Tulips

Hope wafts in

Like a new air freshener

Warm and overpowering

Filling me instantly with love and regret

A sweet aroma that once meant hope

That you were near

That you were coming

That you still loved me

Okay – it still means that to me

After I talk down my nose and heart

I give them time to walk amongst the hydrocarbons on Memory Lane

The facade of our trust; An everlasting veneer

The road cracked and worn, from treading on broken glass and even sharper shards of heart

The streetlights that cast halos around the memories

Of holding hands

Of kissing

Of Sex

Of good morning kisses

The shadows of reality just barely visible outside the ring of recollection

But that garden, it still grows

Behind the skeleton of the future I wanted to build with you

Across an ocean of tears

And the raging dunes is of isolation

An oasis

Where I put in my all.

The tenacity of the vines that grew, finding every crevice and niche to sow root

To hold together and break down walls

To let love flourish

The walls are gone

The plants still grow

Though meager was your fertilizer

The garden walls are gone

Left are lush hedges, diamond hard

Permeable only to tenderness and compassion…

…do you know how hard I worked to make it grow?

For you I planted flowers, best of show

The bloomiest blooms, fragrantiest fragrances

All to get you to see

How able my soil was to support you.

And now I grow weeds

Wildflowers

Tenacious things that grow in all climes

Survive all storms

Rendering earth and ether into life giving life

The estuary that grows beyond my desert

Is something you’ll never see

Though one gardener to another

I hope you know

I still have tulips growing for you

Should you learn to hold such a tender thing

Memory of depression

You met me in my dreams

Your hallmark tears, dry saltbeds upon

Cheeks rosy with fear

You thought I forgot you

Futures unhappened

That marriage

Those lives

Those possibilities

That trauma

You came to me in my dreams,

Screaming

My jaw locked

Screaming through gritted teeth

And pursed lips

“Don’t forget me!”

I haven’t cried like this in months

In mourning

In fear

In hope

You are in my bones

Excreted by ever cell

In the creak and pop of every joint

In every trepidatious step

The future

I hold my past

A breadcrumb trail

How far I’ve come

And should I need to go back

healing isn’t forgetting you

Nor are you silent or unwelcome

We are one

But you no longer lead the way

Something with which you should find peace

I have.

The little house

a tiny house was built

Grounds made hallow

A good foundation, a good heart

The earliest visitors were kind and gentle

Though after a time

Pox marks and bruises showed

Sometimes on the facade

Sometimes in the walls, unseen

The house took on the demeanor of those visitors

Spurned and lamenting

Evolved its very own poltergeist

Destroying before it could be harmed

It survived, for a time, this way

Until people wanted to appreciate the house

Windows big that let all the light in

Often were shuttered

Though the door was always unlocked

And the house did not know what to do

Still the poltergeist guards the house

The house has put them on an exorcise plan

And while the poltergeist loathes it,

They just peddle harder

Cycling in place

The house wants someone to move in

It is quite spacious you know

Lots of room in which to grow

Because the house wants to be open concept

It tells visitors of the poltergeist

They leave.

The house closes up for a time.

Wondering,

Do they tell the visitors?

Or let them find out?

Which is crueler?

Is it crueler to those visiting,

Or to the house?

Self portrait

I wonder what you see, when you look at me.

If I close my eyes and look into my mirror…

I see a person, tall and slender

Carrying the might of all the heavens and hells behind them

Like a cape, flitting in the wind

Their hair flows, shoulder length

Glinting silver in the light

You can tell it is from the stressors of life

Not Elvin beauty

Their eyes strike emerald and steel

Deep in hues that cut like diamonds

The shoulders are all at once

Tight with sinew

Tender with bruises

From carrying pasts long meant to be untethered

Their chest transparent

You can see their heart beat

Tremor

In its glass house

Teasing, see me, but do not touch

A belly showing mirth and merriment

Once dwelled here

Arms made of shields and love

To protect others from the rigors of life

Even if only for 10 seconds

Legs crafted from the genes of beasts

Apex predators and their prey alike

Give form to these legs

Meant for running away from problems

Tucked behind one leg, hidden in the folds of the cape

There is another

A young person

Bleeding from a wound in their chest

An old wound not yet healed

Though they pick at the scabs

And paint their face with blood

I see three people staring back at me in the mirror

The hyper-vigilant guardian

Protecting the wounded child

Who has not learned to speak

And myself, the puppeteer

Painting masks and faces and moods

Claiming, “I know my wounds, so I am healed”

While the words land like a morning star

On those that would love me

#nationalpoetrymonth

Backwards in Neutral

Too long now, have you been begging to be healed

Unwilling to look into your darkness

the Void has already looked back at you

Weeping, tired of the prison you created for it

high upon a pedestal called Identity

The fancy lacework of bandages you call healing are failing

Blood stains the people you touch

You, desperately begging they be baptized by your wounds

To wear your crimson battle crest of scars

To love you deeply, to clean and mend the wound

When that whole life should be amputated

Phantom future syndrome 

Feeling all that could yet still be

From a choice made in haste long ago

A roadmap of miscalculations and shortcomings so deeply etched into the mind

Attempts at new roads fall victim to yesterday’s topography

The anti-hero hell-bent on changing the past to change the future

Instead of allowing the future to happen

Languages

I try to write words that adequately describe how I feel about you.

How I feel about you.

Maybe the issue is I don’t yet speak the languages of flowers and stars, to understand how I feel about you.

Feelings that span dimensions and healthy boundaries, choked into a heart bursting with feelings without names.

There is a constellation that knows how I feel about you, somewhere between Libra and Aquarius.

To find balance between breath is to speak, and we did not.

Not in languages we spoke fluently.

I still feel the whispers of your hands holding mine, when we tried to speak to each other. I could hear what you were feeling when I watched you dance. I felt what you were saying with each song you dedicated.

So much lost in translation. Hello stranger. We’ve got the power. Stand by me.

I thought it meant you were in love. I think you meant you were afraid of love and were trying to warn me.

Maybe we don’t know our own tongues yet. We tried when we kissed.

I will always look for the words that reach across the stars and reach you.

I can say, maybe you will understand, you were the first time my smile reached my eyes, and to my soul.

Vision Board

Every song played

a silent Incantation

Hummed through a throat choked

On remorse

And love

They are the same language now

Challenging the moon

And her dark side

As I always have

To bring you home to me

To break the rules for me

If I could break the tides

In your summoning circle drawn with

Lines of cocaine

I place pot

Funky socks

Hair dye

The spotlight

I never remember the final ingredient

As you are white lightning in snow

Drifting on the next inhale

Was it abandonment issues?

Regret in choices?

Was it compassion and love?

That’s the problem with my spell

I spent so much time trying to name you

Now looking to the window of the past

For a keyhole to a future

I can no longer ask

I stopped asking your name