My House, Our Home

This house isn’t mine

And it hasn’t been for a long time

Even though I was so excited to move the couch over there

So that there was room for your armchair

And I was more than willing to start spilling my coffee every morning

Running into a brand new kitchen table

Because that table meant breakfast facing you

And the armchair is big enough for two

But now I’m wishing we’d fixed the window sill

Because the paint is chipping and the glass makes everything still

I was ready then to make my house ours

I was ready then, and I’m ready now

I’m ready to hear the scuff of your feet on the doormat

And I’m ready to see your smiling face doing just that

Every once in a while I’ll be sitting, or thinking, or walking

And I’ll pause because I think I hear you talking

So darling, I’m begging you, come down from there, come home

Because this house doesn’t fit just me, alone.

Nuestra Iglesia

Te conocí en la iglesia, en un domingo frío y seco. Tu nariz estaba rojo como tus labios, y seguro que la mía también. Cada abuelita de la ciudad estaba en esta iglesia, en este día, y quedaban dos asientos cuando llegué; preguntaba en mi cabeza qué habrías hecho para que las abuelitas dejarían los dos sitios a tus lados abiertos.
Paré al fondo de la iglesia por dos horas este domingo.
Que injusto.
Una de las abuelitas fue mi abuelita, por algún suerte, y no gasto tiempo después del servicio para susurrar:
“¿La ves? Su existencia es un pecado.”
No fue la primera vez que había escuchado estas palabras.
• • •
Les conté en un sábado, en la cocina, mirando una mosca en la mesa.
Nadie río, y nadie gritó, pero mi madre hizo el signo del cruz, y mi abuela susurró:
“Tu existencia es un pecado.”
No lo mencionamos.
• • •
En este domingo como hielo, quedábamos hablando afuera por dos horas. Me dolían las piernas, y me dolían las orejas, y me dolía la corazón.
Esta noche, me quedé despierta rezando hasta que me saludaba el sol.
• • •
Precisamente una semana después, me dolían las piernas otra vez, y en el bolsillo de mi abrigo escondió tu número de teléfono. Esta noche apagué mi teléfono, y me quedé despierto rezando hasta que brillaba el sol.
• • •
La mañana siguiente, a las ocho, pensé en tus labios, y en tu nariz, y te llamé.
Reír contigo es la toca de alas en mi estómago, y en este lunes, ya sabía que las alas que me tocaban pertenecían a un ángel.
Cuando colgué el teléfono, me dolía la garganta.
• • •
Hoy me duelen los pulmones, que luchan para respirar,
Porque estamos en nuestra iglesia, a punto de casar
Me funcionan de maravilla las piernas, y así seguiré
Porque no hay nada tan sagrado que el amor atado a la fe.


It’s fall, and I can’t feel it
How it hurts me just to say
Though I fear that hurt is not the word
I long to know even pain
It’s fall, and I can’t feel it
Or smell it, or want it to come
It’s fall, now more than ever, I wish that I were young

The crunch of leaves beneath bare feet at seven was so sweet
And the sting of a lingering bee was harsh enough to make me weep
But, oh, how nothing can compare
In this world so dull
To the scent that overtook the air
When came a blessed fall
Better than roses, or fruits, or the crook of my mother’s neck
The smell of decaying summer was an intoxicating scent

Well, summer’s come and gone this year
And fall is brewing rich
But I have yet to shed a tear
Or to be granted any wish

It’s fall, and I can’t feel it
Why must it be this way?
I wish for fall to be so fragrant
As I found it yesterday.

Fine Lungs

You’re chewing cake, Mama’s cake
But you’re chewing it too fast
Because you harbor the belief that this cake might be your last
And it was not about the air
You forgot about the air
You choke
There’s a sound deep in your throat
It’s an angry, ruthless cry
Why am I denied
A breath of hope and of air at the same time?

Already, it’s a long-forgotten cry
Because you’re choking
They aren’t joking
The taste of fudge-filled lungs feel greedy on your tongue
Look down
There’s the baby, on the floor
You tell him, you tell him
You tell him there’s no more
And you tell him why
And you calm him when he cries
What if he dies?
What if tomorrow he’s set to perish?
For the was nothing left to spare him
That boy’s got fine lungs
And you’ve got an ugly tongue
So you tell him
And tell me
And tell yourself, who won.


If our voices are blessings
Why do we send cryptic messages
By laws of strange patterns
From the corners of our minds?
Out of reach for our eyes
But not quite lies
Just a cover
A poem for our lover
A song masked in wonder leaves me wondering why
Why do we play these games?
Why do we raise our frames?
The very structure isn’t sound
I said it, so let it resound
Through the cracked and jaded bones
While I’m waiting for my throne
I’m not there yet
Just a sec
Just one more moment and I’ll make it
But the seat remains untaken
Still today
Why couldn’t I speak clearly?
I paid my taxes yearly
I’m afraid
I can’t jump off the ground to speak
So my future’s just as bleak
As yesterday
I try to figure out a way to project my voice up from the ground
And you hardly hear a sound
I’ve gotta jump
I’m a lazy useless lump
I’m a shell of person until I realize my vision
Let me speak with precision
And I’m up
I’m up and I won’t come down
It’s an aluminum foil crown
I’ll speak my mind
I’m not the queen of words unspoken
I’m the queen of words unheard
Today I’ll learn.

Today I’ll learn.

The Branding

I’m unwilling
Unwilling to take my time and be patient
I’m unwilling to take the time to find a rhyme
Stick with it
Sure, I’m unwilling to be patient
I refuse
But there’s no taking time with passion
I’m set to use
My reserves
I’m ready to go
But no matter the fire in my soul
No oxygen
No pull

I settle
Settling down in an occupied chair to wait
There are sandwiches, but dust pollutes the plate
They’re doing the branding now
There’s no landing now
I throw the plate at the clock
And it stops
Released from my plush confines
I walk away with a rhyme and a lesson
I’m in (control)
I’m on patrol
I’m in control so long as I’m willing.


It stormed last night
Quite a fright
People were running for cover

It was quiet last night
After the fight
When the thunder was finally over

Dawn broke
The sun rose
From wherever she had hidden

To her dismay
When she rose today
She wished that she were bedridden

A final crack of lightning split the sky
The thunder didn’t come, and light burned our eyes
And when we finally
Something new

A rainbow in the sky; thank you, sun
We thought it was so high
But we were wrong

A bullet and a rainbow
A bullet and the sun
A bullet through the sky
And the bullet has won

It stormed this morning, when we thought it was done
The sound of thunder
One noise

It was quiet in the evening
Nobody’s leaving
Goodbye, we’re sorry, sun.

Love Thy Neighbor

I left at the unintentional stroke of a sword

It was evening, and I was on my knees, speaking with the lord

There was a clamor behind my back

I didn’t turn at first, for it wasn’t rare

And I was far too immersed in my prayer

Two drunks in that bar, note, the bar was mine

They were fighting for love, or for lust, or for wine

Unholy, I muttered, those ungrateful swine

Then one drew his weapon, swung it straight in a line

You recall he was drunk, so all lines were blurred

Like his his vision

I did not speak, he did not swing with precision

God looked on in derision

“Love thy neighbor,” he spoke

Yes, I heard God talk

Suddenly, I could no longer walk

I could not get off of my knees, you see

And that’s how they found me

The drunks were gone, and there lay I

My body consumed, for it was my time to die.


You’re running
She’s cunning
There’s nowhere to go but up
You’re fighting
She’s screaming
You’re digging into bedrock
Mom doesn’t want you home
But there’s nowhere else to go
So you’re gone
Until two months ago
The day that you called me and told me
I was angry
Simple as that
The kind of rage that could hold me at a distance
Far away
I swore, I swore that’s where I would stay
And I’m not one to break my promises
So here I am today
I’m wearing black
The kind of black that’s vast and will block my view
I’m crying again
The kind of tears that are there when the day is through
I’m calling
I’m screaming
Mom’s begging me to stop
I’m running
She’s coming
There’s nowhere to go but up.

The Meaning of Life

To understand the meaning of life, we must first define life itself. Life, as they say, is what you make it; my own life, I like to think, is an allotted period of time to change the world. Maybe we don’t change the world in drastic ways, but who is anyone to say what is or isn’t important? A picked flower from the back field was clutched in the grubby hand of a toddler, and later dropped directly in the path of a desperate honeybee. I pressed snooze on my alarm clock twice, and saved the pedestrian I may have otherwise hit on my way to work. There’s no telling what seemingly inconsequential actions can alter the course of living being’s life.

But what do those alterations mean? It’s quite the concept to tackle. Perhaps we are here to improve our world; our purpose could be to advance humankind, but what’s the point? We can continue to advance and thrive and live and love and cry and laugh and hit and yell and then…


We die. We’ve all affected people’s lives, and contributed something, but what’s the goal? It’s said that life is about the journey, but why travel to a nonexistent destination? Who said, “let’s get in the car; we’re going nowhere!” before a significant road trip? We can never finish what we were put here to do, for every human in this planet is united in their utter lack of purpose. In our destination-less travels, the mirage, an illusion of an end haunts us all. There is only one way to change that: we must, in order to survive, create our own destination. It’s our duty as humankind to set our own goals, and, by extension, our own meaning for life.

Maybe all we are is part of a pointless game, but a loving and loved grandmother can be satisfied with far she’s gotten. I can fall in love and be successful. My neighbor can worship his god and become the embodiment of that god’s wishes. We can all set destinations for ourselves along the way.

We create the meaning in our own lives.