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.

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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.

“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 seized.

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.