July 31, 2009

you could say anything

Lean in close and whisper
anything in my ear. The words
don't matter, I just want to
feel your breath warm on my neck because
I like how it gives me shivers
all down just one side, and then
we laugh about it, and I like that too.

July 29, 2009


Half asleep, I dreamt that you were lying next to me, and I moved to rest my head against your shoulder in the dark -- but it wasn't your shoulder at all, when I opened my eyes. It was only my pillow.

July 28, 2009

wounded ones

Even in their play, the children who in their short lives have already known heartrending violence and pain scream at a decibel that I am convinced only the other wounded ones can hear.

heat wave

Fire hydrant squats red and ready at the corner of Third and Lawson. Half-hearted breezes stir the treetops nearby, but the air lies hot and thick around me still, unmoving. Burgeoning tomatoes hang heavy on their branches, pale green and orange, and the sky arcs hazy and unchanging overhead.

The curve of my sun bronzed shoulder marks a path of pilgrimage for some winged crawly thing; it gains the peak and then flies away, triumphant -- redeemed? The neighborhood smells of heat and lethargy, raspberries and corn tassels, grass and sprinklers and sidewalk chalk. When I breathe in I can taste it all at once upon my tongue.

July 24, 2009


I want to sip cold, cold beer from a big red plastic cup.
Mmmm... classy!

you don't know me

So, sure, I could just close my eyes
Yeah, sure, trace and memorize
But can you go back once you know --

(You don't know me) / You don't know me at all
(You don't know me) / You don't know me at all

July 19, 2009


Your dark hairs are telling stories loudly all over my bathroom floor; but you've left me again and I know that you'll keep on leaving me right to the end.

July 18, 2009

late nite

My head hurts. My heart hurts. I want to trade in most of my memories. I'd like to erase much of my past. I wish you were here, to help me forget. I am so tired of being alone.

July 17, 2009

better this way

I would have named you Ailis. I would have called you Lissie. I would have searched your innocent face every day for traces of his. I would have wanted to send you away. I would not have been brave enough to do it. I would have loved you, despite myself... But you are gone; and perhaps it is better this way, for both of us.

July 12, 2009

oreos for breakfast

I walk the dew-wet morning grass with my oreos for breakfast, and the trees with the wind in their branches reach for me; a summons, an earthy embrace. They want to tell me their secrets, I know; so I wait, and I listen for a time, but I have not yet learned the patience required to hear what the trees are saying to me.

Still, their soft words calm my soul.

July 11, 2009

I will buy you rubber boots

I will buy you rubber boots,
and I will let you wear them whenever you want to,
even when it isn't raining outside.

I will hold your hand when we cross the street,
and I will jump with you from one wide white line to the next,
even though it takes longer that way, and there are cars waiting.

I will teach you how to bake,
and I will let you lick the spoon every time
even though I worry that the raw egg might make you sick.

I will build a life for you --
And I will teach you, even when I'm tired.
And I will play with you, even when I'm sad.
And I will provide for you, even when I feel like I can't.

I will buy you rubber boots, my love,
and I will let you wear them whenever you want to.

photo by Charity Grace, typography and text by me

July 10, 2009

the searing pain of unspeakable loss

Flesh of my flesh, ripped from my body;
swept away from me in a sudden gush of blood.
My heart stopped with yours, but started again on its own
whether I wanted it to or not.

Begun with violence, and ended with heartache.
I am so sorry, little one; I am so sorry for us.

spiritual (Johnny Cash)

Jesus, I don't want to die alone.
My love wasn't true, now all I have is you;
Jesus, oh Jesus, I don't want to die alone.

Jesus, if you hear my last breath,
Don't leave me here, left to die a lonely death.
Jesus, oh Jesus, if you hear my last breath.

All my troubles, all my pain, will leave me once again.
All my troubles, all my pain, will leave me once again.

Jesus, I don't want to die alone.
My love wasn't true, now all I have is you...
Jesus, oh Jesus, I don't want to die alone.


The pen lies loose in limp fingers again;
thoughts surge and then recede,
the tide sucking me down too deep
to reach for my words to tell you:
I am going, I am going, I am almost gone...

My arms useless at my sides,
the darkness closes gently overhead without a sound
and it is easier not to protest.
What can language do for me anyway,
against forces such as these?

So many things to unlearn.
Turn back the clock twenty years and
let me hold me for a little while;
smooth the worry lines from my own pale brow,
tell me it will be okay, that the nightmares fade eventually.
Even though it isn't true, I think it might have helped to hear it
at the time. I wish someone would have said it to me.

But they didn't know about the nightmares;
they didn't know about the nightmares, did they?


your smiles and small gestures of kindness
so many pieces of armor put on
against a cruel and unsuspecting world


Someone could take a picture of me right now -- sitting on the floor in my underwear, hair still slick wet from the shower, dark smudges of shadows under both my eyes from sadness and inadequate lighting. And it would be unflattering; but it would be who I am in this moment. It could be printed and published, that this is what I look like, and it would not be a lie. This is what I look like, right now... But I could also get all glammed up, have my hair done and my makeup, pick the perfect clothes, expensive earrings -- and that would be who I am, too. (In the best possible light, of course.) And someone might say: This is what Katie looks like. And it would be true.

This confuses me greatly.