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