Where’s Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

I’ve hidden my heart

In places that look familiar.

Like the pages of a book

You search 

Still looking

For something

You never realized

Was lost.

I watch you study the similarities

To the hearts you’ve seen

The simple consistencies 

Almost

The same

Baby

I’m one in a million.

I will always hide

It’s the only way I know

You’re still looking

Still squinting your eyes

Trying to pluck me out

From the rest. 

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What the Ghost Remembers

The morning after I killed myself

My mother was awake at 3 am.

She never had a premonition.

Only noticed she couldn’t feel the rocks

in her chest

Like she weighed about 150lbs

lighter.

Arose before a sunless sky

and fed her dog.

Drank sweet coffee

and left for work

Early.

 

The morning after I killed myself

my father stopped and looked outside

the window of his quiet apartment

searching for a handprint

to frame.

When I didn’t answer his phone call

he sent me an email

And left a message

To end of my voice.

 

I want to think they must have known

but living and dying

are such ordinary

Things.

 

Things I Tell My Son #4

My son and I walk
Strapped to my back
His head in my ear
We rhythmically sway to the wind
As blackbirds roost in the branches
Above our heads
Their voices lightly cutting through
The air
Each one unique.
I tell him

That everyone has their own song to sing

It’s okay if yours doesn’t sound
Like the others’
You will still make
The most magical
Noise.

New Poem Monday

Happy new poem Monday! (I know it’s Tuesday, but I have been sick the last couple of days so I am giving myself a free pass this week) Here’s what I’ve got for you today:

He tells me I make the coffee wrong
the grounds float; crunching between his teeth

bitter.
I am 9 years old again

sitting on the floor of the bathroom

while my father instructs me on how to clean

“the right way”
over

and over

I clean his bathroom

wash his clothes

always doing it

wrong.
Scrubbing the tile

while he watches

pointing out the spots

I miss

wiping the stains from his toilet

folding clothes flat and still
as a lake in winter.
he tells me I make the coffee wrong

I clench my jaw shut

bitter.

Wildfires don’t apologize. I am not a wildfire.

Dear…Everyone

I’m taking this opportunity to extend my deepest apologies for any interaction I may have had with you from about 2011 until around December 2012. These were the years I lost…myself. Ok to put it bluntly…these were the years I drank myself into a stupor and made several stupid mistakes. The years I forced myself into a lifestyle I felt was the only way I knew how to survive. I have blamed…all of you at one point or another, but this is my amends making. No 12 step obligation, just a way to say I’m sorry. When I am the match burning at both ends I always looked for liquid to smudge myself out…too bad alcohol only fuels the fire. Combine that with severe depression and you get the mess I was stumbling through the day ignoring all of the hands that tried to pull me back out. That is no excuse. I won’t use drinking as an excuse for all of the poor choices I made. The bridges I burned just to have enough warmth to survive the night. Those were just me seeing how long it takes to burn out. The ugliest parts placed on display. To the one who knows who they are but not who I am: I’m sorry. I kissed the man who I knew loved you. To the one who kept his chest bookmarked for me: I broke your heart on purpose just to watch something shatter. To the man who picked up pieces of a puzzle I was not ready to solve: I stayed with you after you begged me to leave and were done carrying my weight. I broke you down and showed your shadow how to hold me down too. Misery loves company. I wanted the world to know it. Wanted to let others join in. To the faceless fiance I left in another country: I was not strong enough for you. I broke us up every night at the bar while you sat alone in the hospital. To the girl at that party in that place who I laughed at: you were only caught in the crossfire. To the strangers I lied to: I was never as stable as I looked. To the guy I went out with and ditched: I just wanted to drink for free. To the guys who went home with me: I’m sorry that all I could offer was an wax body and map to a corpse you could sleep beside. To the mother who was too busy to take my calls at 3am: you were not the source of all this. To the friends who kept me unsober; the sharks who smelled blood in the water, who took me on boats and barges to places I can’t remember: I’m sorry for the morning of tears and regrets. Chaos isn’t what you would call “pretty”. It’s the ability to play with fire and not get burned, but we all end up getting burned sooner or later. I managed to spend two years destroying everything that made me happy. Swallowing pills and vodka daring the world to challenge me. Waiting to be nothing more than ash. I am not a Phoenix. I’m just a human being who fucks up. I can’t apologize enough for everyone I hurt. I hurt everyone just to show everyone how much I hurt. I am here burning up all of this. Letters and lead and gasoline. And it doesn’t matter. This is all just a self serving way to be honest about what a terrible person I am, and the only thing I can say is “I’m sorry”. Those empty words that can’t make up for all the pain I’ve caused. But I’m trying. I’m trying so hard to make up for it by being better than I was. Trying so hard to never have to be that person who moved like murder and spoke like a rusty knife. Regret is just a word that spills out from inside me, but it’s better to change the world by being better in it. By changing myself one day at a time. Dear Everyone. You are the reason I live. To show you that I am changing. To apply pressure to a wound I created before I spill any more blood. This is my apology. You don’t have to accept it. Tell me to go to hell. Flick the match back at me. I will understand. I’m not here to burn myself at the stake anymore. I’m not the fire that is needed so that seeds can grow. I’m not trying to rebuild a bridge. I’m just a flame that got carried away and now  I’m just here to repair the damage.