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.