on a good day

i’ve been getting up early

just to waste time, and run

all the way to work, and i’ll get there

just two minutes late

i’ll feel like shit about it anyway

i miss you like a dagger, straight to the heart

i miss you sharp and strong and good

i miss you like an art, like the long

silence like the things lost in text

a picture says a thousand words, or so i’ve been told

and i don’t know if that true, but what i know 

is that i’m tired, these days and i have all the time in the world

that i still choose to waste

yeah, i’ve been curling into myself

these days

and letting it all go

but on a good day, it’s not gonna cross my mind

on a good day, i’m half-asleep and still all right

and i’m bright and early and i’m good

i bring you tea and i run the laundry

and i sit with my thoughts, dip my toes into murky saltwater

yeah, on a good day, someday

i’m gonna take it with a smile and walk along the shore

and everything that bothers me is hardly

an issue anymore

on a good day i’m gonna swallow 

every drop of cough syrup, i’m gonna be healthy

real good

you know how it goes

i’m gonna get up, and run as far as my legs can go

come home with energy to spare

just you wait and see 

how good it’ll be, just come next week

how i’ll be brave and i’ll be mature 

and i’ll do the work without a word

we’ll read side by side

i’ll talk with you for hours, i’ll feel perfectly fine

from the top of my head to the tips of my toes

and i’ll stay that way in the morning sun

for quite some time

the woods

i’m walking through these brambles, i’m tripping on the roots

of trees that have stood here since long before i came here

and when i leave, someday, they will continue to grow up to the sky

and i wonder if my mother has walked these paths before

if my grandmother collapsed in despair between tree-roots,

and if her mother sat in fields of scotch broom, despondent

trying to pull them out one-by-one to no avail

i prick myself on the briar rose and wonder how long disease

has marked these leaves, made petals shrivel and fall to the ground

and i’d pick you a bouquet, darling

but i don’t know when i’ll come back around

and at night, everything feels monstrous and scary

and the wind howls songs i’ve never heard on the radio

never blasted at work to get away from my mind

never hummed to myself, tried with all my might to stay on tune

my lungs shake like feathers

i’ve got nothing left to do

i’m walking through these briars, and i’m wading through the creek

the jagged rocks painting red along the soles of my feet

remember when we were little kids, pushing at the boundaries and wandering

through the suburban wilderness out into the unknown

walk until we were dizzy, until your parents got worried and it was far past time

to get home

i’m sitting by the river now, tracing the initials painted on stone

and i wonder how long my name will echo, when i leave this place

wonder how long it’ll take to fade from memory, before every one of my footsteps

has been erased

i’ll build a home in the trees

and i’ll trace the perimeter with each sunrise

i’ll make a home through the branches of the trees

and i’ll pretend i don’t give a fuck, even though i do

i’ll walk away, someday

and in the bottom of my chest, i’m always going to miss you

queen anne’s lace

in my head, you and i are both

nine, maybe ten years old

and the world seems bigger from down below

from long hair and crooked teeth

and we climb up the trees

i wish the air would get thin

i wish i couldn’t breathe

remember when i thought

you had a third degree burn?

but it was only queen anne’s lace

a fact i quickly learned

so we walked through the trees, and i tried

to be just like you, i tried to fit in

i always knew you’d slip away from me, i guess

it’s just a matter of when

and if you read this now, i imagine

you’d be rolling your eyes

but i still wonder about you, from time to time

ended up in your old neighbourhood

just up the street by circumstance

the white-picket fences and the neatly trimmed lawns

and no one knows you, but i thought i did

back when the differences between us

were still creeks to be hopped over

and not oceans to be crossed

call me nostalgic

or melodramatic

‘cause lately i’ve been feeling old

lately, i’ve been running my fingers 

over the pockmarked scars still left behind

from back when you were the world to me

lately, i’ve been thinking

that love never heals

it is an open wound in the back of your closet

an unfinished page you can never quite forget

and i still remember,

when we lay on the grass and it all seemed perfect in our heads

we’d be best friends forever, we’d buy an apartment 

in the city, and everything would go our way

i guess it’s easy to romanticize a time

when my feet were never sore

when my back never ached

i saw you at the skating rink, the other day

and hid my face on purpose

which goes to show, there’s not much that’s changed

i still read the books we read

and my parents still make jokes about the things we used to do

after all this time,

i still don’t know what to say to you

weeping summer

this summer, the trees buckle 

under the weight of september

an unwelcome guest, she comes too soon

her raindrops drip down my cheeks

and the ice-cold water only ever

gets up to my  toes

so i run as fast as i can for the horizon

in search of better days

but my limbs are not my own

as jagged tree-branches rip at my clothes

and oh god, what am i getting into?

so i try to speak, but i’m all out of air

as the commercials play on loop

and butterflies dance in my hair

and i try to find you

between messages unsent

i sit at my desk, sunday afternoon

spinning out codes on the floor

of my good old living room

i think about gods i don’t believe in

and things i’ve got to do

before i’m gone

isn’t it fun? how the things you hated

soften under a rose-coloured touch

how in the hindsight of the present,

maybe my elders knew a thing or two

i run out on the driveway

a second, maybe two

and feel the water soak through my shirt

let me be the waterfall

of bitterness and hurt

let me be careful what i wish for

let me get my dream come true

let me sit at the end of the tunnel

surrounded by light, and think

oh god, what am i going to do?

vertigo swirls around my stomach

i don’t like wind in my hair

i don’t like happenstance or wilderness

i don’t like breathing in this air

but i do, i do, i do

i want to be her

i want to be her, that person

who smiles and sets the room ablaze

i want to be that person, who’s got energy

and patience for days

who solves your problems with the flick of her hand

i want to be her

who exceeds all expectations

who sends the crowds roaring 

with unanimous applause

and make the grade with room to spare

and they’d all say she’s doing good, that girl over there

i want to be her, holding you in strong arms

unshaking, unbreaking, solid and strong

i want to drive you across the city

quiet your fears with the touch of my palm

i want to be her, that girl

who is liked and who is loved

whose muscles do not ache

whose shoulders never buckle

beneath the weight of it all

i want to be her

who has never sunk to the ground with muddy knees

a tired back, and told the water

that her eyes have turned to jade

that her arms are frozen inside casts of marble

before sunrise, she’ll be a statue

i want to be her

graceful and elegant and always on time

chipping away the flaws in her marble,

she’ll replace it in due time