May 19

This Thing I Have With Purple

On Halloween, my friends and I dressed up as Donna & the Dynamos (from Mamma Mia!) and I wore this tight purple shirt with wide sleeves that draped around my arms, leaving me swimming in purple 
 
and when everyone saw me, they saw, ooo, purple is your color! and I was happy at the compliment but somewhat miffed since I don’t normally wear too much purple (maybe never?)
 
like, I’ll wear all the shades of blue, green, pink, yellow, white, or black, but only two of my shirts are purple (including the Halloween one), and I keep them at the bottom of my drawer where they are rarely seen (everyday the other clothes push them farther back into my drawer)
May 04

Sophie

You’ve always called out Char, 
but all I’ve ever managed is 
the full length of your name, 
both syllables bouncing off 
my tongue before I even think 
about what I’m going to say next. 

Remember last spring 
when we drove to the 
pebble beach and 
waited for the stars?

And the frogs serenaded us with 
their deep, lovely songs? And we 
sat on the cool rocks? And we 
breathed in the heavy & sweet 
scent of lilacs & tall grass? 

And how you’re 
the only person 
I can ever explain 
anything to, even 
though I’ve never 
been able to shorten 
your name down to 
a single syllable?
 
May 03

I Took the Candle

I took the candle from my 
postage-stamp sized nightstand, 
cradling it between my hands 
and letting it guide me into 
my sister’s empty room. 

There was a better view of the stars
from her window than mine, and 
I could see the reflection of the 
candle flame in the window, all
orange and hot and repeating the 
same silly dance over and over again. 

But now the heat has disappeared:  
it snowed today, in the early morning –
the first snow, which brought such a 
fullness to my heart that I fear I could not 
explain it without bursting into tears 
(the kind of winter tears that fall slowly). 

I look back out the window. 

The stars are always much clearer 
when it’s cold out, I think. The air 
thins itself to make space for them. 

I sigh. Giving the stars one last 
reconciliatory look, I scoop up the candle 
Mar 31

Springtime Reads

Jan 20

Winter Poems

Jan 20

Winter Reads

Oct 22

3:55 A.M.

3:55 AM and our alarm is going off—

not one of those with an unbearable ringing 
sound, 
            but more of a slow (lapping) wave that
quietly finds its place at your side, 

            bidding you to rise 
            for the new morning.

Thirty minutes later and I’m finally unzipping 
my sleeping bag, exposing myself to the air 
that sits outside of my overnight cocoon: 

            the air that is cold enough 
                        to chill me down to the bone.

(It will always be difficult to adjust to these 
sudden changes in temperature.) 

But when I finally step outside the tent, 

            all that’s there to greet me is the 
            pitch black darkness of the sky 
            that cascades down over the pine trees

                        (their fallen, yellowed leaves 
Sep 22

Autumn Reads

Jul 29

Shenandoah

Jul 27

Emily Dickinson

Do not fret, 
for I have never seen 
Vesuvius either – 
thus far, we are 
equals. (Although 
that fantasy quickly 
crumbles apart.)

––––––

You write of Death so freely and
it makes me wonder how you must 
perceive the whole ordeal. 
Is it your past, present, and future? 
Everything and nothing at the same time?

Does it surround you on all sides –
pressing into your already corseted figure – 
crawl through the twisted canals 
of your ears and finally drift its way into your nose, 
glide down towards your cavernous lungs? 

When you look up 
from the table, what 
is it that you see – or, 
instead, who is it 
that you see?

Is it Death himself?

 
Audio download:
Emily Dickinson.mp3

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