wings and leaves

leaves may leave but roots are hard to move from
where i am, where you are, i am a tree, i am a nest
and you built me up, i am built up from remnants of
you that you shared with me, little birdies, wings make it so easy
to leave, but i didn’t know even she would fly so far because
bigger nests and brighter skies are out there, somewhere, while
i am only the same old, loved, stems and branches, yes, you are still
loved, she told me, a home is a home even if my wings take me elsewhere,
i will still sing to you as i roam the skies, i will, but me, i shake and try
to raise my leaves as though they are wings and i can leave along with them, but
i cry knowing that i am glued to the ground where i grew around
you, onto you, when you called me home, and while
you stuck onto me like i am a house, i stuck onto you like you
are my heart, and hearts don’t have doors and windows.
so, when you joke around about me being too sticky, honey, but honey,
do you know i have been holding my breath since the first night
you fell asleep among my leaves,
counting down the days until you make like a tree

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i am here

(when) are you coming back?
i wanted to ask “when” but now i ask
are you? but then i think, thankful that i have
a silent “today” at the end of my
hey, i was born with half of a pair of
handcuffs closed around my wrist, the
other half dangling and i must have
swallowed the key in my sleep as an infant.
i am thankful for the “today” and that i know
if you say no it will be “okay” my monsters are
scared of that word, you know? of okay. so i am over
joyed when they allow me to think it and
i try so hard to not close the other half of
the handcuffs on any one because that is
when they start squirming and i do not like
squirmy things i want all of us to be free
and yet i was born with these handcuffs
dangling from my wrist so i smile and then
i shake in fear of my own claws when
you leave pieces of you behind because then
i know you will have to come back to get them but
when i feel okay i am okay and know
you will come back anyway because
i believe i am a big piece of you that
i will always have with me so you
will come back for that for me
even if not today

i hate when you ask me about tomorrow

i don’t know who Tomorrow is,
mom, dad, please.
Tomorrow is a shadow and
our flashlights do not shine
can not shine light that far into
places that dark, even though
dad, you are in love with those shadows
imagining you can see what is there, and
mom, you are trying to love those shadows,
imagining you know what they are shadows of, but
we don’t, i know we don’t, i do not like
looking at things i can not see, being
blind when i could choose not to be,
so, please, let me look around at
what is well-lit, what is within reach,
please, let me be Today.
i do not like staring at places i can not see.

i am thankful for the moments

of when you laugh like a child how can you laugh so much like a child that i want to carry that sound around with me in my ears i want to see that image of the dimple on the right side of your cheek every time i close my eyes to remind myself that despite these cages we build around our hearts as we grow, this still exists you still exist in such burning light despite your corners of darkness and i am thankful for the moments of when your arms reach out like safety nets to catch the bits and pieces of fears and doubts that leak out from my overcrowded anxious mind and sing to them even though they are scared of music but your voice feels like blankets and they seek warmth they crave warmth like the warmth of grocery store shopping in pairs and of you letting me borrow your longer limbs to reach places i could never reach before in my shortness and i am thankful for the moments where the monsters in our heads decided to lay down their heads and rest because somehow when i held you and when you held me our hollow throats intertwined and burst out sweet lullabies and so i am so thankful for these fourteen months and counting of counting sheep let the monsters that plague lonely corners sleep let the chirping birds and shared bedsheets remind us how lucky we are to be two is better than one and alive

me in so many pieces i think

i think i am me in pieces not me as whole who is
who is that even which is me which piece is
what i really want do i really want any of
i feel like i am pieced together for many people in
so many pieces so here is my piece for you
you had my biggest piece because you were born to
fit me and the beginnings of your life were fit to
fit the beginnings of mine and you have my biggest piece because i
chose you to fit me and you chose me to fit you for
the rest of it for the most of the rest of other life beginnings
but oh, dear, where do the pieces tear where did one
beginning end and another begin, dear you are so
dear to me everyone is every one every piece of me
and so i want to stay here while also i want to stay with
you and i want to follow you wherever you go and also
i want to follow me but where am i where am i even.
we bought puzzle glue the other day and just now i
thought it would be nice if i could hold me all together and
you or some me could glue it all up so i could look at it in one
piece but i don’t think these pieces would even fit together
so how could we glue them up without making a huge mess
and leaking leaking into the cracks and bends between all of us
all of me

a storm;

a storm grew inside my heart the day our voices intertwined
and made stars fall from the sky.
the storm planted its roots inside my heart, but i mistook
the thunder for heartbeats and the tornado for a spring breeze
and so it grew, and grew, and grew

– excerpt from wip novel “better to have loved”

life

i hope you know
that your smile means more than
just upturned lips on a lost face
it means
life
your smiles are life

and, please, remember
your breath means more than
carbon dioxide escaping your little body
it means
life
your breath is life

so i hope these smiles, these breaths that you see
surrounding you, guiding you
are enough of a reminder that
you
are more than skin and bones, my dear
you are life
yes, you are life