[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.

[Poetry] Celeste

For F., from F.


Tonight, I set my world on fire.

I peel off layer after layer
of the girl left behind
until, underneath,
it is new skin, new growth.

When you were with me,
I could not be elsewhere.
Now, I bleed to barren bones
the map of all I remember.

I refused to be crippled,
beat to death with my crutches,
the temptation to run back,
instead of walk away.

If you gave me a chance,
I know I would take it.
so I cut off my chances,
and out my pale-blue heart.

Set map, skin, heart on a pyre,
with my loss and desire,
and out of the ashes,
I start over again.

Tonight, I set my world on fire.



Quick note: Like my poem “Sophia,” the title has a non-traditional pronunciation.  In this case, it’s “che-les-te,” after the Italian.  Lines of the poem were “found” on Twitter, then altered to “fit” the poem.