homeless man feeds birds;
i’m full, yet still long for more.
who’s the crazy one?
when i sleep,
i drool enough to keep a goldfish alive for the night.
one morning, i awoke
with my wet cheek attached to the bare chest
of my man holding me tight.
he opened his eyes and looked down,
then took one hand,
wiped the drool off,
kissed me on my forehead
and went back to sleep.
and i felt love.
hardened as i may try to be,
i can’t run away from the fact
that i am in fact,
i am strong without a doubt,
able to do whatever i set my mind to,
but inside i am soft as tissue,
sensitive like scarred skin,
delicate as seraphim and cherubim
and spend my energy cherishing
everyone around me.
sometimes the weather gets cloudy
and i forget my anatomy,
think i have pecs instead of breasts,
a mustache above my lips,
and a voice deep and rich as chocolate.
but i am not this basic idea or definition.
i am the kiss on your forehead when your confidence is missing.
i am the gentle touch when trouble gets to be too much
and the loving ear that will always be there.
i am the mirror on the wall that tells you all,
the pep in your step to take you from one success to the next.
i am a woman,
mother of creation,
removed from your rib so that your stomach is a little empty
so that when you get hungry, you’ll know that you need me.
i am the appetizer, main course, and dessert,
the one that you love but still tend to hurt,
the one who loves you but still likes to search
for herself outside of your help.
i am not the same as you.
we complement each other like orange and blue,
like honey and dew,
sweet and tickling.
oh, what a feeling
to stop pretending
and start claiming
man, how do i write about you without
writing about you?
i feel like poems are special,
and though i suspect you’re just that,
i’m not ready to admit that.
words are powerful and when they are teamed up
to make melodies that melt souls and water eyes
and wet tongues and underwear,
they can take over the world.
but i suppose if i had to succumb to anything,
it would be the pleasure of this feeling,
the curiosity that i’m keeling over with
like a cat drunk from exploration.
if anything should kill me,
let it be my quest to find out why my chest gets warm
from my heart jogging back and forth.
not feeling the burn yet,
just a little bead of sweat
starting in the middle of my forehead
and slowly falling to the top of my lips
and into my mouth as i smile
widely and honestly,
gently but guarded.
look at what you’ve started.
your eyes reveal as you look down at me
that with your shy politeness,
you could give me
my “yes” back.
my “no” has been ignored in the past,
pushed down so far that screams turned into gasps
and fight melted into surrender,
but for some reason,
i don’t feel like fighting when i see you.
i feel like saying “yes”
and enjoying the way it comes off of my tongue,
how the middle of it raises to the roof of my mouth
to make the “y” sound
and how i have to open my teeth
and let a piece of you in for the “e”
and how my “s” turns to a smile
when you’re around.
i may let you in and
the spark in my eye was born when i saw you
maybe one day i’ll whisper sweet somethings in your ear
i might be silly and imagining that a connection is even here
for you to even ask a question
that would require a positive affirmation
but just in case you do,
my breath, my mouth and my soul
will be ready.
she told her friend that she liked him a lot
but she was scared because
he’s kinda rough and once told her that
he’d fight for anything,
after a few months,
the next scene cuts
to her banging on her friend’s door late at night
with blackened eyes and a bruised face
and she’s crying hard,
scared for her life
and begging her friend to let her in
but her knocks go unanswered.
she sits on the front steps with a cigarette
on the right side of her mouth
and a blunt on the left,
hoping that smoking both at the same time
will fill her lungs, blacken them
and quicken her death.
she closes her eyes and remembers happy times–
of when she and her boyfriend first met
and recalls the first incident of violence
with pangs of regret.
the phrase, “this is my fault”
is a bullet shot from the back of her brain
that ricochets painfully, driving her insane
and she contemplates the different ways
she can end her life
and then looks up and sees headlights
and a window that rolls down
and the driver is a scared man-child
who wears tears of his own and a frown
and he stares–
watching the young lady he says he loves
pick the shattered pieces of herself up,
walk to the car and get in.
and then they drive off.
God, i pray for my husband–
that he will be logical
and strong enough
sometimes i operate so emotionally
that i treat my heart with irresponsibility,
not only wearing it on my sleeve
but throwing it at the back of a man’s head
in moments of distress,
hoping that once it bounces off
and leaves a knot,
i will feel at rest.
i will need a husband
whose skull will be hard enough
to counter mine,
who will pick up my heart after it’s been thrown,
brush the dust off with gentle hands
and place it back in my chest
to beat calmly again;
one who possesses
a gentle enough face
for me to feel a twinge of guilt
for wanting to make him pay
unjustly for my
distorted perceptions of the truth;
a husband who
will love me out of the habit
of abusing the most crucial organ in my body
and give a long enough embrace
to keep my restored heart
in its proper place,
and pull me out of the way
of thinking that tells me
that violence is a way to be heard,
show me the true meaning of love
that in today’s society seems absurd.
i pray that he is a teacher,
and a son
who like a piece of clay,
You have molded and shaped
into a pot
that even in my emotional states,
i am unable