Can’t Accept

lost time

The memories hurt my stomach.

The future is fear.

The past is pain.

The present slowly ticks away

as I fight between the two realities:

walk away and forward

or stay and let it consume me.


The past is safe.

Will I ever relax again

if I leave?

Will I ever be calm?

How can I be?


I can’t pretend that nothing’s


We’re not the same people

despite how badly I want everything

to be frozen in time.

I’m living a dream, a memory.


I’m afraid to be put under


There’s that small panic

that I might never wake up.


We know the ending of our stories.

But we panic, refuse to accept.

The same way I refuse to accept

that the people from my memories

have changed.

Going Out

make up

Eyeshadow, concealer, lipstick, highlighter, blush,

going out shoes,

cute outfit,

all checked off the list.

She draws his eye.

She ignores him,

dances like he’s not watching.

She reels him in without trying;

she doesn’t want him.

She wants the attention.  She wants to turn him down. She wants to be wanted.

Her eyes linger on a girl by the bar.

No one notices.


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Tree tops sway,

leaves darkening to a shamrock color.

That’s when you notice the grey sky

and the cool undercurrent in the wind.

Listen to the familiar creaking sound

of the branches and bark rubbing together.

That’s when the leaves flip,

white side up.

The air’s almost electric,

the humidity heavy with coming rain.

You wait,

on edge

until the drops fall,

heavy and fat and



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My Dad’s Chair

(Image via Steph Munden from Pexels)

The armchair by the curb marked the end of my childhood,

the tan belly of the back rest sloping.

The tattered fabric flapped as the trash men loaded it

onto the truck.

I used to curl up beside my dad

as he told me made up stories:

“The Tree Monster,”

“The Snow Monster,”

“The Adventures of One Little Girl.”

Beside the fireplace the footrest grew

warm from the dancing flames.

The fire enchanted me,

still enchants me.

Six months before I graduated from college,

a plush leather chair replaced

the old one.

It fit with the new carpet, the fancy doorknobs, the Australian Shepard puppy.

I wasn’t nostalgic.

Binary: No Gray Area

In this world, there are only two categories

and everything falls into one of them.

An action is good or bad.

There is no it depends.

There are no explanations.

It just is.


In this world, we gender inanimate objects.

Girly drinks.

Manly beer.

Girl toys, like dolls.

Boy toys, like blocks.

Cooking. Cars. Clothes.

Blue. Pink.

No crossing lines.


In this world, we fear the undefinable.

We have to categorize.

We have to make it make sense.

We have to teach stability, teach fear of change.

We have to base our opinions on the little pieces we see,

these half truths because we don’t like being wrong.


It’s hard to be wrong.

It’s hard to be open minded, to put in the effort to change our thoughts.

Isn’t it safer to return to our hometowns and be told we’re right?

There’s nothing to fear.

There’s nothing to change.

In this world, we are always right.

In this world, we only listen when we agree.


Did you like this poem? Leave a comment or continue reading. This next poem is about oppression and being free to be yourself.

When the Truth Has a Steep Price

The first shot of cinnamon whiskey stung

but Leila chased it with another one.

Gotta get there faster,

make this awkwardness go away.

It wasn’t about feeling comfortable,

not really.


She wanted to lose her fears,

to say what she couldn’t and do

what she wouldn’t.

If the world was slow to change,

she would have to change faster.


The cinnamon whiskey burned

but the next shot, the fourth or fifth,

felt better.

She felt better.

Everything was better.

She winked at that someone across the room.

That girl didn’t notice.

But not noticing is better,

hiding is better,

than rejection.

Inside the Anxious College Mind

No time.

No time.

No time.


I pop pizza bites in the microwave

and call it dinner.





No time. No time.

No time.


Everyone else skips.

But grades.

But passing.

No time. No time.


Everyone else procrastinates.

No time. No time. No time.


It’s dinner.

I already ate.

Everyone else is deciding on food.

No time No time No time No time No time No time No time No time No time.

Open the Cages

Blue wings beat against the

glass bars

until they shatter.

What is the price of freedom?


What if they lock you up again?

What if they force you to hide?


You’re allowed to exist.

You don’t need their permission.

You aren’t hurting them.


Why should you hide

just because they don’t want to see people like you?

They’re the one with the problem.


Ivory bars encase the privileged sparrow.

It stays in its world,

the only world it knows,

and it hates those who change it,

who challenge it.

It teaches its babies the same.

One angle.

One way to think.

And the babies accept it,

why venture far?


Birds are meant to fly.

Open the cages.

Let them learn.

Let us all be free.

Grief for the Living

I want to drive to the end of nowhere with you,

down memory lane where we will see


who we used to be.

Do you remember

how young we were,

when we could conquer the world,

when nothing could defeat us?

Is that trust still there?

Could we get together

and go back?


Would we recognize each other

if not by face?

Are we the same at the core?

Are those girls gone?


We could stand in the same place,

the same house,

feel our ghosts,

but feel nothing.

Do you think of me?

Do you feel nothing?

What Frost Does to Dying Girls

The dirt, brown thorns peel off the stem

of the flower,

the red rose bud drooping in the

gathering cold.

The bush didn’t last long.

Neither will we.


Inside our brick house, the fireplace dims.

My sisters gather closer to it.

I’m the strong sister.

I’m the one who does without.


My sisters believe our parents will come back

for us.

They left to get help.

The nearest settlement is fifty miles.

If they made it,

they won’t make it back.


“We need to gather more food.” I say this everyday.

“When can we rest?” the youngest sister (fifteen) asks.

“When winter wins.”

The girls listen to me, for now.

We move easily in the frigid air, for now.

There’s four warm bodies trying to fight the cold, for now.