IMG_20190504_201445_538it does not just happen
till spring’s met winter
and the burn of its chill
wrenches away every leaf
of your branches
the veneer you believe
is you
it’s just superficial untested
a pure seeming
a childish innocence
smiling and ignorant
then the split of sudden change
rends you gut to throat
like you’re a hunted duck
plucked rapidly of your feathers
preparing to be your fear’s dinner
the hunter of your demons
trussed you up
strung and pleading
the blade always cuts
both ways
i promise this time
I’ll give this up
for the nth time
the pain never hurts less
you just get used to it
like life ravages the shallow
soft rock face of your grace
like water erodes away
little caves into what seems
it is the test if you can last
the course of what’s to come
it’s the pressing of hearts
against the grind of loss
it’s knowing defeat so deep
you could bleed your dreams
there on the floor
banging your fists
with impotent rage
your baby suffers
your mother weeps
your she-devil
haunts your sleep
it’s knowing how strong
the desire to win
is in the face of everything
falling apart
and then
it’s just awkward and not at all
what you thought it was
uncomfortable and raw
you find the strength
to just lean in
it’s ok, you see
compassion is the fruit
of tremendous anguish
the sensitivity flourishes
in consuming conditions
it’s up to you
to love and accept
the thorns that come
with growing into
a beautiful human

The way it went


I’ve tried to find shelter in close bonds
friends, lovers, family
only to find
there’s nothing to be found
in the ignorance of others’ best intentions
with hollow strength

I spent years studying
to grasp what’s within
and what’s not

One day I woke up
things wrinkled, things shrunk
others grew and this is not
how I imagined living
alive in the grave
most of my life
has already passed me by
what I worked for is empty

A deep kind of unspoken anguish
thorns its way into your heart
it’s hard not to follow the groove
of the women who came before you
whose youth was crushed up
into a bitter pill of truth
with time ticking
my hands stretch
every resource they can
so it all fits
to make ends meet
to raise the best kids
that circumstances permit

Then there’s just the skin
that’s worn and loose
gravity comes to collect
what’s due
and you don’t even remember
having had a real chance
to have worn that beauty proud
always out of sync with the present
thinking back or ahead
the binds formed by your own choices

You hadn’t realized
you tied your hands
gagged your voice
and settled to live within
reduced conditions
living up an illusion
that beauty could somehow stay
or was there another way
other than the way
It went?

The practice of the mirror

That sudden feeling
that you know
this smile on this face
familiar but not safe
you know this one
you see before you is wild
suddenly self-conscious you are taken

and to think you even thought
for a juicy moment dripping in judgment
that she’d been staring shamelessly
at you this whole time
not because you’re good-looking
but because you taste good
all disciplined and sexy

You were just seeing yourself
through your own eyes
thinking you were her

She doesn’t ask permission
to approach you
on the side
you realize this is nice
because you start to mix
with what you touch
and she feels so smart
like a bed you could curl in
that asks for nothing back

the company is nice
and you don’t need more
and even if it’s just you
having a conversation with you
at the sight of yourself
in a mirror
it’s knowing and honoring that
the day to day
quality of my days