Happiness Absorption

There is beauty in observation,
a lover lying on the bed asleep,
a child running across the grass to give someone a hug,
a brother proposing to his girlfriend,

happiness can silence observers of it,
and it lingers everywhere,

happiness in the smiles,
happiness in gestures,
happiness in dreams,

Sometimes I step back,
observe the happiness,
absorb the happiness,

I feel free.

Survival Shelters

A white walled room holds only one bunk bed,
many bodies come and go,
families of two, four, six,

10 spaces available,
28 days to restructure your whole life,

children’s laughter phases out sounds of slammed doors,
a mixture of emotions fully expressed,
ambiance level has been set to safety,

children with brief friendships that last for their stay,
a mini-break for survivors,
not long enough to recuperate,

trauma has made “our bodies tired,”
left over belongings of an abusive relationship:

a few toys for the children,
a diaper bag for the baby,
a duffel bag of clothes,
and a whole lot of maybe.

Those can be placed in the closet.
Welcome to our shelter.

At the Diner

You walk in wearing a blue dress,
a braid trailing down your soft back,

you sit several booths away from me,
I can hear your voice like a soft whisper of a song I don’t know,

But I must learn,

your voice– rhythmic,
drawing all my senses towards your conversation,
I listen in,
you’re a feminist,

ears perk upright,
body tenses signaling immediate attraction,


friendship or otherwise,

you are brilliant and stunning,
certain that introductions would go smoothly,

if I just– offer you my burger,
here’s a side of my affection,

our eyes meet before our hands do,
your smile is beautiful,

your name, fitting,

I walk away with a phone number, a name,
and the anticipation of seeing you again.

Update 2016

Dear Anne,

I suppose it’s time for my yearly update,
there has been very little change,
genocide, taking new shape in political discourse,
“foreign policy,”
“national security,”
buzz words feeding bodies to the buzzards,
people live in terror,
just different communities of people,
many breaths spent on discussing solutions,
diplomacy through the lens of institutional elitists,
I worry about the state of things,
as I always do,
cuts to social services,
no disruption to military spending,
educational crisis,
forms of knowledge not seen as valuable,
high quality research that cannot be quantified,
we prefer to count things in numbers,
much easier to count dead bodies than transcribe experiences.

Coalition of Seekers


My journey has taken my pet fox and I many places in search our lost family,
past spray painted graffiti,
forests of lively green trees,
we picked up the bear in the forest,
she’s lost someone,
lost friends,
lost relatives,
we search together,
a coalition of seekers,
the one with the best nose leads,
must be close to someone,
anticipation of finding,
in the thicket?
we will go that way.

Pardon your Privilege

“Welcome home honey,”

A mothers open arms spreading cigarette allergens around,

I hold my breath and bitter resentment,

Enter her embrace,

the essence of her, covered by a vice that alleviates part of her suffering,

who am I to judge?

Survivor of violence people left unnoticed,

I didn’t go through that,

I just witnessed it,

Excuse me,

judgmental bystanders labeling my family as broken,

broken in what sense?

broken- you grew up in poverty,

broken- I didn’t think you would be so successful,

broken- your mom does live in a trailer,

correction- I grew with hunger,

correction- I didn’t see you as worthy of my investment so I didn’t take the time to help you out,

correction- my mom owns that trailer

Thank you very much for your ill concluded observations,

She may spend her paycheck on rent and cigarettes,

but she answers my phone calls every single time,

I wish I could say the same,

“Mother, How are you?”

a question often asked with underlying guilt on my behalf,

the knowledge of her well being, so clearly visible,

“I am doing well, but let’s hear about you?”

She hides her needs,

the hierarchy of knowledge has created distance between us,

education does not mean a lack of suffering,

my worth is not more than yours,

she shows me the room full of my awards again,

pride fills her eyes,

I  have a nice day with my mother.

Furry Monstrosity

House Cat

I stretch out my legs and stiffen my back,
a full body stretch to wake me up after every nap,

covered in fur,
that matches my purr,

I have sharp teeth for lovable nibbles,
and am often mistaken for a vicious animal,

some long forgotten,
others just outside,
I’ll call upon until they arrive,

a chirpy meow, or a full blown roar,
and they appear outside my door,

when I am bored,
I curl up in a ball,
or roll on the carpet in the hall,
sometimes I stumble and I fall,
but my owner’s love me, hairballs and all,

oh, the house cat life,
it isn’t so bad,
with the best parents I could ever have.

Springtime Heartbreak

A force not to be reckoned with,
unpredictable weather changes,
April is a beautiful month,
cherry blossom season,
full of springtime lovers,
quarreling over simple things like,
are you a lesbian?
no of course not,
loving someone who can’t possibly return the intimacy,
lesbian feminism,
not a concept taught in high school,
a continuum of womanly love,
close friendships between two women,
lesbian just not sexual,

we could never be together,

the month passed,
as did the pain,
and now I can’t even remember her name.


I yearn for a life that living cannot bring,
quiet corridors with passages I can hide in,
escaping men that claw my pant legs begging for attention,
demanding validation for their actions,
a validation I would not give,

“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Do you want one?”
“No, I don’t,”
“Why not?”

Pawing at me,
persistence isn’t sexy to me,
an invalidation of feelings I already verbalized,
leave me alone,

“You’re in the friend zone”
“What’s the friend zone?”
“A place where she won’t sleep with you, only be your friend.”
“How do you get out of that?”
“Get her to sleep with you.”

I sleep with you,
quiet, next to me you purr,
that doesn’t last long,
you want more,
a relationship perhaps,

“How’s the relationship life man?”
“It is going well”
“Yeah, lot’s of sex?”
“Of course, why else would I be with her this long?”
“Congratulations man.”

Unheard degradation shared with your friends,
travels through our networks, they reach my ear,
I feel a wince of regret,
somehow I thought you were different,
I yearn for a life the living cannot bring.

Bodily Desires

Heart beneath the surface,

pumping blood to the body,

it has a purpose,

connection aligned for your well being,

life continues for you as long as its beating.

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