Hands

I left you in July,
started again in August. 
I’ll spend September 
wondering how
you are. 

You sat there
holding my hands,

“I don’t want to 
let you go,”

You implored,
as if you could not see
that I no longer knew 
the hands in my own. 

I knew you no more
or no less
than I had
the July before
or the one before that. 

“I miss that special bond,”

He said to me, a week after. 

What bond 
is silent,
I wanted to ask. 

What bond 
exists only 
in two laptop screens
and a tv monitor 
a late night cuddle,
a quick- paced walk. 

Perhaps you did know me
more than I knew you. 

Maybe I let you know me. 

The me that left 
and rose from your
bedroom floor
knows not 
of how or why 
two years from the day 
I asked for promises 
changed everything 
I thought I wanted. 

Special (full moon)

My father 
has always looked
through a wide frame 
lens

He sees 
the flaws and
the work 
wrapped delicately
in regrets and pride

He watches
as the sun rises and falls
from the center of my
chest

He sees ocean waves
in the irises
of the eyes he
passed to me 

(he takes me driving
to see the super moon
in the fall)

there is no facade
or performance 
with and for
him

He sees it all
and offers no
wavering, conditional 
affection.

“If anything happened to you,
my world would shatter.”

My father gave me
the experience of
feeling precious.

My father taught me
attachment.

and as I grew 
and moved,
I looked back to witness 
the ways and times
I’ve loved and 
been loved

and despite the depth
and authenticity,
nothing stuck
or lasted longer
then what was enough.

And here I am again
at the precipice of 
a new moon,
a waxing
crescent 

a love that is
tangible
yet fragile

but to him,
it comes and goes
and he fears 
its illusive state

and i fear its
capacity to crumble -

it isn't consistent yet
he isn't consistent, 
yet. Maybe 
I'm not, either.

This process
and indecision
changes the ways
I feel held.

I don't feel special.

Not in his eyes,
yet. 

I don’t want
the waning and waxing
with anything related
to the love he has to offer.

Give me
the wide lens frame,
the sunrise and sunset,
the ocean waves.

Synchronize
with your head 
and heart.

give me the full moon
or nothing at all.

picture

I walked the stairs 
to your place

using the key
i let myself
in

like nothing 
had changed.

I dropped some 
things off
in what feels like
a final exchange

I walked through the 
rooms and 
saw the picture of us
taken off the wall

A part of me knew 
that would happen,
eventually

and I'm not sure 
how I would have
felt if you'd 
left it hanging 

I moved to your
cupboard
noticed a card
I had given you
7 months in 

I read the promise
I  made 

that at the time you
could not return

I turned around
and noticed
the picture of us 
on the floor. 

The same floor
that held us
the night we ended

It feels more final, now
solidified here in this 
image on the floor
and the empty wall

I now know
that my first time
in Amsterdam with you
will be my last

the picture is the 
last piece of the 
puzzle that we
never finished
because I
didn't have all 
of the pieces

and neither did you -

at least, not ones
that fit my own

but we tried.
I know we did.

Those two 
people in that picture
did their best
and grew apart
loved deeply
and tried again

I hope you take the 
picture off the floor,
store it in a place
where one day you can
look back and smile
and know that on 
that balcony

we laughed
we had hope

we loved. 


Fireworks

I wanted to 
write
in biting
verse

Asking about
your party
and my friends
in attendance

I’d make some
metaphor about
Independence Day

I wanted to
lash out
and ask
how the space
felt as you
hosted.

I’m still angry -

I’m still grateful.

I’m not going
to maneuver my
schedule around
your’s, anymore.

And I won’t
reach for you
in drunken texts
or in venomous
poems.

In the end
all it is
is missing you
and us
and the summer
before

And if I can’t
let go
I hope you can.

I hope you find
better

I hope it’s
more than
fireworks.

Oh,
didn’t I tell you?

I repel
the explosions
and the smoke

Sometimes
I hate them.

The empty sky
and hidden stars
once the show
ends.

But you’re
not them
and you’re
no performance

You’re sun
in February
and lightning
in June.

You are joy.

“How was your party?”

I’ll ask, pointedly.

“Did you see fireworks?”

And if you ask if I
saw them, too,
I’ll nod and smile
in the same
restrained way
you smile at me, now.

“Sure, I saw them,”

knowing damn well
I didn’t even look.

Overused

It’s the pendulum,
swinging one way
and returns again

Back and forth
gravity keeps its
repeating patterns
oscillating between
doubt and knowing

Kinetic to potential
and back again
until gravity wins

I’m the one receiving
the force
I’m the one asking
for change
and staying the same

Tensions
decide how long
this period
will last.

Swing me,
I want to say.

Do what you
must and do it
until the stillness
feels so empty
I have to
do it again.

Is the metaphor
correct?

Maybe it’s me at the ends
and not in the middle

Maybe I’m both.

Split

“Stay present,” 

He advises.

Lovingly;
Selflessly

“I don’t want
you split between
two places.”

I want to laugh

You see,
you’ve been with
me, in the
mountains of
West Virginia.

Along the shores
of the
Great Lakes.

I saw you in
the mouth of
Mammoth Cave.

When the fireworks
reflected in
the D.C. waters.

I haven’t left
your hometown
in weeks.

“I’ll do my best,”

I assure him.

I’ve been trying
to untangle my
feet
wrestle them into
one place

For over a year.

Overflow

The universe
must laugh
with twisted
knowing

It should have come
as no surprise -

this was built
on bricks of pain
amongst fleeting moments
of Hope.

Existing always
was a desire -
A sort of
understanding
that I would
be here, grow here,
once I stood
on solid ground.

I held out my hands;

“I’m ready,”

I promised.

She smiles
visualizing a
story

I see it
in greys and blues
and know not
how it ends.

As I watch,
my arms become
so full I
lose my balance.

Faltering, I
look to the shore
and ask for guidance.

“You asked,”

She smiles.

“And so you received.”

D minor

There are only so many 
chords and notes

I haven’t learned them
all and I’m not sure if -

Are these enough?

I know rhythms that
we've created
in innocent
moments

then there are the ones
he, of course,
added to
and spontaneously -

it's fluid and changing
and the lyrics do not
fit or seem to end -

Falter.
I’m no braver today
than yesterday.

I want to add to it
but what I have in front
of me can only take me
so far.

You see,
I wrote you a song.

I play it,
wondering
the ways you would
respond

Would you make it your own?

Would you want it to change?

The song starts in minor
the sound of its harmony
fades
into uncertainty.

What would you say
if I asked you to
finish it,
together?

I know the answer.

That’s not even the
right question.

I’m really asking -

Do you hear it in the
same ways
I do?

So far from the keys,
I don’t have the
ability
to write its end.

It’s there, though,
in chords and
notes that only
you know.

it flows, you see,
for you, alone.








Choice

Does it always 
come to this?

fire and ice

Blue springs or
Rainy canals

the dancing flames
blue reflections
they revel in
their changing
views

Let the answer exist
in the ampersand.

Until then
I’ll find my
joy
in long walks
coffee after dinner

I’ll pick
mulberries
and
listen to his
singing

I’ll run, steady
until the answer
reveals itself.

You see -

Both
forces
have the capacity

to burn.

loves

and in the end
or the beginning

which ever end
you start to
untangle or
string together

it's in loving them

both

that will
restore

or
renew

which ever
frame you
choose
it’ll be the
same picture

It’s not one
or the other

I keep trying to
picture either
course

and they begin
with loose ends
and finish
in tight knots

I’d rather hold
both

if they let me.