Monthly Archives: January 2010

make a wish

there was a time when she let the emotions pile up
when they were allowed to control her
and she was helpless to fight them

but that time is not now
and with a way out comes hope

she’s shaking
as she places her fingers on the keys,
playing each disconnected note
with as much force as she can muster

it’s not a pretty song
stumbling and broken
but she plays it anyway
as each note says what the lyrics won’t
stories about
letters on pale sun kissed skin
and coffee and cream eyes

somewhere in here is where she belongs

take the next step now

why doesn’t matter anymore

she only does it now because it’s safer to forget
as if with the loss of each memory
she can lose some of the blame

it’s all right this time
pour the truth back into the song
let it hold everything real that you can’t carry

she can’t take it back
and with a crash
every note goes spiraling
out of control and down at once

and this time it’s a fading story
that means nothing at all

she lets go
and the echoes run into walls
and are slowly absorbed
before she changes her mind

it couldn’t be explained in the music anymore
not on your tongue or on paper
not where they could find it

something breaks free inside
and the warmth of her fingers on smooth, white keys fades
and they are left cold and lifeless again
as she takes off
leaving the old songs behind
lost in the old walls of older buildings

it gets better than that up here
where they can’t pin you down anymore

and she knows that promise can’t be broken
and what was said doesn’t matter any more

she laughs and traces each cloud’s silver lining with her toes
and feels the a new story starting to form
up here where pretenses can’t reach



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11:34 PM

i have to smile each time I talk to you
and hear about your pretty complaints-
like you are filled
with nothing but sunlight and oxygen,
impossible to see through
because there’s nothing to hide,
and dampened only by the occasional cloud.

you weren’t trying to break my heart,
and it’s all right. you never did.
then why is it in pieces? you asked.

when i said i did it myself, you looked me in the eye, whispered
so you don’t blame me?

i never said that.


you’re insane, they told me.
stop messing with his head, she scolds.
tell me everything, he said.

i can’t.

secrets aren’t good for you.
no, but they’re worse for you.
it’s all right, i understand.

no, you can’t. no one can.
or maybe everyone does.
do they?
you tell me.
when you look
down inside yourself,
is there that hidden desperation,
that not-so-secret longing,
the inexpressible desire

to tell someone
the only thing you’re not allowed?

i laugh out loud, hard,
until the tears hit with numbing intensity.

if only he knew.
if only you knew.

you will, soon enough.

but for right now,
i can’t tell you
because i’d hate to have to kill us both.
what is it that keeps me up all night
wakes me up with tears that no one sees,
that only i taste,
that never actually come?

i don’t know the name for it, to tell you the truth.

(how often do i mean that?
i say it so often,
but how often do I really tell you the truth?)

it’s a little bit of her,
a little bit of him,
maybe even a little bit of you.
it’s a lot of me.

you have to tell me these things.
no, actually, I don’t.
i rarely do.

why is it that each time i start to tell the truth
they act like i’m a terrible person,
like i’m lying?

“no one loves a liar.”

i never bought that.
everyone loves a liar.


i hear mothers tell their four year olds
don’t tell lies.. how would you feel if someone lied to you?
that’s right. you shouldn’t lie. it isn’t nice..

i wonder about that, really.
what do they feel so sad about?
that they’ve been lied to, or that they were told the truth later?
is it really the truth that is so nice?

seems to me the truth is what everyone hates.


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all three sides


I can’t breathe that quickly
fill my lungs
calm my tumbled thoughts
my heart is not a stone
stop trying to polish it
and smooth me over

I never was perfect
not like you always said

it is not that easy
as breeze like a whisper plays
on my skin

and I fit in on all three sides
of the chaos of telling
stories that she can’t yet tell
and maybe never will

why aren’t you digging
I ask her
there’s so much to be found
I wonder if there will ever be an answer
or only these pastel painted letters

so beautiful
and so consistently meaningless.


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She loves hawks, that one-
always has, always will.
She watches for them like she is one herself-
no speck of brown against a blue sky goes unnoticed.

Ever since she was old enough to turn pages
she’s pored over pictures of birds,
asked their names,
listened for their calls.
She tells me every day
that she’s found her favorite
and it changes every time.
But there’s something about the hawk
that she’s always dragged back to.

“Someday she’ll be like a hawk, that girl-
and watchful,
beautiful and just a little frightening.

There will be another little girl, one day.
She’ll watch her fly
and that girl will want to be up in the sky with her too,
do what she does,
see what she sees,
fly wherever she flies.

But right now she is always the littlest,
always the baby.
She’s got a stubborn will
and more passion inside her chest
than anyone I’ve stumbled across in this world.

It’s considered a character flaw now,
a problem to be dealt with
until she can burn for the right reasons.
But someday she won’t be the littlest.

Someday she will be a person
who knows where she wants to fly
and there will be people who want to follow
the girl who loves the hawks.


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I pretend that I can control you,
that you are honey on my tongue,
that I am the artist
and I alone can decide what to paint.

But my story
is like a little girl playing make believe-
I will be the mother, you will be my baby.
I can pretend that you do not affect me
and that I am the one in control,
but they all see through the lies.

When I lie in bed at night
you run circles around my mind
and when I busy myself throughout the day
you are always there,
threatening to break me apart,
promising to piece me together again,
tugging at my soul.

I am afraid of every opportunity
but you pull me down,
block out the world,
and direct my attention to every beginning,
like fresh snow
waiting for my footprints.

You can resist this time,
I tell myself.
you are not a pawn in this game.

It’s an innocent lie,
one I repeat to myself every morning.
But every time I mouth the words
I hear the sounds of soft laughter
as if you know better.

Each morning I pick up a pencil,
sharpening it until it nearly breaks,
the urge to fill in the emptiness.
I trace letters into my palm,
pressing hard enough to break the lead
and let it bury itself in my skin.

And it begins-
sometimes a struggle,
sometimes a dance,
never without bloodshed
and never logical-
but never without reason.

You always have won,
and you always will,
that every day
I am drawn to you.


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