let me in

staying alive is a full time job
because being an adult isn’t what we thought
all of the glamour you imagined as a kid
has revealed itself
to be the sheen
off dirty dishes
building in the sink
between preparing food and cleaning up after it
we’re lucky to find time to sleep enough
to get us to our paycheck payer
on time and in line
and if we’re really, really lucky
we’ve found some people along the way
who accept our half-cleaned kitchen
and half-slept brains
who love our half-formed hearts

so when you casually tell the world
you can’t stay alive anymore
I want to come clean your kitchen
or wash your sheets
cause I really hope that’s what you meant
I can push aside my grocery run
push back my bedtime
every time
to make your life more livable
ask me for anything
to fill that soul gap
and I’ll ask off work to go searching
for a bridge
so you can cross that void
and come back to me

it’s weird how love and vampires can follow the same rules sometimes
I mean
I can show off my heart in the sun
it’s not confined to the night sky
but for me to love you
really love you
you have to invite me in
I can’t keep waiting on your porch
I’m getting cold
and hungry
and at some point
a heart can’t feed a stomach
and this war of attrition is going to end
in me saving myself
instead of saving you

I spend so many hours I should be sleeping
that you’re sleeping
and not only do you not know that
I know you won’t believe me
all I can do is tell you this
my truth
because I can’t save you
and I can’t love you
until you let me

turning 28 with a bottle of wine in utah

who used to live in the collapsed cities
beneath mexican mountain?
some folks say
the garden of eden was in massachusetts
so I can see the nephilim settling down in central Utah
where else would the bastards of angels and men find suitable?
the outcasts too great for man
but too man for greatness

no where holy enough on earth to house these half bloods
aside from the red and yellow striped monoliths
that reign over the san rafael river

so they built their cities from the rocks that fell
from that space between
and heaven
the kayenta and wingate
that fell from grace
or by grace
the nephilim couldn’t tell the difference
a life stuck between worlds
always felt like falling and flying

they took the halved and broken stones
and built homes
and sacred places
for worshiping the mountain
the one that sits between
and heaven

just like them

standing strong
needing neither
to be complete

officiating a wedding

tell me of one thing on this planet
that doesn’t need another
to thrive
and I did not say survive
mind you
I mean flourish
tell me what stands alone
that is greater
than the sum of our parts
our hearts
added together
we have become more than we knew
we could ever be
a number so high
we didn’t know it existed
we fell in love

marriage (definition): a combination or mixture of two elements
element (definition): a part or aspect of something that is essential
essential (definition): something that is absolutely necessary
a marriage is a mixture of two things that are essential
two parts
of two wholes
that when combined
form something else altogether
something elemental
something essential
the marriage of hydrogen and oxygen
is the only reason you and I are standing here today
so when I look at these two
full of marriages already
hydrogen and oxygen
flesh and blood
hope and joy
it only makes sense
for me to join them
in one more

F = G*((m sub 1*m sub 2)/r^2)

I have a bachelors degree in arts management
and maybe you have a masters in archaeology
or maybe someone has a Ph.D in linguistics
we go to school
because we do not come into this world
kicking and screaming
knowing the phonemes
and the morphemes
that we are crying out
that’s why we get a Ph.D
in linguistics

so when I talk about my therapist
and your eyes leave mine
to maybe take a peek at the floor
I don’t feel like the one that’s crazy in this moment

gravity has been on acting on you
since before you knew
that you were even
holding you down to the face of this earth
you didn’t have to understand
what gravity was for it to do its job
so I can see why when you feel the pull
of those emotions you can’t name
you let them take you
like gravity
it’s only natural

but like gravity
if you learn the formula
you can circumnavigate the rules
and find yourself
in the open air
breathing easily
and flying above
what used to hold you

I don’t know how to help

love is saying no
love is standing up for someone
especially if that someone is yourself
love is knowing when to act
and when to skirt around the edges
love is saving yourself
and giving yourself
love is sucking the poison out from another’s flesh
but only if they agree to show you the snakebite
love is never
killing the snake
love is giving that snake a place
where it finds it doesn’t need to lash out anymore
where it can wind through the grass
without fear
and know that the hands that enter its sight
will not cause pain

love is giving homes to snakes
and beasts
who felt their only way out
was through hurt

mob mentality works both ways
so save your mind for yourself
love is reading the fine print
because the headlines were never meant to inform
only to enrage
is not picking rage
anger is not a deep emotion
it lives on the surface
bubbling up from deeper
truer feelings
that don’t know how to exist in this world
like actual sadness
like actual fear
so when hate looks you in the eye
and your temperature rises
look inside for that sadness
that fear
the ones that just wishes the world would fucking learn already
the ones that has watched too many beautiful flames be put out
the ones that cannot begin to understand this hate

and then
reach out anyway

getting off instagram

why do we all need proof that we are living
photographs and instagram
show that we are thriving
but those minutes spent finding the camera
weren’t used finding the view

I know photos don’t last forever
but I want an even less permanent home for my life
I want to wax and wane in your memories
where you’ll be the only one to know
what shirt I was wearing that night
and you never remember those things
so you’ll tell them polka dots
when I only wear stripes

build me a home
on your forgetful altar to the past
so I can sleep soundly
in places I’ve never been

let’s lose the frames around these moments
let’s give them to your neural pathways
your hyperfocused/multitasking/where’d I put it/why’re you asking
so full of latin names
species order genera
that my own name could be switched
with castalea
when you think back to my birthday
in the san rafael swell

your brain
brimming with colors and wildlife
when you think of me
drinking wine on the roof
the night I began to love you
you only see black
and red wine
beneath my eye shine

your mind
so forgiving and graceful
that you release all of the sting
from my words
that night I slept across the hall
your memories
just like you want them
will keep me safe from the dark alleys
of the past
you’ll keep me sweet and bright

my tears turn to meadows
in the back of your mind
they don’t look like the floods I recall
the ones that washed out roads
you remember them as creeks
that brought water to fields
keep me among your wildflowers
and meadowlarks
you don’t need to take a picture
this is where I’ll always be

desert dweller

I’m sitting in the grass of a square-block park in Denver
it has no other features aside from the grass
and it’s the only time I’ve felt even slightly at ease
since leaving the highway
sometimes mountains can feel like buildings to me
and buildings can make me claustrophobic
but the desert fills me with relief
stark lines and big sky
openness as far as I need to see

I grew up outside Chicago
so I know how skylines and smog
can really take out a view
Chicago always made me queasy
and now Denver is making me nauseous
why would anyone want to live in a maze
they can’t see out of
walls made of chain stores and smoke shops
all designed to assure you that
you’ve come this way before
so stop trying to leave
it’s all the same anyway
cities feel like a machine
and all of the pieces are always moving
but what does the machine actually do

I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to see the beauty of a city
because my eyes have always been drawn to the sky
and all buildings do is block her out
to make room for more moving pieces
mountains cramp her, too
they crowd my love
but mountains aren’t selfish like skyscrapers
they’re in love with the sky
though their relationship is tumultuous
they yell and she thunders
they whisper and she cries
but whenever they sleep
she always brings the pillows

my eyes have spent too much time
focused on the self-righteous
the proclaimed towers to the heavens
like they’re trying to reach
something better
but hurt is in their name: scrapers
trying to pull layers from my love
to take space she has always occupied

I’ll say sorry to the mountains someday
for confusing them with buildings
they are after all a friend of a friend
though I don’t get the dynamic
but my desert knows how to treat a girl
my sky
as much space as she needs
as much room as she wants
notice how rarely
she cries

a poem a day

falling out of love is more awkward
than painful
like any time you trip
it hurts your pride
more than anything
your word was something
you told people
they could trust
but now here you are
sidestepping out of the conversation
trying not to make eye contact
because you know
those three little words
aren’t trustworthy

convincing my parents to move

my great grandmother
looked into a crystal ball
to see what the lord asked her to see
her daughter
in love with a demon
a creature born missing 3 fingers
this man was not allowed in my grandmother’s home
but he fathered my father
in a small Illinois town in 1946
7 fingers
4 children
1 office supply store
employing people of every color
despite the grim warning
from the chamber of commerce
teaching my dad early
about the value
of everyone

when my dad was 10 he shouted
“bring me back somethin’”
as his dad drove away for the last time
routine surgery wasn’t as routine then
so my dad now says
“I love you”
any time one of us leaves
because it might be the last time
and he never forgave
his 10-year-old-self
for wanting something shiny
instead of giving something sweet

my dad smiled and talked about a movie over dinner tonight
one with a happy ending
not the real ending
the one that happened in our world
but the one made up by the protagonist’s son
and I asked to hear of my dad’s beginning
not the fake one my young self remembers
but the real one
that happened in his world
and he cried happy tears
talking about his father

throughout my teen years
I tried to pull the darkness out of him
to connect on rage
and sadness
but I finally see
that he’s had enough
of both
to last two lifetimes
and he made sure
that neither of them
were mine