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For All the Things That Own Your Heart

July 17, 2020 Leave a comment

When the dark hits, where do you go?
Inside, where you remember
how nothing mattered, until
everything did, and that history
unravels in the silence,
but it is not silent—
and memory offers
an unhindered laugh, a gruff
softness, a steady hand,
and a mirror
for all the things
that own your heart.

When the dark hits, what do you say?
Everything, but not always in words,
instead giving the gift
of presence, a new sacred space,
a bit of humor
amidst the chaos,
the not-so-small grace
of loving every way you can—
thoroughly and without question.

When the dark hits, what do you feel?
Each howling ache, the way it builds
like heat, burning in the space
between here and there,
and yet, the light lingers,
a glint of remembrance,
of what was, what is,
and what will be.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

Some Hearts

April 10, 2020 Leave a comment

 

Everything was something else, once,
but you burned it down, one match
in that too-dry house,
that kindling-no man’s land
where you had become a ghost,
and with that impossible heat,
everything changed,
crumbled like gingerbread,
until everything was smoke
and memory,
and you left your shoes
right where the door used to be,
because you were never going back,
and you are always leaving things behind,
but you needed to make new memories.

You pulled your heart
from its harbor—that bloody mess
of howling—and you gave it
to a girl you thought was the moon,
and the whole world spun wide
and wild, and you could taste
freedom in her name
every time you whispered
in her ear—
but you forgot that the moon is fickle,
and she changes
without mercy,
and everything goes dark
eventually.

Sometimes, love snaps your heart
like a bone, and those fingers
that used to shiver across your skin
suddenly leave you wanting,
aching, and your heart is howling again
but out of absence,
burning with mourning
until you don’t what day it is,
and you don’t even care,
but it gets better—
eventually.

And then here is a fey girl
of chaos, ripe as sunlight
and messy as a pomegranate,
sweet but not without difficulty,
her soul a song
made of the impossible,
with scars no one can trace
with a hand, but that burn
like sigils in the dark
when no one is looking,
and yet, she gives you laughter,
and meets you at the crossroad
full of old memories,
waiting without hesitation,
and there’s a fire in her mouth,
while yours holds the ocean,
and she’s drowned before
so she knows what might happen—
but some hearts
always know where they’re going.

Everything was something else, once,
but you cannot measure the past
by the smell of its ashes,
and you cannot train your heart
not to howl, wolf-wild
it once lived for its solitude,
but that’s a mouth keen on starving,
and every instinct
dwells in passion,
a sharp spark of stars
that trip their way across the sky,
an offering
of pure light,
when the dark
would overtake you.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

What If?

April 8, 2020 2 comments

Once, I loved a man
who built walls, brick by brick,
only to pretend they weren’t there,
that the illusion was sky,
and I buried my heart in the dirt,
at his feet, because maybe it would grow,
maybe hearts become trees,
and a branch would be wide enough
for some kind of miracle—
I wanted it to make sense,
I wanted him to understand
that love will sometimes break you,
but what if it didn’t?
What if love is a tree
you tend until it dares
to give you fruit?

But some people only know
how to live with clay feet,
and after a rainstorm,
a mess I summoned
with both hands
and a spine full of possibility,
I dug up my heart
despite its howling,
and I took it home
that is to say, here,
in the middle of my chest,
and I let it mourn
the living, I let it count out
all the chances scattered
like stars, all the ways
he almost, but never.

Once, I loved a man
who did not love himself,
who could not see the sky
for all its bright insistence,
who held his hopes
behind his back,
two fingers crossed
out of shame, scared
to face the consequences
of being brave enough
for wanting,
and this is a lesson
that stands out the most:
love is a wild thing
you give freely,
or not at all, and it
will grow, even under
the poorest conditions,
always beautiful
even when its full breadth
is unseen.

If you listen, you can hear
the heart-quiet now,
content, an unexpected lullaby
singing in the distance,
not love, but wind-wild,
something like roots
and a forest fire,
the sharp pitch
of a rough softness,
and it makes me question
everything,
but not what might
grow.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

Elsewhere, a Wolf

March 30, 2020 Leave a comment

A ghost calls, but you do not answer—
that way, you know, lies madness
and sorrow, the soul-split
of both desire and heartache,
a fire made more of damnation
than warmth, and it is buried,
finally, in overdue earth,
salted and left alone—
those bones
were never good
to begin with.

And, somewhere, a crow sings,
teal-bright feathers gleaming,
beautiful in its darkness,
its spinning melody
holding new secrets—
and yes, everything worthwhile
is dangerous,
and here, this apple,
and there, this path,
and then—
everything changes,
now what?

These things you leave behind
are not breadcrumbs; no one
is coming to find you,
and you do not need saving—
but you have been cursed before,
asleep to dream awake,
here but only a shadow
of yourself,
and never again that,
never again less,
from here on,
more rose than thorn.

Elsewhere, a wolf howls,
and your heart feels like the moon,
but you do not trust it,
because there’s too much worry
in the waning,
and yet, here you are,
in this forest of nowhere,
stock-still and stubborn,
lost, and yet
content to wander
where others dare not go.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

when desire is an ocean

November 3, 2018 1 comment

The world is a secret, a deep sea,
brined to the brim,
and this slick curve of want
howled itself into existence,
bright as a reborn moon,
swayed by the tide of a kiss,
and then another
until breath is nearly forgotten.

A trail of hands, indelicate,
a sharp shiver,
a hurricane so delirious
it leaves fingerprints of bruises,
little marks
of longing, offered up,
a constellation
of sighs, the shuddering way
one
meets another,
a welcomed downing.

Here, a body becomes wine,
and we are drunk,
then drunker still,
until everything is spinning,
tongues like magic,
turning want
into mess, extraordinary
and honest, no promises,
just the miracle
of the way you dissolve
into me.

Categories: poem, Poetry, Uncategorized

The Devil Whispers

June 25, 2018 Leave a comment

You start by taking—
small acts:
a shoelace, a ring,
a tiny belt. When the crying
begins, steel yourself
against feeling—
your orders are what they are,
and what happens
if you say no? Chaos,
anarchy, danger.
No, do not look into the eyes
of children, breaking
and broken, brown
and full of grief,
do as you are told,
follow the law
of the lawless—
do not waiver,
do not bend.

Begin then by building the wall
in your heart, brick by brick,
fill up the emptiness
with more hollow,
let what’s missing
become a solid thing:
soul, trickled down to nothing,
a riverbed gone empty,
a well dried up—
this is your legacy.

You start by taking,
until you see what you’ve lost,
what you have stolen,
what blood you have spilled
in the form of tears,
putting miles between
a child and her mother,
the unquantifiable distance
of grief far, far worse—
a wound so deep
that it has no measure,
and you have done this
and lived with it,
looked at your face
in the mirror and smiled,
laughed with your own children,
held them close,
sat at the kitchen table
with your own father,
playing cards,
as if there are no consequences
for your quick hands,
your loyalty
to the disloyal—
thank you.

You have done my work,
called it good,
labeled it just. God
may have created the world
in seven days,
but look at the heartbreak now,
and see what we have destroyed
together—
isn’t it beautiful?

Categories: poem, Poetry, Uncategorized

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,
waiting.

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,
hearts,
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

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
untethered
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

the asking

October 26, 2017 2 comments

Tell me what lives like a storm
of secrets, tucked inside your skin
like a scar of tragedies, a lighthouse
of wanton shame, hesitation
that sings
like falling stars—
messy and imprecise,
absence in all its splendor.

Show me where the world bends
within your soul, the moments
where your heart folds in on itself,
a labyrinth of want, wild
in its own grief.

Keep the sweetness at bay—
this, a green apple,
that, a mouth of salt,
here, skin like sin,
a slink of fire, a match
of hip, the touch of hands
a rebellion.

Offer me what breaks
like a fever, relief
flooded and flushed out,
the last temptation of everything
you never said aloud,
the slow burn of stars
howling into the night.

Categories: poem, poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

an ocean made for drowning

August 17, 2017 Leave a comment

This is a peculiar darkness,
a humming thing
made of low magic, a creaking
heart that betrays itself,
limping through a song of shadow,
until everything is different,
and there is no going back.

Sometimes, silence
is an ocean
made for drowning,
a tide of conflicting
forgiveness,
the rush of hands
receding,
the taste of salt
on sin.

The truth is often fashioned
out of secrets, tucked
like a quilt
so that no one looks at it
too hard, a pretty wreck
of what was
and what-might-have-been,
reframed by what is,
longing threaded through
with too steady a hand.

No one can unmake time,
and that is love, ticking
fast with each passing second,
unnamed
and faceless, beneath
the doubt of past mistakes,
unmoored
and set lost, not free.

Everything is a consequence
of something else,
sometimes it’s an echo
of old, familiar ghosts, a mourning
that speaks beneath the din,
purposeful in the quiet,
begging not to be seen,
open hands
that tell too many stories—
the bang of a door
no one ever walked through.