Who We Were

Who We Were

 

When I look up at the stars,

I think of you.

Our six-in-the-morning

car rides, eyes wide

with dreams of after college,

of holding hands

city to city, of love

that withstands time

and five-hundred miles.

Our midnight trips

to starlit cow fields, nothing

in our way

except fear of the unknown.

When the darkness

crept up our necks we shivered,

shook it off

our backs and kept on driving,

our little world

still ready to explore.

Abandoning the one who abandoned me

Abandoning the one who abandoned me

Be sure to tell Dad that I love him, that only
strong men survive being frigid for so long,
in sad times to look above, to rejoice, to share
the love poured down, to stop and grasp your
Lord before He ceases to be, to smile.

I’ll Wait

I’ll Wait

 

Keep ringing the doorbell in the rain, I’ll wait

for you to leave before opening to check

 

if you’re a man I want to let in and grasp

at your shoes, yanking them off in desperation

 

to rid yourself of rain that seeped past

your socks and clings to your toes, I’ll wait

 

before my hand shakes and I lean and grasp

at the round, cool handle keeping you out. I’ll let

 

the rain fall, let it drench your core, let you shiver

as you hover on my stoop and wait.

 

Glasses

Glasses

 

It’s funny how you can’t see the grease

when you’re looking in the mirror

but you see it when you’re looking

out, trying to gaze at the world.

Already Human

Already Human

 

I need you to be

something you’re not,

someone who already

is, no instruction

manual needed

to operate.

 

Someone who knows

what to do, how to act,

what it means to be

a human, fully

formed, ready to love.

 

When I kiss him I know

that you’ll never be

who I need, but I still

dream of an us, not

 

consumed by misfunction,

an us bursting, being

who we need. I’ll wait,

 

though, for you to be,

to say my name and know

 

what it means to be

Dizzy with Poison

Dizzy with Poison

 

The ant stumbles across the bathroom floor,

swirling, twisting, roaming without ambition.

 

Normally bee-lining for food, this dance

reeks of the poison set out yesterday.

 

Towards the window, away, towards again, away,

swayed by a wind no one else can feel, circling.

 

I take the bottle of Raid and spray, dousing

the ant with amounts that drown, not trusting

 

the kill on contact label plastered

across the cool can. But I missed. In the mirror

 

I see the same dance, spinning and whirling

in directions I never knew I could go.

When Dreams Feel Real

When Dreams Feel Real:

A Christmas Story

 

When I was six, Santa came

in the darkened house as I slept

on the frontroom couch. He strolled

in the door and passed as I stared,

pretending to sleep as I watched

his velvet shimmer and his sack

shake with each ginger step.

When he looked for Eddie, asleep

in our bunk beds, I ran

to Mommy’s room and spilled

his secret. She snarled

and said, Go back to bed.

I did, but never forgot.

I love you, I swear

I love you, I swear

 

Then why won’t you hold my hand,

tight with fingers intertwined.

 

Then why won’t you show your parents

that we flirt daily, lover’s minds

 

Then why do you say you’ll leave next

time a pretty girl says your name

 

Then why do you hold onto my heart

knowing you’ll only let it go

I’m going emotionless again

I’m going emotionless again

 

Shawn messages after two months

of mutual silence, I hear the ding

and sigh, knowing it’s him, knowing

he wants to talk, knowing I can’t

take his words and make them new,

let myself fall, his lies nipping

my ears, trying to take hold.

So I stare at the screen and blink,

forcing fingers to still, a screen to stay

cold, keeping silence instead of spilling

that my emotions are long-gone too.

The Wave

The Wave

 

Since Mommy and Mamaw quit talking, Mamaw stands

on her porch and drinks her coffee when night twinkles

into day, after stars have fallen into the clouds.

Daddy and I drive by on our way to work, our red

car flashing past, speeding because we’re late. She raises

her shaking arm to the sky, doesn’t wave, just lifts,

and, behind the window’s glare, I do mine, both

reaching for the air above us that we can’t grasp.

1 2 3 7