Cartography

she always did that,
went three steps too far,
trying to map things forward and back

she had to;
she could trust only herself,
and the things she knew to be true

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Enough

we were skin to skin,
our heat a ravenous, tangible entity between us,
and I could feel myself thawing beneath it,
softening around the edges,
like the petals of a freshly-emerged flower ready for bloom

we spent hours exploring one another,
all night,
night after endless night

all I remember is white everywhere:
the white glow of moonlight creeping around the edges of the curtains,
the white-hot need bursting behind my eyelids,
the whites of his eyes staring so deeply into me,
his teeth beaming from between his lips in a grin, a growl, a pleasure-pain grimace,
his pale white skin against the soft gray sheets

I’d never known skin could be so luminous and translucent,
a network of purply-blue veins visible just beneath the surface,
like threads of color in white marble,
threads that connected us so completely,
I couldnt tell where he ended and I began

through flesh and unmetered time,
I absorbed his calm,
his vulnerability,
his joy

I said yes to things I previously would not have;
I reveled in this new person I became,
this less afraid person,
this free person he inspired me to be

we fucked all the time;
I was consumed with lust,
perpetually, urgently hungry for him,
for this coupled metamorphosis

l needed to touch him,
meld with him,
know him,
to shed all the layers of contrived bullshit –
for him to know me

I couldn’t get enough

Lies

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 meticulously dig and bore and bury,
you force it down, down, down,
into the sinister pit, caging it away,
resigned to doing whatever it takes to keep it there,
fear and shame fueling the defiance

and you mercilessly protect it,
clutching the lies like a shield,
believing the pain will be lesser and 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

-older poem revised

Headlights

all around me, the world seems to move on,
people whirling in a constant spiral toward something else, and something else,
objects in motion drawing lines around my standing body

here I am, chronically nestled into the shadows,
a racing heart chasing the gleaming trail of lurid headlights that periodically cross the ceiling,
all the time wondering,
do you see what I see?

-sculpture by Kumi Yamashita

Magic

I thought I knew about a lot of things before I met you

but I never knew what slow, deep kisses meant,
or that they could last all night long

I never knew what the smell of the first morning breeze could do as my head lay upon your chest,
or how that breeze could carry me throughout the day

I never knew how my own chest could ache in your absence,
or that I could smile all the way to my fingertips when we joined again

I never knew I could get butterflies deep in my belly every time you kissed my neck,
or that my desire for you could consume me

I never knew that shared laughter could cure almost anything,
and shared tears could say much more than words

I never knew I could feel fire in my veins when you hurt,
or that my heart’s fullness could spill over when you smile

I never knew I could need like this,
that I could feel swaddled by another so completely,
I can finally rest

I thought I knew all about hope before I met you –
but that was before I believed in magic

-Image credit 7-themes.com; This is for M, the love of my life!; slightly revised older poem

Sacred

when he kissed me,
I was pure, cosmic combustion,
an exploding urge from some uncharted depth,
stirring this frenetic need to break free from something I didn’t even realize was holding me back,
while sinking into this enveloping feeling I never wanted to end;
it was the quickening of some strange, welcomed metamorphosis

whatever was happening between us had this unspoiled sheen to it,
leaving behind a layer of something magical that came off on my fingers when I touched it,
like the precious powder from a moth’s delicate wing,
something so intimate and sacred that was meant to be grasped,
but still set free to fly

-artwork by Gustav Klimt, The Kiss

Mine

Ahh, look at her –
there’s something inevitable about her that draws me in;
my eyes can’t get enough,
I’m addicted

she has this quiet, humble confidence and these kind, welcoming eyes;
a classic, artful line about her

the graceful curve of her shoulder muscles elude to a tranquil strength,
her delicate neck and the unpretentious way she holds herself, mesmerizing,
a tactile symmetry that whispers my name

the way the silky, black fabric rests on the soft edges of her collarbone,
making me wish I could follow them beneath,
her exposed upper back begging for soft kisses,
for finger trails that cause the rest of her to arch in anticipation,
making me want to see just that

and there she sits,
tucking in a few stray strands of that beautiful, auburn hair,
twisted so effortlessly off her shoulders,
completely unaware of the attention,
her beauty so natural,
an easy, feminine elegance,
all woman,
mine

I’m going to walk over there,
going to wrap my arms around her and lead her to dance floor,
kiss the muscled line running from behind her ear and down her neck,
the one that leads to that inviting dip in her clavicle

I’m going to listen to her gasp against my cheek,
feel her heartbeat quicken beneath my palms

I’m going to hold her so close,
she won’t ever forget how I feel about her,
she won’t ever remember a time she wasn’t loved

-Image credit Öykü, found on Tumblr; poem inspired by this beautiful image

Today is my two year blog anniversary! This is one of my first poems on the blog, one of my favorites, and one of the most popular. I’ve done a bit of editing from the original (like most poems I write).

I’m so grateful to be here, and thank you all for sharing this space with me!

Far From Home

We are so far from home.

Your smiles are a blast of arctic air that rattles my bones, and I can’t seem to get warm. I shiver when you speak in those strange smiles filled with politeness, the ones that shout aloud that something is missing. I ache when our eyes meet, all depth, layers locked behind a frigid wall of fear.

We have become roommates. We talk about logistics and practical things, small talk that makes my skin itch and my heart yearn for yesterdays. Screams stick in the dry spots of my throat. My heart is a muscle whose memory is beginning to atrophy.

My body misses you. It misses us. I had become so accustomed to your touch, even the most trivial of grazes, and now my body is a plant, drooping without water. My skin is drying and cracking, as if your touch had been the thing that was keeping it alive.

Every day is torture. I forget and remember, forget and remember. I expect your hand to reach for mine while I read my book and you watch the news. I close my eyes, expecting to feel the familiarity of your body moving in behind mine as I scramble the eggs. But then I remember this tired place of treading near the surface, this folded page of resentment and fear we keep returning to.

And lately, I’ve caught myself stroking my neck while I drink my tea, running my finger down my forearm while we watch our favorite show. I tuck myself in, wrapping my arms around myself when I go to sleep. It’s better than crying so hard I feel like I can’t breathe.

We are so from home.

-image via Pexels; not indicative of current life happenings