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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I feel vulnerable and my body aches

with uncertainty.

I become anxiety

when my plans tank.

But I still want to hear about

your day.

What happened in class—

the notes you write her,

the next drawing you make.

 

My eyes are always inside screens,

my mind on what I need to do,

my hands on something

I believe is more important.

But it isn’t.

Nothing is more important.

I need to turn and face you.

Time is not running out—

It is right here.

And so are you.

 

I am not young enough

to walk next to you in the halls,

and not old enough to

pass off as your mom.

I am in-between friend and parent,

wanting to have more power,

to give you what you need,

What you want.

I care too much

about your fingers, your music eyes,

your swollen heart.

You are not my child, but you are

worth all my time.

 

You are not the reason

I worry about money,

about where I will end up.

I feel your gratitude

even when you are distracted—

We all get distracted.

I feel like I always am.

 

My uncertain life would be hollow

without your stories, music,

and yearning to be heard.

 

Yes, I am scared.

But if you ever left—

There is nothing that scares me

more.

 

 

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I look at my hands

like they are digital

and bright

with messages and ads

on them.

 

I don’t feel capable

of nurturing you.

I stare at screens

too much

to pay attention to you.

 

I can’t have free time

when I feel guilty

being mindless.

 

I remember you

but I forget how to

handle you.

I care about you

and don’t care about you

until it is over.

Then you become

something else.

 

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Does his dresser still have our initials

carved into its side

with a knife-made-heart

framing them?

I wonder if you feel how deep

the markings are

with your index finger—

 

On the mornings he

goes to work,

you are left with

a naked mattress.

Or maybe you convinced him

to get a comforter set.

Maybe he makes his bed

now.

 

When it rains, does he look

at you?

He stays in his room

and doesn’t take

his medication

so he can feel the pain

a little bit longer.

He is trying not to yell

at you,

so he ignores you

instead.

 

Do you stare at the toy

in his therapist’s waiting room?

The one that has the beads

you can slide along

the green, red, yellow, blue

skinny rods—

The roller coaster controlled

by little hands.

 

I hope when he takes you

to New Jersey

he buys you dresses too.

I want you to have

a caricature done

of you two

at a festival

and I want him to

smile at you

when you dress up

and when you don’t dress up

and when you are in sweats,

concentrating hard

on your laptop screen.

 

I want him to ask you

what you bought at Target

with your mom,

how your day was with

your best friend,

what you had for dinner—

 

When you see your

reflection in his TV

I want you to feel real,

and not like a character

in one of his

video games.

 

I couldn’t be the girl he drew

in his comics,

the one who always saved him

from the dark monster

living in his mind.

Thank you for being

the girl in the next edition

that takes over.

I no longer wonder

if he fell out of frame.

 

I live in another story now

and there are no more pages

left for him.

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(Published in Ibbetson Street Press, Issue 38, November 2015)

 

A cold lap waits for

a silent pulse,

late into the morning

when the mind remembers

again.

The heavy hangover

of grief

makes the wallpaper bubble

like humidity,

but the rest of the room

is the same.

 

The digital clock is stuck.

It will always be today—

Even when the minutes roll

through their cycle,

when the cycle feels

rusted, tired, and achy.

 

We often forget that we have

four hearts.

One in our chest—

in each hand,

and our face.

My hands have held you

when you were

the size of

my hands.

My face has felt your whiskers,

the pads on your paws,

your salmon dinner breath.

All my hearts ache for your

body,

 

but I feel the weight of you

on my bed,

my lap, the window sill,

the place where the

red cardinal

pecked at the leaves,

looked in my eyes,

and scraped some of the ache

away

right before he took off.

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Paperback lives are packed tight
in boxes,
wrapped up in bubble wrap and
protective foam.
When I pull out the packing tape
my brother says it sounds like
I am blowing my nose
over and over.

I tape the middle and
the sides of each box—
Not because taping the middle
isn’t enough;
more tape makes it feel more
final.
More real.

My art supplies are heavier
than my literature books
even though writing holds more
weight with me.
I didn’t feel right
leaving my paint behind
even if I would
never find the time
or space again.

I cleared off my walls
before I was ready for them to be
plain.
But I needed to face
the holes that the tacks left behind.

My cat rubs against my face
with the side
of her mouth,
and purrs into my cheeks.
She is entranced by the
boxes piling up, the loose plastic
tumbling with the fan’s breeze,
and the empty bookshelves—
The empty bookshelves.

She jumps.

She sees emptiness
as an opportunity
to explore.

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A Note For The Sky

Windshield rain makes me feel
smaller,
as though a dome will always
protect me,
and I can always fit inside
a shell.
I want to feel heavy
with water–
everything darker
on my body–
my hair barely long enough
to be squeezed out.
I do not want shelter from
how I feel about
you.

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You are someone that I’ll miss fast,
before the door shuts.
You have always made me feel like
I have something to say.

You are the inside of a typewriter–
has to be open
for the ink to be changed.
But after,
tucked away and private–
cat-like and half loner.

Your drawers and pockets are filled
with conversation starters
and you collect abandoned hammers
on the side of the road
like they are lost people,
or pieces of yourself.

To me you are not someone who
rides a bike or writes or paints,
teaches, loves life.
The reality of you is not that
obvious.

Fingers, keys, and ink make a deal
to find meaning.
Even with all the noise and mistakes
and quirks
you never stopped.

So I will never
stop.

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