courier (n).

sometimes in the morning
I whisper your name
to feel the letters
leave my lips. 
I whisper your name
wondering if there is
some portal
some spring wind
that could carry the sound
(so faint but round in hope)
past borders and boundaries
to reach you in time
for your morning commute. 

Posted on April 22, 2017 and filed under the word project-.

tabernacle (n).

I didn't trust your love for me because
you loved me before you knew me. 

I could tell you loved
my drastic hand gestures and
took joy in the rambling stories
late as we laid before sleep. 

I could tell you loved
how I carried myself while
ordering coffee or
talking to a stranger. 

You loved me before you knew
the days that I can fold into myself
so far away that it will hurt you
the days I will need to be gone from myself
the days I need stillness and silence. 

I could feel you writing a character for me
and filling in the blanks (blank spots and
blank stares)
I could feel you loving me without
knowing my innermost parts. 

I will know he loves me
when I retreat into myself
in the tavern of my loneliness
and he is there
making the bed
and putting the kettle on. 

primordial (adj).

You explained to me
the way the primal male mind works. 
We were at a bar so you explained
and pointed out
the varying height and breast size
of each woman walking behind me,
how the redhead had alluring crooked
teeth and
the bartender had the lowest cut shirt. 
You noticed that our server's heels were lower
than any other co-workers heels
(I noted silently that
the shoes I wear
to do the same job
are a lower height
than hers). 
There was a woman
whose curves pleased you
and a woman
whose arms were
tattooed more than mine. 

You explained to me, 
"men have been trained to hunt
and women have been trained
to wait to be noticed."

I do not
want to be like some gazelle
elegant and silent, waiting
I do not welcome
my next thought: please notice
the woman sitting in front of you. 

I want to be made of gold
I want to be made of metal
I want to be some treasure
so precious
that you could make a ring
out of my very being. 

accountable (adj).

I just think we should be preparing ourselves. 
We should be ready because
in two years or
maybe four or in a decade
(however long it takes to
come to our senses)
I know, I am certain
that those who come next
are going to ask the
question we are not
going to enjoy answering. 

Those that come next will ask
"how did this happen?"
and, "how did you allow this?"
and this is what they will be referencing:

our water: not a resource but the source of life
our neighbors: not strangers but our kin
our fatherless: not criminals but the unmentored
our poor: not lazy but victims of the system that oppresses
                them - make no mistake, the system isn't broken, 
                it is alive and well. 
our homeless: up-to-and-including those without a country
                to return to
our women: still marching. still. 
               still. 
our planet: it is tired and buckling and we keep asking for
               more. we are making deserts of our forests. 

Make no mistake. All of these are OURS. 

On another day we will have to
respond to our transgressions of
inaction but now is the time
now
to say
this is not okay with me
not in my world
not in my time. 

sequence (n).

In my mind I lined up all of my past loves
and the procession wrote a story on its own.

There was the dizzy of first love
and the caution of the last,
each countered and
contrasted the
man who came before them.  

There was the man who loved me deeply
and a man who couldn’t help himself
a man whose heart was locked away
and a man who shattered me with insults.
There was a man who woke early
and a man who wrote me letters
and all along
a man
who didn’t know
all of the ways
I loved him.

I think about the woman I have been
and the woman in each of their lenses.
I think about the woman I revealed to them,
in parts, shielding
what I thought they would think
is undesirable
(mostly, this heaviness).  
I think about the woman I contorted into,
the woman who
is fun to have at parties and
has many talents and
will think of gifts to bring your mother.

I think about the men who have loved
or not loved
or tried to love me.
I think
I am someone who knows how to love
but doesn’t know how
to let someone love me.

bard (n).

Tell me a story
about how you came to be.
Tell me
about your joy
quiet in its place
and
your sadness
which I think is
maybe
as great as a lake
but you have learned
to go out to the water
and find peace among
your sorrows that ripple
through the placid glass
the way the singing frogs do.

Tell me the story
about where you were going
when we met, we two
and what it was that
convinced you to
listen to my joy
and carry with me
my sorrow
down to the lake
where we set it free.

inconvenience (n).

Did it bother you,
the way I feel
heavy with sighs
and sorrows
and asking you to
look at your own?

Your own disgrace
your mother’s face
in your face
I could see it
in your eyes:
you wanted quiet
you wanted
me to unsee
what I saw:
which was
(naturally)
all of you,
heavy with sighs
and full of sorrow.
 

pilgrim (n).

I learned what church meant
when I walked across the length of Spain
when we, messy pilgrims,
told stories and broke bread
while our socks dried
on the line.

I learned what church meant
while sitting near the atlantic
with my kin
with scotch and campfire
with mysteries being listed
with no need for an answer.

I learned what church meant
while sitting with my father
in the darkest of times
and he spoke wordless prayers
and carried me with his faith
in a Creator
that didn’t create this.  

unattended (adj).

Loneliness is not
being without people;

loneliness is
being without yourself.

loneliness is
the lump in my throat and
the knot in my chest where
I carry all of the things that
I didn’t place in
the proper hands.

loneliness is
sharing what was meant
to be kept and
keeping what was meant
to be given.

I am here without
myself. There is no
greater affliction.

spark (n).

content warning: depression, self harm, suicide

you wanted your death to mean something
you wanted
everyone (anyone) to look at
the bullying
and the shame
and the isolation of your illness
and the anguish of losing your mother
so we can continue your fight for you
because you couldn't carry it anymore. 

(we will, we saw you, we see them, and more clearly). 

you wanted your death to mean something. 
I want you to know:
your life meant something too;
and you were so precious,
and so fleeting. 
 

consume (v).

I do not want to be
a creature of fear

I do not want to
go to the river
and,
water whispering
at my ankles,
climb back up
onto the rocks
because the current
sounds like it could
swallow me.

I do not want to be
a creature of fear.
I do not want to be
a woman made of
apologies and
shrinking or
mastering the art
of cowering.

And also I am afraid
that this is who
I could be becoming.

scribe (n).

I tell you everything
I haven’t told you
with my hands
tracing words
across your shoulders
(the place where
you carry your heaviest things)
writing

I Would Wait
and
I See All Of You
and also
I am not afraid.

I trace words
across your shoulders
(the place where
my head so easily rests)
(the place where you
carry your fear).

she (pr).

6594ef3137d695074bca4f9265fbc994.jpg

we define
womanhood as
being able to
give birth
but

I do not want to
(I do not feel called to)
(I do not see myself to)
(I do not feel compelled to)
(I have no longing to)
be a mother.

Is it woman enough to
(as in, am I allowed to)
give birth
to
these words
and
fiercely protect
and
feel, fully
and
never apologize
for
what I know
is mine to foster?

I have bled
but also carried
guilt and burden
and honor.

I have bled
but also carried
my heartsong
timid and
fierce into
each morning
that is, 
new beginning.