Typewriter

No mistakes
Only blue oceans and red fire trucks.
I want to love and to love you back, but that’s a mistake.
That’s a foggy summer day and a question mark on a declarative sentence and that sentence is
something will go wrong
I’m afraid I’ll never find owls at night and doves in the morning because
lately it’s only been fish and dry land
when everyone else
found the water. I’m not
the field of flowers for your orchids, I’m the aquarium.
I spell numbers, not letters, and they’re not adding up right.
Wrong turns get me where I need to be, and I’m the
lighting to your
calm.
The path less traveled is well worn
and I make empty, pretty words
that meant the truth
of the matter is that
nothing is the matter because everything is wrong.
I draw my motorcycles with four wheels because I want to
get there faster and my planes with no wings because
I don’t know where I’m going.
A forest full of trees? I’m a forest full of grass because
it’s the little things in life.
I’m the bright blue sun
the drop in your faucet
an ocean full of orange
and a past of mistakes
that pave the way back the to future
and forward to the dawn.

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Popsicle stand

I don’t know what I’m doing I don’t know if I’ve done it but if it might be love I’m running from it. A mountain I’m not prepared to summit. What if this was my one hit; a miss, the rest of my life Instagram posts in backwards hats of how I’m definitely, totally not thinking I was the dart that never hit the bullseye. Never even played. Always prayed and delayed the chance to give someone a chance because I was turning renegade. Against the idea that anyone fit the grade, hit the mark, wasn’t afraid. The letter in the mail I slowing realize is never coming, the lyrics to the song I’m forever humming, the clumsy strings on the guitar I’m strumming. I want my life to be stunning but for now I’m stuck gunning down thoughts of regret and shunning. Chimney smoke in a cloud puffs say you’re not allowed to to the pursuit of happiness, till the show’s over bent and bowed. I’ve vowed to be the one who made a ripple, made it loud, but that horizon line’s far away and caught in shrouds. You’re close but I’m looking for you in the lost and found.
I just I just don’t want to be 20 bridesmaids dresses down the road and realize you were the white dress waiting to happen.

Skip a Beat

She was always dancing with her could have beens to the steps of a beautiful disaster. The lyrics to those songs kept her up at night, playing over and over. Could have been our first slow dance, could have been walking down the aisle, could have been dancing all night till the sun came up.
She liked his moves because he danced to the rhythm of what could be, a two-step –
a new step –
she’d danced once before but hadn’t in a while.
He looked at her like she was doing the fox trot perfectly still.
She didn’t want to miss a beat or step on any toes so she never asked him where he learned to dance. Nothing scared her more than the thought of radio silence, that she’d get his song stuck in her head but she would change the station, and she’d remember the words but not the tune.
So she stayed silent and moved her hips to the sound. The sound of his laughter in a far away note, taunting her to shake her way into the future like she had a clue.
She wanted eight counts into his heart but the beat was too fast and if she tried she might fall, so she watched from the sidelines as strangers asked to guide her on the floor but she refused. She was too busy in the echo of the could be’s that side-stepped around in her head, the hopes of the one-day memories. He was catchy and she had caught him, but in the back of her mind she knew that the day was coming where she would have to let him go.

Surprise

People are going to get you presents.
That’s kind of something you don’t really think about but its going to happen because you were born.
You can think of the future as one big nebulous orb full of unforeseen presents. Your friend Kevin from third grade might remember it’s your birthday and decide he’s going to give you twenty dollars to Starbucks because the suggestion button popped up in his newsfeed.
It’s a guarantee of uncertainty. There’s probably going to be presents that you hate but have to pretend that you like, so there’s that to look forward to. But also someone might get you a car. It could happen. The insurance payment would undoubtedly go up because anything is newer than a 1990 Astrovan but who cares because you got a car. Right? There will be unexpected inbetweens like, hey, let me get lunch today. Does that count as a present?
When the opportunity presents itself. Maybe a box of diamond earrings if you’re into that sort of thing. Maybe a toolbox or a toaster or something boring and useful but it’s going to happen. Maybe it’s a surprise party we already knew about or mom wasn’t good at keeping the hiding space in the closet secret and you peeked. It doesn’t matter. Get ready to be surprised, because you’re all getting presents.

Coffee Shop Dreams

There’s really no one to meet here. The only person who is ever really there is the boy who her heart still beats for, long after the song is done, after the final words have been said. He’s always there, a melody inside her head that wonders, why didn’t it work?
She just wants his arms around her again but instead she sits in this coffee shop, writing the things that never happen.
There’s a trail in the background, through the half drawn shutters in the musty afternoon. There’s three girls riding horseback, and it looks like freedom. Any of it. The long manes of the horses, the smiles from under baseball caps, the taste of the rain in the air. Anywhere outside.
In here, it’s cozy and warm but she’s always trapped inside her thoughts. Her thoughts that glance at the man reading the front of the newspaper next to her and think, I wonder why he’s here? Bright orange t-shirt on a rainy Monday, at that age where he’s about to go bald but not yet, not yet. Reading a newspaper because that’s something that someone from his generation does. He looks like a talker. The kind who would sit you down like it was as normal as a mini-van full of kids and tell you about how he learned from the mistakes he made when he was young. Did he make mistakes? Did he ever shatter a BMW windshield with a baseball? Did he ever shatter a heart with words?
She’d never know because even if he was a talker, she wasn’t. She did know that the four blonde white teenagers in front of her could tell she was listening to them, half out of the fact that her table faced directly toward them and half out of the fact that they were fascinatingly, purposefully loud.
“Here ya go, knock yourself out,” the one with the hair that was obviously dyed said, handing over a crumpled five dollar bill into the silver ring studded hand of the other girl who was wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt probably only because she thought it was ironic. Like a five dollar bill was a leaf on the ground, as insignificant as yesterday’s nail polish color. Three girls and a boy, the age where they drive around and complain that life sucks but they haven’t lived enough of it to really know it yet. The woman quietly sipping her “for here” coffee out of the white mug by the corner window notices them too. There’s no wedding band on her finger and her brown eyes watch them with a longing ringed by crows feet. She wonders if the woman misses a son who went off to college or she just misses the time when having a son who went off to college and complains that life sucks was a possibility on her horizon, if going home is going back and washing dishes for a family of one to the tune of talk radio dim in the blue background.
The girl at the study table can be found at every coffee shop. It doesn’t matter what color her hair is or how her voice sounds. Her mouth moves soundlessly as she trips over the words in her rainbow highlighted textbook that would make an unabridged copy of War and Peace tremble in fear. She wonders – who was it that told her she would never be good enough?
“Tall caramel macchiato!” announces the thirty-something nose-pierced probably aspiring artist barista. A lithe brunette in a perfectly styled sweater jeans combo strides over to sweep up her drink and returns back to her perfect boyfriend and perfect life. A businessman on the phone watches them go like he watches his investments and the cars pass by through the window in his office where he thinks, where are they going, where are they going, and do I want to go there with them?
She wants something to happen. Why doesn’t anything ever happen? She goes from place to place, waiting for things to happen that never do and never will. Because the past is passed. The grocery store, a coffee shop, the laundromat, the local park. Save it for the movies.
Maybe he’d walk through the door, at that precise moment. Just a jingle of the doorbells in the corner of her eyes, a deep kind voice asking for a tall black coffee. then sitting across from her at the big rectangle table while he waits, while she tries not to flick her eyes up from the notebook but they continue to stray because seafoam eyes are her favorite and those are what fate has just dragged in front of her.
Then he’d get up to get his drink and sit down at the same seat, pull out his laptop, but a pen and a notebook too, and start writing, his handwriting a tilted announcement that maybe that constant looking for heartbeat in her life would finally turn to found, found, found. This time when his black lash lace eyes trickle over to hers they’d both stop and laugh, then in the cheesy first line of a movie he would say, “I always have to write it down before typing, too.”
Then in the way that scripted perfection flows she’d say, “I know what you mean. It makes me feel like I was born in the wrong century.” No lengthy pauses, no inside out t-shirts or stray hairs. Even though in her head she was dancing on butterfly wings, thoughts that this couldn’t be happening to someone like her because she was not carved out of perfection, but moonbeams and traffic accidents.
“Which one are you supposed to be in?” His computer hadn’t finished boot up yet, his coffee still too hot to drink, the steam rising across a face cut from the silver screen and handed a pair of glasses.
She’d tell him what century she was supposed to be in, and how it was definitely not this one, and in his eyes she’d see that century, cast in the color of the ocean. She’d see that little spark of a hope that this time this time maybe she could hold on without letting go and that pulsing longing in her chest would no longer quiver in the past but dauntlessly look into the future. Something about the gentle way he moved his hands spelled adventure in the air, the catch in his voice an excitement for things to come, things to come. Maybe this could be it. Come away with me, she’d hear his heart say, and she’d stop living waiting for something to happen but live in the happening, stepping towards a future where life held no more wondering, only wonder under a soft bed of stars and open skies under blankets in a flatbed truck.
But across the table there was no one there. No tall dark stranger who felt like home. Only the trail through the window, the notes of that same old song playing across the ceiling. And nothing ever happens.

Car Crash

This is more poetry/stream of consciousness but sue me I want to tag it

I’m going to write a bunch of stuff down because lately what’s been going over and over in my head is

I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this

I’m in church and all I can do is stare at two things
the first is the exit sign
glowing green
It’s one of the only inviting things I can see except for the second thing
which is you.
They’re talking about car crashes and I know exactly what you’re thinking but you have no idea what I’m thinking, I’m thinking I got in a crash, too. My bones are fine. My toes, my neck, no bruises, no scrapes, but that thing in my rib cage –
I wonder, will that next girl you love think, it beats in twos, the syllables of your name, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-
but it stopped. Crash. I crashed into you when you swerved and we veered and spun off to the side and de-railed, I hit a wall and I hit it hard.
I crashed into your eyes and the way guitar chords and two voices blended into one, when I was thinking, I wish we were just our voices slipping through one another because voices can’t collide and snap and tear and run into each other and then run away.
I’m crashing into the way you turn and whisper into your friend’s ear, something about the harpsichord that I know you think is funny – that used to be me, my ears, but ears, those can crash into each other too when they hear things like it’s probably for the best.
That thing inside my ribs cracks, crashes harder than lightning bolts against the concrete when the kids go to the altar and your eyes, eyebrows always raised and listening, brighten. Because you’ve got a bright future and there’s hints of those pink bows and unbrushed hair in it and you’ll raise them up on your shoulders and tuck their curls behind their ears and kiss their foreheads with the love in that thing inside your ribs but it will not be with me.
It will be with someone who wasn’t afraid to give the thing inside her ribs. No matter how much I wanted to. But you deserve better. Mine doesn’t beat it seeps. Too many crashes. Too many could have beens. Too much wasted beating for others who crashed into it when it was whole. I wish I could lose it in the crash. Doctor, just take it out. It doesn’t work anymore. It got swallowed up in memories and now all I do is chase my yesterdays, because in my yesterdays I hear your laugh but in my tomorrows all I hear is the echo of when we said goodbye.

Missing

Cheating because this is also listed on my poetry section but oh well and stuff

Missing someone is
the ending of fireworks.
The bang, the sizzle, that was the spark in their eyes.
Silence. They’re moving in the haze of the wind
You can’t catch the fog and you don’t know where they are.
They’re pressed across the pieces of your world, stitched across your heart like a patchwork quilt.
Maybe in reality they’re sitting a desk doing
complicated computer calculations while you’re
picturing them
racing down the highway, windows down, their car radio an anthem to the sky
pounding out the lyrics, a song of possibilities
their future without you
A future full of first dances and whiskey kisses, travelling under starlight, black skies, blue clouds, rain drops under heaven looking down watching them walk down the center of the bright path where you veered off and they’re left laughing at tumbleweeds with a smile while you wish on dewdrops, twinkle twinkle little star, that they were here
instead you invite them to stay a while, playing projections in your head of walking together, alone
Of making music, trumpet sounds, dancing down lamp lit streets, chasing fireflies, breathing in the rolling thunder
But the thunder rolls
On and on
The light in your eyes is off
Because they’re gone.