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I feel vulnerable and my body aches

with uncertainty.

I become anxiety

when my plans tank.

But I still want to hear about

your day.

What happened in class—

the notes you write her,

the next drawing you make.

 

My eyes are always inside screens,

my mind on what I need to do,

my hands on something

I believe is more important.

But it isn’t.

Nothing is more important.

I need to turn and face you.

Time is not running out—

It is right here.

And so are you.

 

I am not young enough

to walk next to you in the halls,

and not old enough to

pass off as your mom.

I am in-between friend and parent,

wanting to have more power,

to give you what you need,

What you want.

I care too much

about your fingers, your music eyes,

your swollen heart.

You are not my child, but you are

worth all my time.

 

You are not the reason

I worry about money,

about where I will end up.

I feel your gratitude

even when you are distracted—

We all get distracted.

I feel like I always am.

 

My uncertain life would be hollow

without your stories, music,

and yearning to be heard.

 

Yes, I am scared.

But if you ever left—

There is nothing that scares me

more.

 

 

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Grad school and relationships

have the same process.

 

You fall in love, even though

you said you wouldn’t

 

when he left you on the stairs

Monday morning,

not even an apology text after.

He didn’t want to give you

a chance,

even after he paid for dinner

and listened to your life story—

 

He pretended he didn’t know

your name.

you became a statistic,

a Facebook friend,

a paper tucked underneath

all the others.

 

You hear about someone

just outside of town.

He is looking for someone—

but you know it can’t be you.

 

No one thinks you have

the right credentials.

You should just find a job

and stay home.

 

You decide to send him a letter

anyways,

 

Almost don’t include the return address.

When rejection is guaranteed

it takes the edge of

the deep-rooted

devastation.

 

He calls you.

Your face buzzes,

a moment packed with

so much—

happy.

Drunk

on the phone’s heat

 

After the first date,

he moves in.

The talk of children—

you lose your appetite

for the left over pizza

in the fridge.

 

You are too tired to make love,

but he doesn’t understand.

he wants to see more of you,

 

He gives you a ring,

and you stay up

flipping through the

wedding magazines,

writing down vendors,

asking your friends what they think.

Their opinions

Their ideas,

Their feedback.

 

You don’t know how you feel

about anything.

 

You don’t remember what it’s like

to have nothing to do,

to have a moment where

you aren’t falling behind.

The date is rolling towards you

like a runaway wheelbarrow.

You don’t know if you should

try to stop it

or run away.

 

But in the middle of the night,

the moon is between

the tree branches

and nothing needs to happen

right now,

 

And you feel him next to you,

stuck in a dream,

But he is suddenly

the most real part

of you.

 

When he turns over in bed—back to you

and you are wide awake,

You trace his spine

with your fingers

and feel his warmth.

It isn’t until then

you realize

you have never loved anything

quite this much.

 

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I look at my hands

like they are digital

and bright

with messages and ads

on them.

 

I don’t feel capable

of nurturing you.

I stare at screens

too much

to pay attention to you.

 

I can’t have free time

when I feel guilty

being mindless.

 

I remember you

but I forget how to

handle you.

I care about you

and don’t care about you

until it is over.

Then you become

something else.

 

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Does his dresser still have our initials

carved into its side

with a knife-made-heart

framing them?

I wonder if you feel how deep

the markings are

with your index finger—

 

On the mornings he

goes to work,

you are left with

a naked mattress.

Or maybe you convinced him

to get a comforter set.

Maybe he makes his bed

now.

 

When it rains, does he look

at you?

He stays in his room

and doesn’t take

his medication

so he can feel the pain

a little bit longer.

He is trying not to yell

at you,

so he ignores you

instead.

 

Do you stare at the toy

in his therapist’s waiting room?

The one that has the beads

you can slide along

the green, red, yellow, blue

skinny rods—

The roller coaster controlled

by little hands.

 

I hope when he takes you

to New Jersey

he buys you dresses too.

I want you to have

a caricature done

of you two

at a festival

and I want him to

smile at you

when you dress up

and when you don’t dress up

and when you are in sweats,

concentrating hard

on your laptop screen.

 

I want him to ask you

what you bought at Target

with your mom,

how your day was with

your best friend,

what you had for dinner—

 

When you see your

reflection in his TV

I want you to feel real,

and not like a character

in one of his

video games.

 

I couldn’t be the girl he drew

in his comics,

the one who always saved him

from the dark monster

living in his mind.

Thank you for being

the girl in the next edition

that takes over.

I no longer wonder

if he fell out of frame.

 

I live in another story now

and there are no more pages

left for him.

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(Published in Ibbetson Street Press, Issue 38, November 2015)

 

A cold lap waits for

a silent pulse,

late into the morning

when the mind remembers

again.

The heavy hangover

of grief

makes the wallpaper bubble

like humidity,

but the rest of the room

is the same.

 

The digital clock is stuck.

It will always be today—

Even when the minutes roll

through their cycle,

when the cycle feels

rusted, tired, and achy.

 

We often forget that we have

four hearts.

One in our chest—

in each hand,

and our face.

My hands have held you

when you were

the size of

my hands.

My face has felt your whiskers,

the pads on your paws,

your salmon dinner breath.

All my hearts ache for your

body,

 

but I feel the weight of you

on my bed,

my lap, the window sill,

the place where the

red cardinal

pecked at the leaves,

looked in my eyes,

and scraped some of the ache

away

right before he took off.

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Hey everyone! It is my pleasure to share this with you. My dear friend has spent the past few months creating something incredible to music. I have been lucky enough to be a part of this process by providing edits and feedback. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Cryptic Dreams

Signs of things to come...

Hello. Welcome to Pathfinder, the new official name of this story. This project started out as a simple idea for a gift, and has become so much more than that. This nine-part story is dedicated to my favorite musical artist in the world: Kubbi.

On February 5th, 2015, he released the album Ember. This story is a response to that very soundtrack. Each part of this story correlates with a song from Ember, and is correspondingly named. Pathfinder is an adventure that I hope you will enjoy. Thanks so much to Kubbi for releasing this amazing and inspiring creation. If you enjoy what you hear, please go give your support to him.

I’d also like to thank Emily Pineau of Nilly Writes for reviewing and helping me edit and being very supportive throughout the process of writing this.

The story corresponds with the soundtrack. I highly encourage listening while…

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Hey everyone! I apologize for not posting a lot lately. I’ve been consumed with grad school application materials, papers, and finishing up my last semester of college.

But I do have exciting news…

I am now a freelance writer for Skirt Collective! And my first article has been posted.

You can view it here:

http://www.skirtcollective.com/love-hate-relationship-depression-abuse/

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