Friday, October 13, 2017

Old Flames and Inventing Fire

I just want to know
that you thought it first
It is easier to love you
if you know what love is
just tell me

In case you are forgetting
Love is every word I speak
but mostly the drunk things 
I post when I think
no one is listening 

Love is my patio
and me asking you
What else do you want to talk about
And your blue eyes do not flinch
as I say something else about me

This part is easy
Let me open up to you
From here on out
everything is easy
Welcome to loving me 

I love you too
If you're looking for the fire escape 
I will show you all of the doors 
In case of emergency
just call me, I will answer

I have been writing poetry
to pass the time
I have been waiting for you
Take your time (but hurry, please)
I don't want to wait for you, anymore 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Formerly The Diplomats

One of the first things I learned
was that I did not have permission
to pick flowers
from flower gardens
but dandelions were free game
I would sit on the patch of grass
across from the rose bushes
my mother planted
beside the mailboxes
at the apartments I grew up in
and make wishes upon wishes
on the curb of East 24th Street

The mailbox was a prayer request
I would sit and stare at
Waiting for submissions, rejections,
or any correspondence to me
I must have blown a million
little circuses of fantasies
and picked the petals of every wildflower

He loves me, he loves me not
He loves me, he loves me not

And I am forever there
On that patch of weeds
Wanting so badly to pick flowers
instead of petals
To make plans, instead of wishes
Waiting for that letter
that says,
This is exactly what we are looking for.
Submission accepted.
We will be in touch with you soon.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Because I Am a Woman, Too

Because I am a woman too
I know how it feels to be a little girl
soft, with scraped knees and a journal
wanting my period so badly it hurt
writing my name in cursive like a mother
carrying an empty purse

Some women are born rich
maybe your house was built for you
your income included in paperwork
maybe your ceiling isn't made of glass
and your back never hurts
I hope you are happy

Other women are born poor
and your house is made of scraps
and lumber you did not pay for
I know your wealth was not made
on the backs of other people
Your wealth is the happiness of home

Some days I spend all day polishing things
countertops and floors and my rough edges
placing like things next to each other
buying things I hope someone else will need
organizing paperwork no one will ever see
It makes me feel like a lady

Other days I avoid everything I ever touched
pretend I do not own anything
daydream about leaving my body
sleep like somebody is watching me
stare out my window as the day becomes dark
It makes me feel like a human being

Because I am a woman, too
I know what it feels like to be unsure
but my voice doesn't quiver anymore
My heart speaks soft soliloquies to me
It says, the only approval you need is yours
then skips a beat because it knows it was heard

Sunday, September 17, 2017


It is still not autumn here

I rely solely on the changes
of the seasons
to console me
so rest assured
you have it on good authority
there is still no reprieve

Maybe you feel like me

And if you do
I am sorry
but I also want to reassure you
this is just something humans do
All those saints were lonely too
but were so close to god
that they just pressed through

Sometimes I worry
that talk of god will turn people
so I keep reminding myself
that I am people
and it feels good to be alive

The sky keeps a schedule
that changes shadows
and some of us know
about the golden hours
while the rest of us
worship our likeness
to heavenly entities in sermons
on Wednesdays and Sundays

I keep thinking about mirrors
and how I want to believe
that people are good
because I am good
but have started worrying
that I am a piece of shit
because everyone keeps talking
about how people are the worst

Maybe you feel like me

What I don't think about
is how I don't even believe
in myself anymore
nothing here to see, folks
keep moving
except in the back of my head
I am yelling
"come back"

Come back

Friday, September 15, 2017

Patio Talk

It doesn't feel like Friday.
It feels like exactly a week
since I fell asleep
on the last day
I was closer to my birth
than my death.
How do I know
that I will live to be seventy?
I don't.
But my path no longer feels
like I am calculating
how long it has been
since I set out.
I am counting the miles
and how long it will take to stop
at each of the roadside attractions
on my way back home.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Arkansas Summer and You

The eclipse was mostly like any day
except I bought rose gold bake ware
including two cookie sheets,
two cake pans, a muffin tray,
and pancake mix.
I'll never do any of this,
unless you ask me to...

While I was bargaining the worth
of buying honey in the shape of a bear
and maple syrup instead of
the obvious,
I found myself
with my arms crossed.

Why is this twenty extra cents
so hard for me?
Why does this dollar
feel like my very being
is put on display
in front of everybody?

I still haven't baked any cookies
You still haven't said
that you want to be with me
but this Arkansas Summer
keeps reminding me
that I should be prepared
for anything

Forgive the punctuation mixed with poetry,
I'm still not sure
how it works...
but that batter will be here
as I wait patiently
for pinto beans and collard greens
and you

Monday, July 31, 2017

Arkansas Summer: First Draft

The summers in Arkansas
are dangerous to the psyche
Even breathing is with great effort
It feels like liquid is on the lungs
Everything that must be done
must be done before noon
or after it cools off some
I make sangria so I can daydrink
until the sun goes down
It is hard to be in love
I don't even want my skin
to touch my skin
It is easy to make friends
Everyone feels the same way
Hot as hell and wanting relief
Hoping it will never end