notice posted/return to sender

a week ago you said it’s simple
i said it’s complicated
this week you say it’s complicated
i say it’s simple
we’ve made a mess
but it’s beautiful
you’re wrestling
trying to settle your own heart
i’ve ripped off the label
that said “handle with care”
but i don’t think you’ve noticed
that i can’t break in the same way
i used to
i’m posting a new sign
“free, please take all”
and i’ve drifted back
to the only home i’ve ever known
all you gotta do is
turn on the porch light
and leave the key under the mat

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considering things that begin with letters

i turned my computer on just now, thinking i had a lot to say and now it all seems to have left me. there are so many thoughts in my head, it is often difficult to isolate them or group them into a cohesive post. i’ve been thinking about R a lot, but i guess that’s not really a new thing, i always think about him. one thing that drives me nuts about him (not in a good way) is that he seems to be two different people- reserved and businesslike when his girlfriend (fiance/wife/idk what she is these days) is around, then open and personal when she’s not around. when she’s around he usually has sunglasses on, when she isn’t he’s more likely to be bare-eyed. when he’s alone he lingers, with her he rushes. alone he tells me about his life, with her it’s like i’m a stranger. i often realize that i am a horrible person, one reason being that i actually sit and think of people i could introduce R’s girlfriend to in hopes that she would fall for them and break up with R. and then i think about ways R and i’s interactions would change and how life really would be so much simpler for me if R did not have a girlfriend. i honestly do not want the girl to experience any heartache, but it would be really great if she could just drift away from R and into the arms of someone else and totally forget about R. i know R would be pretty torn up about it, but i also know that his sons mean the world to him so he would push thru the struggle and create the best life that he can for his boys. as much as i want to be with R, i don’t think i would swoop in and try to get with him as soon as he became single. i desperately wish he would spend some time being single. he has never been single in his adult life, he met me when he was 16 and we got serious right away, we were married just over month after his 18th birthday, when we split up he was 22 and got with her right away, he’ll be 25 this November and has never been single. i’ve been single for almost 2 years straight, the one brief relationship that i have had since R and i split up was ridiculous and i honestly forget sometimes that it even happened. but i truly believe that being single for a length of time as an adult is important to a person’s identity, it’s vital to be sure that you know who you are. in these two or so years i have learned who i am, i have gained confidence that i don’t think i ever had, i have discovered beauty in places i was too afraid to look before. i have seen that my faith was misplaced, found where i left it, misplaced it again, repeated that cycle a few times, and am currently working on putting it in a secure location, it’s a process. but i have not learned everything there is to know about myself, so do i really know me? i still do not know what sort of food i like, where i would travel if i could go anywhere, what my favorite color is, what career i will pursue, what my favorite alcohol is, and i still cannot use fire (literally, that’s not a metaphor). maybe i like Chinese fast food, but i find myself eating it less and less, so maybe i don’t. i’m attracted to Oregon, but i doubt there’s anything real there for me. pink used to be my color, but now i find myself drawn to purple, but i feel most confident when i wear red, but i know what red means, and i don’t wanna be that girl. i know i will be a teacher, but i cannot settle on who i will teach, and i cannot settle on how i will teach or what the subject will be. i do not understand the point of drinking alcohol, so i don’t find myself doing it often, i like hard root beer and i’ll sip a PBR if someone brings them to a BBQ, but i do not seek alcohol out and i do not purchase it, i do not need it, it does nothing for me. i tried to light the pilot on my mom’s stove a few weeks back, i let two matches burn down to my fingers because i am terrified i will die in a natural gas explosion, in my entire life i’m sure i’ve only lit about five matches, i’ve ignited a lighter maybe twice, i cannot use fire and i cannot play with it. i want to learn to run, i want to read classic literature, i want to play guitar, i want to be a member of a church, i want to have someone to call at two in the morning when i can’t breathe, i want to purchase stacks of composition books and fill them up with words that feel like life, with my words and other people’s words, with the songs i sing quiet on the bus because i don’t want the cute driver to hear me, but my heart says sing so i gotta sing, and loud at the bus stops because they’re only strangers. i want to matter. if we don’t matter, then why should we want to carry on? i want to carry on. damn, i want to carry on. a little boy whispered something to me not two hours ago, “Mommy, I love you”, real quiet because he didn’t want to wake up his brother. i’m not one to say you should stick around if you really don’t want to, but i have realized that i want to stick around and i don’t need to count any reason past one because one is enough for me. one means the world. so here is my one reason to carry on- i do not want to break my children’s hearts, i do not want to be only a story they hear from their daddy and relatives, i want to be their hero, i want to be there for their skinned knees and first days of school and little league games and disappointments and math homework and first loves and proms and so much more, i can’t imagine missing it and i can’t imagine my boys not having a mom thru it all. i know i’ve lived a damn good life so far and i will continue on, and i know i’ve got a damn good life ahead of me too. and i’m rambling, but sometimes you just gotta ramble.

float back to me, please

i notice when you have sunglasses
and i notice more when you don’t
but still i do not look in your eyes
i’m sure that if i do i will forget
how to breathe
and yet i barely remember their color
and question whether my memory
is correct or created
are they the even honey brown
that i’ve always thought they were?
or something else entirely?

you showed me the ring you got
a symbol for our youngest son
you took it off your finger
and handed it to me
my first thought
was to put it on my finger
my left ring finger
stopped myself just in time
and slipped it on my pinkie instead
we talked about the ring a second
before i handed it back to you

tonight was one of those nights
the nights where i forget who we are
forget that we don’t talk often
tonight you smiled, i smiled
tonight you laughed, i laughed
we talked about life
talked about little things
you told me how much you love
riding your motorcycle
and you gotta fix your tire
i told you about my soon-to-be-born nephew
and his name and how unfortunate it is

In response to Eyes.

light-hearted, heavy-headed

I am ninety eight percent happy
ninety five percent of the time
I have rough weeks,
sad days, bad moments
sometimes I can’t breathe
occasionally the sinking feeling in my stomach
is so heavy
eating or drinking anything
becomes impossible

But mostly I am happy
I am alive
I am high (on life, of course)
I am in love
I am loved
and I love
I know God
I know, God

it’s a long story

is she your security blanket
or your government-issued ankle-bracelet,
or maybe you just love her
and you’re too fucking codependent?

I wrote the first verse
before you showed up tonight,
but when I saw the dust,
I knew you’d left her home.

she makes you drive lame,
like she’s precious cargo
and a bump might break her,
whereas I let you push 96

and in a Volvo too
back when it was just us.
the cop let you off easy
with just a speeding ticket for 90.

and so we stood in the driveway.
tonight I had time to stare,
to remember your face,
but not close enough to memorize

your eyes. More feet between us
than I would have liked,
but I think it was for safety
because our walls didn’t exist tonight.

I joked about being too clumsy
to be a stripper and you laughed.
A genuine laugh, probably because
you know it’s true. And now I’m taken

back to yesterday when J
“taught” me how to play guitar
and I showed him that my old acoustic
makes a pretty good drum too.

And then I remembered,
two years or so ago I wrote
“Learn to play (and sing) Sheridan
on guitar” on a list of random to-dos,

meant to help straighten
my life out and
make some sense of
a broken heart and uncertain future.

Tonight I’m looking up tab
and telling myself tomorrow
I’ll begin to learn Sheridan
and someday I’ll sing it for you.

I think this one could go on
for years because tonight
I ache to count the freckles
that color your yellow cheeks brown.

and every moment of our lives
is colliding with 30 minutes
we spent in my parents’ driveway,
encompassing fifty plus years-

our ages added together because
even our years together would be
seen different thru the other’s eyes,
@ six thirty pm on July 29th 20-16.

26 Things I’ve Learned About (My) Life So Far (Everyday Inspiration, Day 2)

  1. It’s okay to be sad.
  2. I will struggle with depression for my entire life, and
  3. that is okay.
  4. Falling in love isn’t a bad thing in and of it’s self.
  5. It’s okay to have crushes.
  6. It’s okay to feel “too” much and
  7. it’s okay to be sensitive, but
  8. it is not okay to treat other people like crap.
  9. When I’m myself people actually like me.
  10. I am beautiful on the outside.
  11. People enjoy my written voice and
  12. people enjoy my spoken voice too.
  13. I am capable of more than I ever thought.
  14. Hard work with a purpose is great for my soul.
  15. Sunshine encourages me to bloom.
  16. Collecting other people’s secrets doesn’t mean those people are my friends.
  17. My children aren’t messed up, so far.
  18. R didn’t leave because he didn’t love me;
  19. he left because he truly does love me.
  20. Unconditional love does not mean staying with the person for life.
  21. I would be missed by at least one person and
  22. one is more than enough.
  23. My actions cause ripples that go so far beyond my control and
  24. that is reason enough to be more mindful of my actions.
  25. I forget all of these things on a bad day, but I need to remember them.
  26. I need to remember to LOVE.

Saturdays are Good for Somethings

I’m in love with C. That sucks. I don’t know if he’s ever gonna come around again, but if he does I’ve worked it out in my head how to stay just friends. If he never comes around, I’ll be okay, I’ll miss him, but I’ll be okay. I’ve learned how to let go and recover, I might cry a little, I’ll write poems about him, maybe I’ll always love him with a little piece of my heart, but I’ll always love him, I know this. I hope he’s doing okay. I deleted him from my phone because I didn’t want to risk saying stupid things to him. He needs time to heal and maybe he doesn’t know how to be friends with a girl he’s into, and maybe he’s into me too, maybe. I don’t know if I’m right, but I think C picks a certain kind of girl, and he thought I was that sort of girl, but I am not. This thought brought forth a line:

Maybe damsels in distress who can’t won’t save themselves shouldn’t be rescued at all.

I had a great day today. I hung out with H. Coffee, bookstore, sushi and saki. It was really great. H is weird, excuse me, creative. We were going to get Pink Ladies at Starbucks, they were all out, H was devastated. We got white mochas instead, his hot mine iced. He’s reading Almost Home by Jessica Blank, I’m reading Me Before You. I gave H Blue Like Jazz. H bought 5 books, I bought 3. H claims he’s not very bookish, yet he ended up with like 10 books in the backseat of his car. I got Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (who apparently also wrote a book called In Cold Blood, which the bookstore lady described as a rather graphic crime story), Animal Farm by George Orwell, and The Taming of the Shrew (the No Fear Shakespeare edition). I don’t remember all of the books H got, but it seemed like a pretty good selection. I almost walked out with Message in a Bottle (Nicholas Sparks), but put it down in favor of picking something with more depth and street cred, hence my three final choices. H went pee in the bookstore, in the restroom of course. He texted me from in there – “It’s good to use the restroom here”. Apparently the bookstore has an amazing facility – the walls are wallpapered with book pages, it is beautiful. H treated me to sushi. I actually managed to kind of sort of use chopsticks okay. And I tried saki for the first time, not a fan.

After, I took the bus to my brother’s house and hung out with my family. That was really great too. I love my family. They are so weird, I mean, creative. I laughed so hard. I spent some time looking after my three little nieces, they are all so precious. Everyone said they were glad I came. My family hasn’t always liked me, they used to think I was stuck-up. I don’t think they think that anymore. We talked about taking over this town as a family. We’d have a coffee/burger joint, a bed and breakfast, a tow service, and I think an auto restoration service was thrown in there too.

And I decided I’m going to splurge on bookshelves for myself next month. Sometimes I refuse to spend money on myself, but this time I logicked this out and it makes sense to buy the bookshelves. I have tons of books, I have no intention of getting rid of any books (except occasionally giving one away to a friend, and then I’ll probably buy myself another copy of the book), I buy new books often (this week I got 10 total, I think, and I should be getting one more in the mail on Monday), books enrich my life, books widen my vocabulary, books help me process difficult parts of life, books are important to me beyond description. So my books should have a lovely place to call home.