Inside of you
a universe
locked away

There must have been a key
swallowed by your mystery–
a constitution of labyrinths

I fall through trap doors
I am confused by hidden mirrors
as Alice

I wander
through your wonderland
befuddled by your world
head spinning around each turn

I am lost,
tell me, where do I fit?
Is it even possible?

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Dear John

gaps in our conversation
could hold the Atlantic Ocean,
its waves crashing
on our harmless phrases

and our surface words
would be pulled by the undertow
into the center of our caution
flooded with the unsaid

so before the gap gets larger
I will speak of our fading love–
the way words don’t come easy
and your expression is a mystery

I used to be able to feel your skin
and know it like braille
before its transformation
now I’ll take my explorations elsewhere

your coffee is on the kitchen table
no sugar
just the way you like it

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Society calls him fuckboy

she was born
with a fire
bellowing inside with
unapologetic identity

but don’t touch her
too quickly or she jumps
blood pumps faster
palms get sweaty
and war memories are drudged up
like a dead girl from a river

“don’t worry, you’ll like it”
plays back like a promise
cheek cold from bathroom tiles
head spinning from liquor toxins
oh but didn’t you hear?
delirium is the new sexy

priding himself
on the catch of the day
he stands over her
body swaddled by
a blood stained rug
a reminder that his hunger
is her responsibility

she meets his lion eyes
with fleece-coated submission
a slave
to her very fear

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I will not write of this tale
in beautiful words
because it is not a beautiful story

If it were visual art
it would be painted only in black
and white

black for the streams
of ebony tears
the contrast
of mascara scars
on porcelain cheeks
black for my grief
mourning the death
of my benevolent perception

red for the fragments
of a heart that shatters
red for the blood
spilling from its fractures
red for the anger
for his cowardice
red for the love he shared
with her
in secret

white for the snowfall
the night
he did not return
for the pale fear
in my face
mirroring snowdrifts
white for a canvas
I erased clean
white for this paper
I fill with absolution
white for my renewal

and this poem
lacking beauty
will be the last thing dedicated
to the man who has dedicated
nothing to me

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You reach your nirvana
then the door slams shut
echoing through my core
marking your departure

Hollow liquor bottles
that mirror my emptiness
stare back at me
like ghosts of bad decisions

Walking to the mirror
I find evidence of how you love me—
my body your abandoned canvas
splotched with colors of your pain

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Bad Timing

the melody I left
inside you is fading
from your heartbeat
with the rest of me

retracting my open arms
I walk backward in time
to the outskirts of nostalgia

in gradual acceptance
that with her
occupying your embrace
you will never know how much
I could have loved you.

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rain splashes
against the window pane
and I am cradled
by your absence

whom I do not know
whom I love

in your place
lies a man
to whom
I am a stranger

he has read
my body
like a map

but knows nothing
of the world
that I am

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