Thursday, September 20, 2018

For Raja

I don’t know how to live without dogs.
My spirit needs
bad manners
unrestrained joy
eyes full of trust
cold noses in the morning

As a little girl
I would whisper future plans
into a wolf dogs lazy ear
we’d both smile
in the way that animals do
teeth bared to everyone
but the pack

My dog and I don’t lie to each other.
I tell her secrets and
She tells me she wants more

I tell her
we will be putting you down
the same way I wanted to put myself down
all those years ago
but we got through that
Remember that, girl?
good girl
good girl

Dogs will teach you everything
you need to know
about how to love
they will not exaggerate
their dedication
they will love you exactly
as you deserve

What happens to the dog
when the little girl grows up?
Stops tying bandanas and bows
around furry head
invites boys into her bed instead

the girl goes on
needing her dog
and her dog waits for her to come home.

So now I take care of her
the way she always took care of me
and I try to love others
the way she always loved me

A dog will die today
just like every day.
It doesn’t feel like every day
to me.

What happens to the girl
when the dog dies?

the girl goes on
needing her dog
and her dog waits for her to come home.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Click the image below to read "Wolves" in Oyster River Pages' 2017 issue.

Monday, July 17, 2017

How terrifying it is
to watch yourself grow
feel your body take up more space
than ever before

your chest swells
with all the words
you're finally ready to say

You see each phase of yourself
all more beautiful than the last
grow again

You are everchanging
with curve
and crescent
just like the moon

and isn't that womanhood?
stretching yourself
across the sky
just because you can

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sometimes Love surprises you

when you find it waiting
in the pocket of those awful jeans
you bought when you were in high school
and that concert ticket falls out
you're grateful for one of the few memories
that hasn't faded

or when you find Love slow dancing in the living room
of your first apartment
to a song that isn't a slow dance song
but you dance anyway

or when Love gripped you quick, fast
on that hike
on that trail that was full of broken branches
fallen leaves
and you couldn't breathe in without
Love filling your lungs

or when Love slipped under your tongue
while you were drinking your coffee
and there wasn't enough chicory in the world
to wash away the taste of him

or- or that time Love found you kneeling
clung to the dirt under your finger nails
as you planted seeds you weren't sure would grow
and ain't that the best Love
the kind that's full of the unsure and the surprise and the effort
to dig, plant
dig, plant
and hope

Friday, March 31, 2017

Student Says

Mrs. Cole sometimes its hard to talk to people
because I talk weird
walk weird
I hope you understand me
Does this make sense, Mrs. Cole?
It's just that my brain is different
Does this sound good, Mrs. Cole?

His hand shakes
waits for me to tell him he's good enough
because to him, I'm good enough

He drinks in the conversation
lived enough of his life in thirst
to savor a kind word

I try not to hate the people
that made him doubt his voice


there are a thousand ways to be woman
right now I am the kind that knows you are looking
eyes roaming my pages
for your story

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


there are a thousand ways to be a woman
or really, only 3

right now i am the maiden
and i am treading
along the edges of your flesh
the winged future nestled in my breast

right now i am the mother
bound to anyone selfish enough
to need me

right now i am the crone
and everything she has lived
and lost