The water that pours out of the faucet in my bathroom never gets hot enough
to burn away the mud in my pores,
Staining my skin,
I am branded by the fingerprints of
Revolving-door bodies
People who looked like life when they arrived, and tasted like oxygen when they stayed
But never stayed,
Because they couldn’t
Maybe they did not want to-
But the empty rooms that they left vacant in my heart shudder at night
windows left open to catch snow and rain
These places that should have held joy
Ache with mold and regret

And unanswered questions,
Like why couldn’t you stop drinking?
The tears of a twelve-year-old on her knees,
Begging her mother to stay,
Telling her under the porchlight in the rain that she could get better,
If she just tried,
If it just stopped,
and she cried.

But I am a toy boat,
forgotten by you on the banks of this river,
beating endlessly in a polluted froth against a shoreline that is always too slippery,
Always too jagged to grasp for more than a few days
Maybe a week,
Until it is back to choking on weeds that grow out of my heart and trip me up around the ankles,
To drown in the bottle you chose over us both,

I pour soap
Into Questions like
What do you want from me?
As you tear into me with fangs dressed up like kisses for a night
and I learn to act the part because
After is when the gentleness waltzes in,
out of your body sucked dry-
And my heart would affirm that yes,
You must really love me,
Yes, you love me
Yes, you are different than the hands that came before you because
After is when you would pull me into your hollowed-out stomach and whisper importance into my ear
This is how I was taught my role in love.
Where I learned that the actions of my body
Directed the words that fell out of your mouth,
Where I was shown that the most important thing that I could offer you,
Could be found on a corner meat-market for a few dollars a pound,
But this is what I absorbed as I tried to give myself to you I realized that I was too real for your hands to carry,
But false enough for them to squeeze, and poke and pull apart like the spine of an old book
But you never learned how to read.
And when my ink finally spilled over the edge of the page
When I tried to make you see the value in the libraries of my soul
you claimed that I was blind
And I believed you.

So here I am at two in the morning
Kissing another bathroom sink,
surrounded by dirty towels and hairpins,
wasted and searching for answers after another long day.
I hate that I feel like I should apologize to you for having already washed off my makeup before seeing you in the mirror like this,
with splotches of red and fingernail marks where I feel we will never be clean enough
I am dripping with the brine of these memories
Because I was taught that love is for clean people,
And the water that pours out of my bathroom faucet,
Will never be hot enough.



You’re a Sky Full of Stars

You are a sky full of stars to me,

Precious and twinkling,

Sparkling and shooting across the sky.

My head gets so dizzy when I try to count them,

Yet you tell me that you love me in as many ways,and endlessly more.

So I reach my fingertips up, up, up

to try to touch them,

To swirl them around like a bowl of glitter above me

But instead I feel your gentle hands close around mine to lead me, twirling around, as a father asking for a dance

Then I can hear your music, sweeter than any song, older than every light in the sky

And we fall dizzy to the grass laughing,breathless

While you tell me that you love me, it washes over me in waves

Lord you tell me that you love me in so many different ways.


Today when I woke up

I woke up in love.

Because somebody up there looked down on me and said


I know you needed a hand to hold


I know you still aren’t very old

but I want you to have this friend

Because way way back in the beginning I knew that it’s all you ever dreamed of

when you wanted all of it to end

So I made him for you sweetly,

My most tender work to mend

The broken things between you

So that love will never end.

Project Goldpaw

Ill write love letters to this whole city

And maybe you’ll pick one up

Or maybe you won’t,

But if you do,

Promise you’ll open it up inside of yourself,

Open it where nobody else can see,

Unfold the corners delicately,

And mouth the words until they are a whisper,

Whisper them until they are a song,

Sing with me until I write another,

And maybe you’ll pick one up.

Don’t Stop Beleiving

Don’t let yourself feel awkward for doing everything so thoroughly, so lovingly; adoringly,

Afraid of everybody’s monotone thoughts, their gray word on your colorful life,

Afraid to who’s authority?

Let them take the pages of your book and use them as a guide,

Believe me all those things I love,

You do not have to hide.