My shoulders always felt
heavier when you were around.
Your words pushed me down
between the sidewalk cracks,
and there I found the straws
of my mothers overworked back –
all stacked together, waiting
to be blown down by the big bad.
I found solace in the undertones
of silence as I regaled memories
from my childhood in my mind.
I couldn’t find those darker places
that you swore must exist inside
of me. Never in your life had
you ever met someone who
was born to save the world.
I am not afraid of being myself.
I’ve always been happy with
the skin that I’ve grown into,
and I like the way that it feels
to love myself again. I can’t
fix you, but I can always hope
that one day you’ll love yourself
with the same forgiveness.
Winds rage around me,
as I make my way to the
darkest corners of the earth.
- My own clear mind.
The difficult thing about
sobriety is that I am forced
To deal with the things
I once turned a blind eye to.
Now, impossible for me
to separate the feeling of
innate fear and the longing
for undeniable intimacy,
It’s been three months,
eleven days, and six odd hours
since I made the necessary
decision to live again.
When I awoke, I found myself
facedown on the cold, hard tile
of my own bathroom floor.
I couldn’t stand.
Bottles were scattered with
the evidence you left behind.
I’m still unsure where the
Black-eye came from.
terrifies me. It reminds
me that there are things
in life I can’t control.
Fleeting moments of
simplistic normalcy help me
forget that I am a
Hours pass as I search
frantically inside of
my heart and soul
for dry land.
Other days are wasted
through familiar hallways
forgetting where I’ve been.
I am ashamed that I didn’t
do the things that I tell other
women to do. I am ashamed
that I feel ashamed.
I’m aware it wasn’t my fault,
that there’s a chance I couldn’t
have even stopped you sober,
but there was a chance I could.
I try to remind myself
I’m dealing with pain
In the very best way
I know how, still
I’ll no longer trust
anyone without reason.
I am the only one committed
to protecting myself.
How does one escape the
constant flood of questions?
Sincere, but every single
one is a dark reminder.
I can’t imagine how anyone
has survived a lifetime with
this feeling. I can hardly
make it through the day.
I tell myself that I will be ok.
That I am stronger than the
sickening ache in my stomach
I feel every time I’m touched.
I hope that one day I’ll wake up
and that will be true.
That somehow soon I will
outrun these shadows.
I sit with my forehead pressed against a cold glass window.
The airplane roars to life, carrying me 1,619 miles away from you.
This is the furthest apart we’ve ever been.
After our conversation this weekend - It’s also the closest.
My favorite hour has always been the darkest.
That’s usually the one in which you find me.
I stand here, heart open, walls down, waiting for you.
It’s hard to believe how close we came. How far we’ve come.
The cadence of our relationship can be measured
by opportunities never taken and words left unsaid.
Even after all these years you struggle to look me in the eyes,
afraid I might see what secrets you’re hiding.
You read my poetry, trying to fit your round-peg heart
into square stories of broken homes and second chances.
You’re terrified that I might still love you.
I’m afraid that you’ll never give me the chance to try.
The truth is, that I’ve never written about you.
I’ve been too afraid to let out the words that confirm
the connection we have here is undeniable.
That you’re in my life forevermore.
She thinks you’re with her because she’s the closest
thing to me that you will find down that old dirt road.
Maybe she’s right. I have barricaded my heart from anyone else
convinced there is still a chance for our love to unfold.
When I told you that I was over you, that we would never work,
when I said it was probably better we never try…
I was lying. Fuck. I was lying. It was just too
hard to believe how close we came. How far we’ve come.
You once promised me that if you ever broke up with her
you’d give us the chance that we’ve always deserved.
I wonder if you remember that. If you meant it at the time.
Beautiful girl, I know that no one could ever love you better.
I know that my broken heart is hanging by a thread.
That yours is shoved somewhere deep into her pocket.
But it kills me to watch you love someone else, be hurt by them
when I see how close we came. How far we’ve come.
It’s in the air
It wafts through
the city like
an ocean breeze
the quality of
life around us.
This is not you,
you are not this,
but the wind
keeps you down.
qualities have all
but turned to ash,
and blown away,
you find other
ways to feel.
been able to
and when I
find you, finally,
in the guestroom
the needle is
in your arm.
to forget the
world. I am
not to let you.
You tell me
which we are
as you wipe the
your chin -
is twice the size
of any apartment
you have ever
I believe you.
are not wasted
upon me, but
mine are growing.
You must be mad
not to recognize
in my voice.
It is rare that
I am able to
It is rare that
you want to.
But we do.
I wrap you
tightly in my
sweater, and tell
you it was only a
You tell me that
you will make it
I believe this too,
and I take you
We will begin
the vicious cycle
but tonight I will
hold you through it.
through my sheets.
Me, crying quietly
into my pillow case.
Hoping a new day
will bring the answers
which we seek; that
my love will bring
you to your feet.
This voice of mine is so new that sometimes I forget
What I sounded like in your silence, with no one else
around. I’m a bit of a shit-giver. I am still learning to take it.
You said that I should always take everything personally.
That a person’s measure of success depended solely on the
number of their enemies and the age of their bourbon.
You were wrong.
I never wanted to be the bees knees, or hips, or thighs,
or any other sweet appendage that you sought so
desperately to hold on to after you stripped me bare.
I stood there, embarrassed, in front of you. My darkest
secrets spilled messily upon your brand new Fjord recliner.
“This costs more than you’re worth.” You told me.
You were wrong.
I’ve grown up from the dirt like a willow, winding my
large roots beneath your feet. My branches have
surpassed the shadows you cast over me so long ago.
I am simply a woman, not some grandiose idea that
you once had, tried to give away to the maker of the
stars. You always thought you had the best ideas.
You were wrong.
A notebook rests on the top shelf in my closet.
Inside it, the last proof of anything I felt for you.
My best friend says I should burn it. That it’s therapeutic.
She says that if I push you out, I can let you go.
Why do my fists always clench when she says that?
I saw my first picture of him. Even in shades of gray,
He brings new color to the world. To you.
It was never in the cards for me to be around.
It’s just my luck, you know, for nothing to go my way.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had “almost but not quite.”
I was eighteen when I met my best friend for the first time.
I’d known her for three years when I finally worked up
the nerve to find her and tell her I'd fallen in love with her.
I found her having sex in the backseat of my car
with a woman she’s dated for five years now.
The maid of honor and I had a weekend full of complicated
questions, stolen glances and a few too many drinks.
Her heart was broken. I hoped to fix it, but physicality is an
important part of healing. Her new bride found a way past
the distance, and I found my way past goodbye.
They say that Los Angeles doesn’t have four seasons.
And I believe it, because this summer was the longest
lasting time in my life. I fell for you a second time,
I jumped, no, leapt into your arms. They were never open.
You closed that door years ago on a hillside in Maine.
This room is
not the one I
I am the center
I pull it all against
my chest and hold
on to the things
that should be
My eyes meet
hers across the
hall. And I
I am exactly
seeks my friends.
She is nothing
that I need.
I am safe in the
present with them.
My mind keeps
back into the
They’re the only
place I still know
where to find