i left a crumb 
of myself

followed by


every few steps
in plain sight
for you

to find your way back

i remain hopeful
despite the dwindling
of the light

the dark is infinite

i've dropped the last morsel
the smallest bit

i wait

don't idle long,
my love

the birds are circling
and they are


"We can't help that we are pretty."
"You have known this all your pretty self."
"You have been granted leniency in life because you look the way you do."

i am pretty?

i would think
i would have known this
were it the case

in fairy tales
in movies
in life
is saved
is revered
is respected

i am not 
nor have I ever been

pretty has leniency.

the old mans
shriveled fingertips
nicotine stained
rough and peeling
pretending a game
up my timid
and frightened
5 year old thighs
i should say no
but this is only a game 
and i want to be a good girl


the friend
of an uncle
who is "family"
beer breath against my neck
scratchy scruff scraping
my cheek
in a whisper...

and my 13 yo self
wants to kick him
in his gross hairy
and run away

i want to be a good girl


the entitled groping
ass slaps
tit grabs
against unwilling flesh
play dead
nerves flinching
muscles contracting
an anxious 
stifled spasm
of my soul

i want this to end
i am not


pretty has leniency

i am the malformed monster
seeking refuge
in the dark

I’ll Cry About It Tomorrow

I'll cry about it tomorrow
I don't have the time for it today
Too much time deliberating
Whether or not to walk away

Dangling like a carrot
Promises you don't intend to keep
I'll worry about it tomorrow
I need to catch some sleep

I'll cry about it tomorrow
  No time, No time today
I'll cry about it tomorrow
  When nothin's left to say

I'll let it all out tomorrow
I'll try and carve out some time
Too busy drowning my heartache
In this almost empty jug of wine

We've said our peace, nothing's changed
My heart can't bear this weight
I'll think about this tomorrow
Hopefully it won't be too late

I'll cry about it tomorrow
  No time, Just no time today
I'll let it all out tomorrow
  When there's nothin' left to say

If I could have just one more day
I promise, I won't make a scene
I'll have dry eyes until tomorrow
Just to hold you close to me

Almost morning and the bed is empty
Light slowly seeps in from dawn
Tears flow to soak my pillow
Tomorrow has finally come

Fine wine

We banter
years have done nothing
to whittle away
our love

It isn't what it once was

We are older
Far more tired
than not

We can laugh at our former follies
Joke about the flaws
Compliment the qualities
Mutual respect
and appreciation

An anomaly

Old friends 
who became lovers
Old lovers
who became enemies
Old enemies
who became friends

We've come full circle

And as you console me
with words which could have been used
decades past
when you last broke my heart
words which
are rolling off my back
and doing almost nothing 
to stem the wound
left from this most recent
journey into Love's thorny

I know I'll be fine.

Friendship lasts longer
And you and I 
have aged
like fine wine.


my mind wandered
as the knife sliced 
through the pungent onions
the stubborn carrots
the sound of the blade
brought satisfaction
against the celery

i readied the stove
flames medium
the aroma
of care
permeating my home

the once solid bacon drippings
in the cast iron pot
small bits missed
from sieving

my heart sang 
the song 
of the women
before me
all the heartaches
the miseries
the mistreatments
animal fat 
over heat

the ballad of my
fell on

and i felt it
as i had

this was love

a calming daytime
a melody only
in my kitchen


i thought of you
in the peacefulness
of that moment
what we had spoken of
laughed about
agreed upon


every dash of salt
shake of spice
slow stir of whatever
was bubbling

a rhythm 
notes being played
through intuition

i could dance
all night
to the music
i cooked


for the quickest
blink of a

i missed you

A Kind of Naked

my eyes 
grew smaller by the minute
i should have been sleeping

late night conversation
next to you
side by side
in my bed
fully clothed
head to toe
we stripped down
to the vulnerable nudity
of our souls
the soft cushions
of the longed for hopes
strewn haplessly
but present
past dreams hidden
under blankets 
in the corner

my secrets and 
your demons
whispering to each other
partners in crime
tendrils of one
coiling towards the curls 
of the other

and i should have been sleeping
yet there i was
in my truth
marveling at the 
stark authenticity
of yours

is overrated


I don't believe in god
or give credence to any religion
created by fearful men
in efforts to oppress and subdue
those they felt 
were beneath them
instilling the thought process
that all were

except for themselves

religion is not for me

I still pray

my boots
smoothly pack their prints 
upon the snow covered walk
my breath
soft, steady, serene
it would be silent
save for the gentlest sound
of my steps
as I head home

the prayer is small
a quick word with the Universe
a telepathic memo to the stars
a devotion to the moon

once I'm home
I light a candle
for cleansing
I hold the wallet-sized
black and white photo of
my great-grandmother
so close to my heart
and whisper to it
as though she were right next to me
hugging me
consoling me
reassuring me
loving me

and I murmur an invocation
"give me strength
give me patience
give me kindness"

I do not believe in God

But I believe 
in the woman she was
and filled to the brim
with all the Love and Fortitude
only a cruel life 
could gracefully gift
as penance

No weight has been lifted
Problems are problems
I know
I am still 
my faith 
certainly isn't

After all
I believe in the Universe
The Stars
The Moon
and my 

And those are far more real and powerful
than any variation
of what is being sold
as God.

My home, My heart

As I'd been tossing the old and unwanted
parting with the objects 
which no longer served me
did not bring joy
were not useful
had no purpose other than
taking up
much needed space

I remembered someone saying
or maybe
I read it somewhere

A person's home is a reflection of self.

I stopped
took a moment
The books
the plants
the comforts
the oddities
the weirdness
the normal
the art
the pictures
the colors
   the colors
      the colors

the kitchen still fragrant
from the previous night's dinner
stems rooting in
plastic water filled
shot glasses
on the sparse countertop
coffee pot
half full
still hot
splashes of bright red
dried chili peppers

I took a seat
at the hand-me-down dining table
canary yellow tablecloth
with the floral print
greens, blues, purples,
complementing the artwork ridden
and mirrors
all the mirrors
to reflect
to deflect

in the stillness of the waning afternoon
splashes of the setting sun
upon shelves
filled with cookbooks
horror novels
rocks collected at parks
clay dinosaurs
molded by
young and inquisitive

I appreciated the warmness
and assurance
of the small space
I had created for myself
of myself
A brightly pleasant
curio shop
of the soul

I know
it's not for everyone
but the right one
will find it to be
a haven

The Universe Sent A Memo

This morning, my ex-husband came to pick up the kids. Ever the hospitable host, I mentioned I had one croissant left. Would he like a breakfast sandwich? Never mind that I had not eaten myself. Of course, he said yes. There I went, off to the kitchen as he sat at the dining table with the boys. And as I idly tended to the cooking and plating, I felt the strongest sadness in myself. 

This is who I am. This will always be who I am. It doesn't matter how shitty someone will treat you, you will never complain. Never fight. You will always care. You will always err on the side of kindness and consideration, like a chump. And I hated myself for that moment. I wished with every molecule in my body that I could be the spiteful and vindictive type, but I couldn't.

I can't.

I fed him. Made small talk. Hugged and kissed my kids goodbye. Felt the emptiness set in. I thought of all my exes right up to the most recent.

All the men I've loved more than they ever loved me... you're fucking pathetic. You will never be enough.

I buried myself under blankets and tried to hide from my own self.

I didn't succeed.

I went into work later that day, devoid of spirit. A fraying husk of a person. The whole evening, nothing but a handful of people. One regular, going through his own relationship woes offered commiseration. I was on autopilot. I smiled and responded with the most generic platitude I had at the ready. 

"Oh, you know. There's somebody for everybody. I just wasn't his somebody."

I was ... blank.

At some point, I realized I hadn't eaten the whole day. It was going on 9 pm. I forced myself to have a slice of pizza knowing that if I didn't, I'd get sick. The cook was rightly worried - I wasn't eating. I was always eating. Why wasn't I eating? I think I ate that one piece more to appease him than to put something in my belly.

Another regular asked if I would do a shot with him. I usually don't. Drinking behind the bar isn't my gig. But I said yes. Out of spite for myself.

I messaged a friend two short sentences. I am losing my defiance. I am losing my will.
"You are stronger than that."
I am not.
"You. Are. Sure you're allowing yourself a moment of weakness, but you are."

I didn't feel that to be true. But I knew arguing would lead nowhere and didn't bother to message back.

Then, I once again stewed. I ran through all the times I had met adversity with my chin up. Shoulders squared. The countless instances I turned the other cheek. The ridiculous amount of pain and heartache I had suffered through thinking that in the end, it would be okay. As long as I continued to put good out into the world, I would be okay.

What a fucking crock of bullshit. I felt the war within myself. The battle against becoming who I once was, who I strived to never be again. Cold, cruel, indifferent, unfeeling. 


By this point, everyone had left. It was just me and Johnny. Not everyone cares for him. He's a talker. In the grand scheme of things, he's not an angry drunk, he's almost always polite, and despite his tendency to have an opinion about everything under the sun, he has a good heart. There are far worse customers. I am not bothered by him. 

He called to me as I was cleaning, said he wanted to gift me something. He pulled that something out of his wallet and from where I was standing, it was square and shiny. For a second, I thought, There is no way this dude is trying to give me a f**king condom.

Still, I was curious and walked over. It was a flattened chocolate wrapper. It had obviously been sitting in his wallet for quite some time.

"Now," he started, still holding it gently in front of me. "it's not what it is, it's what's written on it. I'm going to show it to you and I'll leave it up to you if you want to take it. You can tell me 'No thanks, keep it' or you can have it. No pressure."

He laid it down on the bar, some cheesy inspirational quote. On a tiny piece of foil that he had been carrying with him for who knows how long. 

And in that moment, I felt my eyes welling. I swallowed to clear the lump from my throat. Quietly, "I needed this. Thank you."

He gave me a hug. Through a muffled sob, I managed to mumble, "It's been one hell of a week."

There it was. The good grace of the Universe reminding me that kindness is necessary. Compassion is key. 

I remain soft. With no intent on changing.

coping mechanisms

when i was younger
devastated me
in the worst way
i'd slip away into late night
drinking to forget
picking up strangers
just to feel
pretending they gave a shit
even though
i knew they didn't
never being able
to stand my own reflection
the morning after

times have changed
i don't find solace
in self-destruction
the way 
i once did

i suppose i've evolved

i like to read old love poems
the ones i wrote
when the future
seemed certain
and promising

i read them 
to remind myself
that it has happened before
it can happen

just because
i've always been
slow to trust
when the time came
to lower the 
many bridges
to my soul's heart

i did and
i have continued to love

always kindly.

while my stomach is sick
with the churning chaos
of another paramour
i take the time
to acknowledge
the moments
where it all felt

even if it doesn't feel that way
at the present