A Witness

I read once that perhaps we sometimes cry

In front of a mirror to feel witnessed in our despair.

So today, when you shed your first drops of liquid sorrow,

I shed some of my own. I felt your sorrow, too.

When your chest bowed inwards in pain

From the agonizing ache in your heart,

When your throat scratched itself dry

From the intensity of your cries,

When your heart broke,

From how carelessly he treated it,

I didn’t tell you it would be alright,

Grab your hand, hush you.

I acted as a mirror, witnessed you.

I wept, too.


Ode to Rose

You take me to


When we played cards on thursday evenings

While mom worked

The peachy light of the setting sun

Illuminating us through the sunroom windows

So much glass, my mind feared

Constantly of what would happen

If a tornado were to suddenly break on

Our little family tobacco farm

And shatter those wall to wall windows
Or the day she gave me that dress

She made specially for me

Out of the material that reminded me of the blush

That painted a baby’s cheeks pink

And how I hugged her so tight and

Kissed her head so sloppily

In my haste to try it on and give it a spin

As was our tradition
Or perhaps the hours we spent in the yard

Ears of fresh corn in our hands

Their translucent hairs littering our laps

Having been pulled from their heads of yellow

Under the colossal oak tree

I desperately wanted to climb

But the lowest limbs were twenty feet

Out of reach

The morning sun burning the backs of our necks and

Drenching us in it’s spring rays
And most importantly the night she

Suddenly stopped having a smell

Stopped having anything at all

When she let me out of the backseat

Pink nailed fingers ghosting my shoulder

As she reminded me to break a leg

The night I went into the crowd after the show and

Couldn’t find her there

The night I went to the hospital to see her

And was attacked by the stench of cleaning supplies

And sickness and death
Not you, rose perfume

a word, a kiss

our first kiss is a word

a word is the first to caress our tongue

to touch our lips; make us blush

it is sweet and slow and soft

nothing like the awkward blundering of lips

with that boy from grade school in a

dark, dank cinema

popcorn spilling over from the sudden invasion

of space

how dare he try and steal the limelight

arrogantly assume he was the first to embrace your lips

how dare your mind try and tell you that

it was his touch that made you blush crimson

not the way the word “beautiful”

tumbled from his mouth

the syllables acidic on his taste buds

from the amount of times he’s said it before

to girls he knew needed desperately to hear it

in order to do as he pleased, then leave

sleeve tucked in hand

wiping the innocence – his prize-

from his crooked grin


make it stop

Please leave me alone

I didn’t invite you in

Yet, you made yourself at home

You settled in.

My mind isn’t some cheap motel or inn

For you to stay at and come and go

With the wind

Please keep quiet

Could you possibly raise your hand?

So I can know not to call on you

To scream my insecurities and faults

Right back into my ear

Release your hold on my lungs

It’s hard to breathe

Do you enjoy and delight in

The ache that you bring?

Stop throwing it all in my face

I’m begging.

I’m desperate.

I know. I know. I know.

I’m not good enough.

You’ve told me time and again.



you haven’t touched your guitar in months

you haven’t touched me in weeks

you told me you were afraid to play

told me you were afraid to love me

for fear of tainting music

for fear of tainting me

of breaking me

of ruining these things so pure

i said

darling can’t you see

i’m broken already; tainted too

there’s really nothing you can do

to make me stop loving you

to break me more; taint me more

so pick up your guitar and sing me a song

because music’s gone to shit anyways

and you’ve already ruined me-

undo me some more

your water

my throat is unquenchably dry

 I want to drink your water

I want your cool

I want your blue

your ability to flow, to move

to drink from your lips

hydrate with touch

imbibe your lust

come back again, again

a woman parched from drought

better than the sweetest wine

I want your liquid love

I want your water

a love lost, a love untouched

the pain of loving someone and not being loved back

is more than that of losing a love.

this is so because when a love is lost

it can still be cherished

memories can be held near

shirts can be kept under pillows

letters can be kept in old cigar boxes

to cry over on lonely nights.

the pain of loving someone and not being loved back

is more than that of losing a love.

this is so because when a love is not returned,

hours, days, weeks can be spent thinking

dreaming, hoping

of what could be

you can find love in a memory

you can only dream of having one day

a dream of dancing in the kitchen to soft jazz

waking up after a long nap on a rainy day

being kissed, being touched so passionately

you feel you could burst


you won’t burst

because you aren’t dancing, waking, being kissed, touched

and that’s where the ache comes in

hollow and dull

a brick at the bottom of your stomach

reminding you of who you are and who you aren’t with

as you walk down the street alone

wanting to give yourself up to the first person who

dares care