Leavers…


People leave.

Maybe they don’t mean to, but they do. And then again, maybe that was the intention all along. 

At six years old, I learned daddy’s leave. And sometimes they build brand new families to take the place of the ones they left behind. 

Don’t even bother turning around, just keep walking. 

Even brothers leave, spend their lives locked up–in drugs, prison, and bitterness. Can’t even look back, six by eight feet space to walk, no! Sway. 

Boyfriends leave, when you won’t go all the way at 14. They find girls to replace you and they never look back, just keep on walking. 

Best friends leave, when they see you making other friends and all of the sudden it’s not just you and them and they walk away and never even look back. 

Husbands leave, girlfriends, and even moms. They will leave… it’s hard to say if they ever look back. Just decide one day to keep walking. 

It doesn’t matter what you do or might try to say, if they are hell bent on leaving you should let them walk away

and never look back. 

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Thurible… 


I used to wonder about the ash, the dark grayness of it scattered in my darkest dreams, my visions, the voices, images in my head. 

It was chaos, that I could not change. Until, I found you there. Not exactly you–younger–maybe even your daughter? Impossible? She doesn’t exist. Or does she? In another lifetime or world, even.

Can’t you see it? Long black hair cascading and curling on bare porcelain shoulders–pale like clouds against smoke. Next to her, a golden beauty and without seeing her, I know she’s mine or me? Or maybe younger? Strands of flaxen, top-knotted against the base of her kneck, falling to obscure icy-blue-sky-turned-eyes. 

Walking, no! Dancing like ballerinas, twirling in Saris of purple, burgandy, periwinkle, and gold. The vision of a far away city, on the verge of sunset, painting an already orange and yellow sky. 

The wind begins to blow and that’s when I see it, the ash. Beginning to fall like snowflakes, a warm shower, swinging from the end of a three corded chain, attached to the hands of a man we don’t know- cleansing us? 

Reverent in the circle, with our eyes closed as  the fabric billows around us and waves with the wind. Lilac smells, floral headiness, so heavy we can no longer stand in its presence–kneel, bow. 

Ashes to ashes…

Fully awake…


I used to believe it was me, the flaw. That I drove them all away. Something inside of me was broken, unworthy, unfulfilled, and needy. 

I was certain that I needed to fix the error of my ways, change for him or her or them. Fit into the box, cut your own arms off if they won’t fit the mold. 

Am I tired, she asks? Tired? Am I tired?…

No, tired would be convenient; tired is an excuse; tired is taking responsibility and taking the blame. 

What I am is sick!

Sick of lies, sick of two-faced covert conversations, sick of definitions and rules, games people play, sick of turning the other cheek.

In fact, I’m all out of cheeks and I’m nauseous from turning. My hands are dirty, but I’m cleansing them now. 

My head is bowed but not bloody, my shoulders are sore,yet I’ll ask for more weight. My knees are scraped, my palms are burning, my heart no longer racing, my eyes no longer shining. 

Even so, I’ll rise again! And again! And once again! 

Giving up…


I’m giving up

On you and the dream

The dream that whispered 

You can have it all

All of it was a lie

Anyway…

Broken promises easily breathed 

Road blocks and lies 

And more lies

Until the the thought of you

Makes me sick

To my core

No more, I’m giving up

What Matters?…


Aren’t you tired she asked me? No, she begged me… to understand, that it didn’t matter…

If the whole damn world decided that they didn’t like who I was, if they didn’t like my hair color, or my size, or my new dress, or whether or not I wore a thong or lace underwear or if I liked him or liked her or liked them both and at the same time 

And it didn’t matter if I believed in God or Heaven or Hell or life or death or here and now or the afterlife or reincarnation. It didn’t matter if I laughed or cried or ate too much or starved myself. It didn’t matter if I gave up or kept going if I pushed them away or held on too tightly. It just didn’t matter…

To them…

It only makes me tired, exhausted really–weighted down in heavy chains, 

plastered, 

annihilated, 

 drowned, 

suffocated, 

lost and forever 

alone…

Innocence Unnecessary…


And so I say to her, you have a beautiful smile. Because she does. And she does, smile and laugh and it takes my breath away.

It erases everything I thought I knew about her and about me and the past and the future and possibility. Yes, I’ve pictured her in private places and in public too, watched sparks fly like fireflies in the broad daylight under watchful jealous eyes.

Glanced away for a moment to see if they see it, then decide I don’t care and meet right back up her eyes don’t glance away, they stay. For once- they stay…My heart can’t take this sprinter’s pace- she laughs and promises to keep me young–

And I want to believe her, how I want to be with her. Hear her sultry-smokey-gravely tone so loud that it drowns the South–a silent Southern never-gonna-be.

Warning Signs…


It wasn’t as if she hadn’t warned them, all of them, really. And she wondered would they say they there were definitely signs, in the post memorial gossip?

How many days would they shed tears? Any at all- genuine. Sure, maybe a few. The ones who would claim they “knew” her. 

Let’s get one thing straight- they don’t know her–period. Two people, on the face of this earth. That’s it. Two. One and Two. Truly KNOW her. 

The others, think they know her, they know of her. They know what she chooses to allow them to know. She can’t let them in because everyone is afraid of the dark. Even the two bring a flashlight, try shine through the darkness and pull her up to the surface. Try to hand her a life preserver and for a while she grabs on- white knuckles. 

But, she always knew, glamorizes it maybe. Pictures it in her head. In the end, it will be him. Because it always has been, he will gather her up in his arms, begging her- crying, “no baby, why?” Shocked even. And he’ll remember- she tried to warn him. 

Restless spirit…


A happy soul a writer does not make, you must’ve known and so you ceremoniously disappeared, again leaving rubble in your wake.

What should I do with all these pieces? These foreign instructions you wrote for me? Without you they are worthless, burn them funeral pyre, you’ll see. 

If only I was one to heed a warning, to don a life jacket in rising waters, smother the spark- not fan the flame. Shy away– not look you in the eyes, if only. 

And how do I explain your absence? Should I take the blame? Say it’s all my fault…or say, to you it was all just a game and you grew tired of playing? 

Or tell the truth, it’s dangerous you know. The truth, it will set you free you said! You said, it was safe with you, you said! You said! You said! 

Shattered Reflections…


I’ve seen the dead, in the mirror- a reflection not unlike my own.

In the light of the day, my chest is compressed and I walk the halls in vain searching for peace that can not be found.

In the evening, I hold my head in both of my hands and find the truth behind statements about a crown, being uneasy for the one who has placed it there.

In the twilight, I lose myself to the fantasy of bygone memories and dreams deferred. To stagnant waters that refuse to be stirred- to flower laden meadows, sunlit pathways, giggling, dancing, dreamers. 

In the midst, I gather the tour de force around my ankles and let him shore me up, brush away tears from mascara-stained cheeks, kiss parched lips, peel away the darkness of the day and lay me down on petals of regeneration. 

Idealistic…


Why build walls instead of bridges? What good is cinderblock for children? Am I a magician, a surgeon, a robot? 

They say, give us talent! And yet, they lack the very essence of the word. There’s no such thing, I whisper-smile, only hard-work, dedication. 

In the eyes of those who already know, the flame of knowledge burns so low, it’s barely- blue- flame suffocating, oxygenless. 

Not even Mozart, no! Or Einstein? Not even. Only, an open door, the exact-perfect-moment. Then perseverance, grueling hours of it, hours of being no one special, with nothing to offer. Of being, left out, of being weird, of being outcast. 

Never knowing the tide would turn, the ocean would swallow them whole and leave only memory of their finest moment. No record of cinder-block classroom walls, washed up athletic coaches, closeted librarians. No, mention of overzealous parents and overstated egos. 

Just a black and white photo in an archived yearbook, maybe an honorable mention at the county line population sign, famous for a moment, in a small-southern town.