You’re allowed to change your mind
and you’re allowed to do it without
explaining yourself. You don’t need
permission for your opinions, and
you certainly didn’t need my okay
to leave. Because you left, and you
didn’t look back. And now I’m standing
here after all this time still wondering
if it was me who needed to ask whether
you thought staying was a good idea, or
if forgetting all together would be more
if you could fold me in half,
you’d see the way my skin
wrinkles under your fingers.
each indent reveals every
way your touch manipulates
my body. it is small. impressionable.
fold me again and watch how
easily i collapse. crease the corners
and listen to the way i sing,
cradled in your palms. hold me.
don’t let go. we could talk about
how you would follow
wherever the wind takes me,
but what if the direction i
soar is not where you want to go?
//an open letter to anyone who needs a reminder of just how
magnificently they were perforated//
You are so incredibly beautiful.
are so complex- and not in the way
that stupid boy meant when he
told you this last year. You are comprised
of rivers and
more stardust than I can hold in my
two hands. The curvature of your spine
channels holy water
to your stubby toes. You complain
about how much you hate to show a little skin, but
darling, you are already naked. My eye traces
the routes across your bare flesh, dresses you
with grace, finds a compass pointing us toward
the bedroom door. You can leave like
this. Darling, you are the most intricate map
I have ever had the pleasure reading.
that I will never be the man my mother
always said I could be,
said I would be. I wish I’d told her
that her son was born with an intense desire
to be anything other than ordinary
coursing through his veins. They were small, but held
passion for things she’d never understand.
I am strong like her, but I failed to try-
also like her.
Her little boy was gone before she knew it,
like rain on warm pavement-
disappearing through the cracks
before her very eyes. I remember how they glowed;
jade and amber swirled around
the darkest pupil. She said my father loved her most
for them, but what did he know about the woman
who raised the sun he’d never
I wish I’d told her that I was born
to be the fire in the sky
reminding her that she did something right.
Of all the places I’ve been,
all the cities I’ve seen, the air
I’ve breathed, the dirt I’ve
not a single place reminds me
of you. I find ghosts
in every harbor, but you are the one
landmark whose spirit travels with them.
There’s coral in every memory I have of you.
Vermilion and viridian, saffron limbs. I remember
the way you entangled me at night. Surfing the crest
and embracing the crash. Now the waves
just roll on by, spray salt in my eyes and laugh-
I suppose it’s yours.
Maybe we weren’t ready for an ocean song.
Maybe I’m still learning how to swim.
It would be wrong to compare me to a sunset. I cannot be the firey fuchsia reflection in your eyes. I am nowhere close to your indigo dreams. And I certainly am not your kind of beautiful. I need to be explained. Interpreted. My pinks and reds and purples are skin deep, and to touch them is a mistake you are smart enough to avoid. Colors blend and bleed and you are witness to the magic. But just as our sky turns to art, it disappears without warning like a shy child. And maybe, just maybe, we do have something in common.
Gravel is stuck in the siping
of my tires, in the crevices
of my boots.
They are too small for my wandering
feet, but they match the way my heart
beats with a caged restraint. So I zipped
them over these old jeans
I should’ve tossed years ago,
but I don’t have the nerve to dispose
of your memory. It is stitched into the
pockets where I keep you tucked
I am constantly held back.
The elevation cuts my breathing
short- curses struggle to pass
through chapped lips, a dull
tongue. My desire to escape slips
out without question.
I follow; I stop.
Wind whips between branches, and I see the foliage pull
lovers’ secrets through needles that cannot hold
on much longer.
The trees appear untouched. No force
of nature could possibly reveal the loudness
a soul emits when left to rot
I write what I feel, and sometimes what I
feel is dark and sad but it’s the truth.
Not many people admit that the bad things in life
are the most prominent aspects of their lives.
I am unapologetic. I refuse
to dismiss an absence of light.
I write because I have this belief that even
one person will read it and nod silently
in agreement that not all days are good days,
and that’s okay.