partition (n).

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Is there room enough
for my loneliness here?
It hovers and trails me
and swallows me whole -

while you sit close to me
while we gather things to make a home
while I’m surrounded by all these people
while I am busy being loved -

what is it, this force that plucks me
from the bustle of belonging
and drops me into the cold?

written (adj).

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Around the time we met, you wrote me a note and folded into a plane while we waited for my clothes to dry at that dusty old laundromat off of the park. 

You launched it in my direction and it vanished in thin air. We spent minutes on our bellies looking under the tired machines, to no avail. The shop owner came out from his office to shoo us away, thinking we were what, searching for quarters underneath?

Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping, I try to imagine what was written on that note:

Where are we going
on this tiny plane
and where will we go
from here

Sometimes I wonder if it ended up In the place where our love is, hovering in the never-place and lingering so heavily in the air. 

Posted on September 5, 2019 .

duty (n).

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I walk to work and wonder
what my job is, as in
there are the tasks I complete
as in
there are the words that spill out
that I must find a place for
as in
there are other lonely hearts
like my lonely heart
that are looking to find each other

I walk to work and wonder
about the yellow buds
tight in their cocoon
complete in their glory
perfect in their timing 
worried not by 
the concept of becoming
something greater than 
tiny flowers greeting me
as I walk to work. 

median (n).

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I know exactly what to do
with a broken heart
and a soaring one

I know exactly how to be
in the depths
and on the mountains

but I don’t know this place
the humdrum normalcy
that we’re supposed to crave (?)

the balance and the boredom
the orderly and the ordinary

I only ever know
how to place myself
when my insides feel
like a hurricane.

revert (v).

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I think I thought I made
sense of it at the time,
and then I read it back
and it was in a voice 
that wasn’t my own. 

I think I thought I threw
it far enough away
that it wouldn’t come back
like the dog tracing his old walks
back to the porch on which
he takes his second afternoon nap.

I think I felt I found 
a way to explain it away,
and neatly,
the rehearsed speech
that tumbles like velvet,
it’sallforareasonandhowareyou

burrow (v).

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I don’t know any other way to love but
to go all the way into the depths of you,
into the caverns and past the barricades,
to dig for the place you keep
your sadnesses and your fluorescent dreams,
to turn the lights on at all hours
to find the bottom of your longing
and the corners of your disappointments.

I will burrow my love, blunt and abrasive
like I do with my limbs around your torso
at night when we sleep.

[Photo by Gillian Stevens]

absence (n).

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I have been filled with
the kind of ringing silence
that makes your head split
and heart ache.

Didn’t songs used to play here?
Wouldn’t I chatter to myself?
Wasn’t there a story about that?


Wasn’t there
at least the rustling
of the wind from the window,
at least the exhale
from my sleeping love
on my warm neck,
at least the quiet hum
that comes with
the world waking?

scour (v).

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When you’re having trouble
finding the beauty in the place you are in,
search for it in the corners and cracks
like you would a ring that
slipped off your finger; 

run your hands along the carpet,
close your eyes and picture
where you were when
you last saw it, 

leave nothing unturned, and
lay on the floor if you must;

there are flecks of gold
hiding everywhere
if you settle yourself enough
to find it.

origin (n).

cabin.jpg

Who made the stars and how
do they swing in the way they do,
soft and singing, spelling out
the mysteries that wrote us
into existing?  

You read aloud the story
and I’ve heard it before,
the one about the maker
and his garden
and the world he made up
to make himself a home.

[Photo by Jeff Spackman]

cite (v).

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These are the landmarks
that mark time while I’m waiting
for the words to come:

I read this and that, I worry
I make a cup of tea
I go out
I try to sleep

I go back to the place
I was when I was
able to say
how I felt

I shut it out
and shut it down

I talk about small things
I try
I breathe through the ache
I clear my throat
I walk down to the water

I make a list
(like this list) 

I look about
I look away
I look ahead 

I tell myself
the things you say
when something’s lost.