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Half the battle is drawing the lines the other half is deciding which side to occupy which space not to share which lines to scuff even erase I used to stack my lines until I built up shaking walls surprised when they collapsed I was tumbled over a squiggly burial ground I ceased My finger, that toe, my nose- the part doesn’t matter just that they broke off one at a time until I was so much blood gritty remains I’m trying to say something some grand statement a meaningful,

I met you in a dream we tumbled trees high around us your hair in braids of meadow grass tied with wildflowers and laughter. I cried dew drops on each blade until the sun rose you rose you smelled of roses. We whispered as fire rode the sky all I saw was upward my heart strained my tears churned into butter your hands on me without shame my body shivering under the heat of that longed for connection I woke to my own voice shouting please touch me I’m ready

  This is how it happens: We contort ourselves, like paper flowers. We wait, twisted in our beautiful shapes until the tears fall to melt us away. Damp, we wilt. Damp, we tear easily. We are not quickly mended. This is how it happens when we love with our full hearts, when we turn down our brain chatter, the endless no, not this one. Not like this: We grow twisted into beholder-defined beauty. We wait, in our places. We wait to be plucked up in delicate fingers. We hold the pose

for my birthday give me solitude a chair to call my own no warm bodies running circles no eyes weighing seconds spent not returning a loving gaze give me no one to witness or swaddle cook for or kiss give me the skies permission to land near a cottage some secluded space send my laptop dark chocolate paper and pen just in case send me roses if you like I will sniff them but I make no promises to think of you except with relief you have not come along

Beige. That’s the color I’m seeing. You are not anxious. You are full on terrorized. You have no middle ground— If you speak and don’t get it exactly right the blowback will be fast, and from every angle. Decide where you want to belong. Forge your path there. People terrify me. And I’m not saying I want you to be afraid— I want you to give each fear it’s own sterile place. brutally, surgically remove the cancer, use radiation, –whatever you need— then leave it. Once you aren’t thundering from

You did not know what to think of me. I was a young bird cupped in your palms. My heart beat frantically, but my wings remained folded under your fingers. You did not know what to do with me. I was beautiful, but not in the way you expected. I was mottled and gray and brown and dull. I was subdued, yet radiant. It struck you wrong. You did not know what to make of me. I was half-formed to your eyes. I required guidance and a wisdom only you

You ever feel all tipped-over like? Rolling in humiliation of over and done and can’t take it back? Learned since then, but maybe it doesn’t matter because you clawed a hole in a wall that was someone and blood came out right on your hands. You cupped it and caught it and held them down so you could tip back in the gold of their life-flow, but it was too late. Your hands weren’t clean. You left them toxic. You know, right? How you crawled away all wadded up and

My MFA program offered me the opportunity to work with several amazing writers. I was pointed to text after text and told, “Read. Learn.” I did. The more I read, the more I wrote. I experienced the world through authors who challenged. Their topics were race, place, institution, thought… Every piece struck a chord with me. Some works resonate on a much deeper level. Gil Scott Heron’s “Whitey on the Moon” (actually shared with me by my husband), is one such piece. If you haven’t read it, please click the

One of the ways I defined myself in middle school was writing timed, rhymed poetry on a topic chosen by a peer. Me classmates considered it something of a superpower- a handy party trick I could pull out at a moment’s notice, often using the topic itself as an acronym that began each line. They would then take a copy of the poem for themselves, sometimes even place bets on whether or not I could complete a piece, say, on leprechauns in three minutes. I earned my fair share of

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