high school interrupted

in the 1990’s

your flannel shirt

was a cultural ticket

that took you

greasy haired

through a graffiti pocked

bathroom stall door

to a grunge w├╝nderland

where herpes came standard

with every tribal tattoo

nirvana whining

about your libido

a mosquito

&

girlfriends untrue

your dreams will be

dry humped

in a Geo Metro,

Generation X,

your so-called life…

high school interrupted

…eating Pearl Jam until

Zima vomit came to the house party too

with green apple jollyranchers

attended by

your skankiest girlfriend

who smoked Marlboro Reds

with the acumen

of a triple divorcee

her eyelids

the trashiest

ice blue

master class

i suppose you could say

i’m one of those people

who has seen more than their

fair share of things

you will certainly find

me adept

in a broad range of topics

from culinary techniques

to obscure music

embalming

comic books

addictive substances

and

lesser know shitty diners

of the northeast

some of it owed to college

and my need

to join the rat race too soon

mostly it was my proclivities

my insistence on taking

a master class

in dating old fucks

what an education

Paris in the rain

a woman’s life

is too tenuous

delicate

billowy

spider web

close call on I-75

in preterm labor

on the way to the

Paris airport

in the rain

fragile

beautiful

precious

sacrosanct

finite

for bad friends

bad family

bad coffee

bad shoes

bad mattresses

bad jobs

bad husbands

bad debt

and bad dick

learn this by 30 for maximum

enjoyment

future

female

conquerors

of a dying planet

Aralee

they had a wake

for aralee strange

in a bar

where university poets

showed up to behave

like academic sharks

sparring with street poet jets

i sat beside a man who was

a monolithic Jewish Poseidon professor

on a funeral date

wrong for me

i,

equally wrong for he

though it doesn’t keep me from missing him

weeping openly

in a room full of

a species of staue

films of her played

as her southern voice caused

candlelit

unbloomed lily buds

in table vases

to burst open

How Isabella Conquers Her World

you have descended

from indigenous medicine women

and girl scout goddesses

you came into this life

with power that takes growing

into

head held high

with strong female role models

confidence you will cultivate

by surviving pain

rising to challenges

you’re finding out

you’re stronger than you know

by

creating your own peace

owning your joy

making happiness your choice

remembering you have endured

their belittling words

because

they need to feel better than you

because they have nothing to be proud

how sad is that

pity them

waste no time on bitterness

take comfort

people like this are their own reward

you will rise above their words

you will outlive their petty hearts

the world fears all shades of women and girls

who believe in themselves

do not ever give a bad person

the power

to make you feel like

you are less

to make you ashamed of the way you are woven into the fabric of our universe

or that it is anything but

perfectly divine

to be you

yellow petals

i walked into our backyard and spoke

to the witch hazel tree this morning

she was the closest woman i could find

beneath a sun that decided to shine

for the first time in a week

witch hazel calms angry skin

soothes redness and inflammation

her fleshy bark turned to me as i told her our story

though she already knew the words

she had felt the earth around her roots quake as i screamed

for the baby i tried to give you who is buried perpetually at our feet

for the day i walked out on you in a restaurant

to not hurt you with my sharpened tongue

i didn’t want to lash out at you for wounds i’m still nursing

that you didn’t inflict

the way you had the nerve to follow me

and when our eyes met

you smiled because you love my damaged heart perfectly

i told the witch hazel tree all of this

her buds bloomed yellow petals for an answer

right in front of me

 

-i love you, James

 

 

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