Open WoundsThe day that I stood there
and watched you kiss a woman
in a wedding gown
on the lips
who was not my mother,
I heard the tearing of skin,
felt the sharp pain
as the wounds inside tore open.
I thought I could handle it,
after so long,
the first spoken words in months,
but the lost little girl on the inside
couldn’t hold it together
I haven’t been able
to stop the bleeding,
and I’ve been watching
the way purple and blue
has surfaced somewhere
along my chest,
inside my ribcage, squeezing tears
from the corners of my eyes when I breathe,
and it hurts the most at night
when I can’t sleep,
thinking about all the empty spaces
and the words we need to say.
Daddy, I’m sorry,
I can’t change what I didn’t do,
and you can’t undo what you’ve done,
and I am more conflicted now than I’ve ever been
because I can’t tell what’s right or wrong
or which way is up or
what will leave me to drown
and what will split m
UnconditionalHe is the mouth that cannot speak,
black fur and wide brilliant eyes,
lolling pink tongue and nails that click on hard floors—
living, breathing, feeling
all tail wags and panting,
and yet, seen as unimportant, worthless.
Playful and lively,
he runs, jumps,
throwing himself around and
ready to go as if nothing
has ever hurt him.
He acts as if he has never felt
the beatings, the hurt,
He does not understand.
Because he is a good dog,
but when he goes home,
he is no longer a good boy,
he is only a dog,
just a dog,
who is bad
for panting too loud,
for being too happy,
for being something alive,
something that isn’t still and silent.
when struck again, when bruised,
will gaze up with adoring eyes
at an undeserving face.
Some DaysI will not always be sweet,
warmth and honey,
cinnamon sprinkled kisses.
there are still
fracturing icicles tinted in shades of red.
There are still
rough roads of gravel, and at the end,
a heart dragged through dirt and grit,
still somehow beating.
There are still
bruises that bleed purple that you can’t see
on my skin alone.
After all, you came right after,
to the scene of the crime,
unknowingly ducking under yellow tape
and stepping through shards of broken glass,
while a hand feebly reached for you,
a line of blood running down to my fingertip,
cracked lips mouthing your name.
I will not always be simple,
black and white, open and closed,
or yes and no.
There will be days
when you will want to grab me by the throat
and knead the words up to my lips
because, for all of my talking,
they sometimes disappear,
and even I can’t find them.
We can look together.
There will be days
when I will not be fun and playful
but rather slow moving and tearful,
What It IsThere will always be
the little things,
the big things,
and everything in between
which always seems to have a habit
of wiping the slate clean
when next time will have to be enough.
But that's always right before
something else happens,
We get scared,
we get insecure.
we get a little hopeless
and end up retracing our steps.
Because I start to think about that time,
or about what I never said,
or should have said and done
because I have a growing list of should-haves.
you will never know,
because you're not here
and probably never will be
because I'm here,
and here and there are just too different.
CrimesI don’t know how to say this
I wonder if you ever think about it
the way I do
and wonder if you see what I see.
There are times when
I wonder if those nights meant as much to you
as they did to me,
or maybe if they meant anything at all,
or if they sit, like empty pockets,
in the back of your memories.
I hate every part of it,
of doing it,
while it goes in circles
and digs jagged shards of glass
into the palms of my hands.
I let it go,
so many times, so many tries,
when it becomes a boomerang
and comes right back,
settling into my lap like a peaceful pet.
There is always a time
when trying turns into pushing,
when I’m tired of pushing—or
feeling like I’m pushing.
I’m stepping back,
apologizing for whatever
and slinking out underneath
the caution tape.
Favorite DiseaseYou became a disease
I had no defense against,
that found its way into my blood stream
and took over every part of me
even though I ignored the tingling
and the ache
and way the sickness took hold
any time I looked at you.
You turned my bones brittle
and my skin sensitive,
and for no reason at all,
became something fragile,
trapped inside a cage and
Somewhere in my veins,
the infection runs deep,
and I don’t know how to squeeze it out
without bleeding dry
and turning myself
in the process.
The Finish LineThere is a fear
that everything right here
in my life, up until now
has led me to this moment,
where now is when I need to fly
but I am no longer sure
if I have wings at all.
Standing at the top,
my toes over the edge,
I lean away from
great heights, sure jumps, long falls,
worry that I will fail,
never landing on my feet,
breaking every bone in my body.
Afraid that it will lead to nothing,
a dead end,
where a success is anything but
and trying is failure,
where I will never change anything
But the funny part is,
I know I have to.
Something screams that
this is all I’ve ever known,
all I’ve ever done,
and it all has led me
to this exact point,
and I think I know that failure
is still less terrifying than
Permanent CuriosityPencil meets paper,
frantic strokes of lead
dragged into words across crinkled notebook pages,
when I have a new sense of purpose,
an addictive thrill.
I have a single idea, one story,
and I fly with it as if it will carry me
because it says, to my young mind,
it says this is brilliance.
Early morning cartoons play,
waiting for mom and dad to start their day
and it’s eight a.m.
while I sit with such a sudden
focus and determination.
I infect my veins with words
and create a thirst for story telling
that will never know contentment.
fog enveloped streets
like a thick quilt
covering up the headlights
as brakes blink red, and I watch the time
Because I can’t let myself be late,
not when she is there,
at six sharp
while every obstacle
does everything it can
to force me to prove my loyalty,
An idol, a pen-wielding hero,
She paints with words,
creates a photograph, a movie scene,
each syllable a craft
with characters that feel
as if you had always known them
as the familiar friend across the street.
Cars in front of me,
bumper to bumper,
to the sides,
so close that we almost exchange paint colors,
creeping up behind me,
traffic snickering as if it knows
I have somewhere to be,
an author to meet.
The only thing I can do
is wait, patient,
and decide just how to explain,
as I will soon walk up to that little table,
everything she means to me.