Thrift Shop

A jewel on a golden crown
Thrifted for a dollar and fit for a queen
A hall of mirror and prisms and frames
Singing forest animals plush with small names
You’ve never been in a shop with her
But you’ve seen her there so clearly
She pieces clothes together with accents of sun
Yellows and greens and light blues and pinks
Her smile is solar and she’s warm to the touch
You’d never guess she was the moon on a daybreak

She’s Snow White with a sexier voice
Plus freckles and much better style
She wades in good spirits and touches things with care
She’s a mother of ideas for her child

When she laughs there’s a tickle that plants in your heart
And it becomes hard to write things that haven’t been said
There are billions of songs on smiles and laughs
And love unfettered and undead
So you take a trip to a shelf of gold
And flowers and earrings and old patterned dresses
And pick out a loved something that has a story
Let her hold a story older than you
So you can begin more than a life’s journey of finding her all the love in the world.

Non-stop

I was once a firm believer in never putting a person on your skin
Never making promises or testing the balance of things
Never jinxing for the lack of a better term.

Now I realize the power uncertainty holds and the great way I burst out of its arms into yours.

I grew up feeling stoppable or slowable
Despite being perceived as non-stop,
People’s affirmations never lasted in their weight.

Now I see that everything standing between me or you or them will break. I will break it. I am the strongest person on earth. I can’t lift my body weight but I’d lift a mountain of hurt off your shoulders. I’d drag a night of pain out of their nurseries.

I’d run until my body breaks and I’d urge my spirit to crawl. If gravity squashes me when you fall from great heights, I’ll be the thing between you and the ground, and you’ll get up unscathed.

Non-stop makes sense now.

I will non-stop love you
Which means stopping in some ways, like:

Stopping to ask if you can breathe
Pulling over for your iced coffee
Clearing paths for you
Clearing calendars for your self-care
Stopping spirals and steamrolls
Stopping kids from waking you up
Stopping to buy a glimmer of gold you’d like
Stopping to get lost in your old eyes
Stopping to ask you if you like me when I’m 80
Breaking to call and check-in
Putting a wedge under the door closing us into a cycle of work
And vacationing to the picture on your desktop

I used to hate how I didn’t mind losing
I felt lethargic and slow and worthless
But my stamina for you is Olympic.
I’d tattoo five rings on my shoulder
I’d tattoo a moon
Because I outran and broke uncertainty
It’s panting a mile behind
Nothing about us can be cursed or touched
It’s a law now that you are mine.

Non-stop love for you making me stop for you anytime.

Stopping to clean before you get home
Pulling you close to relax on my chest
Clearing your mind and body of tangles
Clearing the floor of piles of clothes
Stopping all obligations because there’s only you
Stopping the nurse to ask when we get to see our baby boy
Stopping when you’re lost and those eyes are tired
Stopping to tell you I’m falling in love with you when we’re 80
Breaking down walls standing in your way
Putting an email invite together for a surprise for you
And staycationing to watch cartoons

I love how I can’t lose with you
I feel energized and happy and full
The course I run with you is infinite.
I’d tattoo letters for little names
I’d tack on a sun
Because I can barely remember a time when I wasn’t certain
That we are golden
And that forever is a comforter.

Non-stop love for you making me stop for you all the time.

 

 

 

 

Old Poem I Found

I was supposed to write a poem
Something about your hand
I told myself I’d remember in the morning
It slipped away like most words
My cheeks were warm and I smiled against my natural current
Fishing line at the corner of my lips hiked up
A happy marionette
To be married to your pink sweatshirt

I wish I knew what to write in a poem
I wish I could crack open fruits and fill them with gems the way people on microphones do
I wish I could talk about more than love and sadness and describe them as sounds crashing against the floor
Rolling against tile
An onomatopoeia
I’ll see you when I see ya
I wish I could make someone’s skin feel the same temperature as under my ribs
I wish I could write outside of the rear view mirror
I wish I could tell a story from the windshield, from the perspective of a wiper
And when the fingertips pull the switch towards their owner
Nothing would happen because it’s fresh out of tears

Sometimes when our tongues wrestle with our brains and our hearts want to talk to the manager,
Getting more and more frustrated with slow service
The warmth of our bodies saves us
And touch is enough to remind us it is worth it

And sometimes I’m just tall enough that my chin rests on your hair
While my nose swims through our histories and makes it harder
To decide whether to let you know I am crying
Or to send you off on a train and finally walk a slow pace
When you are not there to witness

You tease me that I am always one step ahead of you
And suddenly I can’t even move
I slip back into a week like I’m made for its cellular grooves
And wait for you to pop a fingernail under me
And pry me out of my secret sulk
Because I bite mine until you give me something else to do
With my hands, those gorgeous bastards

I wish you could come up to me faster.

Curley

Curly curly curly
Yours truly
Fruit in store
Time ignored
She squeezes into the lyrics of every song
So I listen closer three times over
Even though I know them all

She fills the holes I dig
Sets a red table in my mind
I am impatient
Utterly bare
And I slow down each goodbye

The Saddest Word I Know

Is hollow
I’d rather be filled with 1,000 wasps
Or perhaps trapped in a tailored Dante scene
Recognized by me because I am someone with a body to tailor punishment to
Someone with a mind to torment and a heart to break
Than nobody at all.

When I graduated my teacher assigned me a word with speed, derived from lyric
And she called me an active participant in my own life
And I never felt a more beautiful assignment, a compliment with more weight
Than that of a comment with density and interpretation
Because I’d rather be non-stop
I’d rather take a turn too fast and hit the wall
Than to stall.

I’d rather be my biggest fan and my worst critic
Than to have nobody read my name and to have life, or death, assign it nothingness
In silence tell me that my servitude was worthless

And I’d rather be filled with 1,000 butterflies
And feel my illness at its peak, and to turn in my sheets and watch the clock climb with struggling old limbs,
Than to never feel worry with its partner excitement.
To never hear them argue with each other before a speech.
To never hear them make up and take a vacation and hire a babysitter named peace of mind.

And I’d rather love at 1,000 times the normal amount to love someone
And accept 1,000 times more risk
Or love even 1,000 people and open myself to loss
Than to live this life without connection
Than to feel an emptiness in my ribcage
To have bones like a bird.

And fly above the connection darting like movie magic on the level where people walk and exchange smiles or even peripheral awareness of each other
I love these heavy bones and this loaded transcript I carry in my synapses

The saddest word I know is hollow, and the implications that follow.

Spinal (A Poem on Loneliness)

Solitude feels like an itch between my vertebrae as I am unjustifiably exhausted from routine

It smells like nothing because I don’t catch smells from the air, I only breathe and I only know this because it is the last standing measure of my living, I only see grey and white and I only speak longer conversations with the future and shorter words with myself and others in present time

It feels like clean hands because I am not digging through emotions searching for remedy

It is less sleep and blurry vision

It is losing grip on the ability to ask for someone’s language and with that their time and their care

It is losing the ability to reason that they would care if you can’t

It is a passive, secret longing kept from even yourself

It is craving without remembering the taste and without conjuring an image to match it

It is mute     and      slow       and         a silver veil between yourself and the world you don’t necessarily despise

I just fail to notice or invest myself because I do not see a reflection in high definition staring back at me in the dreary oval above the sink

I do not see that which to invest

I only feel the spinal irritability and the longitude of time

I am only a submissive participant, a cameo, an extra, in my own life

Monopoly

They bought Boardwalk and Park Place
Hotels on each
No they didn’t buy it in competition they were theirs before the rest of us passed Go the first time and collected 200 dollars
They broke the bank and I have
What is it?
A House on Atlantic Avenue
They have 4 railroads too
A Monopoly
On a game of self-love
An arm-wrestling of who gets to hurt
Who has the pulpit
The banker is their own reflection
In their inflection, they seem generous
I know they are but I am not a recipient
I spy the utilities left unmarked but in trying to pursue this any longer I will not own, but I will be
The Water Works
Oppression Olympics
Their piece moneybags
And mine a shoe, tattered because it’s rusty
The catch is I could flip the board I could call the hypocrisy I could break out the manual
But I am an adult
So they will never know my story
It hurts that if they did I would feel okay and I know they would rejoice in the power of learning the notes behind my name
They will never see the bills I’m hiding in a towel draped under the table where the game is played
They have a monopoly and I sold my equal opportunity I sold a friendship I’m hiding my wealth and my stories and my earnings because I don’t believe I need to throw dollars on the board
I don’t want to buy Park Place and Boardwalk
I’m trying to walk
I’m trying to breathe
And I’m trying to give them the privacy that was denied me
I want
I want socialist monopoly
Let’s all just own our respective property
I’ll have houses on North Carolina and Tennessee and when it’s someone else’s turn I won’t pretend I own their colors too
They’re all different and it’s turns
It’s turns
We roll dice and we take turns
You listen to me
I listen to you
What a world that would be equal opportunity monopoly
Played in the course of the instructions
But everyone hates a person who reads them aloud
So I’ll burn my wealth I hid under the towels
I’ll say “you’re right I don’t understand, I have no pain, and you are the most important person on the board”
I’ll lie that the banker didn’t keep me up for 7 nights
And that their house isn’t a place where my heart gets tight
And I’ll pretend I’m fine being waterworks
And knowing they will never know and will hold a public speech based on the non-information
They accumulate by seeing me as a passing face
I’m a poor old shoe
But nobody will ever see
Because I am an adult
And I fucking hate monopolies