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

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

i feel it all

i light a fire out the backyard

in the freezing cold

i watch the coals sizzle and whisper quiet words of rage

i take an ice cold shower on  a frozen day

and i shiver all morning, coughing and sneezing

and making a mess

bitch and moan about how the world will never be the same again

i scroll through my phone and i feel it all

like an arrow through my chest, i bleed and i cry and i live it again

wake up early, and stay up late

i put my soul into these words and i throw them all away

‘cause i don’t know if i can keep going for one more fucking day

i talk about honesty through my pretty brave face

and i don’t tell you the truth because i’m scared you’ll walk away

i smile and nod, and i sob through all the tissues on the car ride home

i crawl inside my head, and don’t let myself out for weeks on end

i try to help and i fail, again, again, again

i pray to something that i don’t believe in

i call you on the phone

i go to the beach in the pouring rain

i scream until i haven’t got even a whisper left to go

and then i walk down the highway, all the way home

wash my jeans and go to sleep

and try to hold myself gently; hold on and don’t let go

‘cause things are changing and i’m not ready

to stay up crying on my own

firefly

i. so here’s the thing? it’s gotten better, right? so then why does the sea roar with fury, as it reaches up to the bleeding sky? why does my heart race like butterfly wings, as i peer over the edge at the cars below; little fireflies, crawling down the road. and here’s the thing: the stars still shine, and history still unfolds. how come no one good is remembered? how come we doom ourselves a little bit each day? how come it’s awful, and self-defeating, bum-bum-bum in my chest. but the stars still shine, and people still try their best. they still grow flowers in their gardens, even when it feels like the end. and god, that makes me furious.

ii. yeah. i know, i know, i know. my heroes died so many years ago. i’ve made them epitaphs, burned their bodies to ash and left them bleeding on the floor. i know no one is what they seem once you’ve looked them in the eye; and growing up just means you don’t get to believe in much of anything anymore. so i’ve long since smashed up those pedestals in my mind. ’cause all the skeletons i worshipped, now they reek of rotting flesh. but sometimes i still feel that rage like it’s yesterday, because and you made a promise, that i didn’t have to worry. that you knew what you were doing. that everything would be okay.

iii. i hope they don’t remember me. i hope nobody will lay me down n their garden; dance and weep and sob and cry, and wonder what they’re going to do without me by their side. but they will, i know it; like the back of my hand. like fate, and destiny, a million small inevitabilities, tangled up in hate. like people fall in love just to break it; slice up their palms cleaning up the mess on the kitchen floor. i hope i am loved with no complications, i hope the words i say are always true. i hope that when you wake up from the surgery, i am right there beside you, holding your hand. i hope you love me like those daisy petals you toss to the dirt. but when the city lights go out, and i am left alone, it wouldn’t be the worst fate. just another firefly, crawling down the road.

shooting stars and bad dreams

when the fridge stops working, and the dishwasher floods the kitchen

when the drywall cracks beneath the weight

of childhood portraits anchored into its abyss

yeah, when the city crumbles, when the lights turn off

when the big one comes

and the asteroid wipes out half the human race

when we stumble through the blacked-out city, 12am, dizzy and numb

looking up at the stars

asking which one we’ll become

say that you’ll find me

in the fault lines, and used glass bottles

in stifled screams

bite your hand until it bleeds

spin around in circles, and wash the fuse go

in flashlight tag

in melting icicles and broken teeth

i’m gonna fix it

i’m gonna hold your hand, and take a deep breath

and make a to-do list

rip out the floors, scavenge for scraps among the wreckage

of things that used to be

hang the paintings on a stud line

frame the pictures new again

fix the wires

and make a cup of tea

when the walls start to shake

and the sky wraps it’s spindly fingers right around my throat

when my fingers are numb to the touch

and the world fades out to grey

and we’ll make the best of a bad deal

we’ll laugh and sit in awkward silence

we’ll hold hands, and i’ll think

that you’re worth a couple stars

and that’s nothing new