Archive for February, 2012


when we were young, all we knew was summer:
we caught fireflies with bare hands
and made daisy-chain crowns,
claiming that we believed in fairies
as we put on a play for the trees in the yard

we are young, but all we know is winter:
we shovel our way through the ceaseless snow
and make tire tracks in the salty roads
trying not to look too hard
because it mimics our eyes as we cry


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why we have parentheses

and here is something you ought to know
about me,
something i should have said out loud
but spoke only in thought
something you would know if minds
could be read like books

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dear sophie,

i am so sorry that i waited this long to ask to hear decades of stories, words you haven’t used in years, memories you barely even remember: sitting on a bookshelf like an old scrapbook, cobwebs around the photographs of your thoughts. i am sorry i waited til now to memorize the exact color of your eyes, and each wrinkle set in to your silky skin. i apologize for waiting until the athritis in your bones was born to ask for your recipe to make chop suey. i cannot tell you how much i regret waiting seventeen years to ask you how to speak serbian, and what your childhood was like, and why your parents came to america. sweet sophie, savata–tell me why they changed your name. tell me so i can pass it on, so i won’t forget, so no one will forget. savata, just know this: i am so, so, heartbreakingly sorry for taking you for granted until now.

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i don’t know you anymore

your eyes look like:
the sun rising behind a stained-glass window
a hurricane crashing into land
the smoke that fills the air after a cigarette is lit
an array of fish amidst a coral reef
my old, torn-up pair of blue jeans
dewdrops on forget-me-nots at dawn
waking up to a foggy window
the curtains drawn at 3 p.m.
a pool that i can’t see the bottom of.

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if my heart is a road map

sometimes i think my heart is a road map and
sometimes i think you are just driving through it.
Sometimes i think you are not going to Stay.

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i remember you

and the delay of trains that felt like days
the petals of snow behind my reflection
and the relief of reaching my destination.

i remember you

and the vastness of the evening sky
the empty landscapes i passed by
and the girl’s unspoken words
like an elephant in the room.

i remember you

and the trains passing by each other
like us if we crossed paths once more
beneath flower petals that fell like snow.

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the art of breath-catching

i can’t lose myself in fantasy
or music or even poetry
anymore, because you keep creeping
into my thoughts, unlocking the
closet in the back of my head and
standing prominently at the front
of my mind, showing up when i
close my eyes and disappearing as
i un-blink them.

one of the things i hate the most
is being interrupted and i’m
pretty sure that’s why my mom and
i don’t get along but somehow i
can’t hate you for interrupting me
in the most secretive
of places.

the pops and crackles that
ice cubes make in a cold drink
on a hot day are one of my favorite
things and you helped me realize
that i don’t realize what my favorite
things are until i’ve lived without
them for a long time.

most people call dandy lions weeds
but they’re my new favorite flower
because their ears listen to my
secret wishes and they do all they
can to help me along and what
they do best is give me

when i go on walks i don’t let
headphones invade my ears
because i like to be alone with
my thoughts and sometimes,
sometimes, i just can’t find that
song that i need right now and
i like to make one up instead.

the willow tree’s canopy doesn’t
stretch to the park but it’s close
enough to the swingsets that i
feel protected and when i swing
i’m moving too fast for even the
wind to catch up with me.

and when life is moving as fast
as it ever will i’m moving as slow
as a ninety-year-old woman but
i try to catch up as best i can and
that’s when i know i haven’t
caught my breath in a long,
long time.

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