Her vapid look replaces fire.

Clammy hands. Stumbles. Sterile lulls.



His illicit mutter of ecstacy.

Those ican’tgetenough


Those icouldneverexistwithoutwantingyou

Those ineedyousomuchit


Those whatifhedoesn’tseehowperfectwecouldbe



That moment I know

to hold her.

So I do it.

To be polite. To seem sincere.

(You can’t be rude when she’s lying right there.)


Gut retching fear

When a dayandahalfhaspassed

since his

Last word. Last breath.

I hate

But I crave

Every moment of uncertainty.

Ache to know what he


And sees

in us. (Is it what you see in him?)

Is it the way pulses catch just thinking his name?


Her simplicity.

The mirror in which I glimpse

A piece of myself.

It’s in her face.

I find the unbroken memory of myself. The me

I could have been if life hadn’t drowned hope and left

it gasping for air in the front seat of a pickup truck.

Lied. Abandoned. Disregarded.

Her grace and sensible smile.

That sickly sweet touch and soft voice.

Guides that kiss goodbye.

Shutting the door.

Sinking to the floor.

Remembering the fire of believing.

The combustion of combining.

The life. The unrefined

irreverent beauty created

By the needing. The wanting.

By every ounce of his imperfection.


I can begin with begging.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a poem. I wanted it to be strong, distant, in control of itself—the attributes I also wanted for myself while I was writing it. I started by declaring that my propensity for depth and affection were selfish. That I knowingly and purposefully “drown myself in the warmth of giving away parts of myself. Even to those who don’t deserve it. Especially to those who don’t deserve it.”

Sounds nice right? Creates ownership over heartbreak and the necessary foresight to not feel foolish.

“I knew they were going to take complete advantage of my feelings. IN FACT, that’s what I was planning for!”

Okay. I even laughed as I wrote that. Because why. oh. why. Does it seem so much better to anticipate, wait for, and actually want someone not to care?

When Tessa edited it, she put a large red x through the entire introduction. “It’s throat clearing. The poem starts with ‘I beg.'”

I didn’t want to beg. I wanted to control. I wanted the world to know that I had complete power over my resulting feelings of hurt. I directed it. I decided when it began and when it stopped. It was mine.

But it wasn’t. It was my burden to bear. But it wasn’t created or given by me.

Since this poem, I’ve been mad at myself, sad with myself, learned from it, made some new mistakes, and learned from those too.

I also stopped believing that if you expect to be disregarded, unseen, and unappreciated, it will hurt less when you are.

Have a poem.

It begins with begging.

I beg
to shower you with affection.
Feel the heat radiate from your skin.

Breathe the sounds of lungs and hearts.

I’ll forgive travesties and vile
for a pair of eyes to fall into.
to devour the sentimental.

I’ll ignore the words throwing boulders at my fantasized version
of you.
As you cease to be yourself.

 I’ve purposefully forgotten
each of your unwanted edges.
Circuses will exist where boredom sat.
Adoration will replaced the callous.

And I’ll swim the pools of perfection
I’ve created.
To substitute the shallow.
Until the edges of my imagination have stretched.
Beyond its admirable potential.

I’ll treat you better.

“If you don’t leave,”
he whispered,
“I’ll treat you better.”
In fact, he promised,
He wanted to.
He said.

“I don’t know why
it’s been so hard
to like you.

Dealing with your criticisms
And incessant need
For more

Makes me hate you.
Loving you
is frustrating.

But it can’t be
to act like I care
While slamming your face

Into everything you
do wrong.

Please don’t cringe
From my words.
I can love you

Through my resentment.
If I can remind

You’re wrong.

I’ll apologize.

I’ll treat you better.

If you deserve it more than before.”


Deep breathing returns
our even spell of sanity.
But in its pause—

I appreciate
inappropriate appetizers,
backward glances,
awkward stances,
time retold,
and mistakes redone.

Stolen syllables
and feigned excuses
anticipate our alliterations
and readied followed rhymes
but while our code

is drenched in silence
and stumbled laughter
forms us dual liars,

tangled words distort believing
no one can hear
(not even the other)

excessive thumping
artery pumping
or see quadrupled fire

of hoping. of wanting
dreaming of loathing.
fashioned of craving.

it’s filled with your hands

…can you see

that the way you move

unnerves me.

(it continues).

and that

the way you breathe

reminds me

of what it’s like to be


i stumble around

for short phrases


i can’t even remember

the words.

they’re hidden somewhere

behind the


filling my ears

(i think they’re mine?)

but as

i miss each step

each silenced word

attempts to remind me

how to


string letters


together.how to make the curl of the s

the lines of the L

the cross of the–

–and then.


my pen stops as my entire mind

runs out of ink

it’s filled with your hands

and every sentence

i could only wish to complete

is interrupted.

by your eye color

i don’t even know what to call it

since language


has stopped.

i try to practice




but your warmth

tricks me

into omitting syllables.

my cursive falls to the floor

along with my rationality

i think yours too

has fallen

somewhere in the pile

of forgotten bits of

paragraphs in

all my lost

adjectives and each


my neglected nouns.

for the time being:

as i attempted to convince myself to go to sleep.

about a minute ago.

i remembered that i write.

and i can’t seem to understand how i forgot.

for the time being:

i’m going to borrow e.e as a place holder.

and i’ll be back soon.

am was. are leaves few this. is these a or
scratchily over which of earth dragged once
-ful leaf. & were who skies clutch an of poor
how colding hereless. air theres what immense
live without every dancing. singless on-
ly a child’s eyes float silently down
more than two those that and that noing our
gone snow gone
yours mine
. We’re
alive and shall be:cities may overflow(am
was)assassinating whole grassblades,five
ideas can swallow a man;three words im
-prison a woman for all her now:but we’ve
such freedom such intense digestion so
much greenness only dying makes us grow

what it means to feel.

this morning, i found the words listed below amongst the scribbles of one of the few people i follow. this writer is a particular favorite of mine and the sentiment that he expressed in this poem illustrates a theme that often steals my mind.

i have read books. heard words. seen demonstrations. of the type of love that invades every aspect of ourselves.

it seeps into our bones and. for at least a portion of our moments. it resonates as the epitome of our world.

it’s intoxicating. beautiful. treacherous.

and it reminds us what it means to feel.

If there was anything other than you

I’d know it.

When walking down the street,

there are no clouds, no trees, no air.

I am not breathing. My heart is not beating.

The sidewalk has no cracks, the slushy wet snow does seep through my thin shoes.

The morning birds are not singing.

Cars do not rumble by as harried men search for the bouquets at the last minute.

Woman do not see me and I do not see them.

There is no noise, light, there is no dark.

There is only you.

And you are branded with every flavor I could taste in my waking hours,

Every scent lilting along the smog littered streets

every coy glance given and received

the crisp daylight streaming through the break in the overcast sky

the beeping trucks lifting snow

the children laughing somewhere down below an open window to the world

the sharp angles of elbows and phalanges cradle this sense in a person’s chest.

None of these things exist without the context,

of you.

every sunset follows every sunrise,

chasing the world around

looking for that place

I last saw you.

The pastel skies and cold river beds.

The boat dock sides and evergreen groves.

The skyscraper lines and country dell roads.

The cafe on Main and the in front of the flowercart on Second.

The parking esplanade and the robot spaceship.

You are none of those places;

I checked.  You were gone.

But here, with me, inside this lulled heart,

a mini drumbeat sounds out the syllables of your name.

Nothing’s finer than the taste of this tortured heart.

for Everything exists by this dream of you.