My mother stresses
effort when it comes to
relationships, where
my father
stresses happiness.

Sometimes I wonder
if this is out of practicality or
lack-luster romance;
and, to be a pessimist,
I sometimes question
who fell out of love,

But, I want to
contest this, say instead
they fell into us,
chose family over
lust; saw
the whole picture
of 1 + 1
equals infinite possibilities,
they became “we”,
and together,
in one room,
watch a video of their wedding
day, watch them kiss
and pull back with
smiles on their faces.

I know
they weren’t settling.

When they ask
each other what was
on their minds that day,
they can’t recall with certain clarity.
But when they stress
what I should do with boys and broken hearts,
it’s not out of complacency,
or lack of fuss,
but the fact that they only want
the very best for me.


The Actual Abuse Poem

I want a love
where I don’t have to
bargain my body,
where we don’t
fix things
by you hitting me.
I want the only
kind of compromise
to be between my
Maker and me.
I don’t want another conversation
in the basement
with my mother
to tell her how badly
I was bleeding.
I don’t want to be shocked
that it shouldn’t have
hurt me.
As a concept,
I still miss us,
still want all the places,
the promises. I can’t listen to
classical without thinking of
the opera, and I’m
dreading going back to Philly
without a hand leading me.
I want a love
where love poems
come easy. Where
‘hurt’ can’t be found
a concrete thing.
I want a love
that loves me,
that puts in effort,
that keeps me happy.
I want a love
that doesn’t make me choose
between them
or me.

Fair Exchange 

A boy
I have not spoken to
in three years
pulls me aside to tell me
I deserve better.

My sister calls this
an act of God,
that sometimes someone has to speak
the truth because I know it,
but don’t believe it myself.
But this time,
I agree with her.

Think it’s funny
how someone who used to beg me
for things below the belt,
doesn’t know how he’s interceding
for the Holiest of holies.

Want to tell him,
I see it, too,
how God’s purposely
protecting me.

Want to apologize
for clearing out my backseat.

Want to cry out
the cliched “hallelujah”;
shed tears on the drive home,
and thank Him for his mercy.

Praise Him
that it’s been over a month
and these lips have been
consistently denied the opportunity
to learn the contours of
another no-good-for-me
some body.


Body to become a lantern,
to once again be that glowing thing,
that glowing girl again.
Body of a girl
with the sun under her skin.
Body of a fire sign,
flames rekindling.

Body holding heart
like a lifeline,
not putting pen to paper
to mimic razor on skin,
not like with him.

Body with a heart
that still loves you
possibly eternally,
some way,
hopefully never hatefully.

Body with eyes like waterfalls,
breathtaking and perpetually
Body with a writhing soul
that still cries for you.

Body with arms that
become stuck hinges,
with a mouth
that has no target
for kisses.
Body of a girl who

Body of a girl
who didn’t break,
who won’t break,
who’s realizing
with both head
and heart,
when you didn’t fight
to keep her,
when you changed your
stupid social media statuses
the same day.

Body, home to flickering candle,
to healing warrior,
to resting phoenix.
Body of a girl,
who stopped giving,
when all you did was take.

On Days like Today 

Tell her:
I will hold you
until the sun falls out of the sky.
I know your soul
is only comfortable
in the darkness and I am
okay with perpetual night.

I will love you
even if we don’t make light.
I will love you
even if I can’t see the sparks

I will love you
in the endless blackness
that I’m willing to risk
for just a moment
where your life and mine

I will love you
even if it means I can only parade you
under moon shine.

In a Moment

I realize now
why I teared up in class,
why my professor stopped her lecture
to ask if was I alright.
And I wasn’t;
but you know I lied, right?

It was the thought of sitting in a car
with 4 pouring out my heart
about something I couldn’t explain
sharing a moment to be thrilled
I was creating something
bigger than me,
some tragedy that wasn’t
bad love or
crap poetry.

It was 4.
It has been 4 for a while now
and believing that
he could lie so easily
about having sex with me,
to avoid having sex with her,

It was learning that
someone I considered my best friend,
knew the truth,
and didn’t consult me,
didn’t defend me,
took the final nail
to the coffin of our
once friendship and
beat it in indefinitely.

So YOU know
a lot about pain, right?
So I know a lot
about heartache,
about dreams of you,
about journaling and not being able
to write your name.

But in that moment,
on Tuesday,
thinking of a conversation I had
with a boy in his car,
gushing about getting my mentor,
having him know how much those 8000
words mean to me,
I didn’t know who to believe.

In that moment,
for the first time, in a long time
I felt my heartbreak,
and it had nothing to do with a boy
leaving me.


-that I might get over three years ago; wrong time, right place 

-that I could easily get over the memory

-that I’d stop thinking “what if” when you’ve forgotten about me

-to not bruise so quickly

-to be taken care OF

-to have a mutual, reciprocated same kind of love

-that I didn’t get attached so easily

-for arms that are long enough to wrap around me

-for these arms to stay

-for none of the people hinted at in this poem to be the ones that take away the aches