Horizon

Should I leave us
on that shore
with the imperfect shells
under our hardened feet

your hope matching
the aquamarine of
the gentle waves

mine hollow,
hidden
like the sun below
the separation
of sky and sea

(we jumped to
see its final rays
below)

In letting you go
I fear losing
healthy and
consistent
experiences
of love, perceived

(this loss feels paralyzing)

but if we
keep
on that
shore
jumping to see the
sun's descent

If I hold us
in that water
with the steady waves
and unfiltered sun

Perhaps it won't
be a loss at all.

Maybe its
always been
a gain

I'm not there, yet
the finality of
the goodbye

I still hold on
to memories like
they're fallible

like they are
at risk of
slipping away
if I don't focus
hard enough

But soon I know
it's coming;

the sun is setting
behind its
horizon line

and this time

I won't jump
to watch it
fall.

Garage

One night after
a day of
let downs and
all the rest

I parked my car
in its spot;
let the engine run.

I couldn’t
step out
or turn the
engine off.

You came running
down the stairs
to my door.

You reached in,
turned off the car,
guided me out.

I thought maybe
that could be
enough

Fleeting
yet powerful
moments of love.

Temporary

I so badly wanted it
to be you.

It was temporary.
We were, that is.

That made it
no less real.

I sure did
like to pretend,
though.

I held on
just in case
i was proven
wrong.

Royale (clarity)

you consistently
took pictures
of me and of us
and I'd smile and 
you'd lean your head 
towards my own

I look at the ones 
from the Cove and 
the summer before

your eyes are 
the clearest blue

I always thought
they would  
reveal, open

I thought they'd 
let me in

Opaque 

we are together
and not
in every photograph 

and I held on
waiting for the clear
imagining the moment 
you'd love me enough 

The clarity 
was never in 
the blue of your eyes
or in our tent on the Isle

it was always here
in my knowing
that we were temporary
fleeting

it's why i worked 
tirelessly to resist it
to make us permanent

but this wasn't 
some challenge
or journey of worth

this was simply 
two people
intertwined
in timing and love

you were satisfied,
content 

and I 
couldn't handle
the truth in 
the opaqueness 
the reality

that was right in front of me
 

quiet

I like him best 
while he
plays his strings 
kisses my neck 
existing quietly,
together 

Is that fair 
when so much 
of his energy 
is loud and bold 

sometimes I think
the quiet of the 
last two years 
changed me 
even when 

I resented it. 

smothered

Up until that point
I had seen no 
clearer skies 
or stars as abundant 

I remember you
in images of 
the fire on the shore 
sounds of the dark waves,
the blanket on the sand-

I read my book instead 
of looking at you
under those stars.

And tonight 
across the 
blackest of clouds
a lighting storm
a cascade of 
lines and energy 
of matter and change 

You were both there
and not there 

Just the same as
under the Milky Way
at the shores of 
the Great Lakes

on the edge of the fire 
that we smothered with 
sand and water.


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.

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.