And There You Were

I went out with a new man the other day.

He had perfect teeth and luminous hair.

He had a cute earring and he was very charming,

But he wasn’t you.

I went out with another man, to forget my disappointment. And this one was strange, and he was kind.

He bought me dinner and held my hand, but it didn’t matter.

He wasn’t you.

Today I went out with someone else, someone I thought could be like you.

He was dark and handsome, went to school, and played the drums like you do.

But then I opened my heart to take him in, and there you were.

Taking up too much space, reminding me of your literal absence.

Tomorrow, I might move on

To someone new, who isn’t you, someone who might stay. But I think I’ll open the dark chest

Under my bed and pull out our love letters,

Reverently smooth over creases, read how deeply we cared,

Start to write your address on an envelope–

Then stop. And go to bed.


To Friend

I will always be second best, won’t I?
If Jesus played favorites with Peter, then I am the tax collector (no one loves a tax collector). If Pete Davidson loves Ariana Grande, then I am the weed and alcohol left behind—his first love he cast away. I am Melania, because Donald Trump only loves himself.
I wait in my little hole in the ground
To see what you will feed me,
If I will get meat and potatoes today
Or the same shaved chicken breast that’s
Sat in the fridge day after day.
And I wait, mouth agape, hoping you

Will feed me
Touch me
Kiss me
Or refrain from choking me
Because I’m already down.


Hate me. Banish me. But never say that you don’t know me.

I am the person from birth that you never unveiled.


Do not say that I have never loved you.

I have loved none but you,


or tried to love none but you. It was not me

who betrayed you. It was the child inside


who must go away not to hurt you.             The hurt is seeping from fingertips,

breaking up small food in stomach.


Believe me, I’ve not become me yet. I’m trying

to, but


you are here with my replacement, another girl like me.

What does it matter that no one can see my monsters but me.


There is nothing about them that speaks.

Nothing says joy, but it is pulsing chinks.


Put yourself in a blue box. Say nothing. Say nothing to your monsters.

Ship yourself away. There is nothing outside the blue box.

She Boiled the Meat


Because the distance between her mildewing passion
and his clichéd professions
was too great
she boiled the meat.

She took a dull, overused
blade and pried out her sinewy flesh.
Dropped it in the pot

of water and swirled it with a wooden spoon,
watching the muscle clench inward and then out
as it tenderized,

she didn’t think about the words but the stupidity of words
when bodies and actions speak enough. Her body said
come near me, take me deeply, little things said
I adore you. Are you here to stay?
His body said omigodiloveyou
but he said I don’t like traveling.

It was surprisingly easy
to throw the meat into the pot,
but would it taste good, would
her dog eat it?

Bears & Mist

*This is a draft of poetry, because sometimes my thoughts are in a scramble
On most days, he is Pooh bear with a
Tummy of honey; a bearded
Face that knocks down walls
By chance—she never means to tell
‘Til she does, and he is a mirror
She breathes on until it fogs up.
In that mist, he draws his Other Woman,
who stands a foot below


I worry all the time, it seems. Or lament about my failures. Why am I not in a relationship? What is wrong with me? What type of person does this stuff? I’m stupid and ridiculous. I’m tired of it.

There’s this inner tension inside my heart—have sex, even if it’s meaningless, or be celibate and look for a relationship? I’ve had…maybe one ‘relationship.’ I was 17 and he was 25. It lasted a month after I realized I was not what he needed right now (which was a therapist.) I still miss our talks, though, and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. But as my mother says, “Do something right, or don’t do it at all.”

I started dating this guy in March, and I was into him. I loved the intimacy and the way he looked at me. I wasn’t crazy about him, though. I kind of knew it wouldn’t work because he and I are so different. He’s in a whole different sphere of creation; music. And I need someone who understands and appreciates my creativity. No, who urges my creativity and supports it. We need to have a shared passion. I remember going to Julianna Baggott’s reading a few years ago, and she said something so inspiring, something like this:

My husband doesn’t just tolerate my writing; he says, “Go write, you need to write.” He understands that I need to be creative, and that’s the man that I fell in love with, that I am still in love with.

I need that. I need someone creative, intelligent, adventurous. I want to dive and climb and eat and race.

In all the time I’ve worried about this stuff, I could have been on adventures. I could have written novels. I could have gotten to a better place and fallen in love.

Even though I know he doesn’t care about me, that our small connection has trickled and vanished… I’m still hurt. I cared about us together, even if I didn’t really like him in a deep way. If you like someone, you

  • ***brag about them***
  • reference them randomly
  • in fact, make excuses to talk about them
  • or see them
  • think of them and smile
  • love the stupid things they do
  • ***value their opinion***
  • tease them
  • get nervous around them

This is just a bit of stuff I came up with on the fly. Thinking about this stuff, I realize I did tease him. I did get really nervous. I did always want to talk about him, because I was happy in those few weeks we saw each other. But that was before I knew him better. Sometimes it just happens that way—it’s not that they’re a bad person or they deceived you. It’s just not a good fit.

And I think that’s why I’m hurt. Because I miss the intimacy and vulnerability (nothing is so sexy as vulnerability. It’s so wonderful when someone opens themselves up to you). No one’s ever held my hand like it was natural, like they wanted to. No one’s ever kissed me in public before.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, readers. I guess it’s a comfort that there are so few of you out there and I may rant as I please. I’ll leave you with some Jane Austen:

“The last few hours were certainly very painful,” replied Anne: “but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.” Persuasion

Our Asteroids


The boy with the salt-and-pepper hair does not want to dig into my soul
and sleep in its hollows, like
the rose on the little prince’s asteroid.
Instead he asks naught
but what I think of what he said—
tells me only nonreligion binds us—
And I want to cry because

as I try

to move amongst his soul
he nibbles on my skin



Note: Originally written October 28th, 2014
      Edited February 20th, 2015




Tea Rose Nostalgia

As I remember his visage, tea roses leap from my stomach.
Medium-regulation haircut, coffee, like his stand-still eyes.
Callused, frank hands touch mine.
Like an evergreen, I shall be cut down by such hands.
They have killed, hardened, cracked, endured.
They will nourish and soften.
They will tickle his daughter’s tiny pink feet, through her slippers.
They will hold other hands.

He would tell me beautiful things, and I would tell him he was crazy
He’d ask why, and I’d say, “Smell the grassy, earthy air in the spring.
Taste the lilac and moss. Stand under the shade of an oak,
and then say to me there is a greater beauty.”

Oh, how I miss him!
Or… those pale pink roses leaping from my stomach.

The Letter: An Outtake

This is an outtake from the book I’ve been trying to write. 



The day had been long. Susan was tired of this day, where people stared and whispered and mocked. She was exhausted by all the careful planning she had done, and angered when it had fallen through. Now she wanted peace and comfort.

Susan stared at the note in careful concentration. There was no salutation or address.

I can’t tell you how much you mean to me. I won’t try. You are the best thing I had, and nothing can ever change that.

Be back soon!

I love you.


She had long ago memorized every word of every sentence on the paper. No differentiation of tone or hidden meaning of phrase was to be discovered. Today, she simply stared at the strokes of the pen in the letter ‘I’, and ‘l’, and ‘e’. The ‘v’ and ‘u’ were nothing special. But it was the ‘y’ that always captivated her—she could see him clearly in her mind, writing out “I love you” on the flimsy page. The curve of the letter was stained with excess ink. He had stopped. She could feel it.

Susan closed her eyes, and thought of his hands pausing over then-smooth paper.

He was thinking about how he didn’t have to do this. He didn’t have to write this letter. He could go back and scribble it all out. He could burn it in the fire. He could throw it in the trash, and return to his room, kiss his wife and child goodnight, and sleep it all away.

Still, he paused.

He looked down and saw the black ink pooling on the paper, and he finished the ‘y’. The ‘-ou’ accompanied it.

It didn’t matter what the words were or what they meant. She had ceased to care. All that mattered was the jet-black ink stain in the middle of the ‘y’ on that crinkly old paper. This was proof that her father loved her. Maybe still loved her. She didn’t know if he was alive or not, and told herself it was irrelevant.

Some nights though, Susan would open that little drawer in her desk and stare at the paper. Around here, paper was rare. It was fitting that her father should put to pen his last thoughts. Not many did━when someone escaped, you knew why. And you knew where.

Susan rubbed her fingers across the edges and placed the sentiment in the drawer with a soft swoosh. If her mother found it, she would not be happy.

This is Not a Super Depressing Parental Divorce Post. Well, actually…

I wrote part of this coming back from Texas two days ago.

Tuesday Evening, July 29th, 2014. Texas. 

I wish I could say I felt some great pain when my parents finalized their divorce early this week. But honestly, I feel nothing. I don’t. Feel. Anything. This isn’t a change. This is a pebble a kid threw into a great big lake. There are ripples, certainly, but does this pebble graze the fish? Does it wound the frog? No. It settles amongst the millions of other pebbles in that vast lake that is my life.

Perhaps I should reminisce about the time my parents were happy—the times they kissed and held hands and talked late into the night before going to bed. I do not remember this. I have never known a time my parents loved each other, or showed affection. My oldest memory is a fight. I never heard my mom say she had ever loved my dad until I was 17. I first saw their wedding photos six months ago. The album was nestled in between the gardening handbook and a bird index.

Thursday, 2 AM, July 31st, 2014. Indiana.

No. When I said I felt nothing, it wasn’t quite true. I was numb. I was awaiting the blow. But when Mom. Nate and I got home, we discovered that the papers were incomplete; therefore it isn’t finalized. They are the most ridiculous ‘married couple’ I’ve ever known. And the odd thing is that I had prepared for an obstacle, and I found myself relieved when it appeared. I do not want this to happen. I do not want this change. A part of me wants it to go on as before; the fights and the insults that hide the resentment and hurt. Perhaps I’m a sadomasochist…

When I was in middle school, my mother got me What A Girl Wants (VHS of course, because DVDs weren’t nearly as popular). In case you don’t know what it’s about:

Yeah, basically it’s the best teen movie ever.

I would watch this movie all the time, and crying, I’d think, “Why her and not me? Why does she get the happy ending? Where are my perfectly-in-love parents?” I mean, I would have loved the sexy British hunk, but that was not the priority when I was twelve.

Now, almost fourteen years after they separated, I still feel a twinge.