living room floor

I kept my winter coat wrapped around me like it would be taken from me. Walking into your house, I could taste the lingering cigarette smoke. When the 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 my 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.

Almost as if we planned it, 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 and 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.


Water dripped from above
like it was raining
the humid air
did not bring with it

I looked overhead to find
the source
and saw the light on
and her face
looking over the railing.

Naturally I wondered
who she was
and what she was to you.

She disappeared.
The light, now off.

I remained below
still watching the water
as it splashed to the ground,
watched it pool
as I walked to the front door.

I placed my key in its lock
and let my own
hopeful expectations

She calls me tresora

I help care for my Nanna. 
My father and uncle hold her
as my mother and I clean her.
She sits and cries,
“You should not see this, Marisa.”
“I’m happy to be here Nanna. I need to be.”
“I want to kiss you.”
I lean in, place
my forehead against her lips.
We sit like this for a moment.
The quiet is treasure,
just as she’s called me her’s
all my life.
And just like that,
the moment flees.
The chaos begins again.
Love in its many forms.
Suffering, too.


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.

I’ll look to the south

You are 
your favorite authors 
your beloved
literary characters.

I dive to understand
your mind 
and come up
breathless and more confused.

I seek refuge among
the clues you’ve given me
in memories a decade old.

I review the
drunken truths you let
slip that evening. 

I only get you
when your guard is down, 
broken in with substances
meant to numb you.

I just hope I find you
before you meet the same fate
as the characters you look to
to fill your lonely heart. 


He witnessed 
what I had to offer,
it wasn't his to receive.

I still wonder
as I make room for the night
what it could be like
if he shared his own with me.