Fresh Mint

Fidelity is a hard color for a fool to wear

They will hold it in their hand
like smoke
and watch as the wind carries it away

As if its ashes smell of young cinnamon
they will follow it blindly
but only while it pleases them

Though soon
everything will begin to smell the same
and fresh mint will draw them elsewhere


Your Façade

A stone was thrown into the water where she wept
On one side a mushroom sat, and on the other sat a rose
Drawn to the rose, it intrigued her
A brilliant red hue, she wanted to be her

Who wouldn’t?

She was awed by its beauty
But it was just a reflection of the mushroom
It was what it wanted to show

It had saved her, but she was blinded
by the hallucinations that it gave her
Toxic. Nauseous. No good.

It would break her
Weather her smooth and shape her
It would shake her
and she’d lose herself in the ripples again

She’d been drawn to the deep with words and foul play
Just a game that’d been made for fun
No harm done
No shame

“Try her shoes?”
“…but they’re scuffed and bruised.”
“Buy them new…?”
“They’d rub raw.”
“Then who knows where they will take her…”
“Do you know?”
“Not at all.”


The Oyster is the Key.

Salt so pure I can feel it in my bones, see it in the air
Reflective beauty is a canvas we are not meant to understand.
Can I be by the ocean one last time? I’d like that.
To see the tides washing crushed shells in an easy motion.
The blasting sound of the waves? Never-ending moon calls?
Starry nights and cool sand? Seaweed holding me to low tides?
Mermaids dancing in endless rotation, pearl dust on their scales?
“The oyster is the key.” he once exclaimed.

Blue flowers with ears of mice are now all I see.

Many years passed. Who was he again?
He never told me what door to unlock and where I could find it.
How can I get there? From the windows of this room
Cold and white, it seems impossible. There is only brick.
Perhaps he meant for me to know or said it once before
And like my daughter I lost it in the pages of musty books,
Bent pictures stored away in old shoe boxes, edges burnt.
Faces faded off and charred black. You would think I’d remember.

“The oyster is the key.” Yes. I know.
“The oyster is the key.” Yes, yes. I know.


The Thought of You

Falling fast, the snowflake crumbles.
Slipping, sliding as it stumbles.

Knee deep, I chase after you.
Your footsteps imprinted
are too large

You turn to notice
And now I’m on your shoulders.

The footsteps look smaller
from so high up
farther away
and soon gone forever

To reach, to dream, to slip, to break
To stumble, get up again, and take
a step back from reality

White walls, white styrofoam, wide-eyed
White snow, white tiles, white-knuckled

Lump in your throat.
Hung dry.
It’s okay to cry.

White turns to black and I’m lost again
Weak kneed, chasing after you

But where?

Black clothes, black sags, black umbrellas.
Black skies, black knuckles, black coffin

White turns to black
Black turns to grey
And soon color begins
to fade back into view

A little less than what you were
And very far from perfect

Always chasing
the thought of you


Joker’s Hand

I’m playing from the Joker’s hand
and the cards aren’t in it for me.
Heart’s a full house, no diamonds.
Face flushed from the Jack high,
I can’t go from club to club so
Just call me when you’re ready.
I see through your poker face,
Play straight, stop folding early.
God knows mamma didn’t raise you
To keep that King hidden so long.
Throw me an ace under the table
Cause I wanna go all in.



I love the way you laugh and I love the way you sing
I love how all life’s bitterness just crumbles to your feet
And you walk on it so gracefully on you way back to the moon
You could make a floating garden out of dust if you so choose

I can’t be your voice of reason. I won’t tell you right from wrong
But I’ll learn your favorite colors, and I’ll write your favorite song
Could you smother me with humor, and laugh at all my fears
Take the breath right from my lungs until the smoke decides to clear
Weigh me down with blackened roses, let the thorns take to my flesh
You’d never have to speak a word. You are irony at best

You can make water taste of salt, or turn a heart to stone
Make the sun fade in color with the kindness you have shown
Make a blind man see your beauty, and a mute man want to sing
Make a cripple start to dance. Make a deaf ear start to ring
A wrong man want to change, and a right one turn from God
Make a poor man turn to gold and back to ashes when you’re gone


To Fall Asleep Beneath a Willow Tree

He’s heading to the altar, but for what he will not say.
The path is lit with skeletons and candles along the way.
“Shush,” he says, “they’ll hear us, you creaking bones of mine.”
I used you poorly in youth, and with that, there comes a fine.
Those questions left unanswered are now better buried deep
Thrown away with other treasures like the promises I keep.

If a downy feather can fall and crush a worker’s home,
Can a day be as heavy as petty words and throwing stones?
A noose of stolen pearls and a ring made out of bone,
Copper, thread, and plastic never looked so fine alone.
Gold will never do as it’s too quick to welcome greed
Funny how happiness tends to favor smaller things.

The echoes of the cardinals singing carols in his head
Once white as winter tears, the world must suit him better red.
Dried from bitter seasons and whips with splintered ends,
Breezes come and go just as fast as numbered friends.
There’s never any meaning to initials scarred on bark
Any fool can carve an x, or put an arrow through a heart.

Regret has no end for those who choose to never see
“How bad I’d love to fall asleep beneath a willow tree.”