Do Not Confuse Her with “Flora”

I refuse to name my daughter Ivy.
I refuse to let her cling to any
male that sets his sights upon her.
I refuse to have her twist herself
against the cracks,
always reaching
in order to be seen as good enough.

I refuse to name my daughter Lily.
I do not want anyone to
treat her with mockery because of her
innocence. I do not want them to
brand her with naivety because
she refuses to fall prey to their
dirty fingers and cracking palms,
thinking she does not know love.

I will name her Rose.
I will watch her wait for a suitor
that is not afraid of her thorns.
I will give my approval to the man
who supports her like trellis,
and praises her when she’s in bloom.


It’s getting over the fact
that I wasn’t good enough
for them,

That it has nothing to do with me,
but rather the hands
my eager heart
fell into—-

It has a habit of jumping out of my chest
when words tangle in my throat—-
This is why I run.
I am traffic jam in and of myself
and making eye contact with you
would lead to a ten car-pile up…
if my pulse could glow,
consider my veins overlapping sirens.

I’m all out for you.

Every exposed innard,
love laid out on pavement—-
roadkill romance.

I wasn’t good enough for them,
Their hands were smeared with the blood
of the past casualties they didn’t know
how to handle,

and I was left spilling over myself.

Falling in love with the medic on site,
locking eyes as he picks up my pieces,
places them in a box,
before jumping on an ambulance.

I am all burnt over scars
and possible carcass.
But I am not soulless.

When my body is left
to be peeled up off the asphalt,
I realize I was good enough,
but they were all
car crash

Waking Up to You

This is how the daylight spills over you:
Flashes of skin and muscle,
taut lines,
softened edges,
shadowed jaw,
twinkling eye,
waking up maple syrup smile,

This is how the daylight spills over me:
blinking eyes,
blurred rays,
expansive plane—-
of flesh
of muscle
of the small home his arms create,
swelling heart
constricting sigh,
ever moving.

Hurricane “We”

They sing about crashing
into you
like you are simply a wave
rolling up
and I am a shore
waiting for you to kiss me,
ever gently.

But the problem is,
I don’t want it to be

Come tumbling
over me.
Tidal wave
churning in the sea.
We won’t have to contort
our bodies
into the shape of Florida,
because I’ll be saying
your name so
many times,
people will  just assume
we’re October.

Rain over me like hurricane,
because whenever I’m with you,
it’s tropical storm season.

God, I want to.

It is me saying,
“Hey, I miss you”
when I really mean
“Hey, I love you”
when I thought about kissing you
yesterday because I have missed someone enjoying the feel
of my nails on their neck.

“Hey, what are you up to?”
Hey, I love you.
God, I want to love you.
And I am holding you close because
I know I have to let you go,
but I’m so so selfish,
so cling to me.
Don’t let go until I’m the one
pulling away.

“Hey, thank God for you.”
Hey, I love you.
I want to love you.

But I can’t give you what you deserve,
and I am certainly not what you need.

I (wish I could)
love you.”

I just wanna feel safe again

This is the thing about height,
that for once,
I’m shrouded by someone that can make me feel small again,
easy to carry,
and engulf in one steady breath.

Like my outside matches how
I’m feeling inside
and someone is taking care of me,
for once.

It’s always
“for once”
but never twice
because otherwise
I internalize wanting to be this feeble
thing that craves protection
and affection
and forehead kisses like they are
all the same thing,
found within the same person.

That my life is (once) again
under his control
and I am no longer brotherless.
That hugs and hand holding are understood
to make sure my fingers
can still make contact
with warm bodies
even though I’m freezing
from the inside out.

I missed the memo where
turns warm.