Jul 22
poem challenge: Freedom

Feather Fallout

In the morning I watch the mountains fade into the cream of the sunrise and count the seconds before the fog lifts. Suddenly, as if by accident, my eyes reflect in the curve of the earth as it tilts, slightly off balance, teetering on the edge of elegance, or destruction, or that feeling I get right before I open my mouth. 

I spilled coffee over the concrete floor at work and stood there, brown stars on the pale cuff of my shorts and so much hope I didn't know whether to get a mop or a match. I wanted to take my shoes off, to splash through the puddle as if it were rain. 

When we are young we are determined to grow up singular: one goal, one plan, one happiness, one lift-off, one chance at an impact. Today, I am multiplying. I roll down the car windows in a thunderstorm, I draw constellations on my clothes, I carve wings into a door in the public restroom, I tell myself that dusk marks the start of the night of the rest of my life.
Jul 13

An Ache of Sunshine

Jun 23

Peanut butter crackers and the inevitable ghosts of tomorrow

Today I found you in the peanut butter aisle. I stood there for a moment, frozen by the possibilty of your expression as you turned and recognized me and tried to think of what to say. Instead I ducked into the next aisle, ran halfway down the row, and stopped, counting my inhale and pretending to examine a box of Wheat Thins. 

I can see it now, as you spun and caught the breeze of my getaway on your face, raising your hand to hide your eyes. I like to think you knew it was me, that you stared up at the fluorescent light above you and counted the seconds before you had to look away, that you were okay knowing I was there, nine feet down, parallel and never touching. 

But it doesn't matter what really happened because as I went to pay, I saw you in front of me and it wasn't you after all; you were just a boy with a jar of grape jelly and the same messy haircut, in a grocery store check-out line on an early Tuesday evening. 
Feb 27

​To the Fig Tree on Koloĉep Island

When I say “fig” 
I do not mean the kind 
you get at the supermarket
in a clear plastic tub. 
I do not mean the kind
that is shriveled, and brown, 
and crackles when cleaved open
by a child with dirty nails. 

When I say “fig”
I mean the kind that dangles,
purple and glowing 
from a thicket of foliage 
above a cobbled street. 

Have you ever stood 
at the edge of the Adriatic 
under the shade of a tree 
as old as a country 
and eaten the pith of a fruit 
the color of the sky at dusk?

What is this sudden urge we call longing?
When, in the late afternoon 
of a Saturday in January, 
as you loiter under the fluorescent lights 
in aisle six, you demand to have the heart 
of a past summer on your tongue. 

You buy a box despite them being old and dry,
and stand with your fingers in your mouth 
at a bus stop on the corner of Dorset,
Jan 16

Cinnamon, turmeric, and the dust in the corners

Who has a heart so wide to kneel on the floor and look up at me with big brown eyes and say the words I had been rehearsing since I rounded that corner and saw you there and didn't stop looking and wanted you to see? 

Who is wise enough to guess my middle name and the walls I build? Who has courage enough to break the unspoken rules of the in-between? 
 
How many nameless people must wander the isles of my dreams before I stop to turn and utter the very exsistence I have been hiding from my entire life?

Will you always haunt me?
Will my own lost space become the day I regret, 20 years later, sitting above some foreign street in a faraway city, with a view that has long since deserved to be let go? 

Will I wish in that moment that I had been more like you or perhaps less caught up in my own head, that I had knelt, held my heart up to the light, and shown you just how lonely we really are?

Nov 03

Double Line Deprivations

When I think of her eyes 
I start to long for two mirrors 
so she can stand between them 
and see all of herself at once. 

We try to fill ourselves 
with as much of anything as we can gather. 

We spend our days swallowing 
the pieces we want to hide. 
We eat ourselves from the inside out. 

She learned when she was young 
how to cross the street: 
hold a hand, look both ways, 
move quickly. 

She knows the danger of colliding.
She knows how to avoid 
unwanted attention and loose change 
and the inevitability of an empty page. 

She also knows the sky above her 
is not bule today, but empty. 
She knows her head is just as fragile 
in collapse as it is in observation. 

When I am asked about her I shrug, 
disregard her eyes, 
and the crosswalk 
and say nothing except 
to look deeply and turn away. 
Oct 27

Saturn Peaches

Here is a spoken word video I created using WeVideo (also embedded above) 
Filmed (except for 2 clips that my sister filmed), read, written, and edited by me. 
Song credit: Holocene (Instrumental) by Bon Iver 


1. When the earth becomes flat enough 
for the non-believers we will go to 
its edge and sit on it and imagine 
all the ways we could fall off.

2. In peach season we fill a bowl 
and watch them ripen. Sometimes,
in the middle of the night,
when the dark bruises 
and the ceiling shudders 
I will slip down the stairs
to gnaw on their sweetness.

3. There are approximately 2,200 satellites
in earth's atmosphere. He looks at me 
with his honey brown eyes and refuses 
to admit that gravity is enough 
of a reason to stay in orbit. 
Oct 15

Golden Sky

Sep 25

Undone

Last Saturday I made 
a carrot cake in a green glass 
pan with a chip out of the side. 

We are never really all here. 
We walk through days
with our heads in some
deserted cabin we once discovered 
on the rocky shore of Maine, 
or in the gutter beside a street lamp 
in a city we once longed for. 

What I mean to say is,
we are pieces. 
What I mean is,
we don't always have to know
what we want. 

The year I turned fifteen
I was determined to buy 
a Greyhound ticket and travel south. 
It didn't matter how far I got 
or how long it took,
only that I was moving
towards the light 
and not away from it. 

I never packed the bag.
I never bought the trip.

I am still sitting here, 
with a paper bag of broken glass 
and an unfinished poem 
on a Thursday night
that was never meant to come. 

 

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