When the ocean takes back what she owns

I hope someone finds the remains of our homes

I hope they find the good and the bad

The salt that we created

The love that didn’t always show

I hope they find evidence of hard work and suffering

Of thankfulness and laughter

Of homemade paintings left to dry in the garage

I hope they find words we carved into walls

Tracing steps of adventures

Marking memories with velvet tipped pens

I hope they find bones that carried too much weight

That moved when they ached

I hope they find pictures that meant something more

Than poses and facades we should have just ignored

I hope they know we tried our best

We learned

We laughed

We built

We cured

When it’s time for the earth to shift

No preparation can prevent life from starting over again

We had our chance

Now we become artifacts

Lost at sea



Nothing but light

It’s hard to absorb

I fight

Demons in my mind

Planted by confusion

Fed by your ill-intentioned guidance

Then I find firm ground

Use strong knees to pull myself into a catapult throwing my will continually forward

There are moments where I see what I’ve done

I forget the blame and guilt

You put into my heart

Family heirloom

How many generations

Until it will be destroyed

Today I see hard work

Walking through boulders

Swimming across oceans

I let my own actions be inspiration

As people point

At self pride as a flaw

I know my journey has gone unseen

No one is interested in a woman

Overcoming the odds

They just don’t want her on their doorstep

When homes have been locked from inside

I won’t call you

I won’t beg you to stay

I won’t try to be your friend

I know that never works out that way

Family friend lover

You will never stay

I will not count on you

As I create blue prints

To a life that will be my own

Without your love

Without your guilt

Without your support

Without your help

You think islands rise overnight

They are formed by collisions no one can see

Collisions that tear them apart

Until their only option

Is to be seen by the sun

The Dark

I am worn out

Low on faith

And hope

High on getting by

And making it work

I am a mother

With hips that carry the galaxy

I am unwanted


Constantly making wrong turns

Given best regards

Prayers to an empty sky

That I will find a way

To make sure we all survive

As castles are built

And walls torn down

Here I sit on the edge of paradise

Encapsulated in a cocoon of responsibility

Looked at like a prison

In an age of leisure

And self indulgence

I don’t need it anymore

I don’t need the sympathy with no intention on action

As I’m passed over to reach for empty voids

Covered in flawless skin

I don’t need to be reminded why my childhood

Will be my future

As I paint pictures under a slanted stairway

Pretending families can be raised alone

I am as good as I will ever be

Which is never enough

Not always

But most of the time

I was naive

I climbed inside your tomb

Tried to bring you back to life

Thinking one more thing

Wouldn’t be too much

But the constant reminder

That your flesh

Will make mine rot too

The longer I lie next to you

Forcing me onto this street

Of sunken asphalt

You don’t even know exists

As you wipe me under your rug

And pretend ashes are dust

I see a home

I remember it being in my hands

But the memories feel like a movie I watched

When I was having trouble

Opening my eyes

I do everything

The most that I can

That’s all I’ve got

I only pass the time

Until someone thinks they want in

Then they give it a try

One two three

Let’s go through this again

Now I don’t answer the door

Now I let no one in

Her Story

A boy

Sits in a room

Carving letters

Into a wooden dresser

Wishing his mother would see him

Wishing his father would stop pushing him down stairs

Wiggling the pocket knife

To deepen the groove

He lets anger

All but consume

What if he was loved

And felt free

Someday he’ll have that

Someday they’ll see

All the things they did wrong

All the things he was doing right

When someone new sees him

Finds him to be just right

A girl stands looking at a valley

Filled with sagebrush and dirt

Lets the wind brush back her hair

Pretends that’s why her eyes water

Wishing she were one of the girls who never cried

But why does it matter when your always alone

She wrote stories in a journal

Of climbing on the back of motorcycles

Being taken far away from anyone she’s ever known

Starting over in a big city

Calling it home

He would get her

And it would be all that she needed

They collided like rock stars

Pounding their fists at the night

He wanted to hold on so tight

He nearly tore her apart

She tried to let it happen

She wanted it to be the last one

Knuckles went through drywall

Glass was in her skin

Blood was normal

Bruises were common

When she knew she had to leave

He wouldn’t let her go

So he took her and forced her

Two became three

One last time

She tried to be strong enough for what had now become all four

Until she realized

He would be the death of more than her demoralized soul

Now she stands all alone

On the edge of a cliff

Letting the wind brush back her hair

Nothing has changed

Everyone left

Forever alone

She’ll be responsible for everything

Two little lives added to the story

Everyone throws at her like it’s a debt to be paid

For tying to love

For trying to be okay

For letting a hurt that seemed familiar

Take over everything

She’ll do it

She’ll make it through one more time

But she sees you

She remembers all that you did and didn’t do

All that you said

All that you whispered

All the messages ignored

It might not matter to you

But today

She tells the world


I think about wall paper

And how it always seems to peel

The plaster is no better

Creating shapes to keep me up at night

Even smooth edges get caught up in the moonlight

When the curves of shadows move with the tide

And the stories of what could be seem better than real life

That’s when my mind overflows

And all of the ideas are too much

I freeze in an abundance

Of what could be done

If only I could begin

With step one

Dirty Life

“Dirty Life”

Life has taught me dirt is okay

We need it to feel clean

Nothing like watching mud go down the drain

After a day that ripped your heart out

After a day that left you doubting everything

Mothers will hold you

Until they despise you

They will tally up all they are owed

Fathers will mention you

Until they forget to

No one goes blamelessly down the road

Lovers will cherish you

Until they don’t want to

For no reason at all

Just tired of things being the same

Tired of whispering your name

I hold onto pebbles

Encase them

Painfully process their minerals into my veins

Once a pearl is exposed

Everyone takes note

Until a diamond appears from some rich girl’s throat

Everyone walks away

Not the peaks that outshine the valleys

The eyes that trick the brain

That shady rest

Under a hidden oak tree

Ants don’t care about your real name


The moment life makes sense

We stop needing

Start breathing

Simply feel alive

Too Much

I cried myself to my feet this morning

It felt like no one cared

I don’t know how so many people can move

When the dirt keeps pushing us down

Sometimes trenches become our home

No matter how many ladders are thrown in

Once you’ve seen a dead body

It’s hard to look anyone in the eye

They may be taken away

Or infinitely worse

They may just choose to leave

Eventually you learn how to walk again

Neck fully exposed

Shoulders back

But it doesn’t come without cost

There’s a numbness inside

So when you kiss a man on bended knee

He tastes like chalk

And moves like vapor

Some people don’t understand

They think every action deserves a consequence

They don’t realize that’s only a strategy

Every bad behavior comes from a crack

As we pass it down the line

Taking hits

Giving kicks

Hoping someday to have it better

I love

All the time

Even when I cry

Maybe that’s why

My shell is so hard

There is already too much inside

(Don’t) Let It In

Take it drop it feel it kill it

Don’t let it in

Don’t let it in

It will beat on your walls

Don’t let it in

It will scream in your ear

Call out your name

Don’t let it in

It will try to drag you away

I warned you

I told you what to never say

Don’t let it in

It will melt your sanity

Carry away your free will

Demand more than you have

Kick you when you’ve never been anywhere

But down

Don’t let it in

It will take who you are

Turn it inside out

Poke tiny holes

And watch all of you spill out

Don’t let it in

If you’ve felt it deep inside

You know what it is

If you haven’t

Take heed

Don’t let it in


Sometimes it’s so cold

My breath fills up the air

And oh my

How beautiful that is

Between lacquered oak

And frozen copper

Tiny crystals of snow

Tumbling inside

I taste you

Like hair curling on tendons

In the neck

The first glimpse

Of color in the eye

There’s a reason I’m drawn to your flickering light

There’s a reason neither of us can ever stay gone

Plunging into frozen water

I embrace who I am

I was always enough

I feel everything in the dusty air


Sometimes it’s so cold

My breath fills up the air

And oh my

How beautiful that is

Between lacquered oak

And frozen copper

Tiny crystals of snow

Tumbling inside

I taste you

Like hair curling on tendons

In the neck

The first glimpse

Of color in the eye

There’s a reason I’m drawn to your flickering light

There’s a reason neither of us can ever stay gone

Plunging into frozen water

I embrace who I am

I was always enough

I feel everything in the dusty air