Even When It's Not Christmas


I will not tell you

what I want to

in this world

Talking like that is

laying myself


such a steep hill

to start


When the words

open with a question

you can watch me



I don’t ask,

just wait,

maybe wanting

will make truth


but sometimes

when the wind blows

when the leaves fall

when the snow sticks

I don’t need questions or answers

when I’m this close to you


I could fall down at your door

I think I’d end up with

too many bruises

but I wouldn’t mind

as long as I can paint them on your wall

so your story knows

I was here


Sometimes that

silent crash

breaks the glass

around the world


The rustles say I’m a mess

but I’m a mess with you

under these Christmas lights


My heart is made of

answers that won’t break

The next time

it’s a dragon-cold night

I don’t have to tell you what I want

but I will still whisper it to the window

the fog will find your hands

and they will be around me

just when I need


and then the ground thaws

and you’re still here


you can’t know

how much that means

to me


Even when it’s not Christmas

I know there is someone

who loves me

I hope I can be that


for you

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 12/18/17

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I have hung everything I have

on this city.


I push pins in a pattern

write my own heart

on the map.


The minutes I can’t remember

for choking on nothing and laughter.


The nights the wind is so vicious

I breathe in brave and our bodies lift a little.


The change and the waterfalls

and the hearts

I resent for being

so worthy.


The cards I toss on the table

like silent truths that sit on my shelves,

I don’t have any other way to give them.


The kisses that can sing on their own,

I want you to hear you speak without words.


The quiet nights holding this pen,

hoping I can tell someone about everything and you.


You know

you are my favorite city

and the first place


I remember really waking up in.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 11/24/17

talk to the stars


what a perfect night

nothing better to do

than to sit down and talk to the stars.


tell them about the orange i ate this morning

and the songs we keep on stumbling

and all the beatings of my heart.



i wish someday we could meet

but sometimes your light finds me here.


tell them how

sometimes i care too much.

sometimes i forget to tell you how much.

sometimes there are no words left to spin into silver.


i cut off my hands because maybe then i can give you more.

won’t be stuck in this shell

with no golden hearts

trying to capture all the girls i’ll never be.


or maybe

just sit here

dreaming of planets

where no one has to shift the blame


take back the silent strangers

give me hurricanes instead

give me poetry and open highways

and corner cafes and music that won’t go quiet


give me something worth remembering,

something the stars might listen to.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 10/13/17

Permanent Marker (Slam Poetry)


There are so many ways

your words make it into my blood.


1. Melting into my skin

from absentminded pen marks.

I would take the pen away

but then I would be out of

these little autographs I want to keep.


2. Sometimes intended pen marks.

When I look at them

I don’t think I can tell them apart

from the accidents.

They come from

a laughing game of hide-and-seek

where you always find my hand

and I roll my eyes

as you leave yet another

little ink scar.


3. Something you need to

remind yourself of.




I am a human pile

of things you might forget.

I am not always so good at it

but for some reason

you keep dropping more items in the basket.


4. When I catch myself talking like you.

These little

words a few people laugh at

are stuck in my head,

tell me

I’ve spent too much

too little time here.


5. Pieces of paper you slip under my door

that remind me

how well you speak my language.

Sometimes I think

I met you just for the words.


6. The last thing you say

before you fall asleep.

In daylight I’m not sure why

it’s in some corner of my brain

labeled more important.

I didn’t think sleep did much for my memory

before I started waking up with you.


7. When your fingers drag

along my arm

or my face

or my sides.

The lightest touch

leaves an indent

I’m never sure I can erase

even if I wanted to.


8. Sometimes we speak

in permanent marker.

Say things we can’t take back.

We write our way into each other’s hearts

with every breath we take.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 8/25/17

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I would have kissed you

the first time you asked

but I would have regretted it

I want to know

you mean the things you do


Every time you find

something perfect

and hold it out to me

I try to find

what will mean the most

but I will never be able to carry

what I want to give you


Sometimes I wish

I could meet you


hold every feeling

in the palm of my hand

so I might someday know

who you are


I’m always guessing

what I think

when I can’t pinpoint

how you kickstart my veins


Sometimes I think

my guesses

might be right


when you smile like that

and I fall in love

a little bit



Sometimes I wish

I could kiss you

for the first time



when you were so here

I was bursting

when it was so new

I was awake

for no reason

and every reason

at once

and all I could taste

was this magic


It’s even better

now that I know

so much more of you

than your lips on mine

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 8/6/17

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Too Many


My head is busy when you’re around,

so used to motion,

it is working hard at not thinking now.

I often trip over the easy.


We are not flawless,

we are not falling apart.

We are somewhere in between.


I don’t want to take this state of mind for granted.

I remember too many things you might not want me to

but I want my world to begin and end with you.


I want too many nickels,

too many minutes,

too many words to cry and call home.


I want too many decisions,

too many moans,

too many breaths I hope I won’t regret.


My head is busy when you’re around,

not used to sitting still

and letting every letter slip out

so you can hear it,

I fill it with the freedom to fall

and hope it catches me-


will you catch me?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/17/17

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Pocketbook Memories


strange things happen

when sleep doesn’t.



you happen to me.



I live in the space in my mind

with your name on it

longer than I should,

shorter than I want to.



I wake up to find pocketbook memories

sleeping next to me

from moments that still sound like dreaming,

from lips that have left

but I feel them every time I’m alone.


strange things happen

when I keep choosing you

at any minute,

in different ways,

I know them when the sun is awake

or I slip into them as I fall asleep

or I remember them as soon as I open my eyes.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 5/31/17

Lady Bug

I remember in the beginnig

we were just "going with the flow"

you planned a roadtrip

and kept the destination a secret 


I remeber feeling elated, excited, alive 

you pulled over next to a sunflower field

and I found myself, heart racing,

pushing through tall grass, 

jumping a barbed wire fence

and returning with my prize


I remember that beautiful little town

how the next day,

you took me to the bird sanctuary 

how I sat there admiring these creatures 

how I envied their wings


I remember when all those ladybugs

dotted your car 

How I felt like a child

waiting for each one to fly away


And later, finding a little lost lady

inside with us

how I wanted her to stay 

how we cracked the window

and set her free instead 

I remember wishing upon her beauty


and the next day at breakfast,

how I shrieked when a giant locust

crashed into my face 

except it wasn't a locust

you reached over to reveal another

little dot lady and I squealed with delight 


her little legs tickled my hand

at the tip of my pinkie she spread her

little wings and fluttered away

I remember we looked up her meaning

lady of luck, messenger of blessings to come

how I felt it could not have been

more perfect with you 


And then the drive home,

Spotting yet another little lady 

trapped inside your car

how we were already driving too fast

how she held on to the window's edge

how I urged her to fly


You suddenly pulled over

and I remember thinking it was

the sweetest thing of you to do 

I remember telling the little lady she could fly

how I whispered goodbye when she did 

how my heart surged with gratitude

while my eyes got warm and salty

how you pulled me to you

and how that kiss tasted like flying

I felt like the luckiest lady in the world


you called me your Lady Bug

I'll never forget it 



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You are a trigger, push me to move

but I am stuck behind the window of a motionless train

I don’t know how long I watch the cars pass

and it feels like crying.


I have always traveled alone-

I love the open road, pebbles beneath my feet,

how I can sing with no shame to a heartbeat rhythm

more than someone to walk with.


But now you have tinted all the streets

and I can’t get past the color

I still want to go far alone

but I want to climb high with you.


For a while I have loved your shadow,

I have learned not even you can make sad look pretty

so I drag these compliments down your arm

like the caress of paper glass.


I want to make you blush this skyline

and paint it on so it never leaves.


I want to make you blush a beginning

and keep the end out of sight for as long as we can.


I want to make you blush like I have

when I can’t get you out of my head.


I want to make you blush the ocean

and pour it into my cup to keep for later.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 3/9/17