Better Man


I wished for so long
you were a better man.
All the wishes
in all the worlds
couldn’t make you
a better man.
Because in the end,
the very end,
you are whatever you think you are.

Even though what you do now
doesn’t touch me,
all the things you didn’t do
still haunt me.
No phone calls,
no notion that I mattered.
You never showed up;
not at the hospital,
the funeral
or any of the other wonderful or devouring things in between.

And there were so many.
I’ve paid for your sins.
I kept going back
to this starry-eyed belief
you were a better man,
or I could make you one.

Your better man just never showed up.
I’d like the time back that I waited.
Deposit every minute back in my hour glass.

Some call you a better man.
They deserve to have their view.
On the opposite side,
I’d wish now to go back and whisper in my ear,
“He’ll never be a better man.”

I would say in soft breaths,
“You will take this pain, this disappointment
and shape it into stories.
You, you will be a better woman.
And, you won’t have to tell yourself
that you’re something else.
It will just be true.”



If you wonder why I left


If you wonder why I left

If you wonder
why I left
just know
it was probably me
not you.

You, see
there’s this duality in me.
The before and after;
before the deaths
after the deaths;
before the truth
after the truth.
When my history
looked less like what the photos say.

I would never say
my life hasn’t been beautiful,
dusted with pure and brilliant
moments: saltwater lips, wake up hugs,
that can’t be
dimmed by the heartbreak of loss and fear and leaving.

If you still wonder
why I left
it’s because I can’t dissolve into your memories
because they are not mine.
Those photo albums, they tell stories.
I was a blonde haired little girl with ideas and fears,
feeling less like a child every day,
but loved without constraint
by the person who mattered most.
I know it because she looked
at me
like I mattered,
like my ideas and stories were bigger than that small town.

If you wonder
why I left
there’s the answer, or part of it.
The pictures don’t show it all;
the black
the blue.
No one puts that in an album.
We don’t show off our brutality; we hide it.

So if you wonder
why I left,
why it’s been 20 years
just know I needed my own story, one where
everyone doesn’t die.
One where it’s okay to expose the shatterings of a child soul.
In the real story, there was a family,
and they all loved,
and they all hurt.
One day it was just me,
sitting in a rubble of stories,
other people’s stories.
I never wonder why I left;
I did it to write my own ending.

I’ll never not want you


Today is the day we celebrate love. To be honest, we don’t really recognize Valentine’s. Maybe because it’s turned into something that means little about love. This is not a condemnation or assault on roses or heart shaped boxes of candy. For us, we show up for each other every day, respect each other every day and of course love each other no matter what the day brings. However, to prove I’m not a Valentine’s Scrooge, I share with you today a poem for my love.

I’ll never not want you

I’ll never not want you
near me.
I’ll never not want
to hear
your heartbeat
under my ear.

No matter where you are,
I feel your
smile, wrap around my thoughts;
your voice
slow and soothing
tunnels through my veins.

Somehow, some way
in a world of a million stars
and unkindness at many wrong turns,
you found me, and I found you.
We looked out at those stars,
those millions of glimmers.
And instead of feeling small,
we felt full.
You took my hand,
like it was more than just a hand,
but the most delicate of flesh
that connects to a heart that drums
with a special murmur just for you.

I’ll never want you
near me.
I’ll never grow
tired of you,
and the way you make me feel
every day
like I’m your favorite star
in a sky
of glimmers.