Letter to the Universe

Let me be all that I am:
stand me up on mountains
so that I can stand for myself,
teach me to scream, loud,
so I have something to say
and say it well. Show me staircase
after staircase
so I never get tired of climbing.
Give me days of rain so I fall in love
with the sun. Give me nights of loneliness
so that I appreciate love.
Let me feel heartache
because maybe hearts were meant to be broken.
Show me fear and death and sadness and brokenness,
strength and heaven and hell and wisdom.
Show me that I am invincible.
Show me that I am not invincible
because comic books aren’t real.
Cause me to bleed and cause me to heal.
Create in me a child of your reflection:
of the blue skies, the ragged sea, the wildflowers,
the mountain streams. Beat me up, turn me over,
make me give it everything I’ve got.
I know you do this because you have made me strong.
And I know you won’t give me anything I can’t take.
But sometimes I wish you would show
a little grace.

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345 West 15th Street

Heat lightning, my Nana’s
lullabies and her gentle snoring
in the other thin bed across the room,
gulls with names and stories that we gave,
like George, like Tom the ice cream man
who gave me a ride around the block
once in his ice cream truck,
who would give us the damaged ice cream
for free. Mistakes, lessons learned,
my first kiss that tasted far too salty,
so much so that I ran to the bathroom
to wash out my mouth. Picking up
buckets full of snails from the Bay,
feeding stale bread to the ducks,
swimming up and down the lagoon
training for a lifeguard job
I would never get, sending messages
in bottles no one would ever read.
Chocolate ice cream cones with sprinkles,
watermelon lips and sunburnt cheeks,
learning to ride a bicycle for the
first time and running head on
into my neighbor, sun bleached
hair and cigarettes.
But none of that is there anymore,
it was all washed away, covered in mold,
sold for so much less than it was worth.
And my grandmother lies at the bottom
of a hill in Philadelphia,
still waiting for her headstone.
I can’t hear her snores anymore.

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My own lion

I don’t wear jewelry.
Perhaps it’s because
it feels unnecessary
or like I’m flaunting something
that’s not my own good heart.
Perhaps I don’t like standing out.
Perhaps I’m scared.

Today I bought myself
a $78 dollar necklace.
It’s quite beautiful
and I do love the way it looks on me.
It makes me look thin
and fabulous,
two things I am not.

The necklace was meant
to be a reminder
to myself to be at peace,
to stand up,
to be first
to be selfish
to love.
It will be okay. I will be okay?

Today I typed into my
computer as it glowed in
the midnight air
“how to practice self love,”
like it’s a magic trick
I could teach myself overnight,
like some clown in some circus
that frightens little kids.
that runs from lions.
It doesn’t work that way.

I need to stop running from lions.
I need to be my own fucking lion.

“Rise, like lions after slumber…”

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Where did they go

Where did the day go-
the day was had,
had by the smiles on your faces,
the black coffee in your cup,
had by your graces and your fear,
your trust and mistrust.

Where did our time together go-
and is it over
or are we beginning again-
again into black holes,
sunshine and kisses,
holding me in bed,
staring at the moon.

Where did this life go-
this life was lived,
lived by my fingers and toes,
my full heart,
my soul,
let this life be lived by my soul.

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Like you write

Write with a vengeance
write like this is the last poem you will ever have
that these are the last soft spoken words that you’ll
put onto paper
write like the sun won’t set tonight
or won’t rise with the morning
write like you don’t believe in regrets
that you don’t believe in fairytales
but rather you believe in life
write from your fingertips
write from your toes
write the most truthful thing you
have ever felt
write like you are the sun and the moon
write like you are the sea
write with so much strength and
trust in yourself.

Love, like you write.

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I’d be your poetry

If I could be anything, I’d be your poetry:
I’d be the words on the tip of your tongue
the sound that rests on the soft spots of your lips
I’d be the phrases you remember and too soon forget
before you can write them down into your own eternity
I’d be the lovely sentences that come to mind
when you’re standing naked and vulnerable in the shower
and when you just start spouting poetry –
the words that are lost down the drain with the dirt of the day.
I’d be the smile on the side of your face
the pillow under your head when you sleep
the freckles on your back
the sunshine that lights up your eyes when you first awake
the softness that frames your days –
the poetry that makes up the love buried down in your heart.

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I hope the stars sing you a lullaby tonight
and the sky teaches you how to dance.
I want you to know that it is up to the Universe
to teach you how terrifyingly beautiful this life is.
I want you to know it is up to Life to reveal how
beautifully terrifying everything beyond the heavens is.
Drink it all up: the galaxies, the mountains and the
pink painted sunsets, sleeping in soft meadows,
the expanse of the sea. I want you to have it all.
Lay your head down on me. Wrap your fingers in mine.
Let me care for you. Let me see your smile.
Let me have the space and the time to be vulnerable.
The magic in this is that we are our own people,
with our own lives, our own passions,
our own battles, our own demons. And yet,
we’ve grown slightly together,
we’ve shared stories and fears and sadness,
together we have made choices
to share just the tiniest bit of our lives
with someone, with each other,
and I hope that the stars sing you the sweetest lullaby tonight.

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Santa Cruz

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I think of biking around Santa Cruz and I think of you.
Wasted clouds on wasted days.
Do you say good morning to the Universe?
Do you let it kiss you as it pulls you out of bed?
Cherish those moments: the sunshine,
the cool breeze, the laughing gulls.
Cherish the freedom, the summertime, patience.

I hear wind chimes singing in the middle of the city
where they don’t belong
among the hustle and the honking
and I want to tell you about
how they bring me joy.
I want to never forget the way you kiss me.

I know everything in this life,
in this world,
in this small, full, slow, too quick existence
is temporary.
Every night the moon grows or fades,
and the sun will rise again.
But everything else,
it is here for us and me to appreciate now,
and not beyond it’s own significance in time.

I hate that I am such a damn pessimist.
Why can’t I just accept what is, and appreciate it, and not worry.

I will never be ready for the sun to set before the day wants to end.

I’m ready for the continuous awakening,
the continuous light,
the stillness, the peace,
the never ending comfort that keeps my heart beating.

Come with me to the ocean,
stand next to me
with your hand in mine
and your toes touching the sea
looking out at this great big world
that we would give anything to save.

Let the sea remind me to be hopeful,
that I alone am responsible for my happiness,
but that I can let you in too.
Let the sea remind me that it is okay to feel happy,
and it is also okay to be angsty and unsettled and restless.
That it is okay to feel and I should never apologize for that.
Let the Santa Cruz sea remind me that I must
appreciate the golden while I have it,
and strive to stay gold,
glowing like the sun hits the top of each breaking wave,
glowing like the too hot sand that burns the bottoms of your feet.

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Poetry

I.
My soul,
my well-being,
should always come first.

II.
It can’t be my fault
if I didn’t do anything wrong. And I AM
good enough. I am better
than good enough for myself.
I am strong.
I am the perfect person for
my own story.

III.
The carcasses of Christmas trees.
The cold caress of falling snow.

IV.
I am tired of being strong,
not that I want to be weak.
I just want to be.

V.
For once I want to be weak
for once I want to be vulnerable
for once I want to just
feel it all
feel the universe
feel without being ashamed:
I want to be strong in my vulnerability.

VI.
Some days are a struggle. Some days
you don’t want to be strong, don’t want
to carry that weight on your shoulders,
some days you want to just let it all fall.
Some days,
you don’t want to force a smile,
don’t want to wear eyeliner
and pink lipstick
and rouge on your cheeks,
don’t want to pretend that everything is okay.
Some days are for pain,
for letting yourself feel hurt,
for crying.
These days make the golden days all that much brighter.
Some days,
life is messy
and that is okay.

VII.
I’m tired of
pretending everything is okay,
of being the perfect woman – or
trying – let me wear my bitch face,
let me wear my regular, contorted,
angry, disconcerted face
without you labeling it,
let me be mad and angry
like everyone deserves to be,
I’m tired of looking fabulous,
I’m tired of trying too damn hard,
I want to be allowed to
not look pretty all the time – or trying to –
I want to be ugly,
to be messy,
to be vulnerable,
I want to be able to lie on the floor
shivering and shuddering
as my tears pool by the sides of my face,
whimpering, screaming, punching walls,
and not be judged
because you have felt that way too.

VIII.
What am I doing with my life?

IX.
I am living.

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