Back before
you let the rope
around my heart go slack
there was always something
to pull me forward
no matter the distance
or effort

Now it lies limp and frayed
as my intentions
I loop its weight
around my arm
and pick at loose threads
I carry their shapeless form
with no destination
And wonder at the strength
they once had united
and their frailty
in the absence of tension


lost heart

they say
where the mind goes
is where the heart is
then tether my mind
so it won’t wander
finding all the places
you are not
drown it, then wring it
of your ghost
thrash it
until every tendril growing
only to reach you
is dust
until my mind
is stripped
of all it knows of you
perhaps then my heart
may find its way back home


She nimbly swerved around each oncoming body, eyes wan, scarf trailing from the worn handbag. Loose boots flopped a half step ahead. Her ribbon body flowed into them. She beat the crowd to the median, pausing to drag on a cigarette stub and turning to blow invisible smoke to one side. The red light was for those constrained by conformity, and her will was her own. Without yielding her earned momentum she lunged into her next stride. Then it hit her.


It was just a witty line
Be prudent if not wise
So we took it to heart
As a mantra to guide us
Keeping our eyes squinted
Our hands by our sides
Touching only those places
That would leave no traces
Saying only those words
That would not be heard
Without a hint of disdain
For those who would feign
Believe there was meaning
Beyond filling a need
To spite fate

that lie that binds

I know what you did.
I know that unspoken line,
that you lovingly wove
and crossed and wound around me
to bind me forever to you.
We never speak of it
though it screams at us
from the corner of our hearts.
Yet all you ever wanted
is for me to stay
without bond or reason,
if not in spite of them.
It’s all I ever wanted too.
Never saw two people
willing the same thing
so strongly, yet unable
to conjure enough magic
to make it so.


Five little words
could hardly impress
with any duress
but I must confess
like a chess master
preparing for disaster
I’m already five exchanges ahead
and all the digressions
you’ll make instead
of coming clean

And though my head is full
it’s my body that aches
to make up for mistakes
and time lost
in planning petty crimes
and their atonement
the moment we are done

So take your time
and borrow mine
I’ll burrow down
and tow some lines
that I’ll retrace and erase
in case my resolve dissolves
and I fill in the spaces wrong
all over again

fair warning

The space
you leave
between your
big sparse words
is shaded with
that turn it black
so I can no longer read
what seemed so clear
leaving me hanging
in the dark

But if I relax

and stare with eyes
opened wide
the dismissive omissions
soon form a space
where sparks of light
start to take shape
making a landscape
where I can exist
fully within
and without you

second thought

I’ve been the best of all options

A dim second thought

The least of all evils

And better than nought

I want to be

The summit hovering
above the peak
The core whose name
you dare not speak
A necessary evil
An undeniable need
A baited wish
Cast into the sea
Falling short
Flapping haplessly
And dying
on the shore

All that you were for me

truths I’ve known

I’ve known truths delivered
as a blow to the gut
as bells in the distance
or a deafening knoll
or a tightening noose
of blood-stopping cold

Sticky tangles of threads
a burning bright flash
a flood of dread
or a gust of ash

Truths that chained
my will to don’ts
And choked my wishes
With swarms of won’ts

They’ve all left me gasping
coughing up dirt
lost in a desert
with nowhere to turn

I’m waiting for a truth
known only in dreams
to envelop me
like arms
that I have finally
found my way

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