The Leaving

I’m tired of broken hearts,
shattered reflections
of empty vessels
we used to call
family, friends, kin.

I watch their ghostly images
float by on notes echoing
from tinny speakers
playing memories
across a full room
filled with strangers
pretending to know each other,

and I am lost amongst
these curtains,
these holes
where my heart used
to pump real blood
instead of this clear substance
I once called love,
where my lungs grew flowers
instead of weeds
suffocating any life,
any air that’s left.

There’s nothing I can do.
The leaving has begun.



Who Am I?


the time clicks by
on wooden stilts,
soaking up the hours
like thirsty tongues
in frozen ponds.

Each step aches your bones,
they crack in time with the clock
whose hands reach forward
and drag you into the future,
one you don’t recognize
because now you aren’t you.

Now you are what they say,
what they label,
what they preach.

You are amidst
cracks in time,
broken places
you used to call home,

minutes tap tap
on your skin
and suddenly
you aren’t you.

Your eyes look the same
but your cheeks are filled
with caverns
where hours used to be,
where freedom used to be,

so you touch your face,
hold your pieces
up to the light
and picture what it might look like
to be whole
instead of chunks
left on the floor,
forgotten in your useless facade,
the one you stapled to your lips
so that they might see some value
in the parts.

To be together again
instead of strewn about–
that’s what you wonder about now.

Not love and missing.
Not hard work and learning.


Now you just braid
all the strings together
and hope you can keep holding on.





The stars keep blinking out,
shuddering and shuttering
in their wounded worlds,
wrapping unseen landscapes
in black,
shimmering once
and exploding into
a nothing so vast
it exists only in
not existing.
Each breath
folds against the next
and small pieces
fracture into atoms,
particles of
sadness and blackness
and it runs into floors,
full speed
instead of faltering,


Collisions bloom
and master your refrigerated stares,
your empty gazes
that lie
and fuck
and destroy
my skin,
my arms,
my heart,
all the images
reflected in your eyes,
those memories
ricocheting against
pain and joy and loss and contentment.

Who are we but fractions
built upon halves,
upon chunks of nostalgia
raining from our
silver-plated eyes?

Who are we but slivers
turned into wholes?



Bad Choices Meet Anxiety

It’s pulling me,
dragging me,
yanking my skin
from my bones
in tiny tremors,

and I can’t stop
doing things
to make it worse.

Each step ignites
even more aching shudders,
ones that drive spikes
into my eyes
until I scream out,
knowing that each bite
is my own,
each sour drop of pain
began with me,
with the steps
I can’t stop making.

I’m about to destroy myself.
Fuck it.
I already have.

I am only shattered bits,
tiny tendrils of something
that used to be,
someone who once was

Now, I am pieces.

And I have no one to blame but myself.





What the fuck is the point? I mean, really. Why keep trying, keep going when we’re all going to end up in boxes under piles of dirt anyway? I honestly don’t care anymore. It’s all too much. I feel hated by everyone but I fucking hate myself anyway, so does it really matter? Nah. It doesn’t. Nothing does. No one listens to me and no one cares which is bullshit but reality all at once. I just want to get in my car and fucking go. Just drive until familiar fades into the past, the distance piling up on top of the miles between here and there. I’m so over it. So done. I can’t be saved. I don’t want to be.


I wonder
if I’ve run out
of words,

if my tongue
spews only dust,
my fingers
write smoke
through lonely air
all rigid with loss.

Am I empty of lines,
whispers I long to scream?

Am I only vast nothingness,
a cavern without a floor?

I feel different,
false in a frozen fuege,
faltering with each step,
your fingers feeling
further away than yesterday.

That’s me.



Just Write

“Just write,” they say.
I say, for god’s sake.

I tell my students every day,
“Just put your pen on the paper
and write something,
even if you don’t know
what to say.
Say that.
Say anything
to get your brain going,”

but I don’t follow that advice.

It’s been months or weeks
or I don’t even know how long
since I’ve written,
since words have come,
and they still haven’t.

They are broken
or gone
or shattered
or absent.

And I am so full,
so overflowing
with stuff,
with things
about life
and death
and love,
what it means
to love a child
like he’s your very own
when you know he never will be.

So full.
So buried
that the words suffocate
beneath the heavy.

So I write about
not knowing what to write,
and I cry every day
because I’m consumed
by confusion
and impending death
and a love so complete
it scares me.





My normal has disappeared.
My brain has betrayed me.

I wonder if this is how
my dad felt,
if this is how it started
for him.
Little tremors,
moments of forgetting,

I can no longer
get excited or
feel afraid
which is ironic
considering I’m
an anxiety-ridden mess.

And people talk to me
like I’m glass,
like at any moment
I’ll shatter,
and maybe I will.
No one really seems to know,

and my mind is too fucked up
to gather the questions
I need to ask,
so apparently


is my new normal,
my new prison,
my new life.

I think I understand now
why people in pain
want to give up.


I had a blood vessel burst in my brain two weeks ago. I’m fine though. But how could I be? They don’t know why or how it happened as I have no other issues. I’ve seen 4 neurologists thus far, and nothing. Still have another to go.




I have a kid now.

Not in the usual way
in which one goes about
having a kid,
but I have one nonetheless.

He’s fifteen and beautiful.
And I mean that.

He’s got thick, curly hair
and molten eyes
spilling pain and joy
all at once.
His smile is epic
and he’s funny
and special
and so, so, so amazing.

This kid isn’t really mine
but it feels like he is.

I love him as close
to how I’d love a kid
who was actually mine,
and maybe more
because I know how it feels
to be him,
to be broken
by the people
who are supposed
to love you the most.

I know how it feels
to be thrown away.

I look at him
and only see good
even when he’s not listening
and driving me crazy.

And it makes me insane
to know people have hurt him,
have made him feel alone
and unworthy
because he deserves more.

More than abandonment.
More than pieces of love.

He deserves full,
suffocating love.

The kind that never gives up,
that protects him
even at the cost of itself.

My kid radiates resilience
and he’s lucky he does.
Not many who have suffered
like him survive,
but he will.

He will grow
and learn
and know what it feels like
to have someone fight for him
no matter what
because he’s my kid
and I’ll never stop loving him,
never stop fighting
for his happiness.




Happy Birthday 

Dear Johnny, 

Today is your birthday, and, as always, I’m writing to you, one more of my many hopeless efforts to show you how much I care, but I suspect you already know this, already have deleted this the moment it entered your inbox, and forgotten my name the moment it left your eyes. I know I’m not what you want. Perhaps I’ve never been despite those few nights, those few weeks where we were in some sort of fiction, some kind of dream. That sounds like song lyrics. Some sad song where she yearns and he spurns.

And I’m off track, per usual.

I want to tell you happy birthday, to hear you laugh that I remembered your birthday…again. I want to wrap presents for you and watch your face as you open them, but I guess all that would require you not hating me, you actually wanting to hear from me, so I’m sorry for once again invading your life. Instead, I’ll tell you this.

Here’s what I hope.

I hope you are with your family, that they love you as much as they did when I was there.

I hope today and all your days are filled with that kind of love. 

I hope you play your guitar and finally master that riff you’ve been struggling with.

I hope work gives you the day off or at least tomorrow off, and if you’re not working, I hope the perfect job finds you and that you love it every day you’re there.

I hope you still take walks on the beach and collide with the waves every once in awhile. 

I hope you’re in love. I hope she adores every cell in your body and goes to sleep wondering how she got so lucky to have you love her. I hope she lights up when you touch her and dreams of spending every day by your side.

Because that’s how she should feel. No matter what you’ve done, no matter your mistakes, you are strong and special and no matter what, I still wish you were mine. 

But if you can’t be mine, I hope she loves you even half as much as I do. 

I hope your birthday is the best one yet, and know I’m thinking of you today and every day.

Love always,