Say the things.

stagnant, sediment
periodic sedentary slip
I get what you’re saying
when you use the right words
and say the things
that make sense
if you use past tense
I don’t listen
I don’t understand
It’s not about upper-hand
or who’s wrong
we could talk and talk
and say things, and
use big words. But
will it ever make sense?

Written Thursday, November 1st, 2012 ~1:20am @ Smith with Luke.


Say the things.



Glittered in flirty.

Over-hearing dates. First dates. are obvious. The fidgeting. The extra diaphragm push when (s)he laughs. The extra laughs between not-so-funny things (s)he says. Because it’s cute. To laugh. You’re more attractive with sparkle. With those ruddy-blushed cheeks. bundled up to your peepers. Glittered in flirty.

Written Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 @ Smith.
Edited Saturday, January 19th & Sunday, March 24th, 2013 @ Smith.


Photo taken Sunday, September 23rd, 2012. Georgetown.

My mouth. your ear.

I could tell you what I’m feeling
but the words from my mouth to your ear
will morph mid-flight between the two
and I won’t know what you’ll hear.

Written Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 @ Joe Bar with Jake.


Photo taken Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 @ the Capitol Hill Block Party.


how many things have you said. and to how many people. how many things have you said that were misunderstood. how many things have you said and to how many people that were misunderstood. and you never knew. both of you. you never knew.

how many things have you heard. and from how many people. how many things have you heard and from how many people that you misunderstood. and you never knew.

both of you. never knew.


Pink goo.


Until the next eyes
that make my body die
and melt into
a marshmallow fluff of pink goo.
Until my next sigh
when your nose and chin are close enough to smell
moments before possibility,
the first press of new lips.
– skin on skin on skin on skin –

What exhales outside our atmosphere
does. not. matter.
does. not. exist.

a kiss on the forehead – erases memory.


Written Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 @ Joe Bar with Jake.



“Pink goo” was inspired by a line from Marina Tsvetaeva‘s poem, “A kiss on the forehead”.  (1917)

A kiss on the forehead—erases misery.

I kiss your forehead.
A kiss on the eyes—lifts sleeplessness.

I kiss your eyes.
A kiss on the lips—is a drink of water.

I kiss your lips.
A kiss on the forehead—erases memory.


(To read other poems I’ve written that germinated from poetry prompts, search for “poetryprompt” in the search box on the right.)

Fun it is to be loved.

“Must being in love always mean being in pain?” ― Alain de Botton, On Love


I read a poem today.  A beautifully idiosyncratic poem about love.  About a second love; a reborn and reconfigured love.  Between a man and a woman whose marriage has been soured and nipped by infidelity, but after some time, after living separate lives, the woman discovers that she is living and dying with cancer.  The man and the woman find themselves together again.  And what they feel is “almost as good as love…, / and each of them called it love / because precision didn’t matter anymore”.  This line kills me: “[P]recision didn’t matter anymore”.  It got me thinking about the meaning of love and how it changes as we age.  And with that, how we carry and share love in our lives morph.  As with any emotional experience, reading a definition of what it is to love doesn’t encompass the experience of it.  Knowing love takes time.  It requires time to be nurtured and listened to.  It needs to be fed by heartbreak and pain, and compassion and forgiveness; to the point at which words and definitions no longer apply.  I hope to know this rooted and nameless version of love.



These are a few poems I wrote as an early twenty-something year-old in the midst of navigating the outer walls of love’s ventricles:


drop the needle. turn the knob
get over here.  pull the covers up.
kiss me here.
I’ll show you how fun it is to be loved.
It’s easier said than done.

Written Wednesday, 7.10.02, on the #105 to work.



I like it when you play with my hair
play with my mind. play with my heart.
make me feel beautiful while my
skin is still soft. eyes are still bright.
hips are still round.
I like it when you kiss me right there.
kiss me all over. play with my hair
Make me feel wanted when my
heart is still young.  mind is still
soft. needs are still shallow.
I like it when you touch my face
and feel my lips with your tongue
with your cheeks.  with your breath.
Make me feel sexy when I’m having a
bad day.  when I trip and fall.
when you look at me that way.

Written Thursday, 8.8.02.


metro romance

I left it at the bus stop
a small spot of happenstance.
when we danced to traffic,
under a dying lamppost
until the 43 gobbled you up
and rolled along
as you stumbled down the aisle.

Written Tuesday, 8.27.02.



The ‘beautifully idiosyncratic’ poem referred to at the beginning of this post was written by Stephen Dunn(Thanks, Mr. J, for sharing Dunn’s poetry with me.)

What Goes On

After the affair and the moving out,
after the destructive revivifying passion,
we watched her life quiet

into a new one, her lover more and more
on its periphery. She spent many nights
alone, happy for the narcosis

of the television. When she got cancer
she kept it to herself until she couldn’t
keep it from anyone. The chemo debilitated
and saved her, and one day

her husband asked her to come back —
his wife, who after all had only fallen
in love as anyone might
who hadn’t been in love in a while —

and he held her, so different now,
so thin, her hair just partially
grown back. He held her like a new woman

and what she felt
felt almost as good as love had,
and each of them called it love
because precision didn’t matter anymore.

And we who’d been part of it,
often rejoicing with one
and consoling the other,

we who had seen her truly alive
and then merely alive,
what could we do but revise
our phone book, our hearts,

offer a little toast to what goes on.

Awkward and falling.

The faces we put our lips to
eyes closed,
smelling dead skin cells
veiled in shampoo residue
arms by our sides
then palm holding neck
behind hair
fingers scrunch and tangle with strands
deep breathes between tongued kisses
teeth knock; we giggle
awkward and falling
in love.

Written Saturday, 8.27.11.



This poem was inspired by a poetry prompt exercise – write a poem around a line from an existing poem.  The line I used was, “The faces we put our lips to”, from a C.D. Wright poem in “The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets”:

The Couple

Now is when we love to sit before mirrors
with a dark beer or hand out leaflets
at chainlink gates or come together after work,
listening to each other’s hard day.  The engine dies,
no one hurries to go in.  We might
walk around in the yard not making a plan.
The freeway is heard but there’s no stopping
progress, and the week has barely begun.  Then
we are dressed.  It rains.  Our heads rest
against the elevator wall inhaling a stranger;
we think of cliffs we went off
with our laughing friends.  The faces
we put our lips to.  Our wonderful sex
under whatever we wear.  And of the car
burning on the side of the highway.  Of jukeboxes
we fed.  Quarters circulating with our prints.
Things we sent away for.  Long drives.  The rain.  Cafes
where we ate late and once only.  Eyes of an animal
in the headlamps.  The guestbooks that verify
our whereabouts.  Your apple core in the ashtray.
The pay toilets where we sat without paper.  Rain.
Articles left with former lovers.  The famous
ravine of childhood.  Movie lines we’ve stood in
when it really came down.  Moments
we have felt forsaken: waiting for the others
to step from the wrought iron compartment,
or passing through some town with the dial
on a Mexican station, wondering for the life of us,
where are we going and when would we meet.