The Space Between Me and Yellow

There’s this fire in my belly

Restless, tying my hair in braids 
I don’t have everything 
figured out, but I’m getting 
good at removing expectations

picking up a pencil 
without checking to see
if it was sharpened first  

and trying my best 
to be clear because
people can’t read 
my mind 

in modern, published by Women Around Town on 6/28/20

I’m scrolling through stories on social
to engage with influencers 
will give me a chance

I’m scrolling and looking
and the thought of expressing myself

in 140 characters or less 
is simply overwhelming

I use my thumb to double click 
and as I like a post, I see 
my nails are bitten down
and stubby 

MY LOVE, Published by “Women Around Town” 2/14/19

Look at me
look passed my eyes
and listen 
I do not love you because I have to
or because I fear being alone 
or because time moving forward means
having to settle for the things you need
I am not a broken heart 
but I get cold when standing under a tree 
with the sun on the other side of the world
though, I still crave the deep shades of night 
the silence of the sky

Jupiter in Taurus, Published by “Boulder Weekly” 8/3/18

I press the snooze button on my alarm
three times and then 
finally wake up happy 
I step in to the outfit 
already laid out, place my foot 
in a shoe that didn’t cost 
too much, 
I sit on the couch drinking coffee
a stain appears on my shirt
I glance out the window – no rain
I scrub the stain out, 
eat the leftovers, 
eye old memories hanging 
like art on my fridge 
my phone is fully charged 

Monday Night Yoga, Published by “Women Around Town” 6/3/18

I’m flat on my back
my heels spread as wide as the mat
my fingers stretch like star shapes

my palms face up because I’m
trying to be open and at peace
I’m trying to welcome news things
like change and balance

but the man next to me is sleeping
through his shavasana and snoring
so loud I can’t count my breaths
or empty my mind or be grateful

I turn to him and whisper be here now
but he is somewhere else
and now I roam

Sunny Friday at 4:00 pm, Published April by “FishFood Magazine” 4/30/18

A lung has escaped my body.
I’d been walking down the street when
it emerged right out of my chest.
The left one. Not the right – the smaller one that keeps room for my heart.
It’s no longer in me but out. 
Not at all fleshy or muscular, but more 
like something boiled for far too long.
Painfully hot;
liquid lung trickling down my leg, 
swelling over the edge of my sneaker,
splatting like blob on the sidewalk.   

STEFAN, Published by “Red Fez Magazine” 2/13/18

I was twelve when I learned the truth about my father. I’d always wondered about him. Ever since I could talk, I asked my mother about him. Who was he? Where was he? Did he know about me? She would spark a cigarette and puff on it a minute before responding. And then, when she finally did, her answers were always different. He died in the war. He was lost at sea. Sometimes she’d ignore me, walk into her bedroom and lock herself inside. When I was eight, for an entire year she had me convinced the mailman from Cheers, Cliff Claven, was my dad. And when I found the nerve to ask her more about him, she switched the story up, telling me my dad was a spaceman, and then weeks later a pirate. She never repeated the same story twice. 

For years, I never understood why my mother made up stories about my dad. It was as if she wanted me to know there was something more to it than whatever lie she mustered up. It was why, I was sure, she left the picture and court papers in her sock drawer. She knew I’d find them. And when I did, I knew her and I could never have an honest conversation about who my father was. 

I became angry. I acted out. Fights at school, drugs and all that. I hated myself. I hated her. Even though it wasn’t her fault. It was him I wanted to hurt. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what my mother thought of me. When she looked at me, did she see him?