armor

it’s one big exhale
this thing called letting go
punishing ourselves believing
we reap what others sow
every damn time
it’s all so unrelenting
the blame, the guilt, the fear
all of it, unforgiving
until the moment comes
when the armor we wear starts falling apart
revealing tired and battered souls
and broken broken hearts
it’s going to take time
to trust ourselves again
learn to love and laugh and cry
and live beyond the pen

late for work

i wake up late for work
which is not
the usual
but the clock didn’t go off
its appointed time.
shower.
dress up.
brew the coffee.
hazelnut.
one more sip and a promise
the day will turn out
just fine
for you are gone
that’s pretty plain to see
and i don’t know if i can go on
without you
beside me
but you and i always knew
you had to leave
eventually
so you can do your thing
this time without me.
turn the key.
rev the engine.
step on the gas.
no more objections.

in his eyes

his voice is like silk and whiskey
so smooth and so deadly
breaking through all the walls
i’ve carefully built around me

and when he says the things
i desperately need to hear
that i’m beautiful and that i matter
suddenly there’s nothing i fear

i’ll believe him for as long as I can
for sometimes a girl needs a little help now and then
to remember just how strong she is
deep down inside and from her pen

so keep talking, my introspective man
share the world that you see
so i can see it too and know
that some days it’s okay to simply be

strong and beautiful
sometimes vulnerable
perfectly imperfect and
in your eyes, unstoppable

When I Met My Muse

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off—they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

—William Stafford from The Way It Is

sweet nothings

whisper those
sweet nothings
in my ear
even the ones
that sound rough
and dirty
the ones that make
my skin prickle
with anticipation
the ones that take me
on a journey
wherever you desire
for i will be
your Calliope
through ice and
through fire
each word you utter
my sweet poetry

soul blind

will things ever go back to the way they used to be
when you and i could go anywhere we pleased
and see nothing but welcoming smiles and open arms
take in the smells that come with the ocean breeze?

will we ever learn how to laugh with friends again
even the ones we’ve yet to meet?
maybe one day we’ll get to say, that sure was a wild time
how the world then seemed so lost in defeat

against enemies both unseen and seen
powers that be, rising from the distant past
all because we’ve all forgotten or never bothered to learn
that sometimes peace just isn’t meant to last

without hard work and a kind heart
that last one can sometimes be the hardest to find
in days like today when it feels like the world
has gone deaf and soul-blind

Boarding Pass

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Today I found your boarding pass tucked in an old book
Along with a receipt that told me how much you paid
And as you smile at me and give me that look
I remember it rained that morning, I remember the love we made

I remember how I wished you wouldn’t leave
I still remember every promise that you said
You told me not to cry and instead to believe
That tomorrow you’d be back again, warm in my bed

Fifteen years ago now since you made that promise
It’s been fifteen years since you returned
Every day since then you’ve been my solace
Every moment with you was a moment earned

For sometimes we have to fight for what we want
We have to take a stand no matter how afraid we feel
Fifteen years ago today, the memories still taunt
Fifteen years ago, we found the strength to heal

So I found your boarding pass tucked in a book today
It’s a reminder of a time so long ago
When we almost let our hurt take full sway
Before we hung on, held on by our finger nails, then let go.