There is pain
at the center of my chest
it reaches for cold,
anything to soothe the fire
you had no intention of lighting.

Tell me,
what is the antidote
to loneliness?
To rejection?

You do not reach out.
It hurts more than if
you’d simply write
to tell me
I am not the one for you.

I am burning, burning,
don’t you see?

Moments and meaning and time
swirling around,

Wasted on
thinking of a love
that never began
or lasted
long enough
for it to burn.

Language Barrier

In Portuguese
you describe
the point in your life
when you decided
to free yourself
from ties and commitment,

In English
you said,

“Yes, I’m open.”

In your language,
in your truth,
you come to terms
with your spirit,
split in two
half existing elsewhere
the other seeking joy, here.

A vagabond has no home.
Potentially aimless,
leaving ruin in some places.
Excitement in others.

A vagabond cannot hold
what I’m asking to be held.

In your language, you proclaim,

“Eu ainda estou levando esta vida.”


I reach for you in my own language.
Your answer is a mixture of
words I do not understand.

"Come here,"

I want to say.

Make a home in my chest,
have adventures with me.

You choose something else,
a different life.
A different person.
You choose everything but me.

I am no place for a vagabond.
I may be searching
but this heart has roots.

Side effect

It was one of those nights
where the phone 
and the distractions
couldn’t drain from me
the sharp ache of a feeling
I have no name for.
I have no space for.
I walked to the water’s edge
sought refuge among
the reflection of clouds
on the reservoir’s surface.
I see a man propose
to a woman in tears.
I stop to take a picture,
to preserve their moment,
to be a part of a love
that’s not my own.
For a moment 
I pretend
to know it.
Behind them
the clouds hang thick
covering a descending sun.
Stubborn in its want to be seen,
the sunset's rays emerge in fragments.
I let myself wonder about
the side effects
of falling 
without knowing what’s below.
There’s a certain kind of pain
that comes with the risk
in opening myself
without knowing how to close.
And I often wonder 
if this is what others feel
when they hope for 
that may not belong to them.
It's dark now. 
The clouds have grown thicker.
I assess the risk 
in letting people in.
I’m so used to the sharp ones
the ones that bring with them
unintended consequences,
unexamined intentions.
As I walk to my car
leaving behind the water 
and the newly engaged couple,
I wonder the side effects
of pushing people away
or of letting myself be seen.
I am unsure which consequence 
I'm more willing to live with.

Reflections on the expectation of loss

There’s something 
incredibly sad
in the meeting
of new people.

There's a weight that forms
with all that comes with
the give and take,
the sharing.

There’s so much that can be lost.

If I didn’t meet you
I wouldn’t know
that I’d miss
the way you appreciate
the art on my walls
or how you
talk about
the flowers of Pennsylvania.

I wouldn’t know
what it feels like
to be touched by you.

Anticipatory grief
is my way of preparing
for the sadness that comes 
despite the joy 
and the gains.

In the midst of pleasure,
there’s a part of me
that prepares for the end
as soon as something begins.