Bleeding Heart

I feel so privileged to have known so many men

Who were the exemplary example of a perfect other half

 

To the woman before me

 

Never to be tricked into that again

I have been reminded by brown eyes, blue eyes, black eyes, and green eyes

That I will not be placed on that pedestal

We may continue on

Or not

Indifference is the only emotion I’ve ever gotten out

Of a fine young gentleman

All of the other girls broke their hearts

 

I love open ended

With my soul pouring out

I don’t know how to do it any other way

I devote myself to his skin and hope he will let me in

 

This has never happened

Even when I carried his child for 9 months

3 weeks 4 days and 7 hours

Twice

 

It is not my fault

And surely not theirs

What could I expect?

What would I do if someone had broken my heart?

I would close myself up for 365 days times 3

Then throw myself back onto the busy highway of dating

Like roadkill waiting to be scraped off the asphalt

 

Two broken legs

A bleeding lung

Bruises all over

I’d hope to be loved

As I cracked my heart open

 

Silly girl

Did you not hear me?

They’ve all been broken

They can’t love anymore

You wouldn’t understand their pain

Of being left for another

Not being good enough

Not being wanted

You will never be that girl that stole their heart

You were too gentle and then too mean

Wanting them all to yourself

What is wrong with you that you think

You can demand commitment

They didn’t mean to make you feel cheap

But they were clear

They DON’T want

YOU

 

Have you ever seen a bleeding heart plant?

It’s beautiful

I Was Given a Boy


I asked for a man

I was given a boy

“It will be alright, momma”

He wakes me by caressing my cheek

He watches me in the rear view mirror

He asks for me when I’m not there

He hugs me and means every squeeze given

He loves to sing

We dance together

He likes to rock n’ roll

He can waltz on the porch

He loves me “so stinkin’ much”

We watch the ocean 

Ebb and flow

Life is the same

You just never know

I didn’t ask him to love me so much

But I never had to

He was given to me to heal this hurt

I just hope I am enough 

In the Rain Clouds


I could cry for a week
Letting this all out

Emotions pinging around 

My body denting the sides 

Before slipping out my eyes 

As crinkled lines

I’ve been through this before

But my spirit is older and faded

I don’t know how to keep this going

I’m pushing everyone away

Making room for the crash

But I wanted to be watching with a room full 

Of friends

Maybe next year

I’ve been saying that for 12 years 

12 years of devastation

But next year will be better

I know these thoughts

Act like quicksand

Pulling me down in my grief

And even less attractive

Self pity 

but my muscles are weak 

And I’ve been alone too long

It’s hard to remember 

How to focus on the good

When you’ve been nailed to a chair

Forced to watch the past on a twisted VHS

By a sickened mind that is tired of finding

A solution in the smog of impossibility

Words from people who think they know the way 

Only makes it worse when they offer 

False advice then claw at me for not chasing it off a cliff

Sorry I’ve been that way

The only way it leads is down

I know your tired of watching me drown

But imagine how these lungs feel 

Full of sand from the sea

Emphysema never felt so good as when you’re 

Sitting on the edge of a cliff looking down 

Summer is here and it’s stroking my hair

Maybe it will pull me out of this cave

But what happens when it fades?  

Finding Home


It’s okI’m ok

Everything is ok

Melancholy and anxiety mix

Chemical reaction

Atomic bomb

“You’ll never have a lasting relationship”

If I had a dime 

You reminded me again yesterday

I’m living your prediction

Thanks mom and dad 

You are the best 

Leaving broken cracks of what I shouldn’t be

I’m not meant to live around buildings

I need to fade into the mountains

It’s where I was born

I can’t find a path that is open

I just need a push

To head out that door

It’s going to be one thing or the other

I just hope we survive 

Kick your shoes off and open your map

I’m ready to find home

Crumbling City


The walls are caving in, Jericho

The trumpets have sounded

I hid your spies

Why then is my life not spared

I didn’t pay the ransom

Five hands outstretched

What wretch could bare this weight 

The death of a harlot is no crime 

To men who live such righteous lives

Standing on the backs of their fathers

You built your city on your own

What great laws you must have written as 

You slain the bastard children who no longer had bread to eat

The old ways have fallen away in 

The land of the free; home of the brave

But it sure feels like I’m being stoned alive

If you feel I have done you wrong

Please write me a letter

I’ll put it in a bottle 

Throw it out to sea

And wait for the wise waves to reply

Four to five months

And that’s with the correct postage

But wait

You forgot to sign

Adding to the fee for the error

You can’t pay?

We’ll take your blood to pay your fine

You want to leap? 

How dare you think that way

It’s blaspheme 

I know it seems like all of your friends faded 

Into the shingles of newly built homes

But it’s hard to look on desperation 

When trying to build a fortress to hide

Survival of the fittest

But of course we’re not talking about evolution

That would be blaspheme 

I know there is a God watching

But he can’t do anything when the children 

Start playing with guns

He promised free will

And how that freedom burns

As you lock me in the closet

Turn off the lights

Once I stop crying 

They’ll offer good advice

Keep crawling in the mud

And once you are clean 

We’ll extend a hand

I can cut off my hair 

And manage just fine

My skin glows in persecution

But my stomach turns at your sight

It’s not easy to say this

I don’t like sounding weak

But I hate 

Being labeled a failure

When I’ve been flying through the air

 Looking for a place to land

More nonsense ramblings

Someday they’ll stop

Or maybe they’ll keep going 

Whispering in your ear

Reminding you of the evils you committed

As your smile held you up

And your unaffected demeanor built your home 

Kalamazoo

Call it off
Call it off
Call it off
Call them out
To the hills
To the hills
To the hills

There is no logic anymore, boys

We’re going for the thrill

Of not knowing what is on the other side

And wanting to feel the air go through our veins as we fall

To the ground

To the ground

To the ground

You wish you could keep up with this train

But thoughts are pouring out like gasoline

And that bridge is going to blow

To the kingdom

To the kingdom

To the kingdom

My oh my, my adrenaline is pumping

As I push you out my door
Into the sunlight

Say hello to the day as it fades farther and farther away

I missed you when you used to say goodnight

But then you decided to fade into the twilight

Never again

Never again

Never again

Will I try to hold onto fireflies as they set fire to the

Grass that made you look so much wiser than you were

But in the end you pushed me down

Black and blue

Black and blue

Black and blue

Turning red

Turning red

Turning red

Taking over

Taking over
Taking over

No one is going to tell me how to grow

Not as long as I have the high ground

But who knows when that next quake will hit

I’m hoping it will wait until we reach

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo

 

Butterfly Kisses

Cold parking lots filled with

Lost souls who forgot about singing

To old songs while naming their imaginary friends

A time when stars held a secret and canopy beds were

Laced with innocence

 

Walls splashed with purple hues

And ceilings covered with handprints

Unrecognizable to the adult eye

 

Butterfly kisses were moth bites

On spider webbed lashes

But I believed every pinky swear

And held onto the wishbone that promised

One day I’d find you

 

Questions are illegal to logical minds

Childhoods are ignorable to wise men, 

Some of us pretend not to care,

It breaks us like dry bread in the

Middle of a stale afternoon

 

Summers spent on cement baking our flesh

Until freckles seeped through

Creating lines that we would later cover up

Being told it was wrong to spend our days that way

In water that rushed under our feet and carried us to

Bends that would save our lives one day

 

Families that were not ours became closer than blood

But in the end sisters are sisters

 

Alone in a way that makes lost dogs feel at home

Country roads lead us to these dreams

Of running away,

 But in the valley there is nowhere to hide

Nowhere to tell these secrets that fill our dreams

With nightmares of them trying to take others away

Trying to steal us from the basement that looked out on the

Black widows killing their lovers in the window well

 

Black Eyed Susans hid the Johnny Jump Ups from

Seeing what the rabbits had done

Destroying spinach, cauliflower, and carrots from

The overworked soil that they called home

Making strawberry rhubarb pie

While barefoot in the dusty kitchen

Watching the water boil, waiting for

Noodles to be made

 

Ice cream was necessity in the middle of the cracked desert, 

But its glory was short and it ended up

On the ground in a puddle being lapped up by the

Animals that had waited for the occasion

 

Fences were open even when gates were closed

Ruts in the road were maps to the hills

Wars and battles were fought in the back yard under

Protective trees that will live longer than you and I

 

People change

Family is dead

Friends are boring

And lovers have left

 

The snow soaked gloves remind us of the cold that led us to this place 

That has filled the darkness with casino lights

And cigarette smoke

Open fields are parking lots and we go there to stare

 

Forge a Path

Tell me one more time

What I must do

I will forge a path the opposite way

Through the woods

I need to keep my family together

No husband to head this house

But this blood is my own

I held them twisting my back until

It broke; bone splintering across the floor

I gave them milk as we gazed at each other

You can tell me I did it all wrong

But I will not stand in the middle of the intersection

Watching my house burn down

Black smoke fades into blue skies

And that smell is brilliant

As it takes the sadness that has been filling

Up in my gut waiting for someone to punch it free

You inspired me to fight

Without gloves

Without borders

Without walls

You will not see me hiding behind a tree

As I pull back my arrow

Not aiming for the apple

What will you think when this battle

Is over and nations are split

Down the middle

Crooked lines defining who we are

What we believe

I’ve been trained in guerilla warfare

And I do not take that lightly as I train my children

To stand up straight when they do a high kick

We will grow what we need

And borrow until we can give it back

But we will never beg from people who hold a grudge

And I will never be told that the way I fought to make life continue

Was the wrong way

Not from you as you continue to overshadow

Everything I have ever been with everything that happened to you

I’m done being a little girl told to empathize

I’m done being told what to do because since it is just me;

None of my decisions can be right,

But when this world ends

Covered in ice

My remains will be found

Both hands making a fist

Held by two beings who knew I did my best

My writing will be deciphered

And my lessons taught

Because it was not your wise words

That created mountains

It was my resistance to make them stop

Hitchhiker

Maybe if you weren’t always looking

I could stare into your eyes without

Tapping my foot

Trying to find a rhythm you could move to

But if it’s all spelled out

Why is it so hard to decide?

 

The answer is pointing at my nose

But I don’t want to see the

Cruelty of not being needed

Something that can’t be forced

Since I have nothing to give

But even less without a receiver

 

About to skydive into the world

I am looking for a copilot to steer when

My sticks, used to prop open my eyes, snap

The mess left behind last time was a sight to behold

Tangled metal, splattered blood,

And a rear view mirror left in the dust

 

Its funny how people admire

When they aren’t sitting right next to

A sultry lounge singer

But the magic is gone when her lips

Open without a song

How bitter the cold is wearing a sleeveless dress

 

I’m heading up the coast

And I’m gonna go it alone

If you happen to spot me

Windows down

Music up

Hair free

Singing louder than I should

Feel free to ask for a ride

But you know what mother told me

Hitchhikers are dangerous

Revisiting Memories for a Ghost 


Revisiting memories for a ghost

What would you say? 

Did I keep to myself too much  

My hands shaking and my voice cracking 

Making excuses for the way my feet clumsily shuffled

I do ballet in the living room, but when

Eyes appear from the walls

My muscles freeze up 

My feet no longer able to move

Trying not to offend the coffee table 

Did I frown too much

Always deep in thought trying to work things out 

Trying to avoid the inevitable errors that occur when walking into a space that is controlled by people who don’t care if your number is written off the page

Even in my happiness

I tried to keep it hidden 

Since no one else seemed to smile that way

Did I give too little 

Trying to scrape up scraps from the cement 

Hoping you wouldn’t mind if I sat next to you while you ate

Never knowing when the rug was going to be pulled out from under

As you said, if I had just trusted God

And kept my eyes on helping others my roofless home wouldn’t feel so cold 

Did I expect too much

Thinking fathers would want to hold their children 

Friends would want to talk 

And family could guide you as you were blinded without commenting on every misstep 

If I were to reflect back on a life that I’ve lived

I’d be glad it’s not over

I’d be glad I still have time to dance

Time to smile

And time to expect more

Most of all I’d be glad I get to show you what I’m here for