You Never Knew

you think you know a guy
years, months, weeks,
day in and day out
conversations exchanged
how things were left unsaid
how we chose, or chose not, to be

how we hide behind the way we speak
how we say, or don’t say,
the things we mean

you think you know a guy
and suddenly he’s a stranger
you never knew his thoughts,
never knew the things he’s done,
never knew the reasons why
things have come undone

you think you know a guy
now he’s an ass, a jerk,
in a mid-life crisis,
he doesn’t know how to deal
he’d rather eschew responsibility
and break away

you think you know a guy
he only showed what he wanted you to see
now he’s come clean,
no more pretending

you think you know a guy
but did you ever
really know him at all?

Thanks for reading. This goes out to anyone who has been blindsided by a loved one.

unease

it’s been three days
with clear blue skies

every morning
i stand in disbelief;

there’s nothing to obstruct the view
nothing to prevent the light from coming through

so why do i feel at unease?
because even now, the skies are just a tease

dysphoria

the way you say
the things you don’t

carefully crafted
to disguise
parts of you in other realms,

it’s an alarming surprise
the way you reveal
your true self to me

leaves me empty
reduced to mysterious needs

i look away and say,
‘can’t we just talk poetry?’

in your flood

one step out the door
one step forward
one step closer
to the flood

one step backwards
one step in reverse
one step away
from drowning

a punch to the gut
and tears streaming,
more than the smiles
more than the ‘i love you’s

and how many more years like this
how much can i take like this

i agreed to ever after
but this now, these lows
i can do without
i barely survive the crash
before the next one arrives

give me time to breathe
give me time to survive
give me time in the clearing
before i drown
in your flood

Call It What It Is

Heatwaves radiating across the country,
common occurrences every summer
now occurring every season.

Summer stretches long into Fall,
makes a cameo during Winter
And begins earlier every Spring.

It’s a heatwave, they say.
No, it’s global warming.
No, it’s now called climate change, haven’t you heard?
No, that’s all fake news.
It’s only a heatwave, you see.

Varying heatwaves from place to place,
it’s unheard of in cities without air conditioning.
And now 130 recorded in the middle of Death Valley,
it’s a long streak of near-death experiences for everybody.

Sure, tell them it’s just another heatwave while our friends melt in the sweltering sun.
Tell them it’s only a heatwave when the final glaciers breakaway.
Tell them it’s only a heatwave, I’m sure they will soon believe.

Lock & Key

A treasure trove
filled with secrets

A lock and key
twirling through fingers

Turning the key
demons spring forth
dancing in the light.

Bewildered,
taking in their faces,
their shapeshifter dance,
I sink further into the knowing
and cannot be undone.

We throw the box into the sea
and toss the key.

O, what these eyes have seen
cannot be unseen
so easily.

Dear love

Dear love,
Thoughts of you the other day brought smiles. Today thoughts of you produced overrun swells in my eyes. The many years we’ve been separated, but how our hearts have always been close, how many more years will it be like this? Living in fantasy and memories all of the time is no way of living. The truth of what can never be, will I ever set these feelings free? This arrested state of bliss, of dreaming of our next kiss… and the pain of knowing that it may be a million years away. We’re so close yet always out of reach. I sit and dream of you, and wonder… will our dreams ever come true.

The Truth

This poem is pulled from snippets of Esteban Rodriguez’s poem, El Rio. These snippets pulled together brought out a truth that spoke to me. Check out his poem in Non.PlusLit.

ready to give up
what they knew they’d never be

aware what he believes in
will not always remain

and though you want to believe
when he tells you this
you find nothing when you look

each time you place yourself in the middle of it
and which you hope
if the time should come

Even in sleep
gazing
some nights
unsure if they’re signals
accidents
or warnings
if he does what awaits
or stay if his limbs grow numb
accept the nothingness
he prays he has the strength to wake up
he will be found and dragged to a place where you eventually
promise him to not suffer

unsure how you got here
or if any part of this is real
you find a man you believe
only he doesn’t remember you
or of the decades he spent
knowing as you know now
the path leading back
would not welcome his return

In the Dead of Winter

Image credit: Alex Markovich

These paths I walk all lead to snow
White embankments filled with fluff
Masking the truth underneath
Holding us back three feet deep

When will they release me
Keeping me here like a prisoner
Don’t they see I want out
The ground is frozen
I can’t move my fibers of life
Shake, shake me out of this frozen tundra
I’m itching for a new beginning


Listen to my poems on SoundCloud
This poem, along with others, can be found in my book Coffee Shop Sessions: Whatever It Takes, Even If It Doesn’t Take