There Is In You

There is hope in your eyes
like the world just might
be that better place someday.

There is love in your voice
like people on the whole
aren’t as bad as they pretend to be.

There is strength in your touch
like you would hold the world gently
and keep it safe from harm.

There is trust in your heart
like you’ll wear it on your sleeve
in defiance of so many who would mock you for it.

There is hope
and love
and strength
and trust in who you are
and who you will be
and I’m thankful I get to share in it.

Full Attention

You mutter to yourself
while you work
much in the same way I do
pencil tilted at an angle
face close to the page
as you write
as if being
physically closer
to the question
will bring you
mentally closer
to the answer.

Your concentration
shows on your face
occasionally your brow furrows
in confusion or frustration
pencil pausing
relaxing again when you
move your hand to write.

I could be content
to just sit and
watch you work
for hours
if I didn’t know
that if I leaned towards you
you’d lift your face up
to kiss me
or if I reached for it
you’d give your hand to mine
and smile.

But I know your
hands and lips will be there
to hold and kiss later
when your work is done
and you can give me your
full attention
so for now I’ll be patient
sit and watch you work
and let you wonder
at why I’m smiling so much .

Even If

You are not the
first boy I’ve found myself
falling in love with
and you may not
be the last.
For all we know
you’re just another
stop along my way.

You know about the first
but you don’t know
that he had
grey eyes and
red-brown hair
and a bad knee
because his ex’s ex
stepped on it
on purpose
because my ex was
being the hero
protecting the girl.

All you know is
he broke my heart
which broke me
and I’m still
picking up the pieces
the pieces you’re
afraid to touch
for fear of
making the damage
worse.

No matter how many
times I tell you
you can’t break me
like he did
you hold onto
your uncertainty
and the memories of
people in your own past
a hair’s breadth
away from falling apart
and you let them
tell you to
be wary.

Which is why we’re
just friends
but you can never be
just friends
when you’re falling in love
but you can never be
more
if only one of you
is falling.

So you are not
my past
and I don’t know if you’ll be
my future
but you are my present.
The past and future
are fuzzy.
The present is the only
clarity we have
and in this present I am
falling in love with you
just a little more
every day
and I am
happy to be falling
even if I’m falling alone
even if it’s just
for now.

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?

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.

Billy Joel

The kitchen is warm
the smell of spices
wafting from a large pot on the stove
Billy Joel crooning from the stereo
under the cupboard as you hold my hands
And so it goes…

My thoughts drift to you
and the nights we spent
dancing on this kitchen floor
swaying to the sounds of
Billy Joel singing soft and low
And you’re the only one who knows…

My brother’s in this kitchen now
the stove is cold, the spices gone
he holds me close, calls you my mistake
but he doesn’t understand as Billy Joel sings
And you can have this heart to break.

Better Poetry

It’s drizzling and cool outside
as I sit on my bed
with the windows wide open
water trailing down the panes

The air smells clean
drifting into my room
the chill giving me goosebumps
under my sweater

There are times I
prefer the sunshine
but this is
not one of them

Because rain makes for
better poetry

Makeshift Sky

Moth holes in the fabric
were stars
in the blanket fort
above our heads
we made in your living room
one sunny Sunday afternoon.

We named new constellations
until the
sunlight faded
and our makeshift sky
went dark.

As we lay there
staring up at where our
stars used to be
you took my hand
and fell asleep
but not before you’d
kissed me in the dark
to tell me that
you loved me.

We’re older now
more grown up
or so we think
with bills to pay
and jobs to keep.

Let’s go back
to that living room fort
to kissing under
moth-hole stars
and to the way you
said you loved me
if only for just tonight.

Soft Light

Your manners are
soft as the
brown of your eyes
and from the
moment you
said hello
I knew you’d
keep me safe.

You often reach to
hug me
your arms are
gentle and warm
your father taught you
not to fight
instead he taught you
how to love.

You smile more than most
open and kind
like sunlight
filling the room
the opposite of
the boy I
used to love
who had a darkness in him
I found beautiful
but it was a
painful sort of beauty.

The night he left
wasn’t the night he
broke my heart
that happened
all the nights after
when he
didn’t come back.

But then you
walked into my life
with your
soft light
and easy nature
and for the first time
in a long time
probably since
before he left
I finally
feel alive.

Things I Realized After Turning 21

It’s okay to feel
lonely sometimes
but don’t wallow in it.
You have people who
care about you
and will
gladly spend
time with you.

You’re allowed
pick the celery
out of things.
If you
don’t like it you
don’t have to
eat it.

Getting your heart broken
twice in
just over two years
will not kill you.
It will make you feel
weak and afraid
for a while
but you will
live.

A boyfriend is not
the only way to
quell the loneliness.
Your parents and brother
love you and
so do your friends.
Take advantage of that.

Spend time with your dad
when you’re having a
bad day.
He is a rock
and always knows how to
make you smile again.
Call him
if you’re not at home.
You will always be his
little girl.

Spend time with
your mom too.
She worries as
much as you
and she worries
about you.
Even if you’re
not okay
she’ll remind you that
eventually
you will be.

You’re going to make things
hard for yourself sometimes
and you’re going to
hate yourself for it.
Just keep moving forward
as best you can.
You cannot
change the past
as much as you may
want to.

Keep dancing.
It grounds you
and even if you don’t
do it for your own sake
do it for hers.
You never got to
say goodbye
and it’s part of what
makes you broken.
Dancing is your way of
almost talking to her again.

You weren’t really
ready to move to
Cape Town for him.
It would have
broken your mother’s heart and
as much as you
don’t want to admit it
broken your own.

You are young
and still naive
despite the
pain you’ve endured.
You feel too much
too often
and while it
sometimes hurts
it’s also what
drives you forward.
Remember to
forgive yourself
and have faith that
one day
you’ll be okay.