a slow burn branding

of self-worth;

another summer with

my cat in a still

unfinished apartment;

a new car, hardly

driven but well

appreciated; a

celebration of my

decennial in portland,

surrounded by friends

who put up with me

over all these years.

a lot of little things

compiled like wet clay

pressed against

this hollow golem

yearning for the

light of creation.

so much i don't

remember because

it was not worth

remembering. so many

empty weekends with

my face stuck in a

video game, relentless

self-caring in a fortress

until it became the

addiction i sought to avoid.

new loves, none held

in arms, some destined

to disappear before

i had a chance

to wrench open

this rusty heart.

not realizing i needed

oil first.


and now what? what

change begets the turning

of the seasons?

they say to make concrete

resolutions that you can

attain—and yet, i find

abstract concepts are good

bubbles to float in your

mind, like mantras.

"treat myself better"

has no tangible goal

but is a nice reminder

when you're submerged.

i want to love and have

it reciprocated in that

way where, in bed and

half-wrestled in sexual

grandeur, your partner

says, "can we try something?"

and you spend the next

half hour thinking up a

good safeword.

i want to find joy

in the world again,

to stare up at skyscrapers

in awe, to feel emotions

in full color and

devoid of white noise.

i want to be happy

and content in my

choices. i'd like to

get laid, if we're being

honest, and tell funny

stories about our exes

in the shower afterward.

i'd like to live,

and feel alive,

and want to do those things.

but that doesn't require

a new year. it requires

something else that i'm

still searching for.