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 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.

“The Witching Hour”

I sat by your side
and wrote about your shaking hands
while you spoke
about a project
that normalizes “otherness”.

You put your arm around me
and I lay my head against your shoulder
and I wonder why this world
makes you fight,
makes you explain
what makes you, you
and how it can be acceptable to them.

You rub your thumb against the back of my hand
and I don’t even have to think about fighting
for you,
don’t even have to second guess that the circus
is the world we already live in,
and if anything,
you’re the one with the top hat,
smiling in the middle of three rings.

I could watch you forever.
Listen to the way
you become passionate under a spotlight,
speak a world into being
so others can glimpse for a second
what you actually are:
my favorite kind of magic.

It only took me 22 to years to not fear.

If you were the person I need you to be, you would be here now. I would tell you how they burned down a mosque in Texas and that my heart is breaking and what I believe and those who stand for it are the same people who burnt down a place of worship.

See, if you were the person God wanted for me, I would tell you how I know I’m not meant to have children anytime soon because I refuse to raise babies in a time where this man is our president.

If you were the person that I dreamed you up to be, you would tell me everything that could calm me down and maybe you’d believe in prayer for a second and pray for this place with me, pray for our nation and this devastating power that has it ceased.

Prayer for our leader to be surrounded by Godly men and women, pray for him to know Christ and how the God I worship is a God of peace. How my God does not shun those who leave but calls them back and welcomes them with open arms, freely.

This is not a love poem.

This is an outcry of me wanting to make a change in a world where injustice is happening right inside our doors and I have no power to do anything.

If you were the man I fell in love with three years ago…That’s not even correct. More and more as I draw closer to God, as I rever being alone, I realize who I fell in love with was only a dream. I felt heartbreak at the thought of being lonely & you left me and there was nobody.

And yes I wrote it out. And yes there was so much on the point of obsession and yes, I don’t 100% regret it, because it was coping, because it made me who I am, even if I still fall for the same kind of man.

But you see, I am alone right now. I am breaking at the thought of our country’s future and yet I am dreaming and chasing goals that I can reach without the distraction of you and know that He will take care of me.

As tragedy strikes and you’re not here to calm the nerves, I know, more than ever, I’m where God wants me and needs me to be.

1 Year after Coming Clean 

Your ex-whatever
pops up on my
“people you may know”
and I remember the poem—

only girls who break you
get a poem written about them—

and I remember you leaning
against a truck in B lot
and telling me
that to her,
you were “too happy”.

I remember telling you
“I never liked her anyway”,
because that’s what I usually say

in these situations
where you’re mad at your heart
for getting hung up on a rose of a girl
with words that cut like thorns,

mad at yourself for falling,
for getting a poem written about you
with a cliché simile.

And this girl,
with the quirky eyebrows
and sanguine smirk,
never can be caught smiling
in any of the photos she shares with the
the world

and that might not
justify me not liking her,

but it sure makes me feel good
when I can get you laughing, teeth bared
in the moonlight.

And I thank God
for your broken heart;

for a poem where
you compare her to smoke,
to coke,
to everything that kept you
at the brink of falling apart,

because
she’s gone now
and I’m sitting in a car
with your hand tracing circles on my hip
in pure silence,

and I know when I told you earlier
“I want the very best for you”,
not only was it sincere,
it’s because I believed
you deserve it.

Sleepy Hallowed

Your fingers curl around mine
and we are drawing the curtains closed
together.
The soft touch of your palms
against the back of my hands,
the way my back leans against your chest
and you kiss my head and it’s
almost time for bed.
The room is dark except for candles
on the dresser,
the end tables,
and we find our respective
sides only to have our legs tangle under the covers.
We sigh against one another,
our breathing keeping time with the traffic outside.
The streetlights don’t stream through either
room darkening curtain or blinds
and I turn my face to kiss you,
to thank you
for peaceful nights,
curled into your side,
in a house on the fork,
falling asleep to the sounds of sleepy streets
and cars holding the kids
who can only find peace
in midnight drives.

Authenticity 

While I still lack resolve,
let me say this:
there is something about
when you say my name
that strikes fear in me;
because the next words out of your mouth
are always the truths I’m not ready to hear
like you care,
like you’re here because you want to be.

But what’s even worse,
is that I believe them

—that we find ourselves
listening to playlists
in the back seat of my car,
where I got excited over choirs
and clap-backs,
where your fingers are making circles on my skin
and I’m talking a mile a minute

and when I apologize for it,
you laugh. Say: “you’re fine”
(though I know it)
I tell you: “I know I’m too much to handle”
only to have you negate it.

Three weeks ago I told you
I loved you,
not expecting to hear you repeat it.
Last night,
for the first time in a long time,
you gave me a reason to believe it.