17 Poems Not About a Lover · 2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

How I Stopped Naming Lost Things

This is where I don’t know what’s next
this is where I get lost in the desert
forty years of circle wandering

This is where I try to fill the cracks
this is where I see how much I can fit
how many pages I can write
how many nights of alcohol
pushing limits where I thought I’d stop
the line I wouldn’t cross

This is where I close my eyes and lay back
in the thick sea salt floating
underneath stars I can never count
This is where I stop
naming anyone friend or lover

There is where I keep stirring
the increasing mess of me
dissolve the powder
I am pudding-thick and ready to serve

This is where I am the forest fire and
the arsonist and the fireman
mask wearing and sweating smoke

This is where the word you
is cut out in tiny rectangles
and collected in bags for confetti
where I forget what clocks I am watching
what timeline I had to follow
all the things called age appropriate

This is where I am done
and done and done knowing
that I ever knew

First published in On the Grid Zine.

2010s · Poetry

Smiling At Strangers

This is where I stop biting my nails
This is where I kick off my shoes
This is where I wear a shorter skirt
This is where I put on all the jewelry

This is where I stop answering calls
or checking my email
or returning the texts

This is where I spend the money
and show up by myself
and leave way past my bedtime

This is where I stop holding back
or saying his name
or not smiling at strangers

This is where I get off the couch
and out of the deep end
and push my toes into the mud

First published in On the Grid Zine.