Plum

Some people will love you like an unripened plum.

You’ll taste them and your lips will pucker.

Some people were grown on shaded trees,

were plucked too soon.

But you come from rich soil.

Your roots were nourished, your branches patient.

Your sweetness doesn’t make you better than,

it simply makes you lucky.

So find your kindest self

and untwist your distorted face.

Give them your rain.

They will soften

and sweeten in your hands.

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FitzGerald’s

I crammed myself between six friends, all sleepily perched on barstools. Three beers served from the cask rose like sea foam in their glasses. Two gin and tonics drowned napkins in sweat. One warm hand wrapped itself around an Old Fashioned, and there we sat, sipping slowly with glazed, lazy, midnight eyes.

Find the people you can sit beside in silence. Do so often. Save your stories for another night. Love isn’t measured in word count. In fact, I find it is often most alive in quietness.

So instead of talking I notice the tea light candles and the faces lit up by them. I breathe in the stale air of the bar in my soft spot town. I write down the skeleton of this dimly lit memory because these are the people, the places, and the moments I’ll bring with me to God and say, “this is what I miss the most.”

Cotton Tree

When the cotton falls over the
fields like a hot and patient snowfall,
everything in me shifts
a few inches to the right.
This new season is in labor.
Its air is golden and I am here,
really here and really seeing.
Suddenly the afternoon
doesn’t owe me anything.
Maybe every soul is given
a few moments in time
that teach them about heaven
and how to get there early.

A Prayer For Women Like Me

When your power was stolen from you, when you were skinned and hung from the ceiling like an animal with an irresistible coat of fur, in all of your death, something began to grow in your womb. A kind of child, alive and on fire. Deep in your belly you became a mother to your own resilience. This is your truth and nothing else. You have to believe in a different day. You have to believe in breath and grass. You have to know like you know like you know that your heart is unshakeable, that your body is celestial, that your femininity is a force no man could ever echo. You are intoxicating in the way you move, the way you speak, the way you curve like the landscape of a coast line. You are a bottle of whiskey. May you never be ashamed of this. May you stride with your hips swaying east and west. May you unveil your skin only if you choose to. May you be wild and new. May you walk through this open door and wipe his dirt off your shoes on the way in.

Sister

Spring has birthed the lilacs again
and here they come now,
crying through the kitchen window.
I’m earnest when I say
I wish I was their sister.
Every year they are new to this world,
Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed. Unobsessed.
There are prayers on the paper.
Make me like them– mauve and free.
So unconcerned with old news and
sorrows that may or may not come.

When I fold it into thirds
and read it out loud,
it sounds more like
Make me not like me.
But at the center of this shape I’m in,
in the heart of the smoother edges,
I am the only thing I want to be.
I only want home. I only want me.
There is a me who is not asleep.
There is a me who hums something
nice as she washes the dinner plates.
There is a me who knows that looking
down is simply written into her code,
so she chooses to see the marigolds
lining the spiral path back home.
I knew her once. She is as lovely
as lilacs. She is mauve and free.
So the prayers have to change.

The Gift

My forgiveness was a gift
to you, don’t forget. You
unwrapped a lot of things
that weren’t yours, though
this one you didn’t steal.
Some days I would like it
back but I can’t think of
anything less returnable.

Noon Bells

“The noon bells here just played Für Elise,” you say to me, and I think, “do you know what else you said to me? Do you remember holding trust in the palm of your hand and squeezing it until its juices ran down your wrist and forearm?” But I don’t say it. I don’t want to be the person who presses the plucked flower of who you were in a book and gets angry when you haven’t grown. You didn’t have to tell me about the noon bells, but you did.