When he kissed you slowly;
when he called you baby;
when he held your hand and
carefully traced his thumb
over the back of your hand;
when he pulled you close
and said, ‘stay, we have so much time.’
These were the moments,
small, quiet, euphoric moments
that look liked love, felt like love,
that could almost be love.
But every night when you fell
asleep, your heart remained still;
It didn’t ache nor flutter;
It didn’t hope nor despair.
So you know, you know, oh
you must know,
it never was love.
After work she went to the store
to pick up coffee filters and diapers,
a carton of eggs and
a bag of day-old raisin bread.
The tomatoes were on sale that day,
At the canned goods aisle she forgot
what she needed to get from there.
Was it cream of mushroom or baked beans?
She stood there quietly for a long while,
trying to remember,
how did she end up here?
Back home there are dishes
to be washed, trash to be taken out.
A small child crying.
A man who pretends not to hear.
And the sun is quietly disappearing
behind its own purple haze.
Two grocery bags,
heavy as iron in her arms,
and she was miles
and miles away from home.
is this tattoo on my left wrist,
from a ragged scar that once was
a wound that bled for years and years.
Poetry is making heartbreak beautiful again.
Turn the light off, let’s fold
our bodies like pages
of a love letter written
decades ago; slow
kissing each word from
my dearest all the way
down to forever yours.
Like a moth to a flame,
I, too, mistook you for a star.
Seven Year Itch
The therapist says we should go back
to the orange groves in Florida again.
Standing at the Altar
He steals a glance at her.
She sits in the back, fighting tears.
The bride marches in, smiling, holding peonies.
I want to read the story
that you would have written
if you weren’t afraid, he said,
tell me where you have been,
the nameless cliff that you
fell from, turn it to words,
and keep writing until
it has lost its power
to hurt you.
Now I have the same
look in my eyes as
my mother once had
the ancient sadness
that I never thought
would become mine.
When I was young, I once found
a loose thread
on a brand new sweater.
Not knowing what it did, I pulled on it,
and I kept on pulling,
until I found out.
Every time your fingers dance on my skin, kindling
every fiber of my body into a wildfire,
I think about that loose thread and what it did.
I think about how that beautiful sweater
slowly shrivelled into nothing,
a pile of messy yarn.