Tightrope Walkers

I don’t even know
where to begin,
when fear
of the future
wells up
inside of me,
and “you have
no idea,”
how much
time and effort
it takes me
to put on
this poker face
every morning,
straight as an arrow,
and from
the outside in,
“I look okay,”
but to walk
a straight line
nowadays
is a feat left for
the tightrope walkers
I watch with
so much jealousy now
I could almost
choke on
the thought of
having that ability
once again;
to walk so
effortlessly,
one foot in front
of the other
without the fear
of falling off
this string we all
must balance on –
called life.

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Something

Maybe he had a handshake
that felt like we’d met
somewhere before,
or a face I’d seen
in a crowd once
but never forgot,
perhaps while I was waiting
for a flight at the airport,
or maybe he’d been
in front of me in the line
at Starbucks while I dallied
on my phone
and tried to pretend
I didn’t notice the sheer
breadth of his shoulders,
or how the color of his hair
reminded me
of Edgar Allan Poe’s,
“Nevermore.”

But it was something,
as he took in my face
as though he were someone
who already knew me
and yet, for some reason,
wanted more,
that for a moment,
I almost felt uneasy
in my fear of his reality,
and real is what it felt like;
to be seen by someone
who wants to see,
even as the Raven sits
above the doorframe,
that I could not bring myself
to stare into his face
with the same intensity,
and so would often let my eyes drop
in admiration of his shoes
and how much they were worn.

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Fish Out of Water

The drugs;
I think I tire of them,
lack of efficacy,
failing body.
My neck reminds me
of a flapping
fish out of water,
bending at the
weight of my head
as though it were
a fishbowl
precariously
balanced now,
sloshing with water.
The goldfish,
gasping for air.
And I’ve noticed
how the gills,
they heave,
“in, out. Up, down.”
as though I were
watching an
aerobic exercise
in survival
in the presence
of this
unnamed disease
that wastes
the muscles
of a mermaid,
she was,
who only thought
she had legs.

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Give Me Reason

Give me reason
to find
the strength
to walk again.
Where feet,
light as a feather,
feel as though
I could
walk on air,
and gravity’s
insidious grip
is forced to
release me.
Where a hope
springs forth
of becoming
how I use to be,
that this might be
the beginning
answer
to my prayers.

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Elixir

I find my eyes
burn from
the weight of
“how many tears?”
And I know,
I should
“be stronger.”
To find
“courage, dear one,”
in the face of
all this uncertainty,
because how
can any of us
know our fate
with bones
collapsing?
That were never
meant to stand
against
all this infinity.
Not in this body.
But time,
“it keeps,”
wrapping itself
around me,
tighter everyday
like a snake,
that I couldn’t
loosen its grip,
even if I wanted,
with the taste
of saltwater
on my lips,
but they say
the sea will
heal me.
And so my
eyes continue
to leak
an ocean
that’s been
bottled up
inside me,
that they’d catch
all our tears,
if they could,
and sell them
as healing elixir.

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Lift

Such tiny elements
unperceived
by the eye
yet felt
by the heart.
Slight changes
in motion,
in movement,
as though
I have seen
the thoughts
of a crow
change before he
turns course
in the wind,
till the air
catches his wings
and he glides.
And is this not
how we should be –
in a life of least
resistance.

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Full Circle

I used to wait
for sentences
to drop down
like the universe
were giving
me a gift
as though stardust
poured from
the big dipper.
And oh, how
I miss those nights
in Summer,
and wish how
I could lie out
with you beneath
the constellations
to admire,
how the stars,
they chase each
other in one
big elliptical.

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Spine

The body hangs
from the spine
like a wet rag sags
on a bending wire
coat hanger,
and how quickly
it loses its shape
and fails
under the weight,
the pressure,
while vertebrae
collapse
one after the other,
like dominos
fall in spectacle,
that I wonder
how they ever
stacked them
in the first place,
and now, only wish
they’d had
a steadier hand.

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Linger

Fall has arrived,
but his kisses
fell on my skin
like the first day
of Summer,
with such warm
delight that
all of Spring
I longed
and waited
for the trees
to lose
their blossoms,
until they filled
so heavy
with leaves,
I knew
he was just
around the corner;
Summer, who,
when he arrived,
did not hesitate,
but came for me
and quickly
and even now,
still lingers.

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In Melody

It’s when all these things
build up inside me,
like thoughts I’ve somehow
not yet found,
the right order of words
to express in language
what the heart, it feels.

So I sit by the window
instead in mournings,
and watch how the wind,
it speaks to the trees,
but I’m sure, the trees,
if they could tell me,
would say the heart
it hears in melody.

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