Monday, August 10, 2015

some kind of human

you are that kind of human
you wake every morning
and know that all you treasure so close
with guarded heart will go
in time

the sky passes above your crown
never the same again
you are that kind of human

sometimes you stop in the dead
of the day to see time moving in the back room
it does not judge

"to hold, is to suffer." it calls.
i will take all this from you
lay it bare
leave your bones to waste

you are that kind of human
the kind that rinses and repeats
with imprints of slave lives buried deep
in your coal black eyes

and you
are that kind of human
watering the seeds
clearing out the weeds
sweeping the porch
and preparing your heart
for more

Monday, May 25, 2015


she smells of sage
and the binding of a new book
discovered in a dying bookstore.
she lets me in to read
when she is not afraid.

she builds things for a living
I asked her to build us a library
to read and grow old in
and a home on the pacific with a garden to
gather tomatoes and collard greens
with our weathered hands.

she dresses in safety.
a plain t-shirt. a
button down sweater.
flat leather boots. hair pulled back tightly in to a ponytail
and tucked. no makeup. no jewelry. nondescript CK underwear.

she paces the apartment making copious lists
in perfectly straight lines
in a black moleskin.
she specializes in risk-benefit analysis
and excel spreadsheets

I run my fingers along the grooves
etched in her forehead
I notice them whenever she lifts her head to take a clear look at me

to love a woman like me, I know,
is her riskiest bet yet.
no mitigation.
no expectation of certainty.
just plain courage.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


And then she brushed
against me
strung herself across my lap
lacing her heart around mine

"We are threaded," she said.
You are the coming. I am the going.
I've mapped your ridges with my tongue.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

There are no words

I realize that beauty is fading fast
It's the price we pay for wisdom
and better days

Webs move across the corners of my eyes
soft folds have arrived at the edges of my smile

I look out to see awkward teenagers
struggling to chart a foreign landscape
so precariously full of wide life

the sun is beginning to set warm gold
against my back

this day
is the best it will ever be

ever more now I know that this body is not home
simply a stunning arrangement
casing for an expanse so wide
the very thought of it makes me cry

yes, the sun is setting warm gold
against my back

but we are not the sunset
We are the very sky.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lose to Win

And then, she pondered the absurdity of life. Each moment. One by one. Pulled closer and wrapped into a cord tight around her neck. A jewel placed in the center.

She had searched for days to find something to keep her here.  A twenty minute TED Talk. A self-help book.  All lovely, but ultimately ephemeral. Nothing could save the soul that now hung a corpse. Its rotten stink filling the air wherever she traversed.

She had dreams of the sea rolling in and her dead mother coming with a blanket to protect her. Was it a gesture of comfort or a motioning to go forward?  Would she finally let her follow?

“Nothing will ever be as beautiful,” she said as she stepped onto the chair. Beauty, a transitory and subjective human construction. With the lights dimmed now, she only saw shades of gray.

In the bathroom, she examined the totality of her earthly experience. Is this what they spoke of? Was there nothing more? For the life of her, she could not remember what she came back to learn. Why the fall?

So she took a deep breath and stepped forward.

Sometimes you have to lose

To win 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tender. Trembling. And Unsheathed.

I've already begun writing a song for you

The presentiments of satiety
After being starved for so long

You must feel the hunger
to know the full

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Why do you fuck me like that?
With your heart out

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Muscle Memory

To let go consciously is consent to go naked once again. It is not like a slit in a skirt pocket or things misappropriated or forgotten in human precipitation and haste. 

It is simply and painfully this. One finger, then the other, and another,
Unlatching. A quick weakening of the heart.

I’ve gotten so good at letting go
I’ve forgotten how to carry

Teach me how to hold

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Two

I am Lorraine. In the canary yellow dress and petticoat. I've come home from work to place the crumpled brown bag of groceries on the kitchen table. Soft like taffy. Malleable. Imprinted. Easy to upset. Adept at verbal cues and emotional nuances.  A hand on the hip. A swift change in the cadence of your voice. I am stirred by everything you do. And everything you don't.

She is T. Drapped in deep green. The color of the stormy sea. She is hard candy. Brutally honest. Disconnected. Jagged rocks for hands. When I arrive, she buttons her tongue to the inside of her cheek. She does not have the language to talk to me, the easily bruised bird. We exchange pleasantries. Talk in between. In spaces. Safe ground. And after we make love, I am empty inside.

And so our lives played out like that. For years. Resentment growing like mold on Monday's leftover pot roast. She hated me for my bruising. Not knowing that I bruise because I am alive. All those things denied to her.

But then one day, I remembered the end of the story. The story of Lorraine and T.  Lorraine, intent on proving her independence to T, left in the middle of the night to go alone. I remember T smoking a cigarette, waiting on the couch for hours for Lorraine to return. But Lorraine never came home. And when T heard the ambulance screaming, she ran out of the house to find the neighbors gathered around. T panicked and ran to Lorraine. But it was too late. Nothing would ever be the same.

It read like a cautionary tale. I could no longer be Lorraine. Spending the rest of my life masking for T. Spinning myself into her. Closed and afraid. And then, acting out in tiny moments of desperation, in oh so dangerous ways.

In forgiveness of her, in forgiveness of self, I etched the word "grace" on the inside of my wrist with a ballpoint pen and walked out of the door.

Sunday, February 09, 2014


That's the trouble with penance
Even after you've emptied your pockets
It still demands more