We grow together
for twenty-three days
until your last breath
in my arms
leaves me
empty and tearless,
and unable to breathe

You'd think I'd be a pro
at saying goodbye,
but my sides still ache
from the words
I don't want to say
yet again.

I kiss you
as you slip away
and I feel the cracks
in my heart
bust wide open.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Living in the Rear View

The April rains are here to stay
but all the flowers have died.
The veil of grief has never lifted,
no matter how many smiles I've applied
to my face in hopes that faking it
would make it true.

But the lie never becomes the truth.

You are still gone
and I am still alone-
a motherless child
too far away from home.

I see your face in frames
with a smile you rarely wore,
and I wish that those moments
weren't frozen,
that you'd been happy more
back then
when everything that I thought
was so hard
could never be
as hard as everything
is now.

And the rain just keeps pouring down.

Life keeps going without me
like it's no big deal,
like nobody in the world
even cares how it all makes me feel.

It's as if the sun has vanished,
gone into hiding for good
and it's absolutely fitting
for this unshakeable mood
I seem to be in
since the day you left.

Maybe I just need more rest.

Or maybe I just need you back
and all the good and bad that comes
with your return.

If I could, I would bring you back-
yet another human who hasn't learned
that they never come back
the same as they were

but I don't care

because I'd have you
here with me.
where you should be
and the world would make sense
for the first time
since a moderately mild Monday
in March when you went away.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I listen.
I hear you.
Every syllable
of every lie
you speak.

handle me with care
and sing my praises
like you're my assistant
instead of a love interest.

I wish
I had super powers
and could make your words
into nothing
like the smoke
you blow into me
when I can't breathe
instead of the oxygen
I need.

You suffocate me
with what could be
and then abandon me
for what is.

Sure, let's still be the friends
we've never been
so I can be your fall back plan
when you decide
that you want
the love of a lifetime
you thought I could be
before she became
the new love of your life.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Past Behaviors Predict Our Future

You said things wouldn't change.
You lied,
and this is why
I didn't waste my time
five months ago
driving four hours
to see you
because I knew
it wouldn't take you long
to do
exactly what you’re doing

you could be caught up
in the afterglow
and newness
of the physical touch
of love
I never offered.

you could just be that guy –
the one you were
all those years ago
when you discovered
you weren't the center
of my universe
or anyone else’s
and walked away
without a word
as to why
or when you’d return.

I don’t know
what to think,
and I realize
it doesn't matter
if you decide
to come back around
you might find
I’m not here
to welcome you