As I look around,
this beautiful life is so real.
Every detail matters.
That's why I found room for you
inside of me.
I am only human.
The phrase plays itself over and
over in my mind.
The California heat is intense this week.
My back aches.
I’ve missed you.
Should there ever have been
whether I wanted this or not?
I’ve never been unbreakable
But I’ve been determined.
I will not give up on myself this time.
The sun sets.
This too will pass,
And I will be able to breathe again.
She’s a California Country girl,
Hollywood meets Tennessee
She kept the manners her daddy taught her,
And like her mama, chased her dreams.
Three thousand miles across the nation,
She found herself twenty miles from the shore.
The ocean spray, so much different,
Than the humidity before.
She’s got bruises on her knees from hiking,
And is still rocking Jimmy Choos.
You’ll find her at the club past midnight,
But she’s not going home with you.
She’s the first one at the bar,
Calling out for Jack and Jose’.
Take your twenty off the counter.
She will never let you pay.
She can’t wait to watch the sunrise,
Barefoot from a mountaintop.
She’s a master of the downward dog,
But still knows how to saddle up.
She likes barbecue and hummus.
Drinks beer at the gallery.
Listens to Hank Williams on Sunset Boulevard
She’s California country.
She’s always bikini ready,
And still wearing daisy dukes.
She’ll take the last row at a Dodgers game,
Just to cheer in the sea of blue.
Her boots click across the pavement,
The accent never went away.
She’s climbing up the ladder
To write professionally someday.
She loves sand as much as she does dirt.
and wears them both so well.
She takes all of her friends camping.
They love the fireside stories she tells.
She wants a house and white picket fence
In a cove near Malibu.
With three kids, a dog, and large backyard
And a bride instead of a groom.
She respects women and her elders.
Is honest to a fault.
She’ll never back down in an argument,
But when help is needed she steps up.
She’ll offer her bus seat to a stranger,
Dines alongside celebrities.
This lucky girl found the best of both worlds
She’s California country.
Sunlight bounces off blades of grass like glitter.
The smell of smoke lingers in the air.
You lit a fire within my soul again
And let it burn without a care.
Visions of our midsummer’s romance
Are dancing circles in my head
Of you standing out on that rock by the river
Feeding ducks a loaf of bread.
You laugh as they shake off the water.
Droplets rolling off their backs.
You take my hand and tell me
“We should be more like that.”
Your words are wrapped around me
I feel safe with my best friend.
I know this must be how forever feels
Just before it comes to an end.
Only hours left between us,
Before our last goodbyes are said.
Wearing nothing but yesterday’s evening sky
You lean across and gently kiss my forehead.
Time passes more quickly in the summer
But my hands are frozen at two and ten.
I can see you standing in the rear view
The fog is rolling out again.
The road I took to get to you,
Feels longer as I pull away.
Now you’re running through the forest
Your tears are begging me to stay.
My tires roll on down highway ninety-nine
Praying that I’m strong enough,
To not turn this car around
Sometimes you need more than love.
The lake is calm and gentle.
No creature makes a sound.
Just the roaring of my engine,
And your heart is beating now.
The memories we left behind us
Are preserved in the mountain peaks.
Maybe one day we will take them back.
Until, then we’ll let them sleep.
Listen, Linda… You’re beautiful. I know that you question that,
But it’s undeniable and I can’t stop looking at the pictures
That you’ve sent me. That half smile of yours
Makes my heartbeat faster. And I like awkward.
Every time you share a secret, it’s followed by silence.
I can’t imagine why, but you tell me it’s been a while since
Anyone has stuck around. I’m afraid to tell you now
That you’re stuck with me. I’m not the kind of girl that scares easily.
I’ve got skeletons in my closet too. A few too many drinks
Will prove it. I used to think that I was broken
And now I know that I just didn’t fit against their pieces.
Maybe you’re the reason. Maybe you’re not, but a girl can dream.
It seems to me that you are afraid to let anyone close.
You’ve been burned before, and I’m sure that’s terrifying.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t wonder about the future.
Whether or not you’ll still be texting me in 2016.
But then I see that smile again, and I hope that you will.
It wouldn’t be the worst thing to fall for a woman like you.
Too many times I’ve tried to put myself out there.
But a heart like yours makes me care so much less
About the mess that we could possibly make,
Of these hearts that take in everything. All of these feelings.
Everyone tells me that I’m crazy. That distance is my worst enemy.
But they don’t know me the way you do. Because you choose to.
I won’t make it a thing. I won’t push what could never be,
But when I tell you that you’re beautiful, believe me.
And when I say that I am always here when you need me,
Know that I mean it. One day you’ll see. That’s just me.
“She can kiss my fucking ass.” I hear him yell across the room.
He’s not the kind of man to apologize. He’s never going to.
Instead, the coward that he is, he’ll use my mother as a shield.
His ignorance, his heaviest sword, is the weapon that he’ll wield.
He’ll cut me to the bone for things far beyond my control.
“No kid of mine’s gonna be a dyke.” The words, they burn my soul.
All I wanted was someone who cared. Someone who was kind.
A man who’d treat us with respect, and believe that love is blind.
Instead, this man stood on my cape. He wanted to break me down inside.
He doesn’t know that his words don’t affect me now. He couldn’t change me if he tried.
And now I know all of his secrets. The deepest darkest ones.
I promised I would keep them, and my word has been my bond.
But he has crossed the point of no return, and my voice begins to shake.
A fire burns within it. I’ll do whatever it takes,
To protect those who can’t protect themselves. To take back the childhood that he stole,
It’s been sitting on a shelf for years collecting dust and growing old.
I refuse to let him do the same to the little ones left behind.
I won’t let him break their spirit the way he tried to destroy mine.
The burdens I was forced to bare, because of decisions that he made
Are the reasons why I won’t give up on taking his power away.
I’m no longer afraid of him. He can’t hurt me the way he did before.
The little girl who cried for twenty years doesn’t exist anymore.
Patiently I wait, like a predator prepared to strike.
This man doesn’t know he’s become my prey or how hard I will fight,
To change the outcome of their lives. To rescue them from the hell where I was raised.
I won't give up. I won't give in until each and every one of them is safe.
Only over my dead body will he hurt someone again.
He won the battle, that is true, but this war he’ll never win.
“Even the right person at the wrong time” my best friend said to me,
“is still the wrong person. She’s still out there. Don’t you see?”
Bless her soul, she tries her best and I appreciate the effort.
Wrapping her arms around me hoping to help hold my shit together.
I saw it on my news feed, the happy bride to be,
Standing among family and friends, her lucky partner on one knee.
There was no glitter scattered across the ground or a grandstand band.
No lanterns hanging from the trees, with love notes or flowers in her hand.
Just the question “Will you marry me”, sweet and simple like she dreamt.
Her parents there in the background offering their support for the event.
I sit there quietly in the dark, fighting back the tears
I wonder what miracle it would take to rewind life back two years.
Then I thought that I still had time to grow as a person and prepare,
To fall in love with this woman again. To finally be there.
It’s been years now since we met, and just as long since we’ve locked gaze.
A weekend trip back to the south, in three nights my life had changed.
The summer that followed I’ll never forget. We spoke nearly every day.
She told me that she loved me and that she wasn’t afraid,
To fall in love with a girl like me. The only problem, space and time.
The two things that I couldn’t change were the two that changed her mind.
And now my chance is gone. I’m left picking up the pieces
Of a heart she swore to never break, “unless one day hell freezes.”
Now on this cold day in hell, she wants love that money couldn’t buy
And I’m still out here chasing pavement with a future I must solidify.
I wish her all the best of luck, and then delete her number from my phone.
If life has taught me anything, it’s wise to leave true love alone.
Just across the room tucked behind the cabinet door
Is a child in a woman’s body snorting lines from off the floor.
She never thought that she would be here, in this place of no return.
In her mind she’s in a pick up truck sporting a southern summers burn.
The windows rolled down around her, the smell of fresh cut grass.
She was once a happy, simple girl before life kicked her ass.
Too many wrong decisions, mixed with too few apologies.
Her temper got the best of her, and now she just can’t believe
That she’s about to lose the last thing in this world she thought was hers.
A date, a dress, and one brave man asking for a heart she never returned.
Her phone is on the counter. It keeps lighting up the night.
The eerie glow washing over her is the only thing that’s bright.
“I am getting married.” Was the last thing that she read.
Before her knees hit the cold, tile floor. She couldn’t make it to the bed.
She grabbed the baggie off the table so she wouldn’t have to feel
The pounding in her chest. The proof that this is real.
In a different time she loved her. In another world they made it work.
Two kids in the backyard, with a dog, and love that didn’t hurt.
But in this life the things she did spoke louder than her words.
The holes in the bathroom wall. The money that wasn’t hers.
You can mend what’s broken, but you can’t fix what’s not yours.
Now that heart belongs to someone else, and she says that she’s sure.
He’s the one she wants to be with. He gives her everything.
A life she could only imagine. A shiny wedding ring.
The city lights, and promises were too much to turn away.
She borrowed more time from the present than their future cared to pay.
And now she’s counting on one hand the moments she really tried
To show her that she loved her. She remembers their last goodbye.
Under an oak in Alabama, she gently caressed her hair.
“I’m coming back for you one day. You can trust me. I swear.”
She kissed her lips like tangerines, sweet-sour to the taste.
Her love knew the words were a bitter lie, but then she wouldn’t say.
Now there’s no room for her in Huntsville, and her heart is caving in.
The beat of it is racing, and the driver never wins.
Her eyes close gently as a lonely tear rolls off her cheek.
She can love the thought of her tonight until “I do” is said next week.
Beautiful woman with a gypsy soul,
You stole my heart and left a hole
With tiny flowers in your hair,
You left glitter scattered everywhere.
A trail to follow should I begin
To try once more to see you again.
And there on my pillow you left a scent
Of summer’s breeze and bewilderment
We didn’t expect to find a friend
When we both sat down and the night began
Minutes turned to hours and the feelings grew
I’d never met another woman quite like you
Though I tried to save the night
You disappeared with the morning’s light,
And now I can’t turn back the hands of time
To reflect the night when you were mine.