Posted in [poetry]

embrace [poem]

I’m trying to find things to embrace
rather than continuing to float here
moved only by the current of the waters
and never with any effort to steer
toward or away from anything
I’m trying to stir this listless body into action
knowing it feels so good to dance
once you get started
but lying here unmoved is also good
and easier to not do
I’m trying to choose anything and everything
that pulls me away from inaction
even if it’s uncomfortable or awkward to get started
better to stumble than stand still
always so struck in my own head

Posted in [poetry]

I’m tired, Mom [poem]

I’m tired Mom
so tired of trying to convince people to do what’s right
I’m tired of men using
women’s bodies for their amusement
and the surprise they always show
when they finally get called out
like sexual harassment isn’t a problem
until you say its name 3 times in the mirror
I’m tired of trying to have civil conversations about gun control
when all they’ll say is
touch my guns and you’re dead
as if living in an apocalyptic fantasy LARP is normal
I’m tired of my rights getting chipped away
in the name of their God
as if the Bible says to punish the women
and the non-whites
and the gays
and the poor
Jesus must be so proud
at this point I’m out of steam Mom
my soul drained of any urge to continue the good fight
how good can it be when it’s always losing?
I’m going to hand them the reigns
and watch the world burn
I may die
but at least my last words can be
I told you so

Posted in [poetry]

on the bad days [poem]

I pretend my way through every interaction
working my smile through muscle memory alone
each laugh feels like an echo
of the poorly recorded laugh track
from an old school sitcom
I struggle with small talk
as if I’ve forgotten the English language
leaving me to ask people to repeat themselves
almost every time they speak
I jerk myself out of thought spirals
the moment they start
but it still feels like I’m swirling down the drain
maybe the sewers are where I belong

Posted in [poetry]

taking my temperature [poem]

I feel depression the way your skin feels heat
in degrees of increase or decrease
that have a noticeable measure
today was definitely a chilly day
not snow storm cold but
numb fingers and stinging eyes cold
you see
today passed me by without making a scene
a blink and hours ticked away in unnoticed seconds
this is depression being kind
the gentle loss of life
as your entire existence goes a little
numb around the edges
I’m used to this
this is the kind of darkness I have a flashlight for
the kind of emptiness that is
less gaping chasm and
more blank sheet of paper
I can pick up a pen and write myself back to life
from here

Posted in [poetry]

you are worthy [poem]

you are worthy of every good thing that happens to you
repeat this every morning to your reflection
until it feels like fact

you are allowed to be happy
even when there is nothing special to be happy about
your smile is allowed to flourish in the sunlight
without explaining itself to the lazy wilted daisies

you are full of potential the way a beach is full of sand
don’t ever think your last chance has come and gone
just shake out the other shoe
count each grain that escapes another
hidden opportunity

you are so easy to love at first sight
that puppies can’t resist the urge to kiss you
this is a super power
embrace it and do good

you are a gift on a random Tuesday
a free coffee with extra whip
some people don’t like the taste of sweet things
because they prefer to stay black coffee bitter
be sweet anyway

Posted in [poetry]

everything happens for a reason [poem]

my mom conceived me by accident and I learned from my first breath
how nothing ever goes to plan
you have to be flexible

in elementary school my lungs gummed themselves up at random
so I could know what it feels like to lose your breath
for all the wrong reasons
I learned how to appreciate the days
when this body worked perfectly
because they were scattered between days of
wheezing inhale and exhale
there is peace in a deep and quiet breathing

my first love spun a web worthy of a daytime soap opera
and I hung there helplessly tangled for months
the threads drawing out a lesson in how love is beautiful
but deadly to the unsuspecting butterfly hearts that land in it

my heart played merry go round with the kinds of guys
you don’t take home to mama
in their touch I discovered my own sweet solace
and how it tasted next to bitter bodies and hopeless hurts

I reached adulthood in the arms of the wrong kind of man
and knew it from the start but
I held him close anyway
his soul became the broken mirror that taught me
how to see my own cracks clearly

my womb refused to let a baby bloom
my body more funeral parlor than funhouse
but I realized how much my dreams had changed
when the old ones refused to take root in infertile soil
I called it my backhanded blessing and swallowed down the resentment
of having no choice in this

my entire life fit itself into the trunk of a car
and ran away to the coast
to get lost in the wilderness of small town America
I found new reasons to live
in the emptiness of starting over

these scars are a reminder
of the lessons that led me here to this
and I’m grateful for every mark
every phantom pain

Posted in [poetry]

a pessimist at heart [poem]

I am a pessimist in sheep’s clothing
a firm believer in preparing for the worst
because if you consider every possible outcome
and plan around the biggest failure
handling any success becomes a million times easier
I will love you with the fullness of a sunflower in June
and I will be ready for you to leave at a moment’s notice
I will never expect you to stay
pessimism is always watching the pretty blue sky for rain clouds
even as I murmur your name against your skin
I’m sorry if my lack of faith offends you
but love has proven itself a complicated game
the rules ever changing
the players never quite on the same page
is it any wonder
I’ve learned to prepare myself to lose
just in case I’ve misplaced my pieces on the board again?

Posted in [poetry]

almost acquaintance [poem]

you are a surprisingly comfortable presence
in my personal bubble
I was bemused when you sat down
started talking about the madness that is work
your order came up and
you slid away to a nearby seat
with plenty of spare room if I should decide to follow
I’m not sure why I didn’t
maybe it was the deep desire to
shrink away from humans for a while on my lunch break
or maybe I’m just too used to
not being part of a one on one conversation
with an almost acquaintance
you’re someone I wouldn’t mind getting to know
and today was a wasted chance
to do just that

Posted in [poetry]

my own name [poem]

I know my depression the way I know my own name
something solid
familiar and
impossible to forget
it changes for a time
I go by a nickname or my middle name
but I’m still the same person as before
this is how depression is
my decision to let it out in poetry is my middle name
trying to force myself to socialize
when I’m least able to feel anything is me
going by a nickname with a chosen few
at the core
I am always chemically inclined to
melancholy and numbness
and that’s okay
I’m the same girl I was yesterday
even if you don’t recognize the name I’m using today

Posted in [poetry]

it’s not about you, Love [poem]

my depression is kinder now than it once was
I need you to understand
that I will never not be depressed
but when I’m happy
depression is the quiet found at the end of a long laugh
the ache in your bones after a wild dance is over
it’s the kiss of heat lingering on your skin
after a day at the beach
my depression reminds me to be grateful
for the moments of bright happiness
in a world so used to grey skies
some days I will wear a smile
because I love you and I’m happy
some days I will fake a smile for everyone but you
because I love you and I’m unhappy
and I will trust you to handle that kind of honesty
with your too big heart and your perfect hugs
and your willingness to sit with me
in my self-made shadows
and just breathe

Posted in [poetry]

useful and well used [poem]

you let people use you because it almost feels like love
because love is about the way two people
willingly become objects of affection for one another
allowing their bodies to break
waves of pleasure crashing on the same shore
you let people use you because it’s better than the silence
better than being useless and cast aside
better than being unloved
or unlovable
you let people use you because honestly
you have no use for yourself
no desire to be independent just to love yourself alone
lonely but too stubborn to say so
it is easier to pretend to find love in thoughtless hands
to imagine each whisper against your neck is truth
so much easier to be useful
and well used

Posted in [poetry]

drowning [poem]

it’s like the fog has lifted
and I can finally breathe
I can hear my own pulse roaring through my veins
the Nile during the flood season
and it never stops
the crashing of these emotional waters
fades into the background
friendly white noise
all I hear is waterfall violence
and little else