The After

Someday –

I will find you here, in the place where
you now stay and will remain forever.

The after, and the before.
the accessible and the invisible.
You appear to me
and I am reminded that you
are a figment of my heart
willing your presence to be
as tangible as you always were.

This is the after.
I’ve yet to become acquainted with it,
still feeling the vacancy
of the before.
The place I can never again visit.
I will not find you there
no matter how desperately I long to.

I would like to stay awhile in
the memory of you.
So that I might take with me
all we once were able to see
in that place.
You’re here now,
but I think I choose not to see you.

My heart breaks a thousand times
in just one moment spent
here – in the after.
You have moved on.
I am struggling to join you.
You have departed this world,
and yet it is me who feels like a ghost
unable to embrace
the reality
of a life that goes on
after you.


To Know You

Your eyes sweep impatiently
across my face,
as if you are searching
for me in my features –
hoping that the curve
of my cheek will open a
door into the past, telling
of pain I have endured.
The pink in my lips may
betray me, showing you
all the words I dare not
speak, but wish to hear
out loud. Studying shadows
that linger beneath my
eyes – eyes that are
staring straight back to
you, working tirelessly to
not be found out, by a
swift blink or downward
I feel you not speaking –
fearful, perhaps, of
missing a moment when
the light may fall upon
my lashes, communicating
all the ways the world
has left them damp or
rubbed raw.
I do not ask you what
you are thinking
I too am searching –
waiting. For any sign
that you want me to
know you,
the way you are endeavoring
to know me.
Faces turned inward,
cascades of silence
flow through gazes
speaking volumes of love;
deafeningly loud and impossibly


My intentions
land softly upon
the top of your head –
like freshly fallen
snow, on a dark
December night.

They are for you.
Reach out your
palm and
catch them
before they melt away

like snowflakes,
each with a
unique identity
melting on the tip
of your nose.

Can you hear what
the cold air is saying?
Whispers, sharing
secrets carried down
from clouds we cannot



Spoken Melody

I want to take your words
and spin them into
something sublime.
A kind of art that is
so breathtaking
the tourists who walk by
will have to look away.
Music more transcendent
than your favorite song
or mine.
Your words.
They sit on the edge
of my memory,
always so close to falling
from me.
If I don’t make them
into something I can hold,
I fear there will never
again be art or music
worth experiencing.
Oh –
those words of yours.
Even the words that don’t
belong to you
the words of others
whom you admire or despise,
coming from your mouth
they’re all exquisite to me.
To my ears as they fall
from your lips
to my eyes as your teeth
and tongue work together,
making everything else I
have ever thought beautiful
completely insignificant
in comparison.


Living Memory

I will paint you with colors
you weren’t able to see yourself in.
For every chance you will never take,
I will leap with your bravery.
The center of your world
is unknown to me –
But I will navigate through the labyrinth
you built around your heart,
for as long as it takes.


Packing Pain

Pain is universal, while also being so unique to a given cause. Emotional, mental, or physical. The pain we ourselves feel or the pain we feel for someone else. Being hit in the face or being told unkind words. Being betrayed or lied to, let down or disappointed. Our bodies bruise. Our hearts bruise. Our ego and our pride bruise. We try like hell to avoid it, yet are followed around all our lives by its unwanted shadow.

Some say the more often we feel it, the stronger we become. For most, pain is poison. It can weaken the soul if we let it, devour every muscle and bone, every fiber of our being until it consumes us. We can learn from pain, to never place our hand in the fire twice. But we are often foolish, either forgetting the sensation or attempting to feel the flame in a different way; always yielding the same result, always burning.

Pain evolves. It assumes a different form if you hold onto it for too long, taking on new shapes and tastes of constant acidic bitterness. Pain feeds on pain. It thrives on our need to cling to our daemons and dwell on our pasts. We carry our pain, lock it up in suitcases or wear it like a jacket. We might hide it under the bed or hang it up in the back of the closet, but whenever the time comes to move, be it onward or forward, we make sure to take it with us. It belongs to us. It becomes us. Taking up too much space to allow anything else in, it can become all we make room for.

The weight of our pain only gets heavier and harder to carry with time.  We can choose to travel light. Rather than tucking our pain away, or giving it to others to deal with, we can unpack it. Take a good look at it and decide to take the lighter jacket instead. Leaving the pain behind, we just might find there is plenty more to keep us warm.