Truth

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
Bauble
behind a polished pane
"Look...
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...

They
Don't 
Actually
Love 
You



Only For You

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

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

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
briefly

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
needing
to be accomplished

and then
the cruel joke
from humorless 
gods

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

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.

False

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 complete
The gold and the muck
The bitter and the sweet
In 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
small
short
soft

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
solitary
sauvignon nights
no

so
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 
jubilant
surprise

no 

just an obligatory acceptance
of wedding
the mother
of his 
children

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

yet

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

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

yet again

one would think
I'd have given up by now
the hopes
of a union
where I was a person
not property
to be treated
the way 
I treat them
with compassion
empathy
understanding
to be loved
the way I love
with acceptance
and
kindness

but bumps 
do not deter me

the flaws and follies
of others
are not my responsibility
the coldness
and underlying
meanness
do not phase me
as I've dealt 
with far worse

I will simply
keep going
as I always have
I've a lot to accomplish
in so little time
and if another
stumbles onto my path
choosing to walk
along side me

I'll let them

until they, too
find issue with the direction 
I'm heading
the fact that I'm still walking
and not hailing
a cab
and when they start to pick away
at how I can be
getting to where I'm going
much more efficiently
(to them)
I'll listen
respectfully

and continue my journey
the way I see fit
whether they 
choose to be a part of it
or decide to disengage
is not
a concern

I'll not be pushed
to alter my course
or mode of transport
I'll arrive
when and where I need to
with or without
a companion





Tia Molly

I kissed two fingers  
and then
pressed them 
upon her 
cold
surprisingly smooth
forehead
my boys
kneeling beside me
kept quiet
no one told them to
they seemed
to gather 
the gravity of grief
all on their own

I didn't expect the tears
she and I weren't close
yet
there I was

crying

the heaviness
pervaded my being
I knew
immediately
I was heartbroken
for the ones
she left behind
friends
children
but mostly
her sisters...
just as tiny and frail
just as angry 
just as hopeful
just as loved
just as stubborn
in the face 
of lives 
which never came easy

I sobbed.

Here it was.
Mortality.

the blinding awareness
of my warm
two fingers
pulsing
while
pressed against
her cold
and surprisingly smooth
forehead





ripley

i peer at her
on the quiet days
black ink
white paper

a treasured sketch
a gift
which I'll
never part with

sometimes
i think

today is the day
i will take the picture 
out of the frame
read the message
left behind it

i haven't though
so many of those
days
have passed
and 
i've come to accept
the reality

i'll never do it

i am not 
nearly as strong
as 
all that

scrolling through

a photo of him
grinning with a friend
interrupted her afternoon
of apathetic
time wasting
doom scrolling
through
political soundbites
cartoons
status updates
announcing mostly
the mundane

and nestled between
all of 
the nonsense
there he was
a snapshot
he
next to a gorgeous gal
strands of his hair
catching the wind
eyes squinted against the sun
smiling for the selfie

and she was 
given the unwelcome
reminder
of 
the lost friendship 
the absence of
being seen
to the depths 
of her core
by someone
once considered
Real and
True

making her 
also feel
Real and 
True

she didn't linger long
the disconnect
the indifference
made this
an easy
pass

good for him,
living life...
she thought
remembering all the things 
she had wanted to do
to explore
to discover
to talk over
to dream about
with him

she kept swiping
through
knowing
they only loved
the idealized
versions they had created
of each other
and that
made it 
oh
not so bad

but damn
if losing his companionship
as a confidante
didn't still 
Sting
something Fierce



Electric

i see
the glitter
a glimpse into the eyes

they are live
wires

shimmery specks
of splendiferous 
shine
fuzzing about
the periphery
of the pupils

joyous crackles
crinkling the
corners

happiness
pure and present
pouring abundantly
out

in a tiny
grateful
glance

to be sighted 
and swallowed
through such 
an ecstatic lens

quickens 
the pulse

i am dizzy
and 
brought to 
much needed
life