We are pressed flowers in heavy books
too close to the story
to see it is only a story
that we could be nobody’s first choice,
that we are too much,
or not enough.
Only a story
that our spines are wind chimes
bound to rust when the storm comes,
that we should always duck our heads
when the clouds move by,
that we should never open the weather in our chests,
never break down sobbing
in the grocery store
when they ask me how I am
I want to say fine
is the suckiest word.
It is the opposite of HERE.
HERE the shovel in my heart
is working to unbury my next love’s name.
HERE my throat keeps closing
around my family’s wilting pulse.
HERE my palms are open windows,
my lifelines cracked glass
from the high note my spirit keeps trying to sing.
HERE my lungs are ringing
from twelve years of wanting to write poems
using only the shift key.
What could we shift
by saying our tears are the coins
we toss into the fountain of our grace?
It is only a story that bravery
can be measured by a lack of fear.
It takes guts to tremble.
It takes tremble to love.
Sometimes it takes everything I have
to offer a park bench to my running mind,
to just sit and throw bread
to the messenger pigeons.
The message said
Stop trying to knuckle your way out of the fog.
It is only a story that the fog has to lift
for you to find your way home.
Only a story that home isn’t HERE
in this place where you are most lost.
Is it true that our bliss
will hold more chandeliers
than our grief?
Is it true that death is a thief?
We are dying, every one of us.
Plant that seed in your chest
and grow your life
wild as 80’s hair.
til you are full sparrow flocking
to the front row of your own class.
Listen, I have never written fiction,
but I have lived it nearly all my life….
the story that my sadness
could never be the soup kitchen
where I would feed my hungry joy.