the perfect blend

He tastes like lavender
feels like peppermint oil
on my skin

he is a combination
of warmth
and cooling air.

I am afraid
I will ask for too much
require
too much
hunger
for too much

that he will
leave
knowing
my desire
was more than
he could fill.

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.

the moon meets the sun

i've tasted 
fire and ice

neither
fully satisfied.

i taste you

a combination
of heat
and cold

of floral
and earth

and i want it
again
and again.

You are a balance
an in between
i didn't know
i could experience.

I waited for the moonrise
and you showed me worth
in holding out
for the sun.

Changing of the guards

I pour a glass of wine
light a candle
my work clothes fall to the floor.
I attempt comfort.

It isn't clear yet,
(to me)
how to write in the calm
in the peace.

(what is this soundlessness)

I eat an entire bowl
of popcorn
I watch the sun recede.
I search for words.

It's 11:00 now.
It was so quiet
I almost missed
the
change.

My hands are clammy
my body overheated.
I am sweating.
Is it muggy in here?

(am I searching for a problem)

Shift change.
The new guards
fresh pairs of eyes
I am angry
I ever let the others past.

I look out the doors
its dark
I still have not
put into words
the feeling
of content
awareness.

(hope feels irrelevant)

I'm going to write
a poem about you.

It won't be a poem
of longing
or molding
or pain.

It will be a piece
about you.
And of what is.

My glass
sits half
empty.
The candle
dances.

I thank the changing
of the guards.

(writing of you
makes you real)

Comparison

Sometimes I
look at my poetry and
see a lack of seriousness,
of trauma.

I hear exceptional writers
describe the oppression
the discrimination
the injustice
the world
provides.

I wonder if my own
experiences
my own hurt
the self-made kind
the mental spirals
my self-reflections,
are as universal
or as worthy
to be shared.

And maybe the comparison
is where the actual fallacy lives.

Is it wrong to take space
in arenas where there are no
rules or
standards
for how much pain a piece
must contain?

What I choose to explore
through writing
is most often
the ways in which
I interact
with intimacy
and the ways in which
I do not.

So maybe
I'll give myself permission
to write
without judgement.
To share without
comparison.

living room floor

I kept my winter coat wrapped 
around me
like it would
be ripped
from my body.

Walking into your house,
I could taste the lingering
cigarette smoke.

When silence felt suffocating,
we tried humor.

Finally you asked for
what we both knew
I would not,
perhaps could not,
give.

My feeling of resolve
demanded our attention.
I became aware that this time,
this meeting,
could not be kept afloat
from half of myself
given to you.

I could not offer pieces
and call that love.

In that moment on the
floor of the room
where we both built
and collapsed
it was decided there would
be no last time.

I took responsibility for my
own feelings.
I took my healing seriously.

As if planned,
memories of the last
2 years played before us
in the realization
that I would no longer fit,
these were patterns
I could not sustain.

I remembered the day
you bought this house
and we stained the floor
installed a new rug
that we now baptize
with the remnants of grief.

We opened the door,
gutted the house and
attempted to restore
what we could.

As I went to leave,
I did not look back
in your direction.
I left the key on the kitchen table.

I left us on the living room floor.

In the next room

In one room
my grandmother begs for peace.
She cries for her mother,
screams in confusion and pain.
 
In the kitchen, he cooks dinner alone.
Smelts, fresh bread, salad, a beer.
I watch my grandfather as he moves
quiet and purposeful.
 
He fries the fish as he holds back tears.
He hears his wife cry out in pain.
His own is angry, frustrated.
He tells me,
 
“this was not supposed to happen.
This is not how I imagined the end.”
 
He sits at the kitchen table
the Steelers’ game plays in front of him
He does not notice me watching
as he drizzles hot sauce on his meal.
 
He turns, sensing me behind him,
tells me to grab a plate.
I do, knowing this is an important offering.
 
He fixes me dinner,
too many smelts than I can stomach,
salad, and bread.
I begin to eat silently next to him
 
This is his language of love.
 
He gets up suddenly
grabs a glass from the cupboard
pours half of his beer in the glass.
He hands it to me.
 
I drink. I take him in.
I say nothing. Because I know
he needs this. He needs me
to be silent with him, to eat
the food he has made
to accept what love
he has left to give.
 
To do something
anything.