Tag Archives: human experience

Parking Lot

I erased
all your emails
that were delivered
to my impatient
every morning
with love
and a photo
of what no one else
would see
and when I
put them in the trash
I knew I’d have 30 days
to change my mind
to recover
these messages
by emojis and hearts
and images
that caused
a tiny explosion
inside my heart
but sitting here in
the parking lot
with your last smile
in my hand
I am going for broke
I am emptying
the recycle bin
I am wiping away
the year
from my cheeks.







Anger Management

I don’t
want to calm down
don’t want to cope
with this disappointment
this anger
that’s on me
in me
around me
for what feels like miles
and I don’t want
to walk out from under it
escape it
stop it
end it
push it back
it can stay as long as it likes
long enough for me
to hold it
examine it
study its origin
its source
the way it tightens
then loses its grip
and always disappears.






Photo by Ansel Adams


No one thinks ahead
to the small rooms we’ll go home to
when the night is black
and the lights are fluorescent
flashing and spinning
in every imaginable color
and the smell of cotton candy
and fried anything
is as thick as your wallet
when you pull it out to buy a chance
at the stuffed bear that’s twice as big
as the beautiful girl who says she wants it
and by the time you’re ready to give up
tossing the rings into a sea of two liter bottles
the carnie makes you a deal
says he’ll give you one more chance,
half price, and all of a sudden
you’re watching the enormous creature
being placed into the arms of your date
who, months later, will decide
she doesn’t have room in her life
for the two of you
and she’ll kick you both to the curb
and become someone else’s prize.








How it Ends

The photo of you
sitting in a field
of wildflowers
made you seem accessible—
and the picture
of your body
halfway into Mosquito Lake
seemed to indicate
you lived for adventure—
but the joy in your eyes
as you stood on Mt. Rainier
was in fact nontransferable
to life down below
where love waited its turn
for you to find it
as beautiful a destination
as the mangroves
in Costa Rica and now
the Redwoods are calling
and you are almost gone.








How easily
the sunlit beauty
of the day
goes dark
when tainted
with words
that are not
and bright
like the call
of the wood thrush
in the trees
along the river—
words that
do not flow in
and out of me
the way
this narrow boat
on its course—
that do not
float pleasantly
around me
like I love you—
and I’m sure
he wishes
he could
tell me anything
without fear
of me
going under—
just as I wish
his fondness
for her
have the power
to sink me.






Leaving Home

In the beginning
I would leave the house
feeling as though
I was making a big mistake—
that meeting him in secret
on those winter afternoons
was going to satisfy my curiosity
but ruin my life
if I fell in love with his mouth
and everything he had to say—
but now, every time I leave him
it feels like the bigger mistake—
like I am leaving home
to sleep with a stranger
in an unfamiliar bed.






“Storozhevsky Monastery” by Isaac Levitan, 1880

What I Want

Very little, really.
If one hundred years
is too much to ask
I’ll settle for another
four seasons
as long as I can live
the way I want to live
which is bravely
and in sharp contrast
to the years I’ve
timidly resigned myself
to the notion that
I am the one
who must be reliable
and predictable
while everyone else
spins out of control—
I want everything
that matters to me
to begin to matter—
I want to say no
to a brand new kitchen
and hardwood floors
and yes to the gardens
blooming large
in my imagination.
I want to say yes
to the mountains
that keep calling me
and offering insights
on the importance
of living with less—
on almost nothing.
And nothing
is what I want
from everyone today
because it’s exactly
what I’ve left to give.