favorites/small talk (January day 27)

why do we have favorites of weird things

like bathroom stalls and constellations

and eye colors and people

(my favorite people)

I get impatient when people ask me

the gray questions

like what’s your favorite color-

shouldn’t we be talking about

our favorite dreams

our favorite hand to hold

our favorite note to follow middle c

but it’s okay isn’t it

all they want to know is

how to know me better

and I want to

let them

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/27/21


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I look at him, a body passing on the street

and wonder

what would it be like to know you

but here is the paradox

of introverts and strangers-

I think too hard about

what I will never know


I don’t have the right steps to walk toward you

and spend a few minutes changing out worlds

so I will sit here and draw circles on the floor

and hope you find some meaning in the scribbles


I am more likely to leave an anonymous note slipped under your table

than let you learn what my body feels like


so somewhere in parallel

I will waste all my time on you

I will shed my skin to look at you

nothing in our way

I will let you and keep letting you

trip over all the little moments,

surprises you will never see coming


somewhere in parallel

I will learn the important things by writing you down

I will call you a good thing

or the best thing that ever happened

you will make it so hard to leave, I can tell

sometimes I will get so caught up in your eyes when you’re talking

it makes you repeat yourself (I’m sorry

but not sorry enough to stop looking,

you’re so goddamn beautiful)

and here and now

I will look at you, a stranger passing on the street

and wonder

what would it be like to know you

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 10/30/20

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today I realized

all my connections

(the ones I’ve kept)

have chosen me

and I have just

sat there

with my eyes closed

and let them

for once

I want to


I want to

chase you

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 10/17/20



If I invite you in you will still be a stranger.

I am not one to tell you who I am,

what we could be.

I toe the risk line but never slip.


If I tell you I am usually buried in blue

and look into your eyes

you should feel lucky.

Maybe my hands could hold you

but I’ll never let them,

an evening passes and the whispers say

anything hurts less than the quiet.


But I am used to hurting that way,

I will not throw myself off the ledge

even when the flames lick my skin.

I do not know what it means to be alone

because I swallow it every day and there is nothing special about its taste.


I wake up every morning

and there is a guillotine on my tongue,

it does not let me be awake for the most perfect parts of today.

It does not let me open the door to strangers.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 4/3/18

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Not Soon Forget


She is

for better or worse

someone you will not soon forget.

She is trying to make me

someone like that too.


I stand in all her ways

I straighten my shoulders I cover my arms

I make my lips a muscle I know I can control

not like the mess the weeks after when I could still hear his footsteps under mine.

She makes me think in the good ways,

she keeps me from thinking the bad ways

it’s like I suddenly notice I have not thought about how much sleep I’m losing

any night I lie with her whispering.


When she asks a question I want to be able to answer without thinking

but thinking is not something I can leave by the roadside

especially when it comes to her

and as I walk by

she says

you thought I wouldn't notice that slaughterhouse inside your window.

You thought I wouldn’t notice how you were standing here with too many words

waiting to be pried open.


Oh, how I wish you wouldn’t notice.


How I wish I could make these memories only the past and not the present

but it is hard to pick up the pieces of yourself

and build them into something you never were.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 3/13/18

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Like Me Better


Waiting for you I am standing like

slowing down to get a better view of the ground under our feet,

waiting for the snow in July.


I like me better when I’m with you,

I can’t seem to create as much as I cry

but I still love the ache because it’s something.


Here I can trick myself,

I’m brave and bold and bulletproof,

I’m more than counting dimensions like falling asleep

and I run out of spaces to call home.



We can hang so much from four letters.


Sometimes I forget to say I’m coming home.

I just want you to know that I am halfway there.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 9/27/17



Can you see me on the streets?

Do I look like a cobblestone?

I feel like I’m gray enough

small enough

soft edges enough

to be almost content under your feet.


Did you see me on the streets?

I probably didn’t say much

do much

think much.

So closed off

you’d think I was a castle

or something never unlocked.

Something someone mixed up

from a cookbook

that could never turn out right

no matter how many times you scrutinize the ingredients.


Have you seen me on the streets?

I thought I was looking at you,

caught your eye

that one time.

I forget sometimes that my eyes

aren’t strong enough for you to see.

I am a terrible put-together

and yet sometimes

you might think

a wonderful mess.


Can you see me on the streets?

Do I look like a cobblestone?

I feel like I’m important enough

unforgiving enough

strong enough

to shake with the smallest shift.


Do I look like a cobblestone?

Like somewhere in this maze of other people’s destinations

I lost


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 9/12/17

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I am addicted to saltwater,

I got sober alone.


I wear my thoughts like saltwater,

soak them in too much of the day,

held down to the rhythm of my footsteps, getting here

and passing everyone I will never know.


I am addicted to saltwater,

I got sober wishing I would stop crying

over things I will regret wasting tears over.


From this twelfth step

you should know how hard I wrap myself around you,

how I embrace the saltwater it takes to slip through your door,

how hard I hold my breath

when I take a level to my messy

like I think I can figure it out

with logic.


We last like a horizon,

I can’t sketch

exactly where the sand meets the sea,

and sometimes it storms and I think I will never be able to pull anything out of this whirlwind

I’m just trying to make angels.


I am addicted to gravity,

but I keep trying to wake up in the clouds.


I wear my thoughts like gravity

when I’m around you,

used to

being held so tightly to the ground

and still feeling weightless.


I am addicted to gravity,

I got sober right on the ground

with your hand in mine.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 8/28/17



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