scream

there are days when I feel the need to scream out into the world

even if there are no ears to catch the sound

at least I know if my reverberating cries return to me

that they had to have bounced off of something

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father

I found my home in the heart of my father

but not the man who’d raised me at the back of a hand

and showed me a cold, uncaring world through black irises

but the man who showed me how to raise my arms

and cried where I couldn’t see as I took hit after hit

he showed me all the escape routes I could take

if at any point my defenses weren’t enough to save me

I know that he has seen some of the darker corners of the earth

and instead of shielding my eyes from them

he pointed them out and showed me how to go around

my father taught me how to be resilient and strong

even when he’s not around

even after he’s gone

I grew in the heart of my father

and that is where I was saved

 

garden

I prefer the untamed gardens
where the wild and domesticated collide
I love to see yarrow and Canada thistle
brush up against peonies and tulips
it’s impossible to tell which is more determined
to live and grow
in the untamed gardens
I think it reminds me of myself
a hawkweed
growing among roses and goldenrod alike
I grew in a strange garden
but I’m not the only one

map

she always was better at directions than I was

at twelve years old she was guiding grown-ups through the big city

as though she’d printed a map into the folds of her brain

like her nose always pointed north

 

her eyes were always gazing outward

soaking up information through the windows

while my eyes were closed tight

and my soul was visiting places that did not even exist

 

so it’s no wonder that by the time I returned to my body

and opened my eyes

in search of her

she had already found her way out

love

love looks to me

like tightly intertwined fingers

and sounds like

a tone deaf rendition of my favourite song while we drive in my car

and it smells like the rain on a busy city street

while we walk to the store

love tastes like

a kiss after we wake up

and after we brush our teeth

and before I leave for work

and before bed

and

love feels like every day with you

story

this is a poem
for the people who I love
(and a story of how I became one of them)
for without you
my breath can barely bend a flower
(nor can my footfalls)
and the sun doesn’t care whether my eyes are open or shut
it pierces through my eyelids anyway
but with you
my heartbeats shake the earth to its core
(and then all the way back up again)
my hands can uproot entire oak trees
and then carve your name into the sides of mountains
I could drink up all the drops of water in all the oceans
(but you would never ask me to)
I could pull the moon from the sky
and throw her into the universe
(I would never, but I could do it)
did you know that my love could end the world?
but I would never do such a thing
especially not in the name of love
instead, while love carries me
I carry the world
even though nobody
(certainly not you)
asks me to