On the Back of an Emily Dickinson Poem I Wrote About Your Hands

Your hands are
bigger than mine
your fingers
wrapping around mine
with ease as we
lie in bed
a tangle of
sheets and blankets and
pillows and limbs
or walk through the grocery store
discussing what I’ll make for dinner
and what you can
do to help
In the evening they
find their way to my hips
and I move them
your right hand on my back
your left holding mine
and we dance slow circles
in the living room
stopping more and more often
to kiss until
that is all we’re doing
We wander to bed
and I sit with your
arm around me
your fingers
combing through my hair
reading you poetry by
Galway Kinnell until
I’m half-asleep and you
tuck me in
one last kiss goodnight before you
turn the light out and
press yourself to me
as we fall asleep
your hands holding mine

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First Snow

You cross your arms
and bury your face
in the grey scarf
I knitted you
as we stand outside and
watch the snow fall.
I put a hand
on your shoulder and
lead you back inside
to the kitchen
where my mother has
made us mugs of tea.
I can see the
wonderment in your face
as you sip the
steaming liquid
still staring out the window.
It’s your first real snowfall
and I lost count of
how many I’ve seen
years ago
but as we warm our
stiff fingers by the fire
it’s like my first time seeing it
all over again.

Faith in Forever

Her eyelids droop
and you can tell she’s
struggling to stay awake
You close the book
and she tries to tell you to
keep reading
but you are settling yourself
under the quilt
and turning out the light
pulling her into you so her
head is on your shoulder
your arm around her back
With your other hand
you take hers
hold it to your heart
as you hum a lullaby
She sighs as she
gives in to sleep
and you lie
awake in the dark
her warm breath
tickling your collarbones
as you wonder how
nights like this became your
every night
when you thought you had
lost your faith in
forever.

Perhaps she became it.

Daddy

I watch as you

slowly kill yourself

not even realizing you’re doing it.

You don’t understand

what the problem is

or that there’s even a problem to begin with

And it scares me to think

that you can’t see

the monster

eating you from within

Mockingbirds

My insecurities plague me
pecking at my mind
like mockingbirds
imitating the calls
of thoughts I
had in passing
making them
echo in my head.

I think I will
let them feast
on what’s left of my sanity
so that perhaps I can
go back to thinking
everything is okay
and truly believe it again.

The Color Red

Red is
blood and heartbreak
it’s eyes that have cried
too long and hard
and it’s old bricks
worn to rubble.

But red is also
summer roses
it’s sunsets over the lake
and it’s my mother’s
favorite color.

Red is
angry and brash
comfortable and warm
and it’s the difference between
I love you and
I miss you.

I’m not sure
how I feel about
the color red.
Maybe because it’s already
halfway to pink
or because roses are
my favorite flower
but I find the red ones
too cliche.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve
seen the anger
in someone’s eyes
felt the difference between
I love you and
I miss you
and cried too long
too hard.

Rebroken Heart

Let me kiss the
tears from your cheeks
wash away the
salty tracks they’ve left
smooth a little of the
exhaustion from your face.

That is what I wish you’d
say to me
but you don’t say anything at all.

Your heart was broken beyond repair
I thought I could fix it
glue the shattered pieces back together.

You didn’t mean to hurt me.
Of all people
you were the one who
understood what it was to have
someone walk out of your life
without a word.

But the pieces wouldn’t
fit quite right
and when you lost someone else
even more important to you
I felt the shrapnel
from your rebroken heart
pierce mine and
tear it to pieces.

I can’t love someone
who’s no longer there.
I can’t wait forever
for someone who may never come back.
I can’t protect myself
from being forgotten
unless I let you go.

I wish you’d come back to me
if only to say goodbye
instead of leaving me in silence.
Your silence says everything
but you don’t say anything at all.

Something Somewhere

I knew you’d be my
first something.
I never thought that
something would be
heartbreak.
I never thought my last
memory of us
would be watching you
walk away
your fingers still
hooked around my heartstrings
pulling them with you
until they snapped.

You never even
said goodbye
just turned away
and left your silence
ringing in my ears
until I could hear
nothing else.

Now I’m left wandering
trying to find
something
somewhere
that makes me feel okay.

So this is what it’s like to be lost.

It Can’t If It’s Still In Love With You

I used to
tell you everything
now you’re gone
I still do
I tell the ghost of you
who wanders through my memories

You speak so
softly in my ear
I cannot hear the
words you say
though I wish your voice would cease to stay
your whispers echo through my head

It’s lonely
here inside my mind
with none but us
this ghost of you and I
I think I’ll try
to say one last goodbye to you

Go now please
it’s time you left
I ask that you would
let me go
because my heart needs to grow
and it can’t if it’s still in love with you

The Five Stages After You

1. Denial
For months
I told myself
you’d come back
lied and said
I was okay
to the people who
love me
to myself.

2. Bargaining
I kept wishing
for one more message
one that would
bring you back to me
and take the pain away
I said I could
live with goodbye
if only you’d
come back to
say it.

3. Depression
I was lost
I didn’t know
what to think anymore
everything took
too much effort
I let myself
be alone
and let my fear of
the darkness without you
paralyze me.

4. Acceptance
I thought it was over
I met someone new
who helped me
back to the
sunshine I was
before you left
and I’m still
more okay
than I was

5. Anger
But things aren’t perfect
I still have
wounds
that haven’t fully healed
and I’m angry
at the anxiety you left me
the only thing you
really ever gave me
because I feel weak
helpless
and it’s keeping me from
completely moving on.

6. ?
I’m not sure
where I’m going
from here
I’m happier now
than perhaps I’ve
ever been
but I know I
could be happier
perhaps if it
weren’t for you.
I don’t regret the
time and love
I gave you
but I
can’t help but wonder
what if?