tried and true,
i flocked to you
a mountain of
oily dark ravens
roosting in your
the night a
in warm sheets
and warm skin.
i touch the tip
of your finger
against my lips
like gentle kiss
for soft hands.
tried and true,
give me something better.
i will search for it but
you have to give me a sign
that it exists. otherwise
i am looking for the haystack
needle, but the haystack
is depression and anxiety,
a proverbial sea
the likes of which have
never been seen before.
sometimes when i breathe
i feel a shortness of breath,
ever subtle, not threatening
but a gentle reminder that
i am struggling. a tug on
the rope i am dangling from.
each breath is a shock to
my mental health.
i continue breathing.
green foliage i chew on
and digest has unearthed
a new sense of purpose
within my body. very strange.
most good change i attribute
to nutrition and self-care.
this is that, a welcome
change, a fortuitous change.
a reenergization of
mind, body, spirit.
how far do i carry it?
please remain within me
until my last days alive.
someone shut that goddamn dog up,
this poor hound who yips and yaps
whenever its owners leave it in the backyard
to traipse off on whatever bullshit scenario
they get themselves into.
nobody thinks about the dog.
when you are gone, the dog barks.
when you are back, the dog does not bark.
so you, in your genius splendor,
don’t think the dog barks when you are gone,
christmas eve you left the dog out all night
–in 20 degree weather!–
and it barked all night.
i sat nervous in my apartment
vacillating between going to bed
and calling animal control
to take your poor dog away from you.
in the end i was a coward and excused
my lack of calling to the harrowing
road conditions and the fact
that it was christmas eve and maybe
nobody was working in animal control.
the dog’s still here, thankfully.
it’s not dead, frozen stiff as a reminder
to be good to your pets, thankfully.
it’s still has the strength to bark.
i left my badge at work
looked like a stupid jerk
waited at the elevator
searching for the clerk
lethargy traps my confidence.
an ague of sadness forms
like condensation on a cold glass,
slowly slipping, curling down
to the pool below.
the battle between sad and coffee
rages, every morning a fog
i sift through slowly, thoughtfully,
for bits of what make it worth
living. i always find it:
– the smile of a friend.
– the caress of a lover.
– watching the impressively large
murder of crows fly to their nightly roost.
– remembering how much my parents
– my cat purring in my lap,
looking up expectantly at me for pettings.
the gnawing subsides
to a toothless gumming.
everything will be alright.
i am laying in tall grass
inhaling musty petrichor
wafting from the earth.
she is beside me (in dreams)
our backs wet from fresh rain
soaking into shirts and dirt.
clouds above roil in whites
and grays, pale blue sky
peeking out from above.
a soft breeze reminds us
her hand is in mine (in dreams)
we laugh and talk about nothing
and i remember to tell her
i love her more and more and more
until it spills out of my mouth
like fresh rainwater from a drain.
words i bore into myself
i attempt to dig out,
thoughts i had forgotten
are dug out instead.
you beautiful brick dick, you.
or brick facade at least.
you must enjoy impressive views
of mt hood to the east.
i sit and watch you thrust yourself
into the cloudy sky
and wonder if you ever sleep
or if you’ll ever die.
from my seat at work i see you,
one of many earthy pimples
on the northwest face of america,
a gargantuan reminder
that this whole place could explode
any minute now.
you lost your head, and someone
in my seat nearly 38 years ago
watched it, reacted, pressed their face
to the window, turned to their coworkers
aghast, agog–“this doesn’t
happen in america! active volcanoes
are for tribal polynesian countries
in the middle of the ocean!”
and you provided proof to the people here
that the earth quells for no mortal being,
so that every time i see you
i make a mental note
to put together
an emergency bag.
sometimes when you shower on a sunday it feels like a great achievement
and you liberate the built-up grease from your hair with cheap shampoo
and it’s a long shower, you take your time, the warmth reminds you of feeling.
sometimes the weekend is where you leave yourself to stink
and you watch youtube from a dark living room
and eat nothing but cereal you bought for too much at the convenience store by your apartment
because you are too sad and discombobulated inside to resist temptation.
the korean man who owns the convenience store, he understands
and will make money off of your sadness,
but he also will not judge, at least to your face.
sometimes shit gets done and you are in love with the world
but the love for yourself is like pushing through thick brambles
and you wonder: “will i ever be happy?” and spend hours trying to decide
if you can even answer that question when you don’t know the definition.
everyone else does. why don’t you?
sometimes the weekend is less fun than you would like.