No mistakes
Only blue oceans and red fire trucks.
I want to love and to love you back, but that’s a mistake.
That’s a foggy summer day and a question mark on a declarative sentence and that sentence is
something will go wrong
I’m afraid I’ll never find owls at night and doves in the morning because
lately it’s only been fish and dry land
when everyone else
found the water. I’m not
the field of flowers for your orchids, I’m the aquarium.
I spell numbers, not letters, and they’re not adding up right.
Wrong turns get me where I need to be, and I’m the
lighting to your
The path less traveled is well worn
and I make empty, pretty words
that meant the truth
of the matter is that
nothing is the matter because everything is wrong.
I draw my motorcycles with four wheels because I want to
get there faster and my planes with no wings because
I don’t know where I’m going.
A forest full of trees? I’m a forest full of grass because
it’s the little things in life.
I’m the bright blue sun
the drop in your faucet
an ocean full of orange
and a past of mistakes
that pave the way back the to future
and forward to the dawn.


He is
He’s shining when he walks into a room. And that other boy, he’s the one who tells her she’s beautiful.
That one, she’s half in love and starstruck in the light.
But the other half is still riding dandelion wings into the past.
That other one – it should work. Their hearts align. Things are easy. Around him she knows she’s the one that teenage boyfriends still dream about.
Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it’s home.
She wishes she could take off her shoes and smile at the end of a long day. But you can’t live at a hotel.
Her heart is still framed in the eyelashes of someone she met in the spring. When stones skipped across rivers and the moon hung high and she was ready to fall in love. When his hand was in hers.
She knows they will never fit together again, but she’s cold and caught in the rain and tired of being homeless.

Skip a Beat

She was always dancing with her could have beens to the steps of a beautiful disaster. The lyrics to those songs kept her up at night, playing over and over. Could have been our first slow dance, could have been walking down the aisle, could have been dancing all night till the sun came up.
She liked his moves because he danced to the rhythm of what could be, a two-step –
a new step –
she’d danced once before but hadn’t in a while.
He looked at her like she was doing the fox trot perfectly still.
She didn’t want to miss a beat or step on any toes so she never asked him where he learned to dance. Nothing scared her more than the thought of radio silence, that she’d get his song stuck in her head but she would change the station, and she’d remember the words but not the tune.
So she stayed silent and moved her hips to the sound. The sound of his laughter in a far away note, taunting her to shake her way into the future like she had a clue.
She wanted eight counts into his heart but the beat was too fast and if she tried she might fall, so she watched from the sidelines as strangers asked to guide her on the floor but she refused. She was too busy in the echo of the could be’s that side-stepped around in her head, the hopes of the one-day memories. He was catchy and she had caught him, but in the back of her mind she knew that the day was coming where she would have to let him go.


Sara went alone. She was that kind of girl. Wine cups weren’t half full or half empty, they were never enough, because no matter how she saw the world she was always full of longing.
The morning mist scattered dewdrops across her back as she walked, gravel stones trembling beneath the heels of her boots.
“Good morning,” she greeted the swallows dive-bombing the skies. They answered back with shrill cries of airborne joy.
Five hundred and thirteen stones. She had first counted them when Maybell died and she couldn’t bear to watch the soft paws go to rest in that hole in the ground in her backyard, so she had come here. Here where you felt less significant because people lived here three hundred years ago and died maybe fifty after that and no one knew their names or cared about the types of clothes they wore.
The stone arches rose high and kissed the palm tree backgrounds. If people didn’t have fancy cameras and zippers on their sweatshirts, then she believed she could almost touch the past. She could feel it reaching out to her but the cell phones and shoelaces scared it away. The idea that we walked on the moon and could tell people I love you with anything but our voices, that made it retreat to the dusty corners of the old church where people with ten fingers and ten toes – if they were lucky – just like ours came to pray. They probably prayed about the same things. They prayed for the future and we pray for our future, in the future. They probably drank wine, too. There wasn’t a lot else to do. There wasn’t a lot else to do now, either, because what else ever is there really to do but drink wine and tell stories about the past?
She wanted to walk back into it, carried by a breeze, simple as the clay bricks under her feet. Before the earthquake made it into a place where people came and wondered what it used to be like.
Now there was just a sky for a roof, but imagination built the walls up high for a shelter overhead and she could see ghosts walking. She saw them wearing sandals and passing through sunlit halls. Wondering about what to eat and wondering if God is real. Wondering if someone would ever wonder that about them.
But she couldn’t walk into the past, even with the gravel under her boots and the breeze in the air, so instead she just came coming back and sat in the present.

Polaroid #124

There’s something to be said about the day before.

The day before, you never would have thought, I didn’t think my life would be this way.

No – you would pull on a sweater, your favorite pair of jeans, and head out the door to buy parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, from the supermarket. When you look at the recipe and halfway to the car you realize oh – you forgot eggs – you throw your hands up in the air to signal, “woops, forgot something.” Even though there’s no one watching. You don’t want to look like an idiot.

But as you drive your Volkswagen down the highway, a smile dances on the corners of your mouth. And you realize it’s too late – only fools fall in love.

The recipe calls for two sticks of butter and you reluctantly add them to the pot of cheese. That’s a lot of butter, your mother would say.

From the view of the kitchen window, framed by white checkered drapes, two little girls are making daisy chains on the lawn. The one with the red painted fingernails laughs and puts a daisy crown on her head. The laugh sounds like snapdragons shaking in the wind. You laugh too.

7:00 and the dish is on the table. You’ve cleared off the sticky vinyl tablecloth as best you can, and you can see the heat rising from the creamy green pesto in the folds of the pasta.

Hours later, the heat has stopped rising.

You don’t pick up the bowls and the dinner stays out all night, the cheese hardened into stiff curds by morning.

There was happiness in your eyes. The day before you found out he was gone.