a place of depth

October 10, 2016 Leave a comment

Maybe this is more honest
than the last ocean,
all salt and song,
dedicated to the current
of everything that’s wrong,
pulling darkness
out of marrow
until something breaks,
a snap, mouth
mistaking sorrow for air,
leaving every shore
again and again,
beneath the sure weight
of an endless want.

Break a dish,
cross a street,
kiss—there are always
overripe and sweet,
laughter that spins
like an earthquake,
but you don’t realize
what’s collapsing
until it’s too late.

Throw a name at the sky
and see if it takes flight,
more bird than bone,
the way the wind unhinges
itself, reveling in its own freedom,
the simple way
it finds and loses
its footing, never settling,
always on the rise.

All hearts
are a place of depth,
a darkness
in which we willingly
drown. Ask what’s more
air or love?
The ocean
knows all your secrets,
and even on its worst day,
will sing them
word by word
back to you.

Categories: Uncategorized

Whatever You Do, Don’t

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Your hands are full of darkness,
a cruel want, a kiss,
someone else’s apple,
the clean crunch
of a heart under a heel,
a name
like an apology
that pivots
as a bullet hole,
through and through,
all exit wound,
all exit.

Look down
at the reckless perfection
of your fingers:
call up the memory
of skin on skin,
slipping from one hunger
to another, never
calling it what it is—
whatever you do,
don’t look in the mirror,
don’t dig up forgiveness
by the roots,
don’t believe the rumors,
never mind that you
started them yourself.

You are someone’s reason for living.
You are someone’s reason for leaving.
You are a body, a shot glass,
a fit of tequila, slow burn,
a prayer candle
in a church that’s burning down—
now, what?

Sooner or later, your heart
will burst for the wrong reasons,
a reminder
that all love is a flood,
that sorrow
is textured like a bruise,
that doubt lingers
like a broken wishbone—
what if what if what if?

This story is always yours,
always someone else’s—
beginning with a name
no one says aloud.

Categories: Uncategorized

forgiveness is a river

September 4, 2016 Leave a comment

Sometimes, you will come in last place,
you will burn dinner, miss your exit
on the highway, find lips
marked red, but fail to heed
the warning. Sometimes, hurricanes
have bones, sharp angles,
and skin; sometimes, the wreck
is a hallelujah
that rises from your body
like the gasp of a name,
a walk from a place
you never should’ve been—
but you call it home.
Sometimes, the hunger
won’t make sense,
but that doesn’t mean
you don’t eat. Sometimes,
an offer is a question mark,
a laugh, a glass of wine—
drink it
until your heart forgets
all its old failings.
Sometimes, forgiveness
is a river, and you find yourself
drowning in it
when you meant to cross it.
Sometimes, you can’t remember
how it began, only
that you don’t want it
to end; when it has,
go back home—
pretend you know
how and where
to find it,
pretend you understand
the word

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

Go big or go home.

August 29, 2016 2 comments



I’ve always been a big fan of the small gesture: bringing someone a cup of coffee, the Thinking of You text, a silly photo (probably of an animal, because DUH), a handwritten letter, a smile, an unexpected compliment.


Small things matter. They don’t cost a lot of money. They’re just nice. They can be just the thing to make a bad day better, to fix a sour mood, to brighten a life.


But this weekend made me think about big gestures. My amazing friend, Liz, drove 9-ish hours to come hang out. One way, guys. That’s a roughly 13 billion-hour trip, and it floored me in the very best way (I had SUCH a wonderful time, because DUH).


It made me think about the things we do for the people in our lives who really matter. It made me think about how, when we care about someone, obstacles don’t really matter. Not time. Not geography. Not any kind of distance.


And I’m lucky. I have a friend who reminded me that grand gestures are possible. And they’re as amazing and they are important. Sometimes in life, we often find ourselves not really believing that there’s magic in the world.


But there is magic. And I think that we need more big gestures and more fireworks. Yes, small miracles are still miracles. But they’re not changing water to wine. It’s so easy to take the small miracles as evidence, an indication that only small things are possible. Again: it’s not.


You can move a mountain if you try. If you really want to. If your heart is in it. And think about it: when’s the last time you made a big gesture? Went balls out and heart in, said screw it and did something definitive and brilliant? When is the last time you showed up in a really big way? Without being asked or prompted to? Just…because.


I’m not saying this has to be a romantic gesture. Mine wasn’t. (But darlings, friendships are nothing to sneeze at. Mine save my life, on the regular. And I’m lucky as hell in my people.) It can be a romantic gesture if that’s what your wild heart wants.


But I think, beginning in September, let’s all do something big. Let’s all do something honest and crazy. Let’s go big or go home. Let’s put up or shut up. Let’s be over-the-top and insanely present. No more sidelines and skirting around the edges. Just straight out in the middle of it all, center stage and full sunlight.


You in?

Categories: Uncategorized

Because You Are a Ghost, So Am I

August 24, 2016 2 comments


Ghosts sometimes wear the bones
of the living, drive a truck,
widen their eyes
as if you are the surprising
creature, trespassing through life
with your warm skin, hands
full of stardust, lips swollen
with kisses, heart defiant
with the memory of them,
considering the universe
of hipbone and backseat,
a new, old world.

No man walks through a wall
unscathed, so it’s a good thing
hearts are not walls,
and the door’s unlocked,
and the lights are turned off,
and you are not scared
of the dark. Some are born
for fight and shadow,
a flash of red, a grazing of teeth,
a conjuration against
all common sense.

There are no strangers here,
only magic, the belief
in the unbelievable,
and despite
the prayers meant to guard against it,
you have fallen
to your knees, frantic
in this cathedral
of want, with its high ceilings
and impossible scaffolding,
this is your holy place,
four chambers
that echo a name
you won’t say aloud.

Sometimes, the dead man walks.
Sometimes, the dead man speaks.
Sometimes, the ghost
living in your heart
also lives somewhere else,
and yet, the door stays open,
and yet, the moon arrives
with hope in its teeth, a clever gleaming,
silent as the hunger
of bones, a reminder
of how patient the darkness
must sometimes be
with the horizon.

All clocks are set
to measure
one thing or another—
yours ticks
blue, a constant summoning
of secrets.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

your heart like wolves

August 10, 2016 1 comment

Once, I promised that it would
be okay, when I knew it wouldn’t.
That was my worst gift: hope
in a handgrenade, knowing
one of us would explode, hoping
it would be me, watching
helpless as it was you—
on repeat, I kept trying
to save you, but I only ended
up drowning myself.

You want too much quiet,
but the truth is,
I have no plans to be anything
but noisy
for the rest of my life,
which means you have to decide
between a parade
made of joy and hands
the way water
is always hungry
to go where it wants,
a smile
with much teeth,
and no mercy.

This good
and bad that fights
in your heart
like wolves—
I have seen them both
for the same moon,
lost, forgetting
that found
doesn’t always mean safe,
and sometimes, you must
feed the beast
that makes the most honest mess.

those kisses
that changed the stars
in your soul, rearranging
new constellations,
as if love
were an unnamed muscle
in the tongue—
messy, in the best way.

I can’t promise
that things won’t break,
that corners will stay tucked,
that I will ever be easy—
I am not your metaphor
for a happy life,
but these bones of mine
are longing for yours,
impatient as the sea
reaching for the shoreline:
and there’s nothing
more beautiful
that what comes back.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

on broken dishes

July 24, 2016 1 comment

Snapshot of this morning: coffee in a Wonder Woman mug, messy braid (because I was too lazy to wash my hair last night), grey Belmont Park t-shirt that was given to me by my grandpa.


I haven’t been sleeping lately. I say ‘lately’ like it’s just been a week, but it’s been longer than that. It’s not the worst thing in the world—but I’m getting pretty tired (literally, I guess) of waking up at 4:30 in the morning for no reason. Only crazy people wake up that early, an hour in which chickens are likely to exclaim, “You’re crazy. Go back to sleep, fool.”


But here we are, right where we are standing. It’s funny, sometimes, to look back on the progression of things—to clearly see all the steps, missteps, or whatever—that led to a moment, a situation. It’s stranger still to look at all that and still wonder how.


Like breaking a dish, for instance. You can see all the pieces. You know how they used to fit, what it looked like. No one can tell you it wasn’t a dish. But it certainly isn’t functional anymore. You can, maybe, glue it back together—but it won’t serve the same purpose. It can’t. It’s changed.


People are like that, too. Something happens, and you end up on one side of a dividing line between Old You and New You. There’s what was and what is. No in between. No going back. Just a new, bizarre—often times, unwelcome—reality.


The difference, though, is that when a dish shatters, you know it. There’s an unmistakable sound, a discernable wreckage. With people, it isn’t always that obvious. And if it becomes that obvious—outward negative behavior, observable unhappiness—that’s often a sign of desperate progression. Especially if someone isn’t prone to outward shows of actual feelings.


Let’s face it: we all know that one person whose walls we constantly run headlong into. They may even seem outgoing, but there’s always that part of them that’s cut off, closed down, walled off. Inaccessible. The thing about people with walls isn’t that they don’t feel things. It’s not that they’re cold. It’s that a) they’re desperately trying to protect themselves and b) they feel too much. The dial is almost permanently cranked up to 11.


They’re a cracked plate trying to resemble a whole one. (I’m deliberately using they as singular and gender neutral, so this applies to everyone. Savvy?)


The truth is that we all have our baggage, but it’s really more than that. It’s not just things we’re carting around. It’s scar tissue—a place that was hurt, then healed over. And sure, sometimes, things don’t work quite the same. But it’s important, too, to remember that scar tissue is strong. What breaks us doesn’t own us. It doesn’t define us. It’s just a step on a journey. A thing we lived through.


Life is full of setbacks. It’s packed with obstacles we think we can’t get through, surprises we could never have accounted for. And the truth is, there are times where everything has to break down and break apart at the root, the foundation. When something isn’t working to the point where it’s harming us or keeping us still. When something isn’t just unpleasant, it’s downright toxic.


At that point, what’s called for is bravery. And maybe stubbornness. But sometimes, you’ve got to walk out of a house that’s on fire—even if you set that fire yourself.

Categories: Uncategorized