Purification

If you ask about my past,
my teeth and tongue and tears will fall
out. 

But I can filter it
through my fingers 

for you,
dilute it with the ink of an old pen. 

Friend, I’ll mail you manuscripts and send
my memories miles away, without a
word.  

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Desert Rose

I am a flower withering
close to the ground,
leaves curled like fists.
My roots, so thirsty,
so thin, have died
in the blood red,  rust-like dust.  

The passing sun tempts me
with cloudy promises.
I’m sorry, he says. Then he burns me again.  

In the senseless hot sun, my petals,
my hope and my heart,
have wilted  and faded.
I am a flower wanting
and waiting
for the sun to repent with rain.    

A family is
me and my cactus mother
and our search for respite in the cracking, dry dirt.

A family is
stinging eyes that burn
from the sun and his stinging lies.
We adapt at the cost of our sanity. We adapt
with the taste  of the desert’s dust
on our shriveled lips, or we die. 

Mercy

10.
After that butterfly died, someone mowed down its sunflowers.
The field was boring and bare
besides the rabbits that lived there.

9.
One day, there was you. Sweet, spotted thing
with a bright blue collar. We thought about returning you.

8.
Instead,
we watched you with amusement. You were the bravest
little explorer in the big, bad field–a slice of bright blue
poking mischievously from the grasses near the creek.

7.
More dogs arrived. Bigger than you. Bigger than me.

6.
If we listened hard enough, we heard you whimpering. I didn’t see you, but I saw
the way their heads jerked
as they tossed you around. I figured

5.
Hoped

4.
That your neck snapped like a twig mid-air
and you died.

3.
I climbed the fence despite my fear of falling,
over brambles and back down into the wispy creek with my brother,
with branches
catching my hair and dragging me
backwards, begging me not to look.
We followed your blood just beyond the yard with the trampoline.

You breathed shallowly in the sticky grass, with your eyes fixed on something. Something. Something.
You’d bitten through your tongue.

Sticky red and bright blue. On the other side of the fence,
children laughed as they bounced high into the air.

2.
The sun set, and evening descended over the year and over your life.

In the darkness, the first few firecrackers snapped and I shivered while I stroked you and whispered that it would be okay. It would.

The vets were closed and it was a holiday weekend and there were gaping
holes in you, but you would be okay. When I picked you up, your head lolled
to the side.
A man called your name from the house with the trampoline.

You left often, they told us. You liked to explore with the other dog. The woman thanks us
and thanks us and thanks us and I think she’s reduced to breathing that way,
just like your distant panting in the grass.

1.
They call and tell us you died.

0.
I came to visit a few months later.
The field was still empty,
save for the sunflowers that grew tall as a trampoline
over the spot where we found you.

 

 

Great News

Hello, everyone! One of my poems, “Desert Rose,” has been published in an anthology!

Anthology

I think a part of me is still in disbelief. I remember the exact moment when I was first contacted by this company…who would have thought that a poem I published in my first college’s journal would be the catalyst to an opportunity like this?

I’m so grateful.

If you would like to purchase an ebook, please use my affiliate link.
Otherwise, you can purchase a paperback copy through Amazon. If you buy through Amazon, please leave a review afterwards mentioning me–or any other poets that you loved–by name! This will grant us “votes” that will earn the top 5 poets a spot in a “Reader’s Choice” book next year (and one of those poets will get a book deal!).

One last thing: I reached 15 followers today! I appreciate that you all have taken an interest in my work, and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week.

Comfort

I want to write words that take your hands
and twist inside of you like branches.

Like veins.

They’ll leaf in some lost part of you
and bloom from your brain
when you want to hurt and hide and die.

Life is gentle and gracious within those green words:
Nobody hurts and nobody hurts you.

Anxious

I’m a wisp of a woman, a faraway mind,
a moon on the outskirts of space and of time.
I orbit the skies while observing your lives
from some half-wakened dream seen within starry eyes.

I’m a beautiful specter that picks at her rhymes
and finds vacuous reasons to slowly kill time;
to meet someone new without having to hide
leaves me withered with terror, but brimming with pride.

Anxious is how I was born to survive,
compulsively hoarding what keeps me alive.
Despite every trigger, despite eggshell nerves,
I am grateful when feeling the peace I deserve.

For I’ve rattled the bars of my cranial cage
and paced round and around, stamped my feet in a rage;
my bones have been skinned, my skin has had scars
from years spent contorted behind mental bars.

I’ve hidden in stalls half alive, half insane,
my adrenaline veins shocking heart, lungs, and brain;
I’ve scattered like stardust at every mistake
while my black holes of pupils turned wide in their wakes.

I’ve collided, I’ve crashed, I’ve tried to survive–
but my burden reminds me that I am alive.
I’ve learned how to cope and I’ve learned how to hide,
and yes, though I’m anxious, I know I can thrive.

Roommates

All of my memories hurt.
No, they don’t hurt me–

They hurt. They grieve.
They are the oozing rashes on my skin.

The little girl with big hair dissolves
in a room that gets smaller every year.

I still have some of her scars.
I’m clumsy like she was.

I prod our bruises tenderly,
pick our scabs open and closed again.

What I remember:
Some wounds are hers and some are mine and some I gave myself.