Archive for March, 2018

but claimed, once

March 27, 2018 1 comment

These days, everything is under construction:
this street, my body three days a week
when I try to outrun myself,
the texts I write, over and over,
but don’t send,

The past, untethered, one moment
slipping down another,
pulled away, discarded
like old bones,
something unnamed
but claimed, once.

Now, everything starts
again, tentative
as a fresh spring,
new scaffolding
in the old foundation,
the blueprint of a spine,
the heart a map
of forgiveness.

Too many mistake softness
for weakness, chide the offering
of a struck match
for its ash
instead of its light,
but these days,
fragile and small
as an open hand,
pale as the first slant of sunrise,
things break,
but also chains—
here, listen:
something is calling,
a name on the wind,
lingering like a dream
you feel
more than remember.

Categories: poem, Poetry, Uncategorized

old love letters

March 22, 2018 Leave a comment

Is there a word
for the impact
of old love letters?
For the sucker punch
of a standalone
I miss you
that hits like a meteor,
playing all the old songs
across my skin, until
it is impossible
to think around
the feeling.

There you are, solid,
in writing, declarative
and definitive, vulnerable
and honest—
love full of chaos,
what never became nothing,
what always,
what still.

Is there another word
for silence
so loud
that it screams?
The way everything
across a heart, time
devouring itself,
a revelation
of unruly
and mess,
unraveling every pretense
of defense.

Here I am, looking
for you, as if I haven’t
always been. This is
the give in, the lean in,
the question unsaid
with a kiss—
tell me,
I can take it:
what do you miss?

Categories: Uncategorized

there are things I shouldn’t say

March 7, 2018 Leave a comment

At some point, you wake
with my name in your mouth,
a spark in a forest
long since burned,
a haunting of bones,
a car crash kiss,
stolen light
woven into the ghost
of longing,
you and I,
an arsonist’s lullaby,
every note, a sustenance
of stars, the curve of the moon,
hearts too big
for the night.

Let the memory fog up
like windows in summer,
the catch of an indrawn breath
obscuring all view, all thought—
why not take
with both hands, here
this trespass, there
the impossible,
always this
sacred space,
a blessing of salt,
a benediction of hip,
a reckoning prayer.

We are new reflections
of our old selves, imperfect
as every photograph
we never took, happiness
caught up
in the trap of time—
tell me, do you still love me?
Tell me, have you learned
to love yourself?

There are things I shouldn’t say:
I crave your mouth, your eyes
full of mismatched feelings,
our silence leaning
away from our hearts,
all the noise rushing in,
your voice carrying
further than it should,
something snapping
in my chest, a spell
breaking, hope
from a cruel curse.

It would be easy to end this,
to begin it again, possibility
spinning like an unsatisfied compass,
we could pretend
bending toward joy
is an unforgivable sin,
let the dust settle again,
familiar and easy—
but what is dust
except a reminder
of what isn’t there?

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

On the Unexpected

March 5, 2018 Leave a comment

The other day, something unexpected happened. The details don’t matter. They’re hardly ever the point. But it was the kind of thing where time slowed down, and everything narrows in on a single point. In that moment, in reality, the world is still functioning as it should, things bustling around. But now, there’s this lighthouse, a beacon, something you cannot help but see.

Later, after thinking about it, all I could articulate was, “I wasn’t prepared for that.” Which made me laugh. Being prepared for something is a myth, a fairytale. It’s a story we tell ourselves, so that we have just a little bit of armor. Because there are things you can’t defend against. Things you can’t extract yourself from, because you feel something.

Even, perhaps, when you thought you wouldn’t. Assumed you’d blazed past…what? Humanity? Emotions? The heart is a goddamn trickster, and no one can really argue otherwise. And the hard truth is that maybe there are things that we are always holding close, flames of a candle that can’t be snuffed out. In moments, that flame becomes a lighthouse, a thing impossible to ignore. And I wonder, then, what happens after that. Can a flame so big be tamped out? Or is that a comfort we extend to the weak section of our souls that banishes us to hiding?

I’m not really looking for actual answers, here. I’m not even convinced that any exist. But here is what I know, for sure: the only things in life worth having are those we go out on a limb for. Those we risk and rave for. Because that flame is, or has become, part of who we are. Love, I think, is a bit like that—honoring the fire of recognition, the undeniable spark. Of course, there’s also the saying that love can either warm you or burn your house down—you can never know which.

When necessity has demanded it, I can hold back certain things. I can be an expert on silence, on inaction, on pretending I don’t see/feel what I do. It’s a skill, but it’s also bullshit. Because it’s not a good look for me, never has been. You don’t ask a match not to spark. Good luck reasoning with a hurricane. And woe be to the fool who tries to convince the stars they’re too bright. Point is, life is short. You can only hold your breath for so long, until you’re blue in the face. Or less yourself. Happy only on the outside. And that’s a prison made of familiar bones. It’s self-made and stupid. Yes, stupid. I said it. Deal with it.

No one is prepared for the things that happen in life. They just happen. And how we react—how we act—is what matters. And it’s always a choice, between action and inaction, before silence and speaking, between bravery and cowardice. No one magically wakes up feeling invincible and ready. But you decide and then you take baby steps, instead of sitting in a corner pretending the status quo is fine. Sometimes, baby steps don’t work. You have to vault into the unknown, uncomfortable space of maybe.

Man, that’s always a terrifying thing, isn’t it? But that’s life. If you’re not scared, you’re dead. Your body just don’t know it yet. For me, I’m a messy miracle of a human who should’ve been dead a lot. But I’m not. And I know what it is to lose people, so I’ll be damned if I let fear live my life for me. That doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing or that I’m some kind of emotional unicorn (complicated, but stabby! Actually…). It just means I’m here, right now, in the moment. And that’s something you can always count on.

Categories: Uncategorized