in this time of resolution,
of grandiose expectation and imminent failure,
I resolve to be less resolute,
to hold myself to realistic expectations,
to challenge myself in healthy ways,
to recognize my efforts,
and to forgive myself,
all year through

-image via Pixabay



he couldn’t bear it,
the feeling of everything slipping through his fingers,
of this life he’d tried to build crumbling to dust

so he tried to keep it alive as best he knew how,
by keeping to a routine

every day, he woke to the alarm at 6:22am,
placed his right foot first onto the floor,
counted to 50 while brushing his teeth
and stopped only when the count was complete

he hugged her from behind at the kitchen counter,
whispered in her ear that she was beautiful,
told her she meant the world to him,
and he meant it

he made them coffee while she scrambled the eggs,
intently watched her delicate movements as she ate,
noticed the way her smile was something that didn’t quite fit,
the clouds in her eyes that shaded everything

he cleared the dishes when they finished,
grabbed his briefcase,
kissed her goodbye as he held her in his arms,
and never wanted to let go

and when he returned from work,
there was more routine

the way he saw it,
every action,
every single motion he made was a calculated contribution to their survival,
as if his repetitive actions could somehow impact their fate –
maybe his predictability was the one thing that would hold them together,
maybe one familiar thread linking to the next was something to cling to,
that just might keep them afloat

why then, did she feel like she was drowning?

-image via Pinterest, original artist unknown


the first thing you realize 
in a situation without light,
without any way of measuring 
the length of one moment 
over the length of another,
is that time becomes very elastic 

you left,
taking with you everything 
that shone brightly in my world

I’ve tried counting – 
counting the seconds,
counting my heart’s beating,
counting every inhale and exhale –
but my soul can’t focus,
I always lose count 

all that’s left is this dark ache,
time’s cruel richochet,
the backward counting –
retracing the seconds 
to the last time I saw you,
the last time we touched,
the last time I felt
your words grasp my heart

the last time you kissed me 
and made time stop altogether  

-image via Pinterest, original credit unknown 


you tell yourself what you think you need to,
rationalizations, one after the next,
constructing and threading and weaving,
in order to go on

you dig and bore and bury,
you force it down, down, down,
into the pit,
locking it away,
resigned to doing whatever it take to keep it there,
fear and shame fueling defiance

and you protect it,
clutching the lies like a shield,
believing the hurt will be less,
the humiliation slighter,
if only no one can see it

except it only grows and metastasizes,
the loathe a burning itch,
the fear always there,
just beneath the surface of your skin,
the shame a purpling, omniscient bruise,
an ache invading,
taking up more and more space,
taking over

there it is –
in your eyes that say what your mouth does not,
in the slight recoil at a simple touch,
in the humiliating burn behind your eyes
that threatens to spill in revealing droplets,
in the distance you keep,
no matter how close you get

there it is,
in the silence,
a clamoring so loud,
it won’t ever allow you rest

it never stays down
I know,
I’ve told myself the same lies

-reworked as part of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge


the walls are closing in,
they’re closing in,
and my elbows are buckling
against their weight,
the balls of my feet are raw
from the force of pushing back
against them,
my head is one thumping pulse
of pain after another,
a constant, unwelcome rhythm,
a reminder that I’m still rigid in the
fight against it

but, I’m tired,
I’m tired of the fighting,
and lately I’ve been catching
glimpses of the truth
in random, slicing throbs
behind my eyes

I see myself,
somehow on both sides
of the walls,
simultaneously helping in the closing in,
and desperately fighting against it

after all this time,
after all this fighting,
the knowing and the unknowing,
the accepting and the cracking open
of my core –
what if I’m still the wall itself?

oh, God – what if I am the fight?

-image via Pixabay

Go On Forever

you think you can go on forever like that,
nose to the grindstone,
filling all the space and time,
one second to the next in a linear line,
avoiding all dips and curves,
avoiding the deep

you think you can go on forever like that,
waking every morning at the same time,
slipping into the costume and working 9-5,
cooking the dinners, making the appointments,
buying the gifts, reading one book into the next,
kissing boo-boos, giving bear hugs, and tucking in,
holding back the tears,
smiling when you’re supposed to smile

you hope you can go on forever like that,
outrunning it

but you can’t

you can’t,
because sooner or later you wake up and there it is,
staring you in the face,
refusing to be ignored

there it is in the irregular heartbeat,
the sleepless nights,
the tightening in your chest and the shallow breathing that threatens to shatter your exoskeleton,
that threatens you so fiercely,
you’re forced to see in the dark

and you see,
you see, and you don’t want to see –
you’ve spent decades in the dark on purpose,
and your eyes have trouble adjusting to the light

you see,
and you must decide –
will I keep the lights on?
or will I reach for the costume?

-image via Pinterest, original artist unknown

Only You

in the sweet promise of the bubblegum sky
peeking through the shade,
I saw you

in the untouched hush of morning light
surrounding me,
I heard your voice

in the calming mold of warmth
encasing me,
I felt you

in the savory whisper of bourbon and pine
with each movement,
I smelled you

in the coppered tang of swollen lips
and the salty linger on tender flesh,
I tasted you

when I awoke,
there was only you