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

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

Keeping Time

I would once become 
so angry
fits of rage
manic phone calls
hours upon hours
of making myself
clinically insane
I would 
show up drunk
on a doorstep
at 4 a.m.
tiny mascara rivers
painting my cheeks
snot bubbles
above a snarl
no sense
only scorn

I could feel
my heart
twisted and contorted
burning in agony
from its mangled
A particular kind of torment
one never forgets
or hopes to endure

and I recall
the panicked
and confused stares
eyes darting 
left right
making sure
the neighbors weren't witness
to my 
psychotic scene

I only wanted

Why wasn't I worth the effort?
What made me 
Less Than?
Why was I bending like the reed
and there they stood,
unyielding oaks?


Years have come and gone
ticks on a metronome
keeping time
for no one listening
except myself

I'm older 
so very

I no longer
pitch fits
dramatic displays
are beneath me
and more importantly
take up far too much energy
of which I have 
less and less

One thing...
the years have done nothing
to diminish the corrosiveness
of lost love's affliction
The ache of my heart's suffering
isn't reduced
It all still hurts the same
It is only
more familiar
An unwelcome 
I am forced to entertain
every so often

The difference now
I am much more aware
of my worth
despite the accompanying
emotional injury
and no amount of
impassioned pleas
deranged theatrics
any and all

will make a dent 
in someone else's 
minimal perception
of my value

It doesn't lead me
to madness
not anymore
I am only burdened by sorrow
for what the other person 
failed to grasp
refused to see

what could have been


I mend what has been
Allow myself the solitude
to heal
And in the quietude
of another long night
the metronome


They love you when its convenient
When you are smiles
and sunshine 
glittering across the softest waves
a blooming bud
opening its petals to the world

They love you when it looks good
When there's an audience 
Envious of the affection
and attention
wishing they had what is displayed before them
A fancy overly priced
behind a polished pane
Don't touch"

They love you when it's easy
When you don't ask questions
When you allow mistreatment
When you stay silent
while the screaming inside
reaches crescendos
which would
shatter glass

They love you when you are an idea
When you fit the mold
They've set for you
You do not exceed the parameters
You are contained
In the box
You are a picture
Of Perfection

A picture
Not a person

All of this 
Is to say
In short...


Only For You

It's been an up and down
not quite right
everything scattered
kind of a month

as usual
I weave my way 
through the chaos
not altogether gracefully
tripping over this
and a couple times

but I had a minute
and chatted with an old friend
and maybe it's because 
we travel in the same circles
or perhaps because
the universe saw fit
to summon you back
into my consciousness
we spoke of you

and I said
I wished we had never been together
because I missed
your friendship

that was enough of that
and I went about
my measured sprinting
in accomplishing
all the things
to be accomplished

and then
the cruel joke
from humorless 

a song
one I hadn't heard in almost a year
picked perfectly
its moment to

turning the still embedded knife slow in my gut a reminder that it was beautiful for a minute but also knowing with the heaviness of its truth it was not so glorious that it was worth losing a friend.


Some loved her for her  smile
Others for her charm
Some loved her style
And how she adorned their arms

One loved her cooking
Some her soft heart
The few that were looking
Appreciated that part

One found her clever
And loved her quick wit
Searching for Forever
Convincing themselves She was It

Never did one love her All
Good, Bad, Fixed, Broken
They remained blindly enthralled
By traits they had chosen

Yet each she loved in turn
Hoping this time Love would stick
She never could discern
The Healthy from the Sick.

She looked past the lies
Ignored the flags of red
Even as they grew in size
"Oh, it's all in my head."

One day her heart turned to stone
Tired of her self-betrayal
She would rather be alone
Than love One who was unable

To love her whole & complete
The glistening gold and the muck
The sour, bitter, and the sweet
In forward motion or stuck.

She would sooner wrap her hands around the sun
Than be falsely loved by yet another one or some.

little by little

the wheels 
have been put
into motion

as the night goes long
and my fingers fidget
i laugh

i've no ring to pawn
pass on
tuck away in a small box
pushed to the back of a drawer
to be forgotten
until it is remembered
during sad
sauvignon nights

contemplation continues

there was never 
a proposal
the 'big rock" moment
joyous tears
speech impeding shock
the announcement
and following picture
to the circle of friends
oohing and aahing
the phone call
to parents
sharing the same 


just an obligatory acceptance
of wedding
the mother
of his 

i would like to think 
he loved me
i would like to believe
i was more than a
live-in maid
personal assistant
i would like to hope
that it wasn't all for 


i don't
i can't
i won't

i will keep 
churning the crank
operating the 
and tired 
rickety yet
integral to
and capable of
the shackles
which once
bound me
to him