obscure sorrow

there is a distinct possibility
that i will end up heartbroken at the end of all of this

but it’s too late.

i am already navy blue sad at the thought that we almost never met.


second to last day

miss do you think i should cut my hair

for my interview at the courthouse? you

asked me today.


do i think you should cut your hair?

the hair that took you a year to grow,

the hair that marks you

the kind of person

who would have been

my kind of person–

the spray-painting cracked parking lots at dusk and

swinging on the playground in the dark kind of person–

if we’d gone to school together?



i don’t.

but what i think

and what the world thinks

aren’t the same, are

in fact

growing more and more heartbreaking

in their difference.

i tried again–

i needed more poetry.


but now

i’m not sorry i haven’t answered you as i’m not certain

you would believe me if i told you

there was no poetry in that afternoon.


instead i found it

on a side street in jp,

alone in the dark in some part of the city

i’ve never seen before.


instead i found it

in the pouring rain,

the steep streets turned to rivers,

the raindrops shattering the orange of the streetlights to pieces.



as I peel off my wet clothes in the quiet of my room

i marvel

at the shape of my life


how strange,

how heavy,

how full.

for emily

it’s been three years without you.

the bookmark they gave out at your funeral

is still hanging up in my room.

i look at it every day.


what i dream of is an art of balance.


my dreams are off-kilter these days,

these years,

this lifetime.

wonky the way life

ultimately always is.


wish you were still a part of it.

this girl

whose rightful place is here beside me–

who’s no, literally, that smart,

but like, people see the

name of the high school and just

throw out the application


what is there to say?

what is there to do but smile until

you can leave the room and let the tears fall,

make some worksheets that feel,

if not pointless then

a styrofoam sword when

the world calls for steel–

and try to get enough sleep.

32oz. mason jar

i didn’t see it happen,

only heard the crash,

only saw,

walking up the driveway,

your rage sparkling like shattered glass

in the morning air,

your blood red anger

sharp in the dappled sunlight.



i got the keys and drove you to the E.R. where

they stitched up your hand,

good as new.