Calico Dream

I was in Asia staying with newfound friends

It was the future – soft light warmed everything

Sounds and sites of vegetables simmering in pots were everywhere

I shaved part of my head making it easier to wear wigs and put on disguises

Wearing this bizarre 1970s motorcycle helmet, white with red racing stripes

The stress of being in these new surroundings was so exciting it made me vomit 

A cute calico befriended me, always looking like they were going to speak – they never did of course, just kept purring, following me, or were they guiding me?

I found you in a scrapped-out airstream, told you I loved you being my best friend 

We cried a little, it wasn’t sad, just being there with each other was good – for the first time in a long while I felt like myself

It took a dream, waking from sleep on the couch in pain, being transported to feel like me, if even for a moment again. 

San Diego

Sitting on the balcony of our hotel room,

A still morning greets us, looking out over the water

Drinking French press Kona

The oils from the freshly plunged coffee mingled with the smell of morning dew

Surrounded by sail boats and the view of Tijuana

You discovering the bliss of lox on an everything bagel

The day was crisp

Wrapped in cozy sweaters

Watching the gulls catch air, floating effortlessly by

One of my favorite memories

Captured in the amber of my mind

Fresh Legs

Stretch, feel skin cracking from beneath Winter’s permafrost.

Ache at the bones snapping into place after the yawn of cold morning shrinks in the Spring sun.

Pull off scratching socks that heated you through the night, cold toes be gone.

Smooth oil over this organ, this canvas that’s been painted black with the loudness of heartbreak and righteous discontent.

Robbed of the season’s stolen time.

Not a single bit of goodness fits through the strainer you’ve ripped gaping holes in.

There were things to celebrate.

Yet they shared the same room as the shattered pieces of heart.

Feeling like an awkward lanky teen yearning to burst from anxiety into their prime.

Selfish in these feelings.  In this push through, in the same house fighting through the awful and the sublime.

Spring arrived lacking anything that sniffs of newness.

Pull the curtains shut, put a sweater on, pull the hood over your head.

Lay down in the unmade bed.  Sheets needing to be washed that still smell like her.

Refuse, just one more day to rot in the love of stolen kisses.

Stuck in the ordeal of perpetual eventide.

Every single memory tied up in her hair, in her ashes.

A smooth red wooden box embellished with her name.

The urn, the lingering frankincense clinging to the drawstring silver bag.

Her hand pressed into clay for remembrance. 

Plant the rosemary, plant the wildflowers.

Hang the chime. 

Place a sleeping statue in her favorite napping sun.

Mourn her.

Celebrate her.

Move tomorrow, embrace Spring slowly with fresh legs.

Sammy and the Whispering

Did Sammy ever tell you about the time he called begging me not to marry you? It was out of concern for me, our engagement, the call was a warning. 

“Yes, he’s my best friend.  Yes, you both appear awesome together – please don’t marry him. You are not like him in the ways you think you are. He’s not marriage material, end things, try to stay friends.”

I really did love you, just to be clear.  You were a wonderful human being, creative, funny, kind, a friend to so many.  Why would I doubt your love came in any form but sincere? Still, there was a whispering ever-present in my head, and then he called, pulling my head from the sand.

Sammy dropped the hammer on my dreams, but I needed his unsolicited sobering. The kind of message that can be delivered only out of friendship, nevermind the brutality. What sucked was knowing he wasn’t wrong. Listening to him explain his worries confirmed the suspicions I’d had all along.

I loved being with you, the time that we’d spend.  Driving to Orlando, hanging out with our group of friends. But you, my wayward artist, and misguided man were going to drain the life out of me honing your potential,  in a process that would never end.

You were going to turn me into that nagging bitch of a wife, and Sammy knew it from experience, he’d watched happen before. “He is going to ruin you.  You’re not a bitter, angry person, don’t let him change you into something that you aren’t.

He thanked me for the letters I wrote since he moved away, talked about his wedding that was coming, and ended our call with an apology. “I know that wasn’t easy to hear.  If I hadn’t called you, hadn’t said anything, I couldn’t live with myself, I’m truly sorry my dear.”

All those things that he told me, things that I didn’t want to admit to myself, I needed that phone call, that lifeline, but I wanted to hear you say them myself.

Your honesty was a curious thing, I found it liberating, heartbreaking, and infuriating. Our relationship had been a fool’s errand, one that I ended after asking all of the questions. “Why wouldn’t you just tell me?  Why did it take me feeling like something was wrong and asking a million questions, like some inquisition to find out being together isn’t where we belong?”

“Because I love you.  Because I need you.  Because you are the one that is strong. I don’t have what it takes to match you, it’s scary that you’re everything, what I’m lacking, I should have told you, it shouldn’t have taken this long.” You started babbling about making amends, working on us, what breaking up would do to the life we had planned. It was white noise, and there was no appetite to accept your ardent pleas.

“You really would have used me like that?  Put everything on me without attempting to give anything back?  That isn’t loving, that’s selfish and indolent, hearing your answers cause me pain.  You would have hated me for it, and I would have hated you.” At that moment, that intractable moment, our future vanished, even from the realm of friends.  The past two years vanished, my heart sank, then hardened, nothing you could say would soften or charge it to care.

“This doesn’t have to be where it ends. Couples bounce back from things like these, it’s not like I was cheating. I want you to marry me.  You’re the best thing that’s been in my life, and I can’t let anyone else have what you’re capable of offering.”

When you said those words, I could only think: “Thank god for Sammy calling me.  Thank god I had the good sense to listen to him and my inner whispering.”  I hung up the phone with a simple goodbye, paired with a long, exasperated soul recovering sigh, “Yeah? I know with one hundred percent certainty that is never happening.”


Open the patio doors, it’s breezy and gray, palm leaves swing in the late afternoon of a lazy October day.

Thinking that I need to rest, unburden myself from the worry packed in my chest. 

The breeze turns to winds, as though they sense in me the need to push it all forward, propelling my limbs. 

It’s an active gust now, pushing out and pulling in, as the planes fly overhead, making noise high above the branches as they bend. 

There is light forcing itself through the gray, reminding me that the relief I seek is needed, not selfish, as it churns its way through the late afternoon, the remnants of a Sunday.

Move with the swells in the breeze. Lean into the air, feel it’s intent pushing through the leaves. 

Close the doors behind me as I leave, the burden in my chest has lifted, blown away, freed from the gray, feeling my spirit has shifted.

Year of the Cicada

It’s the year of the cicada, it is deafening. 

Their voices rise from the ground like a million corpses resurrecting.

They usher in the cast of characters changing the global scenery.

A blood-curdling fevered pitch of waking violence, sickness, and death.

Death of how we used to live.

Death of comforts taken for granted.

Death of mankind that choke our hope.

They usher in the cry of change.

The blood-curdling fevered pitch that wakes collective consciousness.

Rebirth of how we now will live.

Rebirth of comfort found in Mother Nature’s ingenuity.

Rebirth of mankind embarking on newfound paths.

They mark the year that found the world on fire, waking growth like a forest after burning wild.

It’s the year of the cicada, it is deafening.