Coping Still

And if I had stayed,
I'm not entirely sure where I'd be coming
home to.
If your lap would become rest stop
for my head,
would your fingers travel through my hair
a map made by tangles, the way they did
the first night I kissed you?

Were we really like that once?

And if I had stayed,
would that home be welcoming?
Would I not miss you the way I do now,
except be physically closer?
Would you leave the sound of lasers and
boss levels to stay with me until I slept?

But I didn't stay.
And lately I miss you more than less.
But I don't regret leaving,
because in the process,
I reclaimed myself.

So I'll stay lonely.
And the questions can remain unanswered.
It hurts, but it's truly for the best.

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Animal Instinct

Every boy who has
kissed me first
has also left me.
And maybe that says something about
me,
how my mouth is bear trap,
whereas ankles are normally trapped
my lips work as snare,
confine others’ because
it’s the only way I know how to beg,
it’s the only way I can convey “stay”.

So,
I want but
never ask first.
One never does when the question leads
to abandonment;
why even bother the claws to break skin?

When you don’t have a chance of holding
what’s meant to leave you.
When mouths meeting are a different kind of speaking,
a “goodbye” tasted, instead of said.

Star-Gazing

Tell me what the hood of your truck feels like.
I think i want to melt into warm metal.
I think I want to look at the stars so much
that my love for constellations
causes them to tremble.
I think I want the sky to fall on me.

Tell me that that is a kind of love.

See us sitting in a field,
flannel blanket amidst wild flowers.
You murmur about life’s imperfections and I laugh a garden.
We entwine under an indigo sky
and there are vines connecting with pinpoints of life.
I think I want to root into earth.
I think I want the soil to take our fingerprints
twist our DNA
until we are nothing more than dandelion fluff
and children are wishing on the fantasy of us.

Tell me that that is a sign of blooming.

Tell me we can be something
under a dark sky
amidst swaying stems.
Tell me that summer is more than just “I think”
and “are wishing”.
Show me more than
“kinds” and “signs.”

Promise me
that we, too, can be wonderful.

California Dreaming (Writing About You Again)

We’re on a hillside,
overlooking the Pacific,
and it’s 80 degrees;
call it California Dreaming

Chilled champagne,
a fruit platter,
me in a silk robe
and you with a notebook in hand.

And I can see it,
your eyes covered by shades,
but there’s a twitch in your cheek
and your hand is steady with each stroke of the pen,
and I swore I’d never fall for a writer,
but, man.

In the twilight,
I look below and see Byron and Mary
strolling on the beach.
I hear Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
swoon in time with the waves that are breaking—

when I look back at you, head bent over a notebook,
pen still in hand, I stretch out my arms,
wrap them around your neck,
feeling you relax into it…

and you know
that I only write poems about dreams,
because no where in Jersey could we
maintain a patio set
without snow, or wind,
or the chance of getting it wet.

When the “Door” Shuts

So the boy
you loved three years ago,
cried two years OVER,
finally is in a relationship again.

And you cry,
before you remember

this is the same boy
who told you not to dance in your seat,
who smiled when he dimmed the happiness in your eyes,
who left,
who GHOSTED—

So the boy
you LOVED three years ago,
maybe never stopped wanting
in some way, shape, or form,
is finally in a relationship again

and you spend the next five hours on YouTube
dancing in your seat,
and this time, it only takes 300 minutes
rather than 730 days
before you’re smiling again.

It’s a Given

It’s got to be summer.
The windows are down.
“Chicken Fried”
or “Brown Eyed Girl”
or something that is
irrevocably
warm, wind-in-air
plastered smiles,
hands raised through a
sun roof
good
is playing off the radio.

This is my version,
so we’re driving down the Causeway.
And the reeds are whipping
to and fro
and your fingers are locked with mine
hand is raised to your lips,
because you know I like that.
And you let me sing,
you smile when I dance in the passenger seat.

We hit the bridge
the same time as the chorus.
I look out over the river
I’ve grown up
and around
and between from
and thank God for the marshland.
Thank God for the tiny hometown
where I spent summers feeding ducks,
writing on the porch swing,
letting the sun kiss me in all the places
you will touch so tenderly.

And when we reach the curb at my mom-mom’s,
you walk around the car,
open my door
and start singing to me,
as I lead you down the street,
past my church,
holding your hand,
taking you through my childhood,
enjoying a summer day,
realizing love can be
warm, no traffic,
fireflies at the first sign of dusk,
laughter in the
moon light
good.

Stay, just a little bit longer.

It is 12:07AM and I am
listening to Dion’s cover
of “Dream Lover” and
writing about graveyards.

Tell me in the future,
when I rake my fingers through my bangs,
have the pen behind my ear
and the desk light focused on the manuscript,
you’ll join me in the study,

Tell me
you’ll sing
“I want a dream lover,
so I don’t have to dream alone.”

Tell me
you’ll come up behind me,
kiss my head
and then retreat to the couch
that sits in my secluded space.

That you won’t leave
when the well is running low.
That you will stay when the ink
on the quill has dried.

Promise me
that you’ll stay
even if the writing’s dark,
even if Johnny Mathis fills the space
meant for shadows.

Promise me
you’ll stay when the ghost take over the pages
and the heads roll between the lines.

Love me
because even though I write death scenes
on nights like these,
when the music is happy
and my fingers are crying,

I’m a simple girl
who lives for fairytales
and wants her own happy ending.