Saturday, November 8, 2014

Long Time Ago in a Summer Far Far Away

Well-mixed drinks and the laughter of strangers
Flashy neons in warm desert nights
80's rock covers and cigarette smoke
When everyone was looking but nobody was watching
I kissed you.

Nameless sexy beautifuls dancing on a stage
While liquor rained down from their arms
Sweating, intoxicated bodies pressing in from all around
When everyone was looking but nobody was watching
You kissed me.

And that one blissful night of being drunk
Off of the booze
Off of the energy
Off of Wonderland
Off of each other
Off of every single sensation of every single moment
We fell into each other.
And a closely entwined friendship between two
Wandering poets
Curious souls
Hungry hearts
Weary nobodies
Became something and unstoppable and undoable


Every morning I wake up to a vaguely lit room. I feel slightly too hot, and I have to use the bathroom. I use the bathroom, typically drink a few sips of water out of the sink, put some eye drops in, and get back in the bed. My phone tells me my alarm will go off anywhere between twenty minutes to two hours from now. The person in my bed is always fast asleep, sometimes snoring. Usually his back is to me when I get back, and I pull back the covers and slide in behind him. I entwine my fingers in his thick, black hair and deeply inhale the warm scent of the soft skin on his back. I run my other hand along his side, down his thigh, sometimes pausing to scratch or rub his shoulders and neck. I'll sometimes drift off to that gray space between wakefulness and sleeping. When the alarm goes off, I get up and get ready for work, pausing here and there to get down on the bed and tell the person there that I love him. Or that he is beautiful. Or that he is the most wonderful man in the whole world, and that he is perfect. I lean in, and pet his hair, and whisper these things directly into his ear. Sometimes he responds with these soft grunts that affirm that he hears I'm talking, but he's not quite listening. Sometimes he is able to respond with a muffled, "I luh you, baby..." I don't think he really remembers everything I say to him in the mornings, but I like to think he subconsciously does.

Here We Are

I haven't been here in a while.
Down this hall, in this room.
The bookshelves that line the walls are full of musty old books
That are red and black and well-worn and barely cracked open
That are blue and brown and ripped and priceless

I don't want to be here, but something led me here
Because I had to leave the other house I was in.
Because I needed shelter, for me and my daughter.
Because I knew this room, down this hall.
And I knew it was safe, even though I forgot what was inside.

Old ghosts whisper from behind the yellowed pages in the books that line the walls.
Secrets and treasures and shame and anger.
My face gets hot because this nostalgia is a roller coaster
My heart leaps and I get a head rush when I read an old love letter.
I feel awkward and empowered
But then I remember the shame and guilt.
An old face wanders into the frame and I want to crawl in a hole
And die because that's not who I am anymore.
Who I was to them is no longer around, and no longer relevant.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


No, I don't know what's going to happen. But I welcome it. It's like going to the airport. You know as soon as you get there, your flight will be delayed and they will oversell tickets for the next flight and your luggage will get lost and there will be something you don't understand happening on the tarmac which causes the plane to taxi for an hour and your layover will be at the only airport you hate and the only restaurants in your terminal during the layover will be terrible and they'll have insanely long lines and unsatisfying food. But you also know that you're getting to fly on a plane. You get to sit in a chair, maybe a cramped chair next to someone who has bad breath, but that chair is in the sky. You get to look out the window at the world below and cities that once seemed large and intricate are now small and quaint. You can't even see cars from up here. Houses look just like the tiny green ones from Monopoly and roads become looping gray ribbons that spread and tangle across the countryside. Sometimes, you go through clouds, and when you resurface above them, you are in this magical world that only a handful of people get to see. Everything is soft and pillowy and enormous and clean. You know you have to land though. But again, another magical thing happens. You're somewhere new and different. The air is slightly thicker than you're used to and the trees aren't like the ones you have at home. And there's something exciting about to happen.

I can't sit here and pretend I know exactly what you want and what you like and what you need. I don't. Even if you told me, I'd still be a bit biased because I am me, and you are you. But I do know that you're exactly what I want, and I must have you. Even if for only five minutes. I'm not going to sit on this side of the fence anymore and idly fantasize about what could happen when I'm grown up enough to make it happen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friend Zoned?

So you're in the proverbial "friend zone."

You like this girl, right? You do little things for her, buy her little presents, let her know you think she's pretty, always invite her to do things with you. You even let her talk about how big of a scumbag her boyfriend is, and you let her cry on your shoulder if she needs to. You're unfailingly kind to her and you are always chivalrous. Hell, at this point, you probably love her. You might even be in love with her. And you constantly worry whether she's figured it out yet. And then you tell her you have romantic feelings for her, and she shuts you down with a polite, "Sorry, but I don't see you that way," or a "But you're like my brother," or even a "I don't want to ruin our friendship." So you walk away, feeling ashamed and hurt because the rejection stings and you secretly resent her not understanding that by letting you down when you told her about your feelings, that THAT was the REAL thing that ruined the friendship, for you anyway. And let's be honest, you think she's kind of an idiot for not seeing how well you treat her and that you truly respect her. And so you begin to separate from her.

No. No, you don't respect her. She probably sensed all along that you had a thing for her, because you do little things for her that no other boys do. Oh, you ask, if she knew I liked her the whole time, then why didn't she say anything? Because, young man, you behaved exactly like one of her female friends, and the only thing to tip her off that you felt more than just friendly was that you have a penis. And what makes her so arrogant, that she must tell you she doesn't want to date you if you so much as ask her how her day was or bring her coffee? There is no line in the sand that tells us the difference between being generally nice or being genuinely interested. Secondly, unless you make your intentions known from the get-go, she generally thinks you're only interested in being friends. Of course, it's a shot in the dark and a hell of a risky move to just say right in the beginning that you are romantically interested, but hey, that early in the game, no harm no foul.

But, how does that mean you don't respect her? You're right, nothing in that paragraph suggests you disrespect her. But this paragraph will explain it. You don't know what that girl wants in a boyfriend, husband, or a future. Hell, not even her friends or family knows what she wants. Only SHE knows what she wants. And who are you to think that just being all cute and nice to her is exactly what she wants from someone? Oh, you're thinking, this explains why she only dates assholes, she must LIKE being disrespected because that's all she dates and that's the exact opposite of what you've been doing. Wrong. Her tastes are just as picky as yours. You picked her out of a crowd because you see something in her you wanted. Could be her warm smile, or those large and deep eyes, or her heart-touching laughter, or how she was always kind to strangers, or that she wasn't afraid of dancing in the grocery store, or she had excellent taste in books. Whatever it was that she had that you absolutely adore about her is oddly specific. Now, whatever it is she looks for in a man is also oddly specific, so you doing what you THINK she wants and ASSUMING that it's EXACTLY what she needs, is pretty damn arrogant of you.

If she doesn't like you that way, it's nothing you did or didn't do and it's nothing she did or didn't do. It just is what it is. You aren't what she's looking for. So why is that so fucking offensive? She still wants to be your friend, but you add insult to injury, because now, since she doesn't want you as a significant other, her friendship just isn't good enough for you anymore, and you dip out. Also, gentlemen, do you not realize that women have also felt what you've felt? Except tenfold and for centuries. Traditionally, it's the man who is the initiator, but in this day and age, women can easily ask a man out. But what of the majority of women who still do not ask a man out, and what of the women of the past? When they like a boy, they text him sweet things and ask for his opinions and bake him goodies and are like super-attentive lap dogs who just try to be as nice and adorable and lovingly loyal as possible, and just pine and wait for the guy to finally figure it out. Unless she tells him. Again, same cycle. He rejects her, and she's friend zoned. Women have also been constant inhabitants of the friend zone, and dare I say, more often than men, and never, have we ever whined about it. Instead, we write sad poetry about it, continue being the loyal faithful friend that we were to begin with, let the feelings die down, and we RESPECT. HIS. DECISION.

So fellas, remember this. If a girl decides she'd rather have you as a friend, let it be. That means she likes and respects you enough to keep you in her life. Maybe not as what you WANT to be to her, but as something, and that's better than nothing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Who was I?

Who was I then? I don't know. I have no idea. I read some of these old writings about those I loved and lost, and yet, it all feels vague or superficial. I don't remember feeling that way. The yearning I had for whoever the subject has died and has been buried, and has been long forgotten. Sometimes, I thought, I could read through old love letters regardless of whether I was the author or recipient, and those old feelings, though diluted and meaningless today, would drift back as nostalgic flotsam. Alas, no, the emotion tied to those memories has been lost forever. Who was I, back then? Was none of it real? I remember the forgeries, though. I remember whittling the edges off of square pegs and embellishing some truths and stuffing others away into what I thought was non-being. Karmically speaking, perhaps these truths that I hid are now resurfacing, and in turn are stuffing away the falsified feelings into actual non-being.

That is to say, I do not wish to cheapen any emotional tie that I used to have but own no longer. They were all important, even if they weren't right. The meeting of people, be it trivial or obviously significant, will instantly change another person forever. These ghosts I have, even though I can't hear them anymore and even if I could, what they say holds absolutely no meaning to me now, does not mean that who they were when they were alive in my mind is no longer significant. It's just that I can't recognize who I was when I met them.

I know who I am now, much better than I did then. I feel as if I am back on my path and I can trust my feet. My heart, though she is wild and enslaved by my mind, is content and hopeful.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Letter to Teenage Girls

Dear teenage girls,

May you never be thoroughly content. I pray that when you get up in the morning, your hair is never quite so. Please, let your clothes be mundane, without labels or any style. Teenage girls, I hope that you have glasses and braces and you are a bit overweight or a bit under-developed. I hope boys never pay you any attention, unless it's for the answers on last night's algebra homework. I want you to never feel the titillating warmth of a boy's arm around your waist. I pray your crush never notices you. It is my wish, teenage girls, that when you go to the homecoming dance, you don't have a date, so you have to go with your best friend. I hope you feel slightly uncomfortable when you look at the prettiest girls in the most expensive dresses with the fanciest hair and the most handsome of dates. I hope you look at one of them and wish to be her, but realize that never in a thousand years will you ever be her. I want you to go home at the end of your day, and hole up in your room, and read sappy poetry or draw stupid pictures or listen to disgustingly heart-wrenching music. I want you to be that girl who is a good student, but is always awkward. I want you to be that girl who is funny, but isn't very pretty. I want you to be that girl who is creative, but always feels alone.

Because one day, you won't be that girl anymore.

One day, you will be a woman. One day, your hair will start doing what it needs to do. One day, you will find clothes that fit and make you feel wonderful. One day, you will get contacts and your braces will come off and you will slim down and fill out. One day, boys will notice you, and want to get to know you. One day, you will feel the tender touch of a man's hand in yours. One day, a man will fight for you. One day, you'll be out at a bar or a club or a restaurant or the store, and you will not feel uncomfortable when someone prettier and richer with a sexy boyfriend or husband walks in. One day, you will be able to look at her, and you will thank God that you aren't her. Because you've now realized that you have seen and you have wished and you have yearned and you have felt, but you know that you love you. You, the smart woman with a good job. You, the clever woman who is the life of parties. You, the creative soul who gives herself joy in something.

Remember, teenage girls, that right now, is not supposed to be the best time of your life. Right now is supposed to be hard. Bide your time, observe, and remember. You're supposed to feel and learn. Right now, experience the full brunt of pain, of sadness, and of loneliness. If you do it now, you'll never have to do it again.


A woman