Alright

create, soulfood

I’m learning how to make
coffee for one.
Three cups instead of six.

How to ask for help
from people who haven’t promised
to love me.

How to look in the mirror and see promise,
instead of the steeled look of
resilience
and the hollowness of failed aspirations.

I’m learning the balance between
woman and fear
woman and trust
woman and vulnerability.

So much to learn in a world set up for twos.

It was all so beautiful

Love, pretty things, soulfood, therapy

I met this boy with a big nose, a skateboard and a heart of gold. He asked me to be his girlfriend on a swing set. We would walk to the same pizza shop every afternoon that summer and then his mother would drive us in her old Saab to the movie theater. We were those kids in the back row groping each other’s bodies with the immediacy of learning sexual touch for the first time. It felt like Christmas morning and singing the hook from your favorite song too loudly at a stoplight. Every. Single. Time.

This boy and I. We didn’t know better. The only pertinent information was that we were both mild-mannered and utterly infatuated with each other. He would come to be my first great love. The one who would ruin it for every man to come.

What do you mean, men don’t buy you gifts just because it’s Tuesday? What do you mean, men don’t write whole albums of love songs for you yearly? What do you mean you don’t want to lie in bed with me all day exploring every bend and crevice in my body? What do you mean not every disagreement can be worked out be me batting my eyes and leaning in for a kiss? What do you mean?

Our love was sweet as pie and twice as nice. I lived in unadulterated young love bliss with that boy grown man, myself slowly losing my grip on girlhood, for five years.

I hope everyone knows at least once how it feels to be adored. What it means to wake up in the morning a fleshy temple for someone else’s devotion. The space between us, six inches, or six states, oozed with the divine nectar of love. Innocence. Joy.

What do you fucking mean it’s not going to be like that?

The past eleven years have felt like one long fall from that cliff. Hitting every boulder on my way down. Bruised, bloody, and gashed. You should never hike in sandals. Bring plenty of water. Tell your friends where you’re headed. It’s dangerous out there. It requires lots of perseverance. A steadfastness in exactly who you really are or you will be shaken. To your core.
Shaken.

In a crumpled pile at the base of that mountain again. I remember this place well. The rocks that at first looked ominous now glisten in the light. The little specks of mica call me to pull them in for a closer look. The dried pine needles can be gathered in around you, they make a descent enough bed.

Even that patch of cactus can be touched if you’re careful. There it is in all of its splendor, long lost hope for a heavy spring rain instead content with sipping from the morning dew.

 

Some shit is just gonna fuck you up

silly goose

I used to think that I knew things
that I could figure things out.

I’m beginning to understand that life can’t be rushed,
that grief feels like being in the middle of a thunderstorm some days
and the dead of winter the next.
So cold you can see your own breath.

Someone said once that they thought that I hated being alone,
easy, that’s what’s wrong with you.
Maybe you’re right. Alone is the fucking worst.

I’ve started doing all of this extra stuff for my dog,
like hide treats in her dog food and taking her on midnight strolls.
I don’t even care that she naps on all of my new pillows.

That’s why you obsessive dog people are like that,
everyone want’s somebody to love.
Ohhh we just need somebody to love.

 

My Honesty Poem

Love, soulfood

I fall in love
every single day with someone or something.
They’re rarely ever good for me
I like sweet things, good nature, and sentences laced with laughter.

I have the capacity to finely dice you into bits
I’ll julienne your confidence to little shreds
if provoked.
Really provoked though.

I’m growing soft in my old age
I let more and more things float on by me.
I see everything in its core truth,
you see I simply have a finite amount of energy
I must be compelled.

I have a body
a human body
perfect always,
intuitive,
finely woven fibers of magic
that I get to exist in for now.

This is evolving, always. Aren’t we.
For my boyfriend’s honest poem that will bring you to your knees:

Pivotal Conversations With Women

soulfood, therapy

I sat at her table drinking a cheap glass of wine,
The sweet hum of laughter and old times in the air.
I said, he wrote the most beautiful thing,
Women on both sides of me transfixed by poetry, declarations of love, the promise of commitment

He said, I want to marry you, there is no game, let’s have children.
I watched the long lost sensation of being desired well up in their eyes.
And it was all for me, alas a man who sees clearly.

 My best friend’s mother tempered, girl you’re not going to save him in the eleventh hour.
I swallowed that pit,
From which a sapling of love grew and twisted through my esophagus,
Peaked out of my throat,
Tickled my tongue and bloomed
Bore fruit for three years.

 1,095 nights I feel asleep knowing that I deserved this,
1,095 morning of waking up, reaching, just out of grasp.
The eleventh hour comes with a cold bed and a mounting pile of medical bills,
Overdue.

 We were in the car,
I recounted the inexplicable interactions of the past two days,
But he didn’t even want to have sex with me.
All of these months,
So much tension,
And nothing.

 He called it getting to know you,
Not jumping in,
Being a gentleman.

 

My eyes shellacked rose, maybe this is just different?
Like a good different? Maybe? Please?
The red haired M.D. from the back seat reported a cold hard
Best case scenario someone lives for five years after starting dialysis.
Wow, what a fucking buzz kill.

 

But we were there to celebrate,
And I love a good party.
I rallied. Plastered smiles over my crumbling infrastructure.

 

This reality was best left on the back burner,
Simmering on low for as long as it lasts,
Turn the fire down, pray that the gas doesn’t go out.

 

This woman- this woman, she has great friends,
Friends that withstood the fire, simmer and boil,
Steadfast, a hand placed at the bottom of my spine,
Keep me upright,
Hold me together.

 

I called my soul’s fraternal twin,
A customary, Hi how are you, to be polite and then straight into,
There are no wrong decisions.
You can’t make a wrong choice. What makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow.
And vise-a-versa.

 

She clutters my inbox on every front,
Filled with musings, tangible love, firm advise and big questions.
The woman is a push when I’ve slowed down,
A corset of words lacing me together when my insides have fallen to the floor.

And one day it all clicked.

 “In closing can we both- men and women- stop acting like the bare minimum,
being alive, not being fugly and not being abusive equates a good man.”

 The next day, I sat in a restaurant, lap full of babies,
Over a bowl of soup a waitress named Jessica or Jenny maybe,
She said, I have two boys 3 and 6 and a boyfriend who’s basically a child.
I’m leaving here to go to my third job, thanks I’ll take your check.

And I just couldn’t fucking do it anymore.

 I said, I see you hustling.
I said, I see you.

And I saw me.

 The eleventh hour is a cold bed,
Backseat commentary,
A well placed testimony of your strength,
A timely Instagram caption,
A woman refilling my breadbasket that I’ll probably never see again.

The eleventh hour is an internal hell,
Guilt and self-worth in the balance.
And I’m not going to save him,
I’m going to save me.

Here We Go

Love, soulfood

Carry me, please, anyone. I asked nicely.
Oh no- girl you will not be carried.
Not in this life.

The hand will mold you
It will hold-back
barley lingering in the background
it’s not here to catch you,
it’s the nudging type.

You will not rest,
Breathe sure,
In fact do more of that.
Life right now isn’t about cradle or respite
You’re in between.

This is the part where you show up,
You push,
You make everything beautiful and well.
You’re good at that.

Go.

For you: The Moon

pretty things, science says, soulfood

I took Astronomy one summer.
I would read one line of text
then blankly attempt to defragment my existence
in the off-white texture of cheap rental walls.

A black hole rang in my ear,
the accelerating universe numbed my tongue.
String theory. Gravitational lensing. What’s a quasar again?

As it turns out there are 146 moons in our solar system.
Yet, somehow I am just now getting to know one.

To appreciate the agony of the scorpio moon,
to release and recite my intentions on the full.
The harvest moon, the blood moon, the waxing moon.
My moon and I,  we’ll call it complicated.

In all of those years did I ever look up and think
I’ve only ever seen the near side of that moon?
That in just one thousands year’s time the earth
tethered the moon into a promenade of tidal lock
earth always taking the lead.

I, mere mortal, gawked at the crescent moon
a crisp smile in the belly of the whole
with it’s same whole face
accommodating the shadow and shine of it’s host rock
and molten star
with no reverence for my mood or ambition.

I believed like you that the phase of a moon
from new to newer took 29 days.
Oh contraire mocked the stars
try 27 days, aren’t you wise
aren’t you waxed and wained.
We’ll call you simple.

 

 

 

To Have and Let Loose

Love, pretty things

 

I knew a boy who ate kiwi rinds.

One who apologized with Coldplay songs.

One who played singing bowls.

 

I knew a boy who hid chocolate bars behind soup cans.

One who filled our garage with dumpster dives and stolen goods.

One who declared- you are so beautiful- every day.

 

I knew a boy who took his maple syrup cold.

One who could massage away the world.

One who would carry me down the stairs on a whim.

 

I’ve known boys.

I’ve had boys.

I’ve held boys.

 

How sweet it is to have a man.

 

_________________

Cover photo cred: Caitlin Shearer

Mothered

soulfood

To dip your toe into the mystic,

the divine,

the ephemeral

is to lose your breath.

To calm the seas of your would be plans.

To adjust your binoculars to single vision.

 

 

It is knowing that you are not in control

but refusing to surrender.

It is begging for mercy and sustenance.

 

It is midnight prayers for

The lessons to get easier

And for you to remain open enough to learn,

To do,

To allow space.

To move on to the next.

 

The metaphysical elephant in our room

Is your mother.

Is she part of me?

Did you attract that?

Or she first?

 

I’m scared to answer these questions.

This notion, spoken out loud,

for the first time sent chills up my spine,

sent fingers thrusting into ears

an audible, “Don’t say that”.

 

I’m not sure that we’ll ever be ready to know or

Fully entertain the possibility.

If it is so.

Then know that the true love,

The purest of energy,

Never dies.

It lives on and it returns.

 

You said once, not to say that I loved you unconditionally

for it’s a love that only a parent can claim.

Well, I do.

And it doesn’t scare me

it never will.

Sweet Girl of Mine

Ever Sophia, Love, soulfood

I look at you and you stare back every time

with those same huge brown eyes

that I fell madly in love with seven years ago

or was it twenty-seven?

 

A piece of me has always known that you are a reincarnation

of your exquisite great grandmother.

The joy that, that qualifier would have brought her.

Half of me thinks if you could have only known.

 

Because it’s hard for that half to imagine her any other way

Any other being.

 

To imagine her being mine instead

of me being hers.

 

Though, in every way

I will always be yours.