Mississippi River

Houses make me nervous
They can burn down

Buildings with floors
Have the possibility of collapse

Bridges are unreliable
London Bridge fell after all

But the Mississippi River
Is the one constant of my life

Sitting on its banks
I feel at peace

When leaving, I am not fearful
I know it will be there when I get back

It does not burn, collapse, or get razed to the ground
It is a constant

It is my home

Cheese

G. K. Chesterton: “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

It’s no mystery
Cheese speaks for itself
Its dizzying variety
Their names a poem alone
The unending possibilities
Either eaten in slices
Placed on pieces of bread
Melted
Scorched
Toasted
Covering pasta
Smoothing over bagels
Resting on crackers
And soothing the tired soul
Cheese is not worthy of poetry
Cheese IS poetry

Waking Me Up

(Author’s note: the sad thing is, this is pretty much my internal dialogue every morning)

Hey.

Hey… hey you…

Hey…

Hey!!

It’s time to get up

C’mon, you know it’s time

No, don’t pull on my arm

No, don’t pull me back to bed

I know the covers are warm

And I know the hedgehog is huge and soft

I know how it feels when you hug it

But it’s time

It’s time to wake up…

No… you… not five minutes… now

Now

Fine, fine, ten more minutes – no five more

Why did you change it to ten??

NO. Five Minutes.

Hey…

Hey…?

Wake up

Ode to 2020

Holy shit…
What a year you were
After 2016
I thought I had seen a terrible year
I was wrong

Some want to extract you from their history
To strike you from the record
I can’t say I haven’t thought of it
But still, you happened
And we have to live with that

So many you took
Not just lives
But jobs, freedoms, relationships
Time together, time missed
Time never to be spent again

Pressure pushed our flaws to the surface
Our festering wounds
Still aching
Were relit and reopened
Hoping that maybe it would be different this time

You didn’t end
You have yet to end
I can’t get out of 2020
Half a year apart, still
I feel your grip

2 am Walk

I hear my boots
Scraping on the pavement
On an empty street
At 2 am

I see ribbons of light
Swirling around me
Ghosts of the cars
That went by

I feel prickles
On the back of my neck
Caused by the person
Following me

I breathe humidity
Thick in the air
I wonder if my companion
Can feel it too

I stop
My follower stands next to me
“Why are you here?”
“I was worried.”

My Eyes

I hate my face
Or my body
Or the whole thing
The whole image of me
I hate body length mirrors
Where I can see everything terrible
I can’t find a thing to like
Despite the protests of lovers and friends

Maybe the only thing I like
Are my eyes
Dark enough that no one is certain
Where my pupil is
They are more capable of expression
Than the rest of my face
Maybe my eyes
Are the one thing that pulls people in

Listen

Sunday morning
Wet asphalt
Lazy dog
Sleepy cat
Moisture in the air
Thick and heavy
Cloudy
No sunlight today
Nothing to hear
Everything is quiet

Books were safer than people anyway

Books were safer than people anyway

That’s what I said to myself
As I slid another book onto the wall
Blocking the sunlight

Built shelves over the windows
So I wouldn’t see the outside world
And locked myself away

My only company
Would be fictional characters
Those that I would let in

I would eat breakfast with Holden
Make dinner with D’artagnan
And drink scotch with Morse

I am done with people
Locked away with my books
I am safe

Shiver

I miss the way
Your fingers feel on my skin
How they slid over my back
And down to my waist
Ghosting over my shoulder
And sliding down my thigh
People don’t get to touch me like this
Not often
And the memory of it, makes me shiver

If I Had Held On

If I had gone with you…
I think our lives would be very different now
Sans stretch marks, C-section scars, and broken bones
But I wanted to make sure you knew
What you wanted

Maybe that was stupid
Maybe I was scared
Maybe you seemed
Just too uncertain
And I didn’t want uncertain

I’m sorry I didn’t try to
Do something more than just say
“Maybe you should know what you want
before we go any further in this.”
I thought I was right

And then I made a mistake
The possibility of you even being my friend
Suddenly was slipping away
And I was sobbing on the phone
Knowing I hurt you

Maybe I did it because
I am forever into self-sabotage
And I loved you more
Than I was willing to admit
I think I was just stupid

We patched things eventually
And then such bigger and crazier things happened
Actions and consequences that
Cut the both of us through our bones
And sooner or later we always came back together

Our lives went in separate directions
Things happened we can’t take back
But there are still nights I wonder
If I had held onto you
Where would we be now?

1 2 3 10