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.

Full

Kisses 
fall to my 
forehead 
to the
crevice of my neck.

"What are you doing?"

I ask,
laughing,
holding his face
between my hands.

"I don't want you to run out."

He kisses my forehead, again.

"Then I need 10 more."

He takes my face in his hands.

"There,"

he responds,
looking satisfied.

"I gave you 12."
I
wonder
about the people

the ones who 
slip off their coat
and place it on the seat
or above
in the train's 
compartment

I 
wonder 
about the
ones who 
keep their coats 
on

the ones who haven't 
yet settled in

the ones who are
ready to leave

I think there's a real difference
between the two.

Request

You, sitting there
in my room
full of fleeting
Autumn sunlight

I wanted nothing more
than permanence.

“How about we
spend the day
just laying here
looking at each other?”

You laughed
as if my question
was comical

As if it was
possible
for me to want
anything
beyond life
in your eyes.

Meditate

The doctor
asks me
if I meditate.

He tells me
it may help
alleviate
my anxiety
my (often) self-made
turmoil.

I smile.

“Sure,”

I say.

I meditate
in the mornings
when his
hand reaches
under
the covers
for my own.

I meditate
under the rays
of the rising sun
as I
listen to his sounds
of sleep.

I meditate
in the smell
of his skin
on the constellation
of his sun spots
in the wrinkles
around his mouth
as he smiles.

"Yes,"

I continue.

"I meditate every day."

I meditate
to my heart’s song
and the rhythm
it shares with his.

Rising

Eye contact
the intimacy involved
in a gaze
that does not look away
even when my own
breaks
from the vulnerability of it.

Falling for him isn't
falling at all.
It's a form of rising
into something
greater than myself.

Rising into
a choice
of selecting
healthy thoughts
to believe
over maladaptive
pervasive
patterns of painful ones.

My body opens for him
and not simply to please
but to be pleasured in return.

He told me in some ways
it feels like I'm
a part of him.

He is steady
secure
he is calming.

I like the idea
of my own self
being a part
of him.
And he of my own.

Falling for him
isn't falling at all.
I don't feel a need
to be caught.
I feel the impulse
to rise.

In joy

What 
is joy
compared to
a lasting
ache

In joy
I lack the
preoccupation
the restless attachment
the wondering if
my feelings are matched
or returned at all

In joy
all I have
is the way
you leaned in to kiss me

The memory of standing
in the stairwell
you held my gaze
you held me
to share you’re not
seeing anyone else

All I have
are the hands
that didn’t let go of mine
from that first kiss
in the middle of your kitchen

I’m not sure how to write
in joy

But I can try.

Slut

I fly below the equator
a boy kisses me
while we dance.

We go back together
sleep in separate beds.
I do not let him in.

He starts the new day
telling his friends
that he’s had me
in ways he has not.

My heart bleeds
for the times
and the moments
I knelt in shame.
Begging the universe
to take from me
the impossible
polarity
of being a woman
in a world
where I must be

Sexual
but conservative.

Beautiful
but subtle.

Audible
but silent.

Desirable
but chaste.

He slapped my ass,
called me a good kisser.

My lips burned.

Not with lust,
but intuition
that he would cause harm. 


And he did.