previously

there was something about
the first time she saw his crooked smile
the right side a little higher than the left
that caught her off guard
reminding her of a joke
that she had never heard
no
not a joke
but the accustomed cadence of his laugh
a quick chuckle that started in eyes
the color of ocean waves on a cloudy day

and when he moved
to tuck the stray hand behind her ear
that stubborn one that always falls
his fingers reached out
a muscle memory
for an action
never before performed

her name
mingling with the taste of her lips
was right on the tip of his tongue
familiar
but out of reach

and if ever there was something
to make her believe
in love at first sight
it was the way
she knew this wasn’t the first
but the hundredth
or maybe even the thousandth
time his first spoken words would be:
hello,
again.

December 8, 2o20

to my selected audience

I know I say too many words
with far too many question marks
I save up my stories
and then burst at the seams
in run on sentences
(interrupted by parenthetical phrases)

my eyes glitter
as I speak of book characters
like they’re real people
unable to contain my excitement
relaying their life story in such a way
that the lilt in my voice
gives away the ending

(and though you doubt their existence)
my tongue is scarred
with permanent bite marks
a mythological symbol of a quiet
that you’ll never see

I write this poem
a brief reprieve
from my rambling tongue
to say two words
(admittedly preceded
by a meandering introduction)

thank you.

December 3, 2o20

you can claim this poem

I don’t know
how to not write a love poem
until he taught me
that my body us more than
a wilderness
for men to explore
and that my freckles are not constellations
for greedy hands to to trace
and name after themselves
like conquests
instead,
(he said)
my freckles are galaxies
existing untamed
under my skin
and when he reached out
to run his fingers along
not my thigh
but my mind
stanzas began pouring from my lips
and rather than kissing them away
he devoured every word
and then asked for seconds

October 8, 2020

Salt Memories

I remember hearing somewhere
that all water on Earth
has somehow just
always been here
honestly
I don’t know if it’s true
but I like this notion
of the past lives of waves
that are gathering
at my ankles

and I can’t help but wonder
if salt can hold memories

does something about my presence
remind her of
someone before my time
a soldier falling to his knees
an author seeking inspiration

and centuries from now
when I am mere dust
will this same wave
crash ashore again
and think of me
with a sense of
deja vu

October 8, 2020