Sunday, November 5, 2017

First, Second, Third Person, and You

First Person:

I was told the first person's name was Adam
I wonder who gave him his name,
if not his mother before him.
In Hebrew, Adam means "man", "clay", or "earth"
and is the oldest relative of me, you, and Jesus.
I sometimes feel comforted by this,
entertaining the idea that goodness
is a direct line with no obstructions
and the very blood I bleed proves it.

I tire of thinking of myself all of the time.
It is completely situational and exhausting.

If you were here, I could think of us.

If you are reading this, I am writing it for you.

Second Person: You

You are a character in my book.
You actually haven't been mentioned yet.
The final scene leans heavy on your presence,
is very dialogue driven,
and requires a suspension of disbelief.
You are the central character so everyone else
is preparing the audience for your entrance.
You get nervous in crowds so it is just us now.
Take your time. There is no rush.

You enter stage left and say,
"This is a play."

You take center stage, you take in the room.

The audience of one is you.

Third Person:

She would do well if she edited her poetry
or abbreviated her day drinking.
She didn't know him from Adam,
but he had never met a stranger and remembers
her and other things she chooses to forget.
"He is unaware of himself", she thought,
as they walked to her record player, together,
and in one swift motion he explained her.
He had no idea what he had just signed up for.

Arkansas is quiet tonight,
even the cicadas sing in a whisper.

Shhhhhhhhhh...they say in hushed words.

He is glad he is hers

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Service Unavailable

it is the vulnerability
that is scary
and i worry about how
i am not perfect looking
and think this is why
you haven't asked me
to be your one and only
and I forget reality
you have shortcomings
they mean nothing to me
every time we fall asleep
it is comfortably
i wake up thinking
i am not good enough
but every other time
i step into the world
i know there is no one
good enough for me
there is no one
to meet me at my doorstep
with the same levity
bravery and simplicity
as me, but you
romanticism destroys me
there is something about you
no one gets to see me this way
optimism is my fault
i believe the good things
are in the people i meet
i believe the things you see
are the things i saved for you
i think you are the only thing
that is 20/20

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.