I know you think I don’t miss you
but I do.
Like the way we wake from a dream
head foggy, floating
bodies warm and wrapped in blankets
hands curled into fists like children
longing to fade back into where we were
just a moment before.
Take me back to this: flying
above the Chicago skyline
people like specks of dust
lights like summer fire flies
and wings as my arms. Continue reading →
It’s too easy to tell him how I’m feeling.
I want him
to know me like the staircase
he’s climbed since he was six,
each crack, creak, and bend
he knows to side step.
I want him
to know me like that, to
memorize each birthmark
or bruise. To tiptoe, treat me
with tenderness. But trust me
with each strong step.
It’s too easy to tell him what I need.
I want him
to know the parts of me
where the carpet is worn
and the places where the banister
is polished and new.
To me, love is a path
traveled on. Familiar.
And I shouldn’t have to tell him
how to get home.
And like most things, this poem was saved in a perfectly labeled digital folder because the fourteen-year-old me was just as organized as I am now. I stumbled across it by chance, frustrated at myself for not knowing exactly what I wanted to write about and feeling pressured by a self-imposed timeline to keep myself on track for the rest of the day.
“Emotion,” the title read, pretty straight and to the point. Dated February 19, 2007. Continue reading →
The bees hum in the morning air,
finding their homes among flowers and long-stemmed grasses
and the soft peach fuzz of my childish face. Young,
my mother taught me how to suck a stinger from skin,
to press a cold cube of ice where it hurts, to dance
on tip-toes, forever careful
of where little bodies may hide in the freshly-cut lawn. Young,
I learned to always jump from rock to rock, always fear,
always hold the melting popsicle away from my cheeks.
On the opposite side of the country, I discover the bees are becoming extinct.
My neighbor wears a mask and gloves, thousands swarming
around his proud arms. When the last one dies,” he says dramatically, “so will we.” But he does not smile.
Meanwhile hearts are breaking.
Meanwhile cigarette butts are tossed from car windows.
Meanwhile glass bottles are thrown in the trash
and the turtles are choking on plastic straws
and the earth is raining acid.
Meanwhile the Midwest is buried under feet of snow
and Arizona reaches one hundred fifteen degrees
and I stare at the insides of a daisy, too afraid to touch
for fear of disrupting all that I don’t quite know. Continue reading →
and I can hear his voice in my head as I sift through my dresses too tall, too big, too skinny, too much.
His presence follows me; I can feel his icy fingers trace
my elbows, my hands as I reach for the fabric of my favorite shirt, you always wear this; nothing else looks good.
I hear him whisper, feel his arms hug my middle
as I slip into a tight pair of jeans do you see that stomach?
I wiggle out and put on a sweatshirt to hide
from the both of us. Continue reading →
I think of you,
and my mind traces back to places
where we’ve walked
hand and hand
as if the creases of our palms knew
as if the lines foretold our futures
before we knew how to kiss forever
onto one another’s mouths. Continue reading →
“Love is messy,” she says,
and I want to know what she means—
is it soft, like clay beneath your fingernails,
is it like syrup, sticky and sweet on your lips,
is it dirty clothes in the hamper, footprints
on both the linoleum, and your heart?
Is it all the ways we’ll fight and scream and fill
the house with our loud imperfection?
I feel you
in the tread of wheels on pavement,
steady and certain,
in the inhale of breath before takeoff,
as my heart catches in my chest.
I feel you
in the city lights dancing miles below,
in the way we are connected—
earth and sky, leaving
and the space between
where we close our eyes
and feel one another’s heartbeats
through phone lines, seatbelts,
baggage with worn straps. Continue reading →