but my soul, how you keep

sun peeks through
open blinds. my eyes
rest on the bedspread—
i want touch the light,
feel the warmth as if
your hand has mine
enclosed. what would
i tell your concerned
eyes? i am tired dreaming
my death. the way i poised
myself against her small
bathroom sink, where i said,
“i like writing poetry about my family
& God. & you?” and this woman
who isn’t my grandma, comes
before my face & snips my tear
ducts, pulling me close into question:
“what are you doing?” i can’t scream,
seeing red fall, but disappear before
the drops hit the tile floor. i felt my arms
pull & push back this demon disguised
as he who tries scaring me in place,
but you must have scooped me
in your arms when all went black.
you must have tapped me awake
& sat still with me as i wondered,
“jesus, why did that feel as i were drowning?”
slumbering into another dream where i can’t
escape—

and they’re kept in peace

She listens

as rain hurries

past, birds keeping

melodious company

with one another. She

marvels at how they call

over & over without care 

they may be a bother. They 

are not confined to lies inside

their mind: you loser, idiot, you

can’t fly. You made a mistake,

you should have remembered

not to turn to the side; now 

you’ve fallen out of the sky &

tears beg streaming apology.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean

to. Give up already, would you?

You’re weak, needy, & Jesus overcame the world, but look 

how much he cares about the small

stuff now. He turned water to wine, yet leaves you wondering: how can

he love me when one wrong move 

leaves me aching his arms about me?

Birds don’t long with water hitting their eyeglasses. No, they sing, letting this man of many sorrow chart their ways.

& a benjamin never changed hands

she pulls
& i push
the cart—
fried chicken,
pizza, raspberries,
chocolate muffins,
milk, lemon & lime
juice, beans,
tortillas, etc.
i move a wave.
my white tennis
shoes passing
a person wheeling
mountain dew & other
carbonated beverage. a
woman talks about her
day opposite russell
stoffer chocolate.
the checkout lady
tells another employee
“they sure do!” need to
watch some video,
before handing me
a white slip totaling
my purchases.
soon we are driving
home & she tells me
there’s a luxury tax
for anything diminishing
light in your eyes,
laughing breaths,
tears reeling a
friend’s joke
out squirmy
stomach depth.
i stare through
passengers window,
remembering how
you called the tax
collector, love &
he left h

Save Me, Please!

She dreams she is drowning.

Someone is pushing her head under

frigid water. She tries reaching,

moving her arms in snow angel

motion, hoping someone will see

her flare. She counts one, two, three,

four, five. She is flailing. This hand

pushes harder. Colder. Six. Seven.

Eight. Nine. Ten. She asks God, Am I

dead? No answer. Somehow, she is

breathing. Fighting to pull herself

back to oxygen. A familiar voice calls

her name. She opens her eyes,

mutters a groggy, hmm? She is alive.

Her heart no longer screaming.

At Least You Have Punch Lines

God knows this garbage in my mind.

What did you do today? You cried.

Baby bottle sucker. Did mommy warm

your milk for you? Pacify your fear

with cookies n cream extra large

candy bat, pretzel goldfish?

Addressing you with all in all

best setiment: you’ll be okay.

I’ll be six minutes up the road,

instead of 5 hours away this time.

You believed that? Silly, silly girl.

What if she needs you with desperation again?

What are you going to do? Throw up your hands,

begging Jesus to swing you as a child clasps

hands with their mother? If you think you can

hold hands with an invisible Father, your view

proves anything but clear. You’ve always been

practically blind, so there explains why you grope

onto anything possibly moving beyond: Once

upon a time, there was a little girl. Her feet were a

fork in the road. One took her in circles. The other, straighter,

itched for constant, forward motion. Her family broke her heart,

coming to bitter ruin through divorce. Love became void inside her.

One day, someone said: Cry Yahweh. Though your mother & father

forsake you, He takes you in.

She furrowed her brow, unsure how

this He could keep her from drifting away

ninety-three percent, with seven percent possibility

she’ll receive love without fault. She’s been ridding

a broken merry go round, begging the tired, mechanical

horse take to the hills. He never moves off his circle track.

He needs reason to move. Or a tug on the reins. She resigned

herself to believe: this is love.

Poor, lonely stone heart.

There is no question, Will you wake me

with the water of Life, as You poured over Noah

and his ark? No, the plot never chances a twist.

No Savior answering a pleading request.

Only you and inescapable lonely.

And you say you’re a writer?

Long Distance Fault

My back warms

against a screened

in fire. I think of my wayward

distance between You and I.

How many days I’ve disregarded

Your promise: Peace I leave with

you, My child.

How I do not see this amongst

warring trenches between my heart

and mind. One says, be still & know.

The other screams, no, no, no you

must do something worthy to make

those seeds underfoot grow. Water

and sunlight, drink or warmth, they

need you. Don’t wait for Jesus’ time

frame to make those Magnolias

blossom come next spring. Smell

the sweet perfume now, now, now.

November will bring silent wither,

freezing goodness beneath chilled

soil. You better hurry along now

before all your dreams burn out,

and you die along with the

catchphrase people couldn’t help

branding you: she couldn’t handle

divine approval. Such a fool.

I can’t break my mind’s thought

train, no doubt conducted

by the serpent. I know he has no

hands, not to mention You’ve

crushed his scaled body underfoot.

He somehow keeps pulling

the whistle, warning the pulsing beat

You spoke into the empty womb.

Bleak with the question: when shall

she come?

I came three days past

mid April bloom, unaware the blood

darker than these orange flames,

meant a well wish You would carry

my lame to boast Your never end.

Instead, I Bit My Begging Tongue Seeking Rest

I keep hearing a whisper

small enough to come

from my troubled breath.

Trust.

I press the number,

listening as a woman questions

how she can help.

I explain calling yesterday,

how I haven’t received

an answer yet.

My voice becomes

silent, static filling

my eardrums thinking

maybe she hung up.

Nervous tense.

Surprise breaks forth,

almost a laugh

not able to clear

the crackling. Well,

of course you haven’t heard

back. It takes up to 48 hours,

2 days for someone to hear back.

I don’t catch anything, except

48 hours. 2 days. I go quiet,

hoping this will sink,
stick as a post-it note

He’s been writing all over

my heart: Be still & know

I am God. I will fight this

battle for you. I speak again,

Okay, thank you. I know

I sounded dead. No, I think

empty of any control, better suits

the tone aiding my grief.

I wanted to tell her: I’m doing

what I’m asked. I don’t want

to go here, but this is my only

option. I’m so tired of working

for approval, From you, everyone else,

God, and most importantly myself.

I have to reach the top, without

asking for help. Of course

I want friends, but they distract me

from work I should, know I have to

get done. I can’t multitask. One

or the other, or none. I want Him, God,

to prolong this as long as He wants.

I have made too many mistakes,

making any good and perfect gift

given by my Father above,
a too soon undeserving cry:

I hurt You. You can’t give me

anything. I don’t deserve anything

if I bawl, instead of thanking You

for loving me through each failing.

I’m sorry if this too much,

but you must know the longing

when you’ve strayed away

your lover’s hand, groping

day and might to rest

the apologetic fingers inside.

Where’s Joy?

The way I am wishing

to become a winter song.

When words fall out my

lovingkindness drawn mouth,

they will be quiet welcome.

Snow collects on dirtied soil

without asking: May I rest here

awhile? We must be okay with the

chill, because we carry left over cold

as a souvenir for our hearts. We

point out past wrongs, you left

school, you won’t go back.

You’ll never hold this down,

pay this back. You’ll never be like

me. You’re a jerk. Idiot. Asshole.

Sucker. Now replace that with an F.

This is what I hear. I can’t lie, saying

complaint doesn’t rear it’s ugly

blackhead, pimple I am sure will

need popped by week’s end. I can

never see them, but they are as

painful as these words slain on a

cross. More bloody than the slightest

whimper I make about hurt I can’t

control. Joy is hard to swallow,

especially when I’m handed this gift

daily. I fight to believe the way other

people talk, never has to be

normalcy. People I don’t know well.

dare to call me sweet, beautiful,

friend, as I swim up a current, so

don’t fall into conformity. If I am

honest, I have overthought more on

God’s love for me, believing every

day, His love is the same as my

family. The quick snake tongues

never pride empty. Strike. Strike.

Strike. It’s not a turkey, I’ve only

bowled once perfectly.

It’s me, trying not swing back at their

falsehoods to produce a grand slam

belief: this is the way life has to be.

Wearying

Today, I haven’t read Your Word
in depth as I should.

I read a promise instead: According to your faith, it will done to you.

No other context to fill the gaps, we both know I have.

I cannot focus on big pictures though.

Only small, bite sized pieces of bread.

Enough to fill my shrinking stomach,

growling for substance, but not the
kind the world says it will fill.

My eyes fall to before the promise: Then he touched their eyes.

Translated: Then he touched my eyes.

My sight enclosed by You.

Light.

I see the Sun

outside my window.

I want to get to know

this silent, warming greeting.

Never intending intimidation.

Rather, constant welcome

I fear facing for awkwardness

I contrive by facing You.

Silence feels a waste of time

I don’t know to do.

I can’t be.

The time will run out.

I will be filled,

letting my soul sink when someone

enters the room.

I want to lie down

shut out the worldly thoughts

incessantly plaguing me.

Time is running away.

You are doing nothing purposeful,

getting to know Jesus.

He’s already taking long enough with you.

That’s love?

You gotta fall fast.

Hard.

You have to HURRY UP.

You could die tomorrow.

What then, huh?

What are people going to remember?

Your faith all this will work out?

Nah, the way you throw yourself into a corner, beating yourself mentally up because you still feel you are not enough.

Real winner.

Jesus, I am not strong enough.

I know these are lies.

They are what I yearn would leave me orphaned, forsake me.

You would the way I am crippled,

I wouldn’t disregard my slow movement as a curse from You.

But sometimes I do.

Where would it get me?

Broken-hearted.

Bruised.

I am sorry for wanting independence from You.

Standing tall and proud of something I did.

Divided from You.

No meaning.

You say: I shall not want. I shall lie beside still water on green pasture.
You will provide my every need in the riches of You.
Love is patient, kind, does not envy, forgives, rejoices with the truth.
You don’t change as shifting shadows.

I do not see well.

Overwhelm me.

Replace these blinding thoughts with You.