Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Live and Let Live

I can't keep up with you
no matter how hard
I try
because you
follow no path,
have no rhyme
or reason
to why you do
the things you do.

You just do.

I wish I was more like you -
free to live
how I want,
say what I want,
be who I want.

But I'm not.

I'm too busy trying
to keep up with you
or change you
to be more like me.

Maybe I should
just worry about me
and let you worry about you
so that we can both be
just who we are.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Like Our Parents Before Us

I hear your words
fall out of my mouth
like my teeth did
in that dream
when I was fifteen
and afraid of growing up.
They say
that dream
is normal,
but hearing your words
in my voice
doesn't feel normal
or good
or like I'm becoming
more adult
saying them.
They feel
and just as bad
as they did
the first time
I heard them.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Show me
all of your colors,
the reds and blues
of your moods,
the yellows of your fears
that no one else knows,
the greens of your jealousy
and all the ways
you wish you could be,
the charcoal blacks
of your hate
and unhappiness,
the white and pinks
of your light
and perspicacious smile -
every hue
that is you.

I want to see them all.

Birthday Wishes

In 10 days,
I will celebrate
another birthday
without you.

It is the sixth time
I've had to do this
and it never gets easier.
I wish it would.
I wish a lot of things,
like that you were still here
and I could have
just one more day with you -
one day where I knew
it was the last one,
where I could take in
every smile,
every laugh,
every frown
and tear shed,
all of it
seared into my memory
because the last day
with you
was like many others
and I didn't know
I wouldn't get any more
so I took it
and you
for granted
like always.

If I were to light
all the candles
on your cake
and blow them out
for you,
I'd wish
for just
one more day
to say goodbye.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Should've Been

I can hear every word
you ever said
in my head
over and over
about my body,
my face
and how the two
couldn't be
more different,
worse for wear
and desperate
for them both
to be more like you.

But I'm not you.
I'm a foot taller
and three feet wider -
something you
and reminded me of
every day.

Maybe you envied
and how much I could eat
without a thought
or care in the world,
like my life
or happiness
or your love
didn't depend on it.

But it did.
It always mattered.
Every word,
every look,
you never said
in between the lines
of disapproval
and unhappiness.

It always mattered
more than it should,
more than any thought
or word
because I loved you
and wanted you to love
the way you
were supposed to -
without doubt
or dreams
of making me
who I never could be -
with unending,
and unwavering
that someone like me
came out of
someone like you.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Girl in the Mirror

The girl in the mirror
is a stranger,
bloated with emotion
and anger, sadness and regret.
She might look like me
but we're different. 
She's who I became
when you left,
taking all the good
that was in me
and the world
with you in one breath. 
I hate her
and how she looks,
who she's become
without you
because I know
if you were here
you'd hate her too.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Soft Hands

You say
I have soft hands,
as if I've never worked
a day
or hurt them,
never rubbed them
or had blisters
or held on
until the skin fell off.

You comment
that they are
too soft,
like my touch
isn't good enough,
like you'd prefer
and cuts
to silk and love.

How your words
your assumptions
of this life I lead
simply because
my hands
don't show
the pain
in my heart.

Maybe I'm just better
than you
at hiding
the scars.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We're Not That Close

You say my name
like we've known each other
since high school,
where awkward
year book photos
with sweet notes
and signatures
show how close
we were as friends,
but we met
less than a year ago
and friends
is not a label
I'm comfortable
using to describe
the lie
you keep telling
everyone else. 

My friends
have seen me 
snort in the middle of laughing,
and stand silently
at my mother's grave,
waiting to be told
what comes next. 

You haven't seen me
at my worst
or my best,
and so far
I don't think
you're the right fit
for me.

You might've been. 

You might've been 
a lot of things,
but telling lies
about me
when I'm not there
to speak the truth
isn't a way
to go anywhere
with me. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All My Roads Lead to You

The road cuts
through the green
to lead me
towards you -
my perfect morning
and afternoon
standing upright,
the person
I can't wait to say
"good night" to
even though you
can't hear me.

We live separately,
across state lines
and boundaries,
rarely crossing paths
except once in a blood moon.

But you are mine
and I am yours
even if I'm the only one
who knows it.

I'll keep driving
towards you
until you are there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Are My Heart

I sit in the dark
but not.

My thoughts
turn to you
and how
what I feel
for you
is enough
to keep me warm
in ways you
never will.

My heart
grows thick
and calloused
with affection,
to the outside
but overflowing
with everything
that is you.

I am moved
to tears
at how full
I am
with love
for a man
will not
love me back.

is not long enough
to love
but it is
my love

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Weight of Grief

I could not keep
the tears
from falling.
It's what they do
no matter how hard
I try to hold them
in my eyes.
They trip over
my lids and lashes,
escape down my cheeks
with absolute abandon.

I cannot help but cry.
You have been gone
too long
and I cannot remember
the lines of your face
the way I used to,
or the way you smiled
when a song, word
or sermon made sense.

Nothing makes sense
without you.

But still I am here
and life has gone on
even though I knew
better than my own name
it would stop
the moment you stopped.

But still I am here
and you are not -
words I cannot say
or swallow
or think
because what do they mean

How can I breathe,
have a heart beat,
talk, move, live
when you do not?

I feel like a run-on sentence
that needs punctuation
but your stop
and mine
were never meant
to be aligned.

This is the natural order
of things
even if the natural order
doesn't mean anything
to me
as I listen
to someone try to explain
the unexplained.

Words fall from his mouth
like the tears from my eyes
and I cannot, cannot keep
from crying.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Service

Everyone is dressed
to the nines, tens and elevens
like somehow dressing better
will get you into heaven,
and I am no different. 

I wear your hat
that's too small
that you snatched
from a Saks box
left at your door
and something black
to hide the fat rolls. 

I haven't been seen
here before,
or in a long time.
Not since you left.
I've tried to come
and say my peace
but I've not made it yet.

I can't. 
Maybe this time
will be different. 
No judgment,
no questions.
Just love
and acceptance. 
Isn't that how
it's supposed to be?

I bow my head
and let myself
hope - 
maybe this time
I will come home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hand-Me-Down Demons

One drink 
won't become
like it did for you
so many times. 

It will just be one
and that will be enough
for me to say 
my ABCs backwards,
walk the line
and be the person
you couldn't be
after an evening
(or an afternoon)

It will be just one
I know when to say when.

Then I notice
I am half a bottle
and wonder
if maybe
I'm more like you
than I know?

Friday, April 18, 2014


I feel like I'm sinking
and you shove me 
farther down
into the black abyss
of a rising ocean,
asking me all the while
if I am okay. 

I cannot swim
fast enough
to escape.

I give up
and suck in
the water - 
only then
am I free
of you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Love Lasts Forever

I still remember the first moment
I saw you -
fifteen and football
never made more sense.

You were different.

You were the antithesis
of high school,
convention and stereotype.

You were sunlight
in the dark -
the first beat to my heart.
Everything I never knew
I wanted
standing upright.

I am defined
by that moment,
stained by it
and all of its unrequited glory.

You may be
no good for me
but I cannot let you go.
It'd be like asking
me not to breathe,
to stop my heartbeat,
never blink.

You are mine,
I am yours -
and it has always
been that way
since the moment
we met.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Without the Season of You

You looked like summer
in your yellow dress
and bright sky blue eyes,
and I wanted to bathe
in your light
until the street lamps
came on.

But our time was cut short
as all the best times
usually are,
and now only heart scars

The colors of the world
don't seem so bright
without you in it

It's as if I have gone
with only hues
of grey and blue
to light my life
from the inside out.

The fires of red, orange
and yellow
have all burned out.

How dismal Life
is without the summer
of you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Growing Up

Once thick as molasses,
Life ripped us apart. 
It burned us to the ground
and left plenty of scars.
But we rose from the ashes
like the fabled phoenix birds,
And spoke in muffled voices
only careful words. 

We hid our faces from the sun
and always looked down. 
We kept to ourselves too often
and panicked in a crowd. 

We forgot who we were
and the love we once shared;
it was easier to look away
than fight for what was fair. 

We fell in line like robots
and did what we were supposed to;
we never tried to asked questions,
never looked for the truth. 

Everything was harder,
but somehow easier too
because we no longer thought about it,
just did what we were told to do.

Whoever we were before - 
those friends of yesteryear,
didn't exist anymore - 
replaced instead by sadness and fear. 

But the memory remains
of two hearts that beat as one
before Life trampled over them
and sucked out all the fun.

Maybe someday things will change
and we will be who we once were,
rather than empty carcasses
roaming this bitter earth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Slippery Slope

One drink 
does not make me
like you. 

But the wanting
that comes
with the peace
that drink brings,
and the lie
I tell myself
that I can handle it

I'm not you,
but oh 
how I could be.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I believe in the unseen,
the fairies and the elves,
the goblins and the magic thieves
hiding away your things.

I believe in unicorns
and magic spells,
an imagined life
you cannot buy or sell,
but must live
through the eyes of a child.

I believe in 398.2

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Your smoke
fills me up
until I cannot breathe.
It intoxicates me,
leaves me empty
when you blow
through me
like I am a chimney,
a vessel
just for you to push
move endlessly
about me
like I am not there.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Cherokee cheekbones
and brown sun-soaked skin,
painted lips
anytime you leave home,
sunlit hair
out of a bottle,
and eyes as moody blue
as the Atlantic
on an overcast summer day - 

all of these things are you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keep On Driving

There's a blue skied horizon
straight ahead,
and I'm gonna just keep driving
until the gas runs out.

I'm gonna drive
past the line
where your eyes
can no longer see me
and just disappear
off the edge of the earth

Too bad the earth is round.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Your colors change
so easily
from one person 
to the next; 
like a chameleon
you blend in
with the one your with,
but I see you
for all you are
and all you're not.
And you should know
your colors
can't hide
how ugly
you really are. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I have wrapped myself
in flesh
until I am no more.

Layer upon layer
I have built up
my body
until it is
an armored
fat suit
no one
could or would

Now you ask me
to peel back the flesh
like I am an onion
so easily moved.

The years do not melt
away just because
we want them to.

I'm not me
when I look in the mirror
but that doesn't mean
I know who I am
all these years
of emptiness.

Monday, April 7, 2014


I don't wait for you
to say you love me
It isn't something
I question now.

I used to -
wait and question you -
because I thought
when you said
those words
the earth would somehow
move and shake
in a way it never had before.

Then, when you
finally said
those three hard
but simple words,
nothing changed.

My heartbeat did not skip,
my mind was not blown,
and the earth did not stand still.

We continued on
like you simply said
"Hello" or "Goodbye",
just another word
like any other.

But you didn't.
You said the three words
I'd waited over a decade
to hear.
And now I know
this has not been in vain,
and that I am no alone.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I Am Your Pepper Potts

I am your Pepper Potts - 
the girl at your side
always rooting for you
instead of against you
like the women in your bed. 

(I will never be one of them.)

I stand beside you
no matter how dark
your days get,
ready to weather
any storm
brought your way
or you produce
because you are it
for me. 

You always have been
my Iron Man,
the problem I love to solve,
the man with too many plans
and not enough resolve
to finish any of them. 

(I love it all.)

I take the good
with the bad
and love you still.
How many women
have you known
can still say that to you?

(Not one.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fair-Weather Friends

For a moment
we knew each other - 
the way the wind
knows the grass
through a soft caress
on a hot summer day - 
just brief and affectionate,
a light whisper
of love
and promises to come. 

But the season has passed
as it does 
and the grass has withered and died,
much like the chance
we had
to be something more
than just a one-time bloom
last spring.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Perception of a Promise

We used to talk
so much
I knew your number
by heart. 

Now I have trouble
how it starts. 

You promised
things wouldn't change
just because
I wasn't the one
who warmed
you up at night. 

I have no idea
when the last time
we talked was.
I guess your idea
of change
and mine
aren't the same. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Breaking Free

The cage beneath my flesh
that has held my heart
in place
is broken,
crushed against
the raging emotion
the muscle can no longer
and I am free.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I feel your hand in mine - 
palm to  palm,
sweaty fingertips
tickling my skin. 

When I look down
it's not there - 
just the imprint
of what you left
behind sits
against the flesh
reminding me
of all 
that was lost
in love.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


The words on the page
speak to me in a way
that you never have. 

They tell me
the world is round
and the sky
is endless,
that the heart beats
with or without love
and I am more
than you made me to be.