2000s · Poetry · Unanchored

Disconnected

There will be no funeral.
No ritual ceremony to close this story.
I loved you. I did.
I swear it over sacred things.
It’s dying. Suffocated and left to starve.
This precious fragile entity is a waif of a memory.
It waits to leave this life,
Hardly holding breath.
I used to feed her. Bring her fruits.
Bring her grains and sustenance.
There will be no funeral.
No condolences. No sympathetic cards.
We will die quietly. You will not visit.
You will not see this as a God sent gift.
You will hold to principles and assumptions.
You will allow time to consume us.
Time will erode what we fail to nourish.
It will die of suffocation.
I am suffocating. I am wilting.
You will walk on by. You will go.
To your priorities. To your well planned life.
I weep and mourn for death.
There will be no funeral.
You pruned this off your burden.
This will not be certified. Just gone.
I don’t know what your love means.

5-29-05
Originally published in We All Bleed the Same, 10-3-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

How He Is Not My Child

I didn’t stay up at the hospital until three a.m. waiting for the
doctors to assess the situation. I didn’t have to be the one to
sign papers for the insurance company, for permission to treat,
for release of legal responsibility. I didn’t have to field the
calls, protect him from his mother, sit next to him for hours
under the cold florescent lights of anger. I did not bare the
weight of pen on paper to surrender my flesh and blood to the
intervention of complete strangers. I am not the parent
deciding always how much to force him to wake up early, get
up out of bed, and live his life, or how much to let him sleep,
let him fail classes, let him learn from his own mistakes like a
boy on the verge of adulthood. I didn’t watch the labor of
sixteen years calling out from rooftops for men in uniforms to
pull him down, dress his wounds, search for more weapons.

8-10-13
Originally published on Cadence Collective, 10-15-13

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry · Unanchored

Lies To Tell My Body

My bones are steel-heavy
as I walk the days with it
Pores on my skin ache
weighted by an iron-core earth
pulling me towards her
Down, she says, lay with me

My eyes can’t see clear
turn skull-bound, sinking
pregnant with memory
The fibers in my muscles
weep at their loss of it
motion, forward, direction

The nuclei in my cells
pull and push against-toward
refusing to agree with you
Everyday, they keep forgetting
why I can’t just dial the number
or drive 23 miles northwest

My arms know the exit-curves
(like the length of your limbs)
my feet know how many steps
(like the edge of your sheets)
I don’t need my eyes to guide me
my hands, they know what else

But my heart knows to stay
in my honey-thick atmosphere
Lock the windows and doors
breath it in, long breaths
circulating it, the new oxygen
Lie to my body, if need be until
I don’t need to remember why

7-2-13
Originally published in Napalm and Novocain, 9-12-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

Brown Eyed Boy (But Not a Boy)

You strode in with shoulders
of a man so much taller,
your eyes held back with the tilt
of your head and chin up.

I tried to see you coming from behind
but I was looking for the wrong boy.
There was this guy—not a boy—not a man
but same brown eyes, same brown curls
(and growing). It was you, undeniably.
Your brows were long and circles
under your eyes were set hard.

I know that posture so well,
I’ve seen it my mirrors past
and in my angry generation.
But you—not you—not your brown eyes,
I have your face memorized like song,
I have loved every inch of it.

I hoped you’d never be familiar
with clenching fists, scraping skin,
bracing the beat of your heart
to stop it from hemorrhaging,
it will callus thick like cartilage.
Grit your teeth and stare them down
without flinching and unbolt the windows.

I have only seen you as a child,
my hand-holding boy in the back seat.
But here you sit, defiant smile,
refusing to play nice—I’m listening.
You now at sixteen, elbows out
tired of rolling with the tide.

You see none that qualifies, all their
smoke and mirrors don’t fool us now.
We are all playing the part of the wizard,
but you’re far too old for fairy tales.
I want to sing you to sleep, but you
are not six, you need more than lullabies.

You mapped the exits, found the weak hinges
(eventually, you’ll see them everywhere).
I can’t offer you shit, except how I get it,
I’ll stop holding you to that promise
that you will invent that shrink-ray
and keep yourself a child for me.

5-5-13
Originally published on Cadence Collective, 9-29-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

Ramble

it didn’t come today

all my thoughts are disconnected

how loud my cat is purring

I didn’t sleep well

I had a crappy day

I miss all my friends

for a hundred different reasons

how unclear my future is

how teaching can be exhausting

I have too much love inside

but I won’t give it easy

there are too many tightropes

of going too far

of not going far enough

how I know what I need to do

but can’t for the life of me

be the one who does it

I’m always questioning

my honesty

when should I fight

when should I let it all go

I can’t stop biting my nails

I can’t find a home

in someone else’s heart

we are all compartmentalized

like a bento box

all on the same plate

but always on separate sides

I pulled all my anchors

or cut them or dragged them

either way I’m drifting

even though I own my house

and I have a steady job

I’m so damn independent

I want some more dependence

or a place to rest my head

and hear a heartbeat

that knows what I know

that will anchor me

and I can be home.

4-12-13

Originally published in Pyrokinection, 9-16-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

Viscosity

Viscosity is the
resistance of fluid to
eventual deformation by

shear or tensile stress.
Viscosity is due to
friction of opposing

parcels of fluid at
varied velocities.
Pressure is needed to

overcome the friction between
the layers and keep the
fluid moving.

Viscosity depends on
the size, shape, and
attraction between

particles. For example,
honey has a higher
viscosity than water.

A fluid with no
resistance to stress is
known as ideal or

inviscid fluid. This
explains so much about
my life. Am I honey or

am I inviscid?

4-30-13
Originally published in Pyrokinection, 9-14-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

Pack Animals

Groups of teenage
boys laughing
like hyenas
still make me
grit my teeth and
tighten my grip
as the twelve
year old me
crosses her arms
across her chest,
pushes her eyes
down like a
criminal when
my only crime
was passing them
on the sidewalk.
Boys in packs
are hunters, not
friends and a twelve
year old girl can’t
fight back, so she
learns to walk fast
and smile like an
apology but not
like an offering.

4-17-13
Originally published in Atticus Review, 7-16-13

2010s · Poetry · Unanchored

Song Writer

It so often
starts with music
plucking my heart
strings like a harp

that emotional swell
up like a tide
like a current I can’t fight
or don’t want to

I just lay back
and surrender, float
along the story sung
by the conductor of my

waiting breath, because
it sinks so much deeper
from the top of my throat
through my inner workings

to my lower central
nervous system, down
to the extent of my toes
and back up my thighs

sound is a gift and song-
sung by voice or guitar
violin or piano keys
I devour it all like a greedy

beast, licking its plate
I have never been
satisfied once, so I
became a poet to sing

in the voice God
gave to all poets, song-
writers without notes
without melody, yes

rhythm still, but music
words-not voice-still
breathe on the page and
inhale deep before the next

line. I am singing.

4-15-13
Originally published in Cadence Collective, 8-12-13

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry · Unanchored

Unknown Employee

I saw a girl at Target, she was
me at twenty-one years old.
She had my blond hair and

simple black-lined eyes,
a red vest and black band
shirt from Joy Division’s

Unknown Pleasures.
Iconic jagged white
mountain lines I once

plastered to my purse.
The image is a badge, I know
immediately, she is cool

in the way I was cool
working at Target at twenty-one.
I want to tell her we got

bigger plans, even if you can’t
see it now, and that boy,
who torments your soul,

is just passing by. I want
to tell her we end up alright,
and all that confusion might

not get clear, but it settles.
And all that sadness, the
endless sadness fades away,

but I give her a slight grin
and muster, “I like your shirt.”
I don’t know how else to say it,

so I pay and leave for home.

4-9-13
Originally published in East Jasmine Review, 8-1-13

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Poetry · Unanchored

Present Affirmations

I am almost ready
to be over this
I am almost ready
to see you clear
that you were never really
good enough for me
I am almost ready
to pick up the pieces
I set aside
connect those dots
to pull the curtains open
to rip off the bed sheets
flip all the light switches
call you on your bullshit
see you small
and entirely pathetic
this lost puppy
is finding a new home
so you can keep that
old bitch who returned
I will not be laying
outside your door
I am almost ready
to tell you I’m too busy
I don’t have time for
this fucked up game
and I’m tossing out
all the possible scenarios
of your apology
of your seduction
of your returning
I’m done with it
I’m almost ready
I am.

3-17-13
Originally published in Napalm and Novocain, 9-12-13