Sunday, October 10, 2021

Thirty-Two Minutes

Our footsteps crunch on the sand-covered cement
as you shove your calloused fingers 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.

The embers burn orange at the end of your cigarette as you take another drag in silence
Only your teeth brim the velvet darkness from a moonlit sky.
We feel him for a moment before he scampers off to the left.
An unseen creature runs in front of our footsteps.

My eyes wander up to the diamond sky as it winks and twinkles at us with mischief
like there's something else going on but we missed it.  
The crisp air clears my sinuses like a mint and I feel the sticky salt air cling to my skin.

I focus on the words suddenly falling out of your mouth, 
letting the syllables take shape in my brain. 
Before I know it, my watch tells me 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 familiar butterflies to emerge and begin their flight
like they have ever since the moment we met.

But nothing happens. 

I listen to see if the world has stopped spinning – if time has stilled –
and wait 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 keep fighting the war
so you’ll stay 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?

Again you say I am the woman of your dreams like I’m not reacting the way you imagined.
I hear you. I'm listening, but something is wrong,
and I see that the moment is gone like all the years before it went – silent.

I know you better than you’ve ever known me and though you’re saying the words
I’ve wanted to hear for hours, days, months, years,
they’re just letters strung together with no evidence to prove you feel what you say you do. 

Maybe it’s not what you expected but finally, I get it –
Underneath this ebony sky another day is going by like every other day we’ve lived –
both together and apart –
and I see that thirty-two minutes have passed since the dream of us became a part of our past.

Your loneliness led you here, not your heart,
and if I was really the girl you’ve dreamed of your whole life,
you would’ve known at seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, or even twenty
like you do now at twenty-one.

I’m not your fantasy.
I never have been –
I’m just the one person still standing in the wreckage you’ve made of your life
and what you said thirty-two minutes ago doesn’t disguise the reality we live in.

We’ll be friends until we know better.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Life in Color

I saw my forever in your hazel eyes –
something I never thought I’d want:
picket fences, kids on hips,
Dutch oven dinners with friends,
listening every night to you tune your guitar,
easy living in the suburbs near your parents. 

Life in muted color. 

I stood by you and waited
for the moment you’d see your forever in me.
I never became your lover
and we were never really friends.
I was just a fan you used to feel better
about the life you never made happen.
You burnt me to the ground as a proxy
for your hate every time you weren’t the man
you should’ve been, but the only person
standing in your way was always you.

My forever faded in the rear view
as life came into focus
with all its ugliness and vibrant pain.
We collided into others but never each other –
I thought our moment was over
but you knew it had never begun.

Time has washed you away,
but the memory of what was
and what could’ve been lingers still.
The colors shine brightly now –
maybe they always did
and I just couldn’t see life beyond you.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ordinary

You have a gift
but it's not what you think.

It isn't the talent
in your hands
or your mind
that makes you unique. 

It is your ego,
your bravado
and all the ways
you shut out the voices
who try 
to make you better. 

If only you would listen,
your myopic vision
could expand
beyond the horizon
of desperation
you have set.

But perfection
can't be improved.
You aren't a first draft,
you're the printed copy.

Don't we all see
it's us, 
not you, right?

How many more 
will you go through
before you see
you are the only variable
connecting everyone?

I smile as you move on
to another
and then another
because the truth is
even your insecurity
isn't original.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hypocrite

You slam everyone 
who stands by 
and acts as an observer 
to the wreck you've made 
of your life,
like rubberneckers 
on a highway 
passing a four-car pile-up 
as if you have always 
taken part 
in the lives 
around you. 

Where were you 

when it all fell apart 
for me 
and I begged you 
to just spend 
a minute in it with me?

You were sitting 

judge and jury 
like you understood 
my pain and fury — 
something you still don’t get — 
not yet. 

I hope you never do. 


You watched 

my world 
collapse 
and then wondered 
why I was mad 
you never came around. 

I always had to come to you, 

no matter what 
I was going through — 
drive across town, 
fly across country, 
make it happen 
even when I didn’t want to. 

It’s always about you — 

who did you wrong, 
who did you right, 
who you wish would do you again, 
your dreams you chase, 
the goals you make, 
the life you are or aren’t living. 

I have stood by, 

silent all these years, 
supporting and forging
my way forward,
waiting for you to get it, 
to see I am here 
as your friend and equal,
not your cheerleader or servant. 

But you don’t get it. 

Maybe you never will. 

So, you’re right — 

fuck the spectators. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Supernova

Your words fall out
of your mouth like black tar;
they are cyanide, an instant death,
to my fragile heart.

You throw hatred at me
like Molotov cocktails,
setting fire to my love
as every breath fails.

You burn me to the ground
with all of your lies and secrets;
and you smile as I disappear,
like you have no regrets.

The wind picks up my ashes
and whisks me away,
holds me tight in the night sky
and keeps me safe.

The stars collect my pieces,
the dust you made of me,
and they put me back together,
held in place by gravity.
They breathe light into my soul,
illuminating me;
you didn't win and I am finally
who I was meant to be.






Invisible

I speak
on a frequency
you can't hear
so I speak
louder
until my voice
disappears.

I raise my hand
but you never call
on me
like I'm imaginary,
a blind spot
no one can see.

I'm not here.
I don't exist.
I'm just a memory
though I'm standing
right here.

Someday
you won't even remember
my name.
Today
you don't remember
me.

Criminal

I sit stunned,
like your words
are a taser gun
on full blast,
hitting my skin,
my lips,
my brain
in one angry jolt.

I play them again
and the epiphany
blooms like a violet.

I cannot move,
think,
or speak
as I listen
to you rewrite
history
I witnessed.

I was there. 
I know what happened. 
Don't I?

But now
you reveal
the last piece, 
like a puzzle thief
holding out
until the end -
keeping the victory
in your back pocket
so no one else
could have the glory.

I saw only two sides
of the story
I lived
but I didn't see
you,
the masked man
hiding the truth
behind the door.
 
Your side
stayed in the shade
like a shadow
lurking,
waiting 
for the sun 
to fade
and hoping the moon
didn't out you.

But I see you. 

Now my eyes
are open
and clear
with the Visine
of the truth
you speak.

You're in HD,
4K Ultra,
bright as daylight. 

You're a criminal
playing dress up
as a gentleman
who never had
anyone's interests
at heart but his own.

I should've known.