Trying to capture optimism

Pain keeps oozing through

Shamed by what people want to see

These words are not mine or yours

They are oxygen and carbon dioxide

Being pushed out

From the bottom

Of tired lungs

Needing to be felt

By more than their carrier

Because all of us are real

The offense is not limited

For when one of us has been assaulted

It is felt for generations

Drops of blood

Upon drops of blood

There’s a lack of compassion

Spreading up the hills

It has almost made it to the sea

Where it will be extinguished

By salt

Only after destroying

Every home in its path

I can tolerate

An ignorant slur

But I can’t understand

A knowledgeable disregard

For people struggling to lift their heads above the pollution

To gasp for unblemished air

It isn’t right

To see superiority

In a birth upon privileged ground

Last time I checked

We were parasites

On a spinning planet

That some creature far away

Doesn’t know exists

So when we push someone

Under the pressure of our moving axil

What a strange thing to do

On a speck of dust

Floating through nothing

All anyone wants is to be accepted

Why is that so hard to do?


Funeral Pyre

Coming up from the valley

Carrying torn garments in both hands

I was never rescued

But I devastated my captors

With a dedication to righteous indignation

I will not call it pride

Having been victim to the counterattack

Of her deceptive name

I call it a dedication to conviction

A need to do what is ultimately right

Not according to the state or the church

But the knowledge of what is

And what is not

According to genes passed down

By inevitably flawed beings

Who lived

And learned

And cried upon wrinkled sheets

Knowing death was always

Their final court-appointed sentence

Be it an end to what was right or perversely evil

I’ve been told to let go of the past

I’ve been told to let go of my passion

That causes my voice to rise from a feminine whisper to a masculine yell

Influencing you to see my face in distorted shapes

Instead of the angelic figure you want to control

I will not be placed behind glass

Like before

I will not let my emotions follow the deep grooves in your brain

Twisting and mutating me into what you think

Instead of what exists

I am building my own funeral pyre

To celebrate a life still being lived

A desire still very much alive

A hunger still growing in ventricles

Of an organ overworked


No longer chasing the sunlight

Knowing it will return each day

To celebrate the angles of my god-given face

In purest resignation to all that is good

I want happiness for myself

And above all

For those who have broken my spirit more than once

Knowing this feeling will come and go

Today I am content

With repetition in thought

This feeling will spread

My eyes fill up with a youth they have never known

A forgiveness for all of the wrong

A sip from the bottom of the cup

Before offering what is left

To a boy who broke my heart

More than one time


Hands and knees

Searching for glass

To crush into palms

So the skin is soft

If it isn’t broken

It can’t be real

If it isn’t hurting

It can’t be felt

Starting to sense that the gauges are off

Happiness doesn’t register

It’s been cloudy too long

Mourning a loss of connection

To a normal life

Solitude is consuming

Solitude is life

Faking normalcy

Hoping they’ll let me back in

Love to Laugh

Flower petal friends

Lasted for a season

Picked them one by one

Only to have them blow away

They left the comfort of my memories

Fell into a festering storm

Gathering insecurities

Started blaming shadows for following my feet

I’m trying to come down

From a helium filled frenzy

Learning to accept outstretched hands as earnest offerings of support

Having done most of the labor myself

I dug myself out of tightly packed soil

Placed six feet deep

First by sisters I chose

Then by lovers I would have never left

Back to the present

Resisting looking back

Knowing the bitter taste of salty pillars

Differentiating between friend and foe

Eyes slightly slanted

Over-calculating every movement

Determining if harm is your action

Intended or not

I’ve tried building castles in solitude

Finally got it right

But empty castles are boring

And they leave a want for interaction

Companions to run their fingers along stony walls

Training my unsteady hands to fake precision

I love to laugh

Let’s discover that sound together


Cover my eyes

With love

Rose petals on lashes

Send me out to sea

I can’t kiss your feet

Any longer

Hoping to gain an ounce

Of affection

My love is here waiting

But it wilts from a lack of affection

You have it

Everything you crave

Scared it might force its way inside

Your complicated mind

You pull me in

I pull away

Wanting to be more than flesh

Upon flesh

Wanting to be what you are to me

Knowing you can’t see

Passed your grand plans

Today I’ll rest

Tomorrow I’ll plan

It will be hard to find me once I’m gone

A Piece of Your Cage

I call it back to me

Every time

That lost feeling you wash from your hands

After I’ve gone

After you’re not planning on having me back

But like plaque on calloused bone

You can’t scrub it clean

You need to breathe in my presence

Lay us both down


You need to press lips against skin

Because you think about it

When you don’t reply

When you don’t want to be annoyed

When you don’t

When you don’t

When you don’t

You still do

A piece of your cage

Swiping through strangers

Pretending they are free

But my greatest fear

You’ll find someone who fits

Not quite like me

In a convenient way

She won’t make you

Like I do

But she’ll take your marker

And check your boxes

Shaking my head

Knowing what we could have been


And all the rest

I glide through this life

Always full speed ahead

Where are You?

Lake Superior

Never gives up her dead

Refuses to let them find their way home

Encasing them in unholy, unwanted protection

Unable to speak

Eternity of silent reverence

For their own unfortunate fate

Inability to love

Or hate

They pray for an apocalypse

Forcing their way back home

For the earth to become dust

Because their lives are but a blink of an eye

None of us need the other

Not when we will be less than forgotten in a hundred or so years

Even the living

Are affected by a loss of life

Only as long as a lunch break allows

Before the hustle

And bustle

Carries us home to a constant routine

I pound my own skull against the ground

That can’t be all

That can’t be all

Screaming at the sky

Then a tiny voice from inside

“Momma, where are you?”

It’s all going to be fine


I close my eyes

Keep my mouth shut

Hide in the corner

Know that everything is about to

Be taken away


Or maybe not

And that should be enough

Because even though everyone is worried about their own hand

I should not be worried


Being able

To place my next bet

I should feel privileged

To have gotten in

At all

Having been unwanted

From the beginning

And the middle

And the end

I should ruffle my skirt and curtsy

At every advancing look

But never look anyone straight in the eye

Demanding respect

Is out of turn

Don’t I know

What sex my fortune was given

The one that should submit

And not complain

When burdens are forced upon me

Accept any charity with overwhelming

Debt in gratitude

We have been pitted against one another

In a war

To earn their approval

But what if that was never our intended place

To be supposed enemies

Because of the magnetism of our own charm

But rather to build each other into monuments

Meant to be respected and honored

In order to win over our grace

Not to pin down our earnest pride

I ask you to sit with me

Trace the lines in my hands

Look closely at the colors in my eyes

Imagine the things I’ve told you

Released from a chamber

In my spine

Tell me you feel nothing

And I will go my own way


But if you start to feel your heart cry

From the stringy veins shooting down

Both sides

Please try to hold on to that feeling

Let it make your fingers tingle when you start to treat my like your ghost

When you start to tell me I feel too much

Remember this overwhelming feeling of not wanting to be alone

Open your arms

And pull me in

To your heaving chest

Let me be who I am

And I’ll never punish you for doing the same

I would fall on my knees

With willing desire

If you let me know

You’re love

Came from a place of honor

That would never break from stubborn pride

Because we’ve both been through too much

To be fooled

By simplistic lies

And to realize

Life is just a glimpse

Of what could be inside

If you fill my cup

I assure you it will overflow

Creating a reservoir of contentment in a desert

That exists only for pain

Slowly taking over

That water will spread

An oasis will form

Paradise was lost

But in this it could be found

I can’t make you

I can’t force you to see

I sit and wait

Hoping the 11th hour isn’t too late

For you to learn from this gravest mistake

Time never rewinds


Here are the facts

In digestible bits

Your fences are guarded

As you run to home plate

Mannequin machine guns

Tilted in hand

You love watching

As people chant your name

But the risk of

Skinning a knee

(Arteries coming straight from the heart)

Is too great

So you

“Who’s on First”

Until no one knows their own name

But all the laughs get back to you

Praised for a good game

Jukebox after party

You don’t want it all to be the same

Being confined in small places

Was never your schtick

So you wander

And browse

Still carrying chains to what you consider safe

You leave doors open

Just in case

Seeing eyes that dazzle

Curiosity in mind

You start to wonder


Forget who’s in charge

Quickly you accelerate

And slam on the brakes

Because no one is going to tell you

Or have you

Or want you

That’s what it is

The voice in your head

You know

The asshole

The voice in your heart

Saying this can’t be right

They want something more

When in reality

She sees undefined shapes

In the sound of your voice

That remind her of a desert

That revealed cloudy stars

It’s the certainty you muster

It’s the charismatic charm

That gets her every time

But eventually you remind her

Of her own voice deep inside

Saying “they’ll never be mine”

So like two opposing magnets

You rip apart time

Avoiding something

That could have been

Should have been


But could have been


It wasn’t an excuse

Money was never in mind

Just time with you

But I guess