Space

I am porous

I lose pieces of me 

when I forget to say

I love you,

little girl

I expect others to

fill my spaces,

like planets spinning,

synchronized in iridescence

But men are meteors

leaving debris

or, simply leaving,

in search of something

bigger

better

untouched

There’s more impact that way

Meteors are not aimless

but I have no sense of direction

I wish I was a satellite

In the end,

all that’s left 

Is empty space

Someday, I will learn to

fill it with I love you,

little girl



7-3-22

Hush Hush

If fireworks can scream

why can’t we


It was hush hush 

when my mom was sixteen

and noticed a peer

disappeared for nine months

babies aren’t quiet

but their mothers always had to be


I am not quiet

when I am pleasured

I am not quiet when

I dissent


How can we celebrate a country

where someone’s baby

has to carry one

where missing indigenous women

are never sought or found

where black mothers die threefold

because white mothers

are bleeding next door

where genitals are inspected

before pronouns are respected

and marriage equality

was a passing dream


If fireworks can scream

we can, too


6/30/22


What Now

we don’t respect death

we are crows with

shiny objects

tiny hands catch bullets

instead of baseballs

and we cry what now,

but now is the same as before

only guns have safety


the first time I pulled a trigger

I nearly shot a man hiding in the hill

I find no pleasure in power

unless it is shared

but sharing is only taught in classrooms

and it dies with our children

America is the land of promise,

of empty beds and crowded safes,

of talking heads and screaming babies,

of grieving families and political maybes


life is figurative

until it is taken

until mothers weep

in the streets of Texas

and New York

but by then it is death

and we don’t respect death

so what now


05-26-22

Island

When I look back

I see the flags

full mast

(always a reason

never the priority)

You can’t build a home

on an island

While you tapped SOS

and leaned on strangers

I patched leaks

and leaned on the strength

of the women before me

who had no choice

but I do

I chose you then

(always a reason

never the reality)

But I choose me now

4/6/22

Is it

Is it what you want

I chew on this thought like tree bark

praying it will quell the ache in my gut,

but

my organs know

I do not want

to wonder forever

if you love her

if you love me

or if we are all just patches

never a quilt

you are always cold

because you want

it’s why I loved you

but now I hate those graphic tees

all who wander are lost

stitching experiences

together until

halves are whole

I want to see the world

through the eyes of my family

not strangers

I want to fold the sheets

and know you will sleep

beside me

in them, in there, in then

wherever, however, whomever

just not her

please not her

is it what you want

3/10/22

Notebooks

Do people change or do circumstances

between second chances

and first goodbyes

I don’t say goodbye, I disappear

too stubborn to hear

about dying

To see you again alone

is a reminder to run

as we’ve always done

to separate parts of the earth,

screaming into notebooks

while never acknowledging

words exist

I didn’t leave you

you were never there

Steel Shingles

Sometimes I think it’s either Vice President or driving off a cliff

Chapped nipples and overqualified at the front desk

Or pantsuit and laureate

Glass ceilings shatter and

shake the steel shingles above them,

Still the world screams

“See! She did it! She is amazing!”

Yes she is

They are

They always have been

Passed over for a white man

With his trust funds and his racism and his allegations

They’ve all sacrificed their dreams for the good of family, society, self

Preservation

But you never see it

You toast a drink when they’re behind the podium

She swells with pride

Then she drowns in the pillow

1/21/21

Rough Drafts

The impetuous screeching of cicadas,

suffocating Ohio summers with

their cries for attention

every seventeen years

like teenage hyenas at Head Row

desperately seeking prey

in the shadows

of disheveled baseball diamonds,

dust-ridden and ravenous

 

We like to believe

we can timestamp

high noon,

radiant and thick

with promise

 

But we are all bugs

buzzing with life

only to wane at first frost,

leaving crumpled carcasses

and rough drafts

rather than legacies

 

7-20-20

Rest Now

Mouth running like mascara,

hair tucked securely in the past,

she reaches for me with dewdrop skin

though it’s still not safe

 

Rest now

 

He shifts in bed until his feet,

now thick with summer heat,

hang just out of reach like forgiveness

 

I plant his brittle spine

into a nest of pillows

like a baby bird and he squawks

 

Rest now

 

Wiping the lunch from his face,

I think of how we are all children

taking leaps of faith

even after science shows us

that clouds aren’t beds of cotton

 

Rest now

 

Fly later

 

 

7-9-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another

A familiar feeling

A familiar tone of voice

It’s soft and even

As you leave a message

For her to digest later,

As if it’s something she can pass

As if it’s something you’ve already chewed


“Another one?”

Yes. Another.

 

Another kid turned man,

Cigarette in hand no matter

How many times you tried to put it out

Another laugh rippling through the cosmos,

Ripping through a family like heavy wind and rain


Because even laughter is a storm

Once it’s a memory

It’s all loud and grey and uncontrollable

And no matter how many times you’ve seen it happen

No matter how many ways you saw it coming,

You’re never prepared

6-15-19

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