Garbage Day

When the hurt goes quiet
enough for you to hear
your heart which tells you
you are still alive
the world waits for you
to say you are better
for your suffering
you filled your cracks
with gold and made
something beautiful
from loss
I didn’t
it rots in my hands like fruit
the sweet clinging scent of death
the unbroken silence
and I can only draw tight
the strings on all this waste
and leave at the curb
for someone to collect

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Confession

Let’s leave absolution
to the priests or to God.
If you need to fall
to your knees and beg
forgiveness do it
at the altar, not at my
feet. We both have sins
written on our souls
like scars that we
must bear because
we loved, or something
that hurt like love. I’m
letting you go like a dove
to the wind, for Christ’s sake
don’t crash into the clear
window just when your
wings have healed.

Spill

Darling, I want to say
you reached into my chest
and pulled out my heart beating
but you kept your hands
at your side and let me
do the reaching. I stretched
so far for you I tipped
like a glass spilling
over the white kitchen tiles.
You made of me a mess
and slipped away, out
the back door, a failure
of a thief, who could hold nothing
in her hands.

The clock in the kitchen ticks
gently on, and the floor is stained
still, though I have scrubbed it
several times.

When you’re old

No one
wants to hear from you
when you’re old
said my mother
when I was young
enough to matter
I’m older now
and I want to know
when do they reach
down your throat
and take your voice
and put it in a box
with your teeth
and your parents
and everything you lose
when you’re old
my mother is still talking
and almost seventy
when do they pull the needle
from the record
and leave you spinning
in silence

Aging Out: Life Isn’t Over at 30

I recently bought a crop top, my first one. The ’90s have made a comeback in fashion, and a blush pink top had caught my eye. I hesitated when considering the purchase; I’m 29, and I wasn’t sure if I was too old for a crop top. I’d heard two women discussing, earlier in the week, how you shouldn’t wear a trend if you were around to wear it the first time it came around. I grew up in the ’90s, but I’d never worn a crop top then.

Fashion has long put limitations on what women can and can’t wear, because they’re too old, or have the supposedly wrong body type, or just can’t pull it off. Like many other women, I’ve struggled with being comfortable with my body, though no one ever told me, with my body type, that I couldn’t wear something. Now, there’s the possibility that I’m too old.

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Knowing

It would end
Of course
You knew it would
As certain as the sun falls
From the sky at night and darkness
Devours your small piece of earth.
The lights haven’t gone out for all,
You know, but the dark is sure
Of itself, as you are not. You knew
And yet pain dragged you raw
Through memories like brambles
Growing in the warmth
Of your soft heart. Loss
didn’t lead you straight through
To recovery, the line instead twisted
And blind and bitter like blood dark wine
You know you must drink deep. Loss
Will not lead you from here. You
Will crawl the path scraped and bruised,
Knowing, at last, the end.

In praise of bad writing

If there’s a trait common to all good writers, perhaps it’s that they’ve all done some bad writing. More importantly, however, they’ve all done some thorough revisions on their work. A good piece of writing invariably results from careful editing, but the steps from a first draft to a final piece are far from painless.

I do a lot of bad writing, especially when I’m writing poems. I’ve written many more bad poems than I have good, but sometimes, I find a bit of good writing embedded in a bad poem I’ve created. It’s hard to picture the process other writers go through to take a rough piece and improve it when what you see is a final, polished piece. That’s why I’m choosing to share my own bad poem and how it became a poem that I like.

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