Apr 01

when you took the stars for granted

when you were 11
your science teacher taught you about the stars. 
he pointed to the sky
and told you it takes thousands of years
for the light to reach the earth
so the stars you see are probably already gone. 
later that night you tried to count the stars
but you ran out of fingers and toes 
so at bedtime you went without protest
and dreamed you were a mountain holding hands with the sky. 

tonight you blur your eyes and pretend the city lights are stars.
somewhere between coffee and conversations 
you let the world turn you inside out
you forgot that the stars have always been there for you
even when they’re breaking.
but you lost sight of them and later when you call
they don’t answer.

Mar 30
poetry challenge: CJP-COVID19

A thank you to the world

thank you
for bringing us mornings that taste like leftovers and sound
like last night's debate replaying on TV.
thank you
for giving us the song of the radio:
politics and pollution
promises and lies. 
thank you 
for 8 am voices echoing in the halls of school, snippets of life we forget to love 
until only silence fills their place.
thank you
for unanswerable questions and rain outside classroom windows.
thank you 
for building endless cities to get lost in on a Tuesday afternoon when the sun dangles
from the skyscrapers. 
thank you for the parade of tired buses crawling down Main Street at 3 pm
and the space between sidewalks and April skies. 
thank you for crowds of strangers
but more than that 
thank you
for the people who feel like happiness
and places that look like home. 
thank you 
for sunsets
engraved with promises that tomorrow is already on its way
Nov 09


it’s strange to be back
and to be gone.
the sunlight still holds me although 
it doesn’t whisper the way it used to
breathing softly against my ear 
the promise of always
until that too falls apart.
the rain falls, that's forever. and forever
i will worship the way it floods away the pain
but now it no longer loves me in return. 
my voice still echoes
the ground knows my feet
but my footsteps don’t fall like they used to. 
sometimes i feel the wind beyond the doorway
it taunts me until even my thoughts aren't real.
everyone knows once your fingertips brush the stars
they no longer settle for darkness. 
they tell me today is today
but tomorrow will probably be the same. 
only the memories will remain,
watching over us 
until all the moments fade together
and maybe everything is a little bit normal. 

Jun 04

almost everything

you say her name with a smirk on your face and a whisper of sadness in your earthy eyes.
you laugh with them,
anything so they don’t turn away but
the feeling of her name is familiar on your tongue as you choke out
oh yeah. i used to know her i  
don’t anymore.

it’s a lie though, how could you ever forget?

you still remember the gentle brush
of her hair against your shoulder.
the smell of your sweat mingling with her
coconut milk conditioner
as you looked at her like she was so much more than everything.
and somehow your eyes always tangled in her curls when she turned away.
you would long for the kind of cold nights that begged for you to
hold her
leave a whisper of warmth where your palms met hers.
her laughter dissolved your blank face into joy.
she taught you how to love the rain and now it always reminds you of her because
Mar 16

you, again.

i ask myself how it can be so hard
to stop loving someone you never truly knew.
then i remember your eyes that glistened like a copper penny,
your voice pouring like

when you whispered lies as soft as the summer breeze.
nearly as though they were the truth.

but the word danced from your tongue
slicing the silence with a single syllable
almost as though you had practiced.

and the hurried apology that tumbled from your lips,
same as always.

we shared secrets like trading cards

tears mingling in the gutters.
wilted promises, dried up truths.
you left the door ajar:

an invitation of sorts
but never for me.
so every time you forget to look back
i’m letting go finger by finger.
as if this time you’ll catch me.

losing you leaves scars
Jan 29

i still miss you.

here’s to the way you built us to be strong
to how way eternity is an illusion
to wandering minds
fleeting time
falling rain
to the glass cities that never sleep
the memories we’ll never make
and to the laughter
and the stars
and the wishes
sometimes it’s all over
before we can even begin.

you forgot to say goodbye.

Sep 26

first weeks of school

you find yourself thinking in class
how peculiar it is there is no more windows
so now all you have around you
are the hard wooden walls
keeping you still. 

you wonder to yourself how this can be
because won't you get lonely without the rain
to keep you company? 

and what if the metal monsters with bullets for teeth came for a visit
as they so often do these days
and what if you were trapped
within two layers of wall,
and what if you forgot to tell your parents you loved them? 

you don't understand how they can keep you this way
without even the company of the sun
to free you to the world. 
Sep 19

a falling star

we used to live for the way nothing lasted forever.
it kept us on our toes,

contemplating our hopes and dreams.

you were
single lines of poetry
scribbled into battered notebooks.
late at night.

sometimes before i fall asleep
i remember your eyes 
the color of coffee, a splash of milk. 

i still remember the plans we made
the people we swore we'd be forever.
the places we said we'd go.

if things were different,
maybe we would still appreciate 
the beautiful forgotten things
the world has left behind.

maybe you'd still remember my name. 

but all we have left are
rolling storm clouds
an empty notebook
a map of the city
an abondoned train station
a falling star. 

we were right all along.
nothing could really last forever. 

our hopes and dreams have faded away.

Sep 17

tomorrow in the morning

it's all a dream.

i see it in the way the peaks of the mountain
scrape the deep blue sky.
cutting jagged edges 
leaving scars. 

you spoke of the places you wished to go
the globe spinning at your fingertips.
but again,
how do you know they're real
when you've never stepped far from home?

i imagened the way i'd float on the clouds
right away
the day we finally learned to fly.
if i ever made it that far
i would probably have fallen down to the hard reality:
you know it as earth.

some call it love

i call it 

it doesn't matter though.
tomorrow morning
we will probably
have forgotten.

Sep 09

dancing with the sun

6:37 PM.
early september.

follow me,
called the sun.

and so we did.

up and over the hill,
bike wheels on dirt road
cool breeze in loose hair
the world on fire.

an open field
tinted by the filter of late summer. 

we run and spin and smile and talk and sing and laugh and live.

the world is broken.
it's battered and bloody and bruised
damanged and disfigured and distressed.

but it's also this,
whole and joyful and jubilant. 

we're alive.

and so
we dance with the sun. 

8:24 PM
early september.

it will get better,
whispers the sun.

we forget we ever doubted otherwise.