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She put the house up
For sale

I saw my past life
Flashing before my eyes

The kitchen
Where I made dinner
And that day I made more naan
Than we could eat, but I did it
Without my shirt on

The kitchen
Where she left me notes by the coffee pot
The coffee pot that kept me going on the hardest days

The kitchen
Where I hung that ee cummings poem somewhere I have never travelled gladly beyond

But she replaced it

Twice

The kitchen
Where she screamed at me
That time I had an accident
And melted

The kitchen
where I finally yelled
“I deserve to be with someone who wants to support me emotionally”

The living room
Where she threw that candle at me
And broke my foot

The living room
Where the television
Still holds my face print from when we hung it, and I almost dropped it

The living room
Where I spent days painting
But on the last day made her help
And I didn’t wear any pants

The living room
Where the couch we bought is 
falling apart from the time she fucked that other girl there and the lotion
The lotion ate away the faux leather

The dining room
With the chairs I hand sanded and painted
It took me a week
And cost me a pair of shoes

The dining room
Where I painted the built in cabinets with the wrong color because she didn’t help me that time

The dining room
Where we hardly ever ate

The spare bedroom
She told her parents was my room

And when I made it my office
She complained at the mess I work through

The spare bedroom
Where I painted alone
Again because she refused to help

The spare bedroom

The spare bedroom

And her bedroom
She painted again
The second time I left

She painted again on the day she demanded I come get my stuff

And her bedroom
Where she called the other side of the bed the pssenger side

And her bedroom
That she shared with me
And her and her and her and her

And her bedroom
Where she choked me in the closet

And her bedroom

And the front porch
Where I watched the rain
And read my books

The front porch
Smoking cigarettes

The back yard
Where I read books to her

The back yard
That she refused to fence in

The back yard

That caved in

The back yard
And the driveway
We resealed together
Pulling weeds and filling cracks

She put the house up
For sale
I walked through it one more time

And cried

And closed the door

Without slamming it

Without leaving a key
this time

I guess it’s haunted

I guess it’s time

Daughter

If I ever have a daughter
 I will name her grace
Because everyone needs
More of that in their lives 

If I ever have a daughter
I will show her that the 
Length of kindness 
Is the inverse of distance

If I ever have a daughter 
I will teach her that voices
Were always meant to 
Be strength and numbers
Don’t matter when we tip the scales

If I ever have a daughter 
I hope she believes that
Love is the magic glue
That holds people together

If I ever have a daughter
I will tell her that the stars 
Hold secrets, and she never should
Because she holds power in her tiny hands and heart. 

If I ever have a daughter 
I will listen to the music 
Of the rhythmic beating of her 
first heart break season. 

If I ever have a daughter 
I will name her grace

And that will be the only 
weight she carries 

propelling her forward. 

Hurt People Hurt People

Form the words 
First in your mind

Bring them forward

And say it. 

Stop victimizing yourself 

Take your power back

Stand up for yourself
I need you to say it

I need you to pull the I from 

under the guilt. 

Take the Am from
all the calamity
That has taken over your life. 

Remove the A from the shame

That you have perpetuated. 

take the Victim back from all those who were left 
in your wake. 

Transform that into survivor. 

You deserve to heal. 
We all deserve peace

My atrophied heart 
still whispers in the dark

Love me 

Love me

Love me 

Hold me close
Put your hand over my mouth 
Tell me all your secrets
I’ll lock them deep inside

The closet of my mind
The skeletons have turned to dust
Settling around our bed
A boneyard of grief

Exploded under the pressure
I swear it looks like glitter
Glass blown to smithereens
Stomped to a fine powder

A party for one

Moving On

I’m not in love with her anymore. 

I write it
to make it more real. 
To come to terms with
its resonances and reverberations. 

I’m not in love with her anymore

And sometimes I don’t know
where that actually leaves me. 

Standing still at the top of the mountain ready to finally walk down the other side. 

Paralyzed by the not knowing
what lies beyond this
beautiful sunset. 

I’m not in love with her anymore. 

All the space she still takes in my heart are just cracks marking the places where I once held her, but couldn’t keep her. 

I’m not in love with her anymore. 

That same phrase over and over again. I say it so I can believe it. 

I’m not in love with her anymore. 

Addiction

Not always using substance
But always using something

To cover up the shame with more shame

Fun isn’t real and cannot be held

feigning freedom
Building traps without 
doors held open

Windy wishes blown 
Like stardust that was only ever
rusted truths compromised and crumbling 

After the storm has passed. 
A new storm will always be
on the horizon. The weather
patterns uncontrolled 

Sunshine that burns

Snowflakes falling
like sawdust in our eyes

Nothing is ever clear. 

There is no moment of knowing

Every second preparing 
against the next angry fix 

fighting a battle of wills 
In unknowing battlegrounds

Unspoken Apologies, or Things She Won’t Say

I’m sorry for thinking you would always be around

Taking for granted the sound of your heartbeat

And how it always calmed me down
I’m sorry for not listening to your needs

You were loud and clear 

and I couldn’t see

How easy it was to love you 
I’m sorry for tripping over my feelings every time you went away

Carving a path of destruction 

with every new name
I’m sorry I couldn’t see how much I deserved

Or that you were willing to place it gently 

In my hands, my heart, or at my feet. 

All I had to do was accept it. 

Instead, I simply took it. 

Like it had been mine all along. 

You didn’t deserve the wreckage I caused. 

I’m sorry.