for you. for me.

Selects from chapbook “for you. for me.” completed December 2015.

for you.


I.

God, smite me now!
I am magic in his eyes,
evergreens that knew me
before knowing my name,
and when his eyes lock with
mine, there is something in me
that can’t deny he was put on
this earth for me to find.
I would sin a thousand times
if I could spend my days loving him.


III.

Your fingertip imprints
on my hips are a
national treasure.
Our lips put meaning to
the braille on my skin,
a declaration of our
own independence.
In your arms,
I am gold.


VI.

What was unwavering resilience
is now contempt with contentment.


VII.

There are fields in your eyes,
greener than spring.
The sun forever shining,
everything’s all right.

There are diamonds in your mouth,
and my skin is glass.
Every word traced up my spine
is another dig at my core.

There are shards in your arms
from holding me so tight.
The world we built will shatter,
we’ll sparkle in the light.


IX.

Our love was scripted for the movies.
We started the day it snowed
and ended the day it snowed.
I wonder if you broke down right after,
pulling into the nearest parking lot to let it all out.
No, you probably went home to pack up my things.
I wonder if your heart ached with every piece of me
scattered on your floor the same way as when
I went to grab my usual pair of sweats,
a set of comfort when I need it,
only to remember they’re yours.


X.

Your face is foreign,
and you treat me like
a stranger, like your
fingers never traced
circles in my skin.

The worst part
is still loving you,
even after all this.

You got in your car,
and I turned away
with a too-tight chest
and your name
on my lips.


XI.

Please speak well of me.


for me.

Bottles

Embrace is not always
a warm hug, oh
but it’s inviting.
You can accept it
and live beside it
or let it welcome,
wrap you up in
solitude and
swallow.
you.
whole.

So you pour it into bottles
and save it all for later.

And after time,
it all goes sour
and some bittersweet.
Your line of liquors
growing, your shelf
still incomplete.

You line the shelf with bottles
and count them all for later.

Who are you now, Bottled Girl?
You unscrewed the cap
and let dead water in,
overflowing with things
you tried to forget.

You fell into a bottle
and lined up on the shelf.


Driving Lessons

In the state of Ohio,
you can get a driving permit
when you’re 15 ½.
By 16, you can get a license
and drive without a parent,
and at 17, you can have
as many passengers as
there are seatbelts.

I am 21 years old,
and I have never
learned to drive.

It’s not that I don’t
want to–I thought
I did everything right:
Get a permit, practice,
earn the hours, etc.
I was afraid of losing
control. I found my
comfort as a passenger–
a bystander, onlooker,
watching the trees pass by
through the right-hand window.

I never heard the door open,
never felt the shift of seats
or the rumble under my skin
as the engine came alive.

I was too busy standing by
to realize I let the dark ones in.
My depression’s in the front seat
holding hands with my anxiety,
and I’m backseat driving the best
I can, but they can’t hear me
over the roar of the engine,
and we’re on a one-way
street I’ve never seen before.

The car runs out of fuel.


Advice

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14

The best advice I’ve ever heard
is two simple words: Fuck it.
Matthew says you have to do
what’s best for you and move on.

Matthew’s car is filled with
Spanish music and light banter,
our voices howl in laughter, and
I’m sliding out the passenger door.

On Tuesday, I tell Matthew
to slow down, and he says
there’s not enough time, robotic
scribbling of words on paper.

It’s 12:07, and I say
“Feel the words the way
you feel music” because
his clarinet is everything.

Matthew laughs and says
he doesn’t know how to be
creative. I swivel a few times
in my chair and let it go.

On Monday, Matthew texts me
“Why am I a hopeless romantic?”
I ask him why I don’t have wine, and
he’s sitting outside five minutes later.

Over wine and beer, he says he
gives advice he doesn’t take himself.
I say “A wise Matt once told me to
do what’s best for you.” He smiles.

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