Ocean Blues and You

I have responsibilities and chores to do

but my mind keeps bringing me back to you

like the ocean always returning to the shore.

You come over and lie in my bed,

vulnerable only when you choose.

Experience has taught you, you cannot be kept safe

under anyone’s care but your own.

You leave before the Midnight Moon or I can tuck you in.

 

I have a tendency to run from arms that are stretched open

for me. A tendency to think when people take

an interest in me, they only mean to pry me open with an oyster knife and leave

me empty. Your past has taught you that anyone can leave if they want to try.

So you don’t pry and you don’t ask why, but you always stay

 

Yet still, we keep each other at an oar’s length distance,

afraid that our pasts will crash against our lifeboats once more.

Topaz worries and indigo insecurities make me heavy and drag me down to drown.

Sand isn’t stable ground to rely on, but even concrete can crack.

We all have flaws and if you think too long, all you will notice is what we lack.

I don’t know much, but I know I want to go swimming with you.

 

-November 2015

Change

 

Then I met you and you looked at me with eyes so true

so I put all my dreams to bed

and another word about them was never said.

You make me better while you make me worse

and you say you love me and you said you’re sorry but it all sounds so well rehearsed.

Suddenly your eyes weren’t so true and I couldn’t forget all you put me through

I finally stepped out of your shadow and let my own light glow

because experiencing life is the only way I’ll grow.

Now I’m taking every chance I get because I’m not done living yet.

Whether the days hot or the months cold

there’s more to life than just doing what you’re told.

Refuse to make regrets or ‘could have been’s

cause a life can end just as soon as it begins.

 

Over the horizon there are things in life bigger than you and me

and I realized change can be kind, for it let’s you be free.

Change reminds your heart of forgotten dreams

and never holds you back on dry land.

I can feel the water on my feet as I let go of your hand.

Beyond this ordinary life, there’s got to be more

cause I can feel it in my heart, a flame that I can not ignore.

 

If you want to write the story of your life

you need to have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

So light me up across the sky

and never again will I let my dreams die.

And if you’re ever missing me

just look up into the night and watch my burning light

no matter where I go just know

I love you as much as I did all those years ago.

 

-April 2012

Photo Credit

I am Moon, You are Sun

I know it’s over but you never really gave me an ending.

You just faded away like the Sun over the horizon.

It’s much darker now but I can still see the Moon,

left over

left behind

like my love for you

and it stays there all through the night.

But all I can think about is how

the Sun and the Moon are light years apart

and yet, they are still closer than

you

and

I.

 

 

– May 2014

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War Cry (A Pantoum)

Don’t open my door if you aren’t going to close it when you leave

Are you listening to me?

I deserve respect no matter my size or shape, just like everyone else

I am not some object to conquer or kill

 

Are you listening to me?

The Taliban cannot just board my dusty school bus and fire three shots at me

I am not some object to conquer or kill

You, with your rough whiskers, must face the consequences of what you take

 

The Taliban cannot just board my dusty school bus and fire three shots at me

You are right to fear that I may know too much, that education is serving me right

You, with your rough whiskers, must face the consequences of what you take

I am learning that a woman is worth more than just how much she can please a man

 

You are right to fear that I may know too much, that education is serving me right

Do your worst, I will still be standing against you at the end of each day

I am learning that a woman is worth more than just how much she can please a man

My name is Malala, your bullets will not silence me

 

Do your worst, I will still be standing against you at the end of each day

I deserve respect no matter my size or shape, just like everyone else

My name is Malala, your bullets will not silence me

You cannot just close this door after you open it

 

-October 2015

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When the Salmon Rots

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him

when the summer sun was still high in the sky at seven in the evening.

The ebbs and flows of laughter from backyard parties

crash on my ears like ocean water beating against the rocks.

 

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

 

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

 

Afterwards, once it’s over,

I still have these bug bite memories itching all over the skin of my heart

and I want so badly to scratch at it, just to give myself a few moments of relief.

But I know I shouldn’t go back there again with him

because a man who can taste the honey on my lips

and still want to go around tasting other beehives

did not deserve a palate at all.

Bug bites fade on their own anyway.

 

Once I walked along Mallory Street with him.

Now I walk it alone,

still dreaming of honey though.

Cause honey soothes all bug bites

and coats over foul salmon memories.

 

-September 2015

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