[poem] Things I should do now that you’re gone.

1. Write poetry again. Write about love. Write long lists. Post it all on the blog I made because I knew you were reading. Where I stopped posting because I knew you were reading.

2. Take more selfies. Share them: on my stories. On the fake IG account I told you about but never let you find. On my timeline, set to public, with detailed descriptions of outfits, hair, makeup. Stop hiding that I am as vain as you told me I shouldn’t be.

3. Make a lot of first drafts. Post them. Make things quickly, in bursts, sharing them just as quickly. Post in the middle of things, unfinished, in process. Expose people to the mess of making, so people can see: there is no magic, no bolts from the blue. Only mess and mistakes. Only hoping for better.

4. Sing high. A lot. Because I like how it feels, how it sounds when I hit the notes right. Because it will take a lot of tries to get those notes right. Because I will never learn if I do not try and fail and try and maybe it’s too late, at this age, to challenge my range instead of leaning into it…but I’ll never know unless I do.

5. Stop pretending I don’t still hear you. Because I do.

6. Admit that, if I’m honest, I did not love you. No, I loved the idea of you, of us, of the roles the roles we played: the boy wise beyond his years and the girl who hung on his every word. In a small way, I made you my world; loved the safety of you telling me what to do, who to be, who to become. Tried to follow it to the letter until I realized I couldn’t, didn’t, didn’t really want to.

7. Accept that you never knew me, because I’d never allowed you.

That, from the moment we met, when I chose to pretend I didn’t know things when I did, I set a precedent. I crafted a first impression, and allowed you to run with it. I chose to play the role of the girl who needed your shaping: Eliza to your Henry; Galatea to your Pygmalion.

8. Admit that, in the end, we didn’t have love but validation.

I wanted to make someone proud of me.

I needed it to be you.

9. Accept that sometimes…I might still miss needing you.

10. Promise I will ever need anyone as much again.

[Rambles] Scaffolding

Once, there was someone I loved, and that someone built me up until I stood tall and (almost) strong, (almost) stable. I thought they would be part of my life forever.

But sometimes, we lose people to seasons. For whatever reason, the promises of “I’m here to stay.” wear away until they are only words. You take the scaffolding off of the building and the building has to stand on its own.

I only see that person now in photos and tight smiles and notes that dart past on my newsfeed, addressing people who might as well be strangers. We might as well be strangers. But, even with that distance, there are still lessons they’re teaching me.

I’m learning to see, even after someone leaves, you aren’t made less for their leaving.

When the person I loved left, I had to take the scaffolding off. On my own. It hurt so much that I thought I wasn’t strong enough, that I would fall apart. But, after, when the metal  had given way, and the dust had settled, and the earth stopped shaking…I found that I’d remained.



For those who have loved, and lost, and at the end, find.


[poem] Phone Call: January 30

In ten minutes, you were born
a half-century ago.  Except now
you measure time in lightyears.
Last year, I would call you, kiss your cheek.
This year, I whisper words
to the endless sea you now swim in; the dust
that made our ancestors.

The black does not feel quite so empty.

I won’t lie.
I will love you longer than forever.
I miss you every time I breathe in.
And some days I don’t want the pain to leave—
I’m afraid of forgetting.
But I know that love means marching on,
and somewhere you do too.

There are a million eyes up there; two are yours.
And maybe you can’t see everything,
but see this—
my open hands.  My blurry smile.
My heart–that’s made of half of you—
that’s beating.  That’s still counting out its rhythm.
I will not let loss stop us from living.
I know that makes you proud.  I hope I do.

Today is my half-birthday,
because I’ll always be half-you.


For a brave woman, and the braver son she left behind.
And for my mother, and the mother who is half-her.