Monday, October 8, 2012

My Handwriting Isnt Any Better

My Handwriting Isnt Any Better 

I hate your handwriting.
I hate the way you inconsistently punctuate text messages and occasionally correct misspellings.
I hate that “how are you?” is never what comes to mind when youre done disclosing every detail of your day.
I hate that you don’t wear cologne and still manage to smell like candy and craving.
I hate knowing that you’ll never bring me home to your mother.
I hate that your family terrifies me because they are broken worse than my own.

I bet that given your situation, your mother is a bitch.
I bet she is bitter on top of being all of the things I hate about you.
I bet youll be poor and irresponsible for as long as you live.
I bet you’ll never make it as a writer. Not because you arent good enough, but because you’ve never been well-behaved enough to learn the rules.
I bet you will stop singing when you realize that im the only person who loves it when you do.

I hate that I cant imagine your voice in my mind, even seconds after you leave me.
I hate that I anticipate hearing you with so much vivacity that I cant eat.
I hate that when I do hear you, I am suddenly full.
I hate that  we cant listen to country because your exgirlfriend did and you cant help but remember.
I hate that you show no inclination of remembering singing Jimmy Buffet with me before you knew her.
I hate that you don’t call me Reba anymore.
I hate that song “Country Roads”  because every time I hear it I am forced back to a time when it felt like you enjoyed me.
I hate how desperately I want to taste you and rebellion again.
I hate my passanger’s seat because you are the only person that matters who has ever sat there.

I bet that that you have never noticed I have a scratch-off ticket you won two dollars on above my driving visor.
I bet you don’t know that I cry every single time I see that picture of you taking a picture of me.
I bet you never even thought about asking me about the girl in the picture of a girl taking a picture of a boy, when you know damn well what id give to know the story behind the boy taking a picture of a girl.
I bet you don’t even want to know me.

I love that you told me every story you could about a boy in a picture of a boy taking a picture of a girl.
I love that I know why some of your stories are lies.

I hate that you constantly lie to me and I still think youre the most honest person I know.
I hate that I lie to you.
I hate that that one girl is not the only person I have bribed to be nice to you.
I hate that ive convinced everyone at work youre a douchebag by exposing you to them entirely, and I told you think no one knows.
I hate that I said I didn’t want to date you almost as much as I hate you for believing me.
I hate that I told you I wanst hurting myself when I was.
I hate that I convinced you my failures had nothing to do with you.
I hate that I told you I’d been in love once because I convinced you it was with someone other than you.
I hate that I told you I would be fine all three times you broke my heart.
I hate pretending I don’t remember everything you’ve ever told me.
I hate when anyone says your name.
I hate that you feel so much closer to so many strangers.

Im surprised by how close you get to me sometimes.
I am surprised by how much you do know about me.
I am surprised that despite the fact youre always judging me you haven’t abandoned my logic yet.
I am surprised by how much you let me hold your hypocrisy against you when we both know you get it from me.
I am surprised by how much you think you have a right to call me out on.
I am surprised by how often you respect my secrets.
I am surprised you haven’t noticed that I am the only person who will ever love you like this.

I hate that no one understands how I love you.
I hate how isolating supporting you has become.
I hate that my friends wont hear about you hurting me anymore.
I hate that id prefer to let you hurt me than have a world of people to help me heal.
I hate that having you has forced me to have secrets of my own.
I hate myself for putting you before my friends.
I hate you for thinking we are friends.
I hate you for making me so selfless.

I wish that I wanted to feel good with you.
I wish that making you feel good didn’t make me feel better than cumming ever has.
I wish that you offered to reciprocate sometimes.
I wish that you understood that I want to make you happy more than I have ever wanted anything.

I hate myself for wishing you the best with someone who I knew would never love you like I could.
I hate that your happiness is and always has been pivotal.
I hate that I cant go a day without missing you.
I hate that I honestly believe you’ve never missed me.
I hate that I didn’t start loving you earlier.
I hate that you knew me before I knew you.
I hate that I wish you had already been my first and I  loved you longer and younger.
I hate that I wasn’t your first.

I wish that I could have told you I was ready.
I wish that I could have taken some innitative and kissed you.
I wish you thought to kiss me.
I wish we cuddled.
I wish I could have left your hand on my thigh.
I wish I could have told you I trusted you instead of being so scared.
I wish I could have surrendered to you and let you prove your good character.
I wish you hadn’t said you used me- even though we both already knew you had.
I wish being used by you bothered me enough to stop wanting you.
I wish we had sex.

I love you for wanting to have sex with me.
I hate you for wanting to have sex with me.
I hate how good you feel to me and I love how effortless I am for you.
I love you for not filtering what you say to me.
I hate you for not filtering what you say to me.
I love hating you.

I love you.
I love you for being.
I love you for being who you are.
I love you for being who you are to me.
But I fucking hate who you are to me. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Dear Boy,
I’m going to skip the How are you and you look good in that blue shirt and those ray-bands and get straight to writing all the things I can’t say to that blue v-neck and those protective shades.
For starters, think about the things you say to me. Don’t say things that hurt, unless your intent is to hurt me-but that is another paragraph. I am funny. I am a nice girl. I am a good friend. I am not a liar. I am not any of your stereotypes. If I smoke every day until I am too high to move and drink three fifths for breakfast on Tuesdays and Thursdays you still shouldn’t tell me I’m an addict until it is a last resort. I am not a workaholic just because I work more hours in a week then you have in your lifetime, and appreciate the fact that I always manage to see you when you want to be seen. I am a good poet. I am not prude just because I will not sleep with you. I am not a tease because I am indecisive, or because I am scared. I am not crazy just because you don’t understand me. I am not a bad driver just because your dad is a better one. Know that as hard as I have tried to think nothing of the mean things you have said, my mirror spits them up at me every single morning.
Don’t take advantage of me. Don’t leave your trash in my car. Don’t borrow money you don’t intend to pay back. Don’t smoke my herb with my pipe exclusively. Don’t assume I am going to pay for your dinners, movies, and gas. You have no right to ask just because you know I can’t tell you no. Do not think you are tricking me when you guilt me into buying you stupid stuff or taking you places either. Don’t use me for unreciprocated oral sex. Respond to all of my text messages as I do yours, not just the ones specifically about you. Make our relationship mutual. Make me believe that I am worth a smidgeon of the effort I give you.
Can we have more time together doing nothing? Can we cuddle? Can we hold hands and not make strings and attachments? Will you be the first boy to feel those two new piercings and to kiss those nasty scars? I miss unbuttoning your sleeves and kissing your fingers. Call me all those derogatory pet names I’m ashamed to love again. Try and remember telling me that you like the way I look with my hair down. Ask me to look at you some more. Smile down at me, cause you know it is suggestive. Give my inbox a couple of the kind of messages a good girl hides again. Hold me. Tell me you like holding me. Let me please you, and tell me I feel good. Forgive me for every time I have said no, and being indecisive and scared. Let those hands teach me to trust you. Don’t let them hurt me.
Don’t feel bad for making me cry. Feel bad for doing what you did to make me cry. Don’t be sorry you said you were embarrassed, be sorry you were. Don’t apologize for sadness that isn’t your fault either. It isn’t your fault the world uses me. Nor that I get in fights with my parents. Take some responsibility for what you do have a part in though; am I really not funny? Make an effort not to use me when you know how much it hurts when other people do. Don’t apologize when you aren’t sorry. Don’t feel obligated to apologize just because you know what you have done is wrong. Forgive yourself for everything you’ve ever been genuinely sorry for, but don’t forget why you were sorry you did those things. Don’t do them again. Show me when youre sorry, as much as I hate to say it, you’ve lied too many times for me to trust your words alone. Don’t be sorry when you see me crying, because you’ve been the cause of a million more tears behind the scenes. Just make an effort to concern yourself with my well-being and be sorry for being inconsiderate.
Know that I adore you. I will defend you with every fiber of my being for as long as you allow me to. I love so many of your attributes and I am so amazed by your talents and your intellect. I am honored to know you. I struggle through so much of our dynamic yet I am delighted by the idea of you. You are the natural light in my dimly fluorescent existence. You are hilarious. You are a nice boy. You are not a liar though you have told more lies than anyone else I know. You are so forgivable. You are so loveable. Maybe it’s just the v-neck.
It’s too bad you’ll never see this letter.
-Sincerely <3. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Check Your Mirrors

Dear: Five two, permed and dyed, freckles, period breakouts, eyeliner drips, and scarred heels:
                I have some tough love for you. Some insight. Some advice I know you won’t take and you know you should. Remember, I take care of you like no one else does. I acknowledge I am your toughest critic, and we have had our moments of hatred, but know I expect you to take every word personally.
For starters, don’t let laziness become habitual. Show up at seven fifty to your eight am. Work every weekend. Worship your days off, but never ask for them. Do your homework. Go to class. Make dinners and eat slowly. Go to the gym and go on walks on the same day. Drive out to see your parents, even if you’re tired. Don’t miss birthday parties or baby showers. Give everything 100%, and when that isn’t enough, work till what was 100% is only half as hard as you can go. Then go harder.
Keep loyal to your loyalties. Appreciate Daddy and Mother. Appreciate your teachers. Thank your bosses. Appreciate every single Subaru that ever waved you into traffic, but don’t be ashamed to say you drive a foreign vehicle. Think about how undecided, poor, and idle you would be without the people who help you. Tell them you need them. Then pick up more shifts. Do more extra credit. Buy more Christmas presents than you did last year, every year. Do everything you can to be the kind of someone that someone will appreciate.
Drive safe. Seatbelts and speed limits aren’t suggestions. Don’t hug the center line so much. Don’t even touch your phone. Take turns slowly and less aggressively. Speed less, (I would say not at all, but let’s be realistic, and it is important to live a little). Sit back further and up straighter in the car. Clean out your backseat more often.  Avoid California Rolls at stop signs. Always yield. Listen when they tell you to pump your brakes on the ice. Check your mirrors every day every time you get in; you lean forward when you’re sad and sit back when you’re tired. Check the air in your tires and get a jack for your trunk. Keep being a good passenger and offer to drive more.
Be a better housekeeper. Burn more candles for less spiritual reasons. Vacuum more. Stop sweeping without a dustpan. Do laundry before you run out of cute dresses. I understand you struggle with dressers, so make an effort to keep clothes in the closet. Keep journals closed. Don’t fall asleep with pens or plates in your bed.  Keep your vibrator in a drawer. Do dishes in hot water and rinse them well. Clean counters with soap. Don’t use dirty mop water, but don’t cut grease and stains with straight bleach-even if you like how it stings you.  Fold blankets carefully. Make your bed, and use your sheets. Try not to spill. Fold socks. Recycle plastic bottles and old mail more often. Don’t hoard as much. There is enough that you can’t touch in your life to hold onto, clean everything else up.
Spend money carefully. Never let your accounts be so empty that you can’t afford to have lunch with your best friend at your favorite steakhouse. However, you do not need to eat out every week.  Keep receipts of your checking and saving account, and update them every time you go. Limit how much cash you have in the ashtray of your car at any given time. Deposit your tips, even if you are embarrassed by what all those ones could imply. Coffees and sodas count as luxury expenses.  Avoid drive-thrus as an excuse to waste gas and time. Bike more often, or walk with someone. Drive someone else’s forty-miles-to-the-gallon whenever you can. Buy clothes second hand. Donate money to charities to sponsor yourself. Do the walks and the Zumbathons that accompany those fundraisers, and go to them with a water bottle you didn’t buy at the gas station on the way. Buy presents altruistically. Every two things you buy for yourself, buy something for someone else. No gambling. No occasional lottery tickets or scratch offs because you need a bookmark. Be in charge of your own financial success. Be prolific and generous, but be aware.
Be a better friend. Forgive people for being busy. When you need someone, don’t be so distant. Expect less of boys. Expect more of boys too, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartbreak. Never be afraid to say no when you have to, but keep a little sensitivity and guilt every time you do. Forgive your friends for being in love. Forgive your friends addictions. Don’t dwell on character flaws, even if you think they are endearing. He can’t help it that his nose is his big and her hair is straight, and no matter how much you love those things they frown at them in their mirrors. Don’t imitate your friend’s voices as much. Be understanding and compassionate, but don’t be so self-sacrificing. Let people keep their secrets. Trust people enough to give yours up. Love people unconditionally. Mean what you say. Remember birthdays and anniversaries. Call before you visit, but visit frequently. Write letters on paper with purple pen. Listen to your messages. Keep pictures. Have an excess of friends.
Most importantly, forgive yourself. Do so slowly, and seriously. All of your accidents were pretty minor in the scheme of things. Do not make the same mistakes twice, unless youre sure that they were worth it the first time. Don’t blame yourself for other people’s problems and be accountable for your own. Don’t cry about the bill you didn’t pay, know you will have many more to make up for it. Do not hold too tight to rejection, it is just a story to write on the way to success. Don’t chide yourself for doing what you love, even if it was not suggested. Do not hurt yourself. Look at your eyes and hair and chest in that mirror, and forgive yourself for those thighs and that gut. You are holding up okay, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
This is your life. Just keep trying. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


She says “goodmorning” to her mother. Her lips barely part, her words are barely audible. The gesture however, indicates that the rising and shinning and walking and working and living that needs to follow may begin. She always says “goodmorning” to her mother.
She says “Lets stop for coffee” to her sister. It means, I appreciate you. I am not ready to say goodbye yet. We have something in common. I owe you one. It mean,  continue to give me reign of this passenger’s seat and I will continue to give you three dollars. It means I am trying to make up for all the pleases and thank yous I have ever forgotten. She says “lets stop for coffee”.
She says “im sorry” when she walks through the double doors to grades and friendship and lies and truth. It never means what an apology should mean, and maybe because she knows that, shes sorry for her insincerity. It means you just hurt my feelings. This just became about me. I cant deal with you anymore. It means I need you to notice me. It means I don’t know how to give up. It means no. It means I don’t want to touch you, I don’t like you, I need some space. She says “im sorry”
Her mom says goodmorning too. Her sister stops for coffee. And you say “it’s okay” because it might as well be her fault. 

If I Knew

I know you, boy.
I’ve held on to all your secrets
So they could safely cross the street.
I know the lines on your palms,
The veins in your feet.
I know your mama’s hair
I know the triggers to your daddy’s yell-
I know everything about you, boy.
I know more than you can tell.

You don’t know my parent’s names,
You dont know my cat’s stripes,              
Or my car’s scratches.
You would not keep my trust, boy
You scattered it like ashes.
You don’t know my sister’s sicknesses
Or my mama’s poverty.
you don’t know I can drive standard.
Boy, you don’t know enough about me.

I know you, boy.
I spit out all your insecurity
Like it was venom beneath your skin.
I know your bedroom here
I know all of the places you have been.
I know the tint of your lips
And the melody mixed in your eyes.
I know the honesty in your vulnerability
I see the truth in your lies.

You don’t know below the surface.
You don’t know my middle name
You’ve never asked about my birthday.
You don’t recognize my tears falling before you –
You don’t know what to say.
You don’t know the dances I take
Nor the cities I have called home.
You don’t know who has shared these blankets and these four posts
On the nights I haven’t spent alone.

I know you, boy.
I can tell aggravation from anger in your voice.
I know sincerity in your exhales.
I know all your past successes,
I know where your future fails.
I know how you look when you’re lying for me.
I know who you wish you were-
And as much as I love him, I know you’ll never be.

You don’t know how I take my coffee.
You don’t know where I keep my change.
You don’t know my handwriting.
You don’t know my body-
At least not in entirety or in proper lighting.
It’s too dark, too excused, for you to tell my eyes are blue.
You don’t know my height or weight.
You don’t know I eat everything with a fork,
You don’t know when I’m angry I brake plates.

You know me, boy.
You carried my heaviest secrets
To help them feel thin.
We skipped all the details-
And skidded out into letting you in.
You know when I’m up and my bedtime
And youre always around to tuck me in.
You know I’d love to know more of you-
But you’ve got places to go and im just somewhere you’ve been. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Sometimes, I want to drive my car right into whatever the fuck is on the other side of that guardrail. Sometimes I want to be reckless and out of control so that never again will I have a desire, or an ability to be in control of anything. Sometimes I wonder how many pills I have to take to get my stomach pumped, how many more I have to take to end it. Sometimes I think about how bad it would hurt to slit my wrists and how long I would have to think about what I had done. Sometimes I think if I was prettier, I would hang myself in that bay window in your apartment.
Your apartment. The one I helped you move into. I helped you move in there. I helped you shatter the plaster of the ceiling carrying a bed frame neither of us were built to support. I helped you hang curtains. I sat up with you when he was gone and I slept over when you were too tired to go out. I windex-ed that bay window a million times, a swept your floors and wiped down your counters. I sealed your checks and stamped your love letters. I have your spare key on a chain right next to the key to your Honda Civic, in case something happens and you call. What the hell would happen to you, if I was on the other side of a guardrail and didn’t answer the phone.
I think about you at work the day I went to the ER. I remember your hands shaking as you sliced watermelon, and I remember the juicy pink overflow on your polo. I thought for a second you would cry. I thought for a second, in that stupid Nike hat, and that work polo, that those blue eyes would water for me. I remember sitting knelt over with my head against the floorboard as I rode to the hospital, and I wished you were driving. I wished we were in my car, that I always let you drive, and I wished you were telling me about how you shouldn’t have hooked up with that girl at that party. I wished I was helping you write a paper over the phone and I was comfortable in my bed. I wished that we were still at work together, and what had happened hadn’t happened, and that I was starting your coffee and stacking your trays. I wished I was helping you, I wished you weren’t worried and I wished we were together as I rode alone to the ER. I wonder now, if those blue eyes would water at the hospital if they said they tried to pump my stomach but it was just too late.
I think about holding your hand. I think about the way that your nails were chewed even worse than mine. I think about your calluses and your long fingers. I think about that time we pretended to be together to protect you from some other girl. I think about the time I sat up all night memorizing that stupid song so I could sing for you while you caressed keys with those hands. I think about you told me you needed me the only time I ever told you no, and then all the handsey procedures that followed. I wonder if you’d find another hand to hold, it mine was bloody and cut to the bone.
Then I think about your apartment. And how your bay window has blurred the lines between the world and me, between yours and mine, between you and me. I think about how I need to do something for me just a little bit less than I want to do everything for you and thus I tie a rope to your curtain and not to my neck. I hope you like the favors and contributions I’m trying to give to you. Maybe they’re worth hand holding and can persuade you to care a little bit about me. The little things I have given you are all I have…
it really is too bad I’m not just prettier after all. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Saltine to be Specific

A Saltine to be Specific

I ate a cracker this morning. A saltine to be specific. Dammit. It was only eight-thirty.Devoured the entirety. Perfect, complete, but so gluttonous. I had not intended to eat it,when i think of it, i didn't want to. It was like a reflex, a breakfast reflex. The first bite was anyways. That’s my biggest problem I think, I start something and I’m in it for the long haul.
One touch of teeth on teeth. All of a sudden my  body was rolling on the most hardcore drug in town. Sinful. Goodbye clean body, toxinless temple, and goodbye caloric record. I should have known you would come back for me blood sugar. That’s what you do isn’t it sir, come in, infect me, tell me I need you, tell me it’s a cracker, tell me its not that bad- you come in and you make me like it, tell me i need it. you're telling me you keep me alive sir, but i know it is you thats killing me. You’re the forbidden fruit of Eden Mister, and you come right in and take my innocence and purity.
Maybe with all that euphoria and a bite of saltine in me, I lost all my coherency. Maybe Blood Sugar was already working his black magic, maybe I had already lost control. It always happens like that. I took just one one bite, of a damn saltine, and then i had to take another- like I said, im in it for the long haul.
I took another bite. It was smaller to avoid indulgence. That time I paid attention to the every contraction and relaxation of chewing. I concentrated on how it felt. I personified my teeth. They liked it. It was different from the gum they had been given yesterday, and the day before. Gum is like a four speed bike: enjoyable, better than nothing, but more work than reward. If I chew gum for two hours, my jaw alone burns sixteen times the five calories I ingest. Besides, I spit gum out, and my boyfriend always says, it doesn’t count if I don’t swallow. So gum, like I said, is like riding a four speed- because at the end you're tired and hungry, but you got where you needed to be. A saltine is just a pleasure cruise. Three bites and my body hoards three calories.
Three calories. Like the ones from a saltine, are actually three kilo-calories. That’s thousands of calories. So compact, so bland, so substantial. I ate thousands of calories this morning. three thousand six hundred is a pound. how close i had cut it, how reckless i had been.
Two bites in I just stood there in my apartment kitchenette, with one bite left. A little bite. It looked so innocent in my hands. It always does. Saltines are the most malicious cracker i have ever come by. temptation in the rawest form. you always want the little bit that remains. i know i didn't deserve it, i know three days of gum and four of hard salsa classes and sleepless nights being used for crunches gave me no right to indulge. I did it anyways. thats the thing with me and food, i know whats good for me, and i know how to get healthy and that i shouldn't do what i do, but i keep on doing it anyways. So I took my last bite.
It felt like such a binge after I was done. I could hear my mother’s voice in my head from way back when telling me: “don’t feel like you need to finish that honey. Never eat when you’re not hungry. We need to control what we put in our bodies.” I don’t know what hungry felt like anymore. I cried then, I had been waiting to for a while I think, and maybe that saltine gave me just enough energy to let it all out. My mom would be disappointed in me. And she would probably blame herself or some equivilant craziness.She would miss her daughter and fear the monster replacement. All that time and all that effort, and I still don’t know how to eat.  And to top it all off, I have no control.
 I convinced myself what was probably just nerves and upset, was bad digestion and stayed home today.  I spent three hours at the gym repenting and trying to burn some of the kilocalories I had for breakfast. When I got home, my boyfriend asked me what was wrong and offered to make me dinner like usual. something is always wrong, and he like everyone else always eats dinner. I refused and said only, “I had a big breakfast, I don’t feel good.” I am shameless.
So today resulted in three hours on a treadmill, a morning of tears, a sick day, a million lies, and thousands of calories. I have weeks worth of guilt i'm building now, toxins in my temple, and a probable blow to my figure to deal with. All because I ate a cracker this morning. A saltine, to be specific.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

filling up and leaking out

My shower was small and the water had gotten cold. The walls were cheap and plastic, and peeling from caulk against the pale pink plaster that defined the bathroom. Every light was on, and the curtain was opened. There was a white rug on the floor, and it was turned grey where the water had skidded off my skin and soaked it. I watched the rug as it got more and more wet, and thought about how alike we were. Both of us stone cold and still in that bathroom, slowly filling up and leaking out.
My right arm was bloody and dripping. I settled to the knees on top of the drain and I watched my blood hit the water and dissipate like food coloring before it slid down the drain. My knees pressed into the grate and I felt the imprints of the cold hard metal force into my skin.deeper and deeper, harder and harder. The outline engorged me. It felt good,  it was sustenance in the only form that I appreciated it. There I was, on the floor of my shower- filling up and leaking out. And that is the only way I ever feel good. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fuck, Marry, Kill

He’s dirty
His hands are bloody and bruised.
He’s gentle
His steps are soft and his breaths are slow.
He’s appropriate
His eyes are closed his skin is close.
He’s dirty
With close skin and slow breaths.
I’d fuck him.

Someday he’ll be educated
Mozart, Milton, and mechanics.
Someday he’ll be wealthy
In soul or in stuff.
Someday he’ll be witty
With inside jokes and good intentions.
Someday he will be educated
With good intentions and soul.
Someday I’d marry him.

If he was clean
With smooth hands and heavy steps
If he was stupid
With stuff and bad jokes
If he was lost in sight of a someday-
I’d kill him.

He’s educated
he knows me like the back of his hand.
He’s wealthy
That boy has all of me.
He’s witty
All his jokes get inside me.
He’s dirty
With close skin and slow breaths.
I’d fuck him. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hoping For Raleigh

Hoping For Raleigh 

“I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Picked me a bouquet of dogwood flowers,
And I’m hoping for Raleigh
So I can see my baby tonight.”

I’ve given up on seeing lines and lanes
I just wanna feel that satin and lace
I wouldn’t care if I drove off this road,
If the risk was anything but seeing your face.

I didn’t say I was coming
Because im just feeling needy.
I need to make it just far enough south
To get you to hold me.

You told me not to leave when I did,
Said I couldn’t bear the cold.
Warm me up baby-
I’ll never grow up, im just getting old.

I bet you have a life now
Some big plans and a big deal
Cause you were always good at being good
And I don’t know how not to steal.

If I run out of cigarettes and these flowers die on my dash,
I’ll knock on our door with petals and Marlboro ash.
I hear they’re cheap here in Raleigh,
“So I can see my baby tonight” . 

Sunday, March 11, 2012



There is a tranquility at my lonely kitchen table. It’s modest, quiet, and tarnished. There is a candle from some fancy shop in the center of a town just far enough out to be a trip. There are some dishes from this morning too; a plain glass, a cracked plate, and a fork. I eat everything with a fork. I Push them to the other side of the table like I always do, and open a self-help book on time-management or some similar bullshit. These are what gifts become when you enter adulthood, I guess.
I stop for a second to look at the picture that has become a bookmark. I think my Aunt in one of the Carolinas sent it to me for Christmas. It is of my cousin and I, seven and eight I’d guess, in that big opened living room we had when we were still down south. I can see into our dining room in the picture, (it was probably the only legitimate dining room we ever had) and on that table is some china I’d never eaten off of and some chandelier bulbs dad hadn’t yet installed. The living room was pretty impressive for our family too, big old stone fireplace, two matching velvet chairs and a long ass sectional my parents split up in the divorce.
Then there is Jessie and I. I’m wearing a red sheet wrapped around me like a strapless gown with a longer train than any wedding dress I have legitimately seen. Jessie too, is decked in linens, but she is pulling off a sassier short look. Her sheets are pinned up at the hips with hair ties and her own popcorn-butter-coated-fingers. We both tied up our straight blonde hair in knotty buns and left out some straggly strands for show. I am holding a hair brush (that did not belong to me) and has the word “princess” inscribed on the pink grip. Jessie has the real microphone; she must have bribed with a good secret to get it for the day.
Looking at the picture I can hear us singing Britney Spears at the top of our lungs. My dad walks in and out of the memory, desensitized to our booming presence. Sometimes we’d yell demands like :
                “Daddy, This dog can’t be on stage with us, it’s barking over my singing!” or,
“Uncle Mark, can I have a Pepsi? Britney always drinks Pepsi and we are just as famous as her!”
Then he would let the dog out, and brink us drinks. He would be muttering things under his breath about how we should “marry wealthy” cause we clearly weren’t ever going to be “cut-out for day-jobs”. He’d tell my brother and his friends that “at least we were ambitious” and he would tell our mothers that they should teach us to be “realistic”. He would tell us we should hope we were “cute like this forever” because he saw no signs of “the crazy in us calming down”.
We didn’t mind back then, we would steal away with our sodas in our dresses and write fairytales about becoming famous and being on Oprah.
Sometimes in the end we married princes- but that was always for the tabloids. When we were young, famous, and successful princesses, we were romantic classics, and we were always in love with the poor boy next door.
 It sure as hell made for a good story.

I called him a couple weeks ago, the poor boy next door. He didn’t have long to chat, he translates for the UN now and has two kids. His wife is a stay at home mom I hear, but she is better at being best friends with their nanny. He asked what my plans were and where I was in life. I laughed anticipating how surprised he would be if he knew how calm the crazy in me had become. I looked at my kitchen table and ramshackle apartment and I told him, “I’m pretty successful too. I’m saving up to buy our old house back.”
I will get it all back too. I’ll be trading in this tarnished table for chandeliers and velvet chairs. Even if it means marrying a prince for the tabloids and wearing my best red sheets. Daddy should be proud. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012



I have a set of keys
To 900ft. of carpets and walls.
I know how many steps to the bathroom,
How many people fit in these halls,
But knowledge isn’t home.

I have a bedroom with my paper name on the door
In a house somewhere too far out.
In a place that smells like your cigarettes and perfume,
Where the air tastes like strangers and doubt.
Papers and names don’t make home.

I have a gas tank and four tires
New brakes, and a new transmission.
But she came used and already trained,
And she starts up without my permission.
Mechanics built her body but didn’t build a home.

I have a gypsy whim to abide by
And a youthfulness unwilling to settle.
I miss believing in something permanent
I’m a gypsy who is too attached to you:                                  
           I'm the present tense of cars and keys that came and went. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Things He Told Me

The Things he Told Me

“Tell me all your secrets” She said.
My parents hate themselves.
My two cats love each other more than any human being.
I had an accident when I was nine
And when I was eleven I pushed my sister on purpose.
I want a white picket fence
I don’t want to be the death of me.
I have never really been in love,
But I promised someone I would love her forever.

“Tell me your truths” she said.
I don’t know what I believe.
I believe in true love.
I don’t believe in god,
but I believe there is magic in the third pew from the alter.
I believe men and women are created equal,
And all men should know how to drive a truck and skin a deer.
There are always bad people.
There are no honest definitions.

“Tell me your story” she said.
I wrote a book once.
No one bought it.
I guess that like all art,
It was a self-portrait.
I grew up right here.
Graduated there, skinnydipped in that water, and had sex on that soil.
I’ve had brown hair and brown eyes my whole life-
Just like my sister’s.
But these seasonal freckles
And that faded suntan
Are really telling my story.

“Tell me who you love” She said.
I love my mom.
She never yells at me anymore
And she looks at me like the man across the hall-
With worry and forgiveness.
I love my sister (I guess)
But she is kind of a slut.
I love my sophomore history teacher-
He once had us color in class.
I learned so much about the world.

“Tell me who loves you” She whispered.
Not the right people.
A girl who wants something impossible from me.
A girl who won’t believe me when I tell her:
“I made it all up” he said. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I wonder

I wondered when you sat shotgun
Your fingertips on my forearm.
Your voice in my ears.
Your rhythm in my heartbeat.

My hands cooled my face,
when I was hot and sticky.
You just smiled.
I wondered then, too.

I had no appetite,
But I wanted to swallow you down.
Wanted to taste and feel you
To keep you deep inside of me
Filling me with wonder.
Filling me with hunger.

Then there were goodbyes.
Your poetry between my lips.
Your hands warming my face.
And I wondered then
Because I could feel the tears
Inside of me- where you belong.

I wondered when you were with her.
The frozen seconds of you too on expensive paper,
Brought me those same brown eyes,
That same tangled hair
Except this time- against her.
Tangled in her hair you were in her brown room.
I spit up a smile for you still.

Why is your smile
So overwhelming and all-consuming?
Why is every word of yours
Worth a thousand pictures?
Though I never could say it:
I wonder what that is-
If it’s you, filling me to the brim.

Then so much distance,
Starved and emptied me.
I Spewed out all my pleas.
I begged you for one sip
I longed for one more bite
You gave me nothing;
So I sustained myself on wonder.

Here we are now.
No pictures. No poetry. No hair or skin. No distance.  
Nothing sacred yields nothing broken.
Your heart and my soul, can’t make any more promises.
Overdosed and underfed by and for- you
I wonder. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Denim on Rayon

Denim on Rayon.
He sank her onto the bed and followed her down. His fingertips slipped down the rayon defined curves of her torso and then clenched at her hips. He proceeded slowly, moving his fingertips down the sides of her cotton leggings and stopping at the hem of her dress. With new found confidence he slid underneath her clothes and felt the warmth of her skin on his. He kissed her neck and shoulders as he leaned into her body and his hands neared her breasts. She took a heavy breath.
“are you okay?” He asked.
“We don’t have to do this.” He whispered. He kissed her jawline beneath her ear and she encouraged him by running her cold fingers up his naked back all the way into his scalp. The hair on the back of his neck erected. He kissed her lips and pulled her up right.
Her dress made a soft pillow behind her when he laid her back down, his hands cupping her breasts. He moved one hand down her stomach to the inside of her thigh. He Pressed her knee out and pulled away from her to inch into the space he’d made for himself.
“Turn off the light” She whispered. One shaky hand lay over her own stomach. Her other index finger traced the letters Levi Strauss and co while her thumb lie just inside the joint of the perpendicular zipper on his jeans. He moved his hand up her stomach and weaved it inside of hers.
“I want to see you.”
“Not this well.” She moaned. Her voice was saturated in nervous neediness. He kissed her chest and hesitated, but then nodded into her, his nose tickling her. He pushed himself to his knees with that hand and then leaned backwards to feel for the switch on the wall. when he removed his hand from hers she too sat up, her legs wide around him, and unbuttoned his jeans. Her hands were still unsteady and cold, but they were certain.
“do you want help?” He moaned. His voice dripping impatience and incontinence. She needed not respond, he guided her hand down the zipper of his jean and over his lap. She petted the outline of him over the denim, and inhaled deeply. She opened her eyes and tilted her head slightly upward to look at him, Her nose rested on his chin. He bowed his head and kissed her.
“Back up,” He breathed. He held the crotch of his clothes in one hand and took a couple steps back on his knees. She laid back and inched closer to the head of the bed, pulsing towards him again with every inch of separation, never taking her hands from his body, ceaselessly clinging to the anticipation.
He pushed her knees together with both hands and kissed the cotton that covered them. He drew her calves up over his shoulder and swept her into nudity. He then did the same to himself, and centered himself inside her.
What had always been fairy tale, forbidden, dark, and desirable was suddenly just his inhaling and her exhaling. His putting in the effort, and her opening up. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With No Regard for Fall

With No Regard for Fall
(Summer Loving II)

That summer: I was eighteen, as was he.
he had a hard jaw, soft lips, sunless cheeks,
He spoke in poetry that trusted me.
We made love for a lifetime, in just weeks.

We screamed to Jimmy Buffet at sunset,
we sat up playing “secrets” after dawn,
He held my wrists under mosquito net
and dreamed of together in his back lawn.

I drove to his house all alone at night;
In my backseat we pushed away the fall;
We didn’t care if we were wrong or right,
because there I had him and that was all.

We weren't sensible but where passionate
And since the fall, I’ve wished I could forget.

Monday, January 23, 2012

the psuedoscientist

The Psuedoscientist 
        She asks me the stupidest questions. I give her answers her third graders would understand.
 “Babe, what’s ‘string theory‘” she asked for the third time this month as it came up in my recollection of my day at work yesterday. I’m a fucking physicist, if I felt like re-explaining myself four-times, I would be a teacher too.
 “I refuse to answer that again. We have gone over this, do you ever listen to me Becky?”
 “If I didn’t listen to you, I wouldn’t even realize that we are talking about string theory again.” she mumbled. It made me feel bad when she mumbled. 
        My wife is not the type to accidentally speak inaudibly. She teaches third-graders to read and write. Annunciation and pronunciation are probably the most important concepts in the world to her. There we go right there, quantum mechanics and atomic biology bicker in my brain, and all my wife hears is punctual pauses and word choices. So when she mumbles, I always feel bad. It means I have managed to make her feel so degraded, that not only is she inadequate at table talk with me and my PhD, she shouldn’t even be confident in her ability speak the way seven years at an elementary school and four years at a University English department taught her to.
        I am not really the abrasive and aggressive type. I definitely lack power and masculinity when I’m not at home. Again, I’m a fucking physicist, I don’t have any friends. I’m five-seven and I don’t have but twenty pounds on our husky -Eisenhower Fitzgerald. (but lets be clear, he’s a big fucking dog). I cant recall the last time I voluntarily combed my hair before I left the house or the last time I got invited out for drinks. I was a virgin till I was twenty-two. I was nineteen before I could ask a girl out.  I am not an intimidating piece of man; to anyone except Becky. I’m not very good at acknowledging her respect for me without abusing my intellectual authority. 
“I guess I am tired. I have a hard job. Besides, I was late because I had to finish my speech tonight and you know I hate writing.” Becky smiled and nodded at me. She knew I wasn’t lying, she’d met our secretary and all my colleagues; so she knew she would never have to worry I was getting any office ass. 
“Can I read the speech Babe?” She asked, clearly and loud. One point josh, crumbled the mumble. 
       I pushed my work across the table to her. She took the same purple pen to it she took to her third-grader’s chicken scratch and the bestsellers she bought with my credit card when she walked home from the school. Pissed me off. She has no degree of skill-set separation. Somehow I had ended up marrying the teacher I laughed at in high school, the one who told me her lower lever classes had students just as smart as me.
“Avoid the passive voice” Becky’s voice said as her pen crossed my paper. That shit doesn’t matter, physics matters, equations matter, my thesis matters. My research matters. Presentation is idiot work. I don’t even know what the passive voice is. Fuck giving speeches. Fuck social science. Fuck her nonsense editing.
“Whatever” I said. Okay, I’m a physicist, but intellect doesn’t dictate maturity. Becky smiled at me again, she is good with kids.
        Pen scratch: “Vary sentence structure.” Whatever, I thought. 
        Ink on paper: “Connect these sentences, separate those.” Whatever, I thought.
        Purple ballpoint circles in my margins: “Don’t ask questions in the middle of a piece like this. Don’t answer that which is rhetorical either.” She hmmed and ahhhed. The purple stain: “This is unclear. This is a proper noun, capital letter. That is repetitive. We should paraphrase your thesis here. Nice conclusion.”  What-the-fuck-ever I thought. 
“None of that is really important Becky. But you probably missed the good stuff.” I said. She hates the word good and the word stuff. But like I said, that didn’t matter.  
       She sighed and rolled her eyes. She was used to my belittlement. She has always said ‘its hard for me to respect how different our fields are‘.  but I’m pretty sure its just hard to accept lies under a pseudonym, purple pens, romance, and third grade thought processes as a respectable field; for anyone.
“Will you please read it to me?” Becky asked. I agreed. 
       I did none of that nonsense she does when she reads out loud. She reads novels to the third graders, and to our cats for practice. Sometimes, if she feels like a big girl, I will come home and she will be reading grown-up books to Eisenhower. She undergoes a process before she reads to them, or to me; if I’m in a good enough mood to bear that bullshit, or I can be sure sixty pages of Judy Bloom or J.K. Rowling will get me some sex.  She introduces the book and surveys the room. She stands up, or sits tall when she reads. She holds the paper at a distance, and looks up and smiles a lot. Sometimes she goes as far to ask our pets if they need any clarification or have any contextual questions. Stupid habit. 
         I held the paper right up close to my face. I stumbled over the first word. I mumbled out the second and third. Saliva projected as I approached what I hoped to be a maintainable vocal velocity. My hands were shaking before I got through the first paragraph, my voice soon after. Fuck that, I gave up. Dammit, I’m a physicist, I shouldn’t have to give speeches. That shit is for third graders I told myself, third graders and adults without a real field.
 “You’ll get it honey.” Becky comforted. I won’t lie, the empathy helped. She rubbed my arm and held me hand. I couldn’t tell if the hand holding was like: I love you we’re married we have sex we hold hands, or like: don’t be scared to cross the street or read out loud, I’ll hold your hand. 
        She read my paper out loud. Then again and again. Sometimes she would read the same paragraph four or five times, with different inflections and punctual pauses before moving on. She looked at Eisenhower for questions, and looked at me for understanding as she brought life to my genius at our kitchen table. 

       She started a new novel after I got home today. It is about a scientist. That’s nice I guess. She is having me read it out loud to her. She asked me if I was opposed to the role reversal, I said “whatever“. 
       Every couple pages, I have to look up to catch my breath when I read it to her. She listens carefully, and I can be pretty certain its not because she is looking for sex. She takes notes with purple pen on blue lined paper. A couple times, I’ve found myself looking at the pets for reaction, and at her for understanding. She asks me the stupidest questions. But the sad part is, my answers are none better than a third graders. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby: He Blurs lines

Baby: He Blurs lines 

I saw him the other day
With his father.
Driving over curbs
Spilling coffee
Swashing through apologies
And slipping on speed bumps.

I saw him the other day
With his mother.
Sitting while laundry was folded,
Gossiping while cats were fed
Asking for money
Calling to check in
Bringing home cookies and making lemonade,
And waving goodnight.

I saw him the other day
With his best friend.
Riding his bike too fast
Working too little
Drinking too much
Blurring the lines between excess and climax
Shaking hands and keeping distances
Hitting lacrosse balls with hockey sticks
And blurring the lines between twelve and twenty.

I saw him the other day
With me.
Gently suggesting I pump my breaks,
Raising an eyebrow at cleavage and coatless Januarys.
Raising a hand at a thirty point scrabble word
Raising to stand at dropped gloves and lip gloss
Laughing at bad jokes
As long as they are better than last weeks
And remembering there is always room for improvement.

I saw him the other day,
And I thought:
I want a boy like that someday.
With fine light hair and missing front teeth,
To teach to be just like him
When he is somewhere between the lines
Of twelve and twenty. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thanks for Driving.

Thanks for driving.

I appreciate the ice coffee.
I enjoy the drive-thru windows and your order hesitance,
Straws and cleared cup-holders,
Cards and cash.
Thanks for the caffeine and cream that came
Eight hours into a fourteen hour day.
Some girls want roses and have thanks’ they’ll need you to say
But I’ve never felt more acknowledged
Then I did that long work day.

I appreciate the forgiveness.
You know about the sobriety I lacked on the roundabout.
About the ways I’ve made my mother cry.
About the accidents, and the purposeful detriments.
Worst though: I’ve sworn I hate you a hundred million times.
And you never hold it against me-
When I inevitably need you the next day.
It’s not right to lie to you
But the truth is hard to say.

I appreciate you being my hero.
For checking my fluids
And reminding me to turn on my lights,
For picking me up and bringing me home
And checking to make sure I get back safe.
Thanks for coming to get me when I locked my keys in my car.
You didn’t even yell.
Youre the only person I’d have trusted to come out.
Though with the way I act, you never could tell.

I appreciate your reliability.
It’s nice to think you wouldn’t lie to me.
You’re always where you say you’re ganna be,
Your always on time.
You don’t let me tell myself I’m beautiful and perfect
We both know that isn’t true.
But you’re always there to tell me I’m okay.
You’re reassurance and guidance,
And you’re there for me every day.

I appreciate your memory.
I’m confident that you know my birthday.
You keep names straight in all my stories.
You remember my schedule, my parent’s names,
And how much I prefer diet coke products.
You remember holidays, hair colors, and every bad story I wish you’d forget.
You won’t ever let me abandon the night of makeup you put on me;
Or how many good deeds I’ve done and times I’ve helped-
You have those locked in memory.

I appreciate your tolerance.
Thanks for dealing with tears at work,
And fights that weren’t your fault.
For listening to loneliness, hunger and hate
For remedying sadness time and time again.
Thanks for letting me wear robes in public
And sing without the radio while youre in a check-out line.
Thanks for getting to know that I’m crazy,
And thanks for letting that be fine.

Theres a lot that you do for me,
I don’t want you to think I take for granted.
I am more grateful for you
Then I will probably ever show.
But I’ve written this to tell you;
I appreciate you driving, just so you know.