“woman”

it is not a title i earned
was given
but am

i do not claim it
as anything
but armor
anymore

try to tell me
that i can’t be
pretty and rough
all at once

or that i should have to explain
the knife in my pocket,
the hair under my arms,
the polish on my nails

because in my own
version of myself
i encompass each
line of my own topography

ranging from river to
mesa and
back again

when you ask of me
my heart on a platter,
i will offer you my tongue,
instead

-A

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you and I

I am tattered but let me explain

only broken in cracks, not pieces

not glued;
re-attached

I will wear my socks
to my knees
and I will beg for your skin
(but only because that
is what I want and how I
want it)

I have cried out for more
asking the same questions
over and again

now, I’m not asking,
I am demanding

we will get what we want
from each other,
you and I

-A

The Fight About Tupperware

The fight about Tupperware wasn’t really about Tupperware
but rather, how I ran through every prayer I know
and stopped at three.

It was about guilt – about wanting to be there
and not being there,
about only remembering three prayers
and being too busy to call.

The fight about Tupperware wasn’t really about Tupperware
but rather, how I shoved clean laundry on the floor
to go to bed.

It was about exhaustion – about wanting to fall asleep
and not being able to,
about my teardrops landing on the cat
as rain on fur.

The fight about Tupperware wasn’t really about Tupperware
but rather, how I ran through every prayer I know
and stopped at three,
my teardrops landing on the cat
as rain on fur,
while she was scared and alone on a hospital bed
and I wasn’t there.

The fight about Tupperware was really about pain.

-L

when he watches you walk away

i remember writing you an e-mail
letters
crying in your arms
crying alone on the floor

feeling the weight of all
we were about to lose

clawing at glass
begging for time, patience
your love
another chance

looking for answers in
your tears, words
silence
choices

but you let me go

there is pain in my whole body
and i have decided to allow it
to serve its time and purpose

then, i will be able to let it go –
that is where my power lies

in letting it go

-A

endings/beginnings

i wonder if he’s considered my heart
shattering
when he walks away each time

i wonder if he’s considered my voice
wavering
when i tell him goodbye, goodbye, this is for the best, goodbye

i know i gave him my heart, but does he remember my heart?
does he remember the curve of my spine, hips
the warmth of my skin
as he holds another?

does he remember the love we shared?
the whispers, the tears, the morning tea
and laughter in between bed sheets?
it’s gone now, it has disappeared
but it lingers, for me, in memory

does he remember?
has he considered?

did it exist? did i matter?
if he doesn’t?

is there an end to
remembering?

and if there is

if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it
does it make a sound?

if my relationship ends and there is no one left to remember it,
did it happen? was it important?

where can i go to ease my pain?
not in memory
not in ending

perhaps, in embracing
beginnings

-A

on leaving

for some reason, i start with the refrigerator magnets
the polaroid of us from when you visited
the first place i ever felt myself

we woke up that cold november morning, embracing
to stay warm and we marveled at how
i had never slept a full night in
someone’s arms before

the boxes i am trying to fill are
broken down and i try to tape them
and i wish you were here to help

and last night, your tears fell onto
my pillow as i told you our time together
is growing shorter

i want to believe that love lost still matters
that all we shared over the past few years
doesn’t just disappear
when i walk out the door

when i do step, i see
sunlight and mountains
and all the colors of springtime that
bloom

and even though you are no longer
by my side, i feel you and know

i will never forget you

-A