Tag Archives: poem

I never thought I’d love a boy from Michigan

Part One: When I think of Michigan, I think of the mitten,
I think of lake-snow affect, party stores –
my Michigan accent is terrible – pop, and love.

Last summer,
you took me to the busy, confusing, heartwarming,
heart wrenching city streets of Detroit,
showed me the smokey, black abandoned blocks
of burnt skeleton houses – I wonder if the hearts
are burnt and abandoned too? – You took me to the
Heidelberg Project where minute hands stood still
like the dead in their graves. It was colorful
disparity.
There was a house at the end of the block,
a great big brick one that was now singed,
you could almost still see the smoke fading
into the cool summer air,
but you said it was a home
with people
and families
and loved ones
and memories
the last time you visited.
Now – all of that is gone
like snow that melts with the warmer days.
You showed me the tall golden buildings of
a city funded on other people’s misfortunes,
the shiny gray Riverwalk along choppy gray water
touching Canada,
the locked Church your grandmother grew up in, the faint
smells of lost hope and released despair, a city that
doesn’t quite understand, doesn’t quite know what it is.
You walked me around Belle Isle with it’s artists, it’s beauty,
sparkling fountains, sea air, brightness and light.
You showed me things I’d never seen before – your heart, childhood
memories and photographs of you as a skinny bare skinned boy,
golden, at Laird Lake up in the UP – as you Michiganders call it.

Part Two: You are kindness.
You are forgiveness. You remind me,
with your presence, to be grateful.
I have everything to be grateful for, your arms,
your eyes, the morning sky.
Your heart. The lines that crease
at the corners of your eyes, the sparkle,
when you tell me you love me,
tremendously. You make me full.
The golden glow that surrounds us, bouncing
off the freckles that grace your shoulders
as we hold each other close
and strain to melt into one another.
You make me full – I never knew I was so empty –
you showed me how to love, and what
love is. Your patience –
it must be greater and stronger than the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
You are true kindness. You are forgiveness. You are the love
inside of me.

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The flowers you got me

The flowers you got me
that arrive a day late,
after Valentine’s Day,
may be turning brown,
withering, dying,
but my affection for you
is just starting to blossom
and will continue to grow.
Like the petals that fall
from the daisies,
I’m falling for you,
scared, slowly,
taking my time, to be sure –
but we’re never sure of anything
but the sun and the moon.
When I’m with you,
you feel like my sun
and my moon.
The freckles on your cheeks
and on your shoulders
are my daisies,
the blue in your eyes
is my sunshine sky.

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I wrote you a love poem

I may not always tell you how I feel
or say the words you want to hear
but my dear, I muster the courage
and the words
to tell you about the universe,
the half-lit moon,
the snow storm coming far too soon,
before we’ve stocked up with coffee and bread,
before the morning dawns it’s color red.
In bed, I tell you how I feel
with each grab and each caress,
with each kiss upon your tattooed chest.
I may not always have the words to tell you how I feel
or say what you want to hear,
but my dear, I want to tell you
how the sunshine reminds me of your freckled face,
how I struggle with being strong, with having grace,
how the smell of summer and sunshine
make me think of you,
and how you set off fireworks within my lungs.
There are no words in the dictionary
to describe
the feeling of being wrapped up in your arms,
those words just don’t exist,
but it feels better than a cup of tea
better than a hot shower
better than chocolate milk,
and if I could dance across the sky with you,
we’d two-step from Venus to Saturn and it’s many moons,
and I would sing a song to you
to tell you about the universe,
and the half-lit moon.

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Advice to my Self in the New Year:

Start 2017 strong.
Start every day strong.
Be yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others.
Stand up for yourself.
Say what you want to say.
Have courage.
Fight for what you want.
Be brave.
Be gentle.
Be real.
Stop being afraid and trust yourself.
You will be okay.
Let others in.
Wash the dishes.
Don’t apologize for feeling.
Be okay with being by yourself.
Create your own happiness.
Take care of yourself.
Learn new things.
Don’t let yourself down.
Create.
Write.
Read.
Prioritize the things that make you happy.
And above all, be your best self.
You can be the person you want to be.

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My open hands

Everything around me is falling down,
sleepily,
and facing crisp death,
heads turned upward toward the moon,
toward the heavens,
to the universe,
but my broken pieces
have come back to life,
have made me whole. I am wide awake
watching death
with a smile.
I want to touch each delicate piece
of death with grace,
graze them with my fingertips
and my lips,
brush up against them with my chest.
See how death sparkles,
see how it shines,
but I still don’t want it,
I will still let it’s confetti pieces
fall toward the ground from my open hands.

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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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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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