Cave

[This poem is taken from my book of nature poems.] 

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There’s a cave

Looking out at the ocean

It’s cool and dark

But sunlight pours into its mouth

Like honey.

Waves crash against the rocks

And the air smells like salt

As spiders spin webs

Between rows of stalactites.

There are secrets here

Drawings on walls

Of lovers’ hands

And an abandoned compass

With a broken needle.

And yet the cave feels

Completely unexplored

Like the ocean keeps all the memories

Hidden in its depths

Always making space

For a new heartbeat to come along

Disrupting the silence

Just by listening.

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The Dark

Don’t keep me in the dark

Tell me your feelings

Paint them onto my wrists

Let me taste the truth on your lips

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Don’t leave me in the dark

Stay by my side

In a storm of secrets

In the calm of lying awake, side by side.

Bi Girl Problems

Trying to find a girlfriend is hard. Like, looking for a needle in a hay stack hard. But to be honest, I think it’s true what they say. Love finds you when you’re not looking for it. Whenever I wasn’t looking for a relationship, there were always opportunities to meet new people, and there were always people who could have been on my radar (or, ya know, gaydar). Now that I’m looking, opportunities to meet new people are just a bit scarce. The world of online dating is a bit too stressful, and a bit too much of a numbers game for me to navigate.

Also, I can’t help but want the story of how I meet someone to be something other than, “We both swiped right on Tinder.” I think it’s awesome that technology can bring people together. Heck, I’ve made some really cool friends online. But when it comes to dating, I almost want to pretend it’s the 80s and that I have to meet people the “old fashioned” way.

I’m also the kind of person who wants to know someone a bit before I date them. Starting a relationship with dating is just so weird to me. Because if you’re dating, of course you’re going to lie about things, or hide things you’re scared the other person won’t like. Not to mention that you’re way less likely to know if the other person is, like, an ax murderer.

I’m kind of in a transition period right now. I’m starting grad school in a few months, and I’ll be moving four hours away from home. I’m broke as hell and am trying to get a temp job I won’t want to quit in the first week. I’m excited to start my master’s degree, but I’m also nervous. I hope it’s a positive experience overall. Where I’m going is a bit colder and snowier than where I live now. But it’s also very beautiful and the people are nice.

We all know that grad students just have SO much time to date (not), but I’m hoping I’ll be able to balance school and my personal life. I want to do well in my program, but I want to enjoy my time there, too. I want to take advantage of the opportunities I’ll have.

On some levels, I think taking a break from school gives me an advantage to someone who goes to grad school right away. I know what it’s like to apply for jobs, to be an unpaid intern, to get paid to do work I can’t stand, and to be self-motivated. I also realized that I want to move to an affordable city after I graduate, and I have a few ideas for the kind of career I want. I have a vision and a plan, which is something I did not have when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English.

I’ll try to stop looking for love. I’ll try to let it find me. I’m different in this aspect of my life than I was a few years ago, too. This time, I know what I want. And when love does find me again, I’ll be ready.

 

Attraction

Love image1

I.

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Love is about more

Than attraction

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It’s holding hands

For a moment longer

Before you go down separate aisles

In the grocery store

Planning to meet back

In the bread aisle

That smells like jam and honey

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It’s talking about nothing

Until two a.m.

Dissecting hopes, dreams, and fears

Falling into each other

Like a safety net

That doubles as a trampoline

Sending you higher

So you can touch the stars

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It’s needing space

While still choosing each other

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It’s fighting fair

Never using a touch that hurts

A heart is fragile glass

It’s never using words

That can shatter it

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It’s saying thank you

Thank you

Thank you

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Love is a story in itself

It makes flowers bloom in the present

Makes the storm more bearable

Crafts a vision for the future

A possibility

You can’t quite touch

But it is beautiful.

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New stories are born

Everyday.

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II.

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A man in a black tie

Sees a woman in an elevator

They both take their lunch break

At the same time each day

Walking to the third floor cafeteria

But they’ve never spoken

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She does this thing

Where she flips her bangs out of her eyes

After she’s done typing a text message

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And she has a raindrop tattoo on her wrist

He thinks about saying hi

But not yet

Maybe tomorrow.

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III.

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Emma, a florist, is tying a bouquet

Of roses

When she sees a woman

Trying to decide

Between pink and red carnations

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She asks Emma

For her opinion

About the best flowers

To give her mother for her birthday

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The woman has brown hair

And freckles

And these green eyes

That light up when she talks about the

Party she has planned.

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Her name is Julia

And there’s a rainbow bead

On her silver charm bracelet

That doesn’t have to mean something

But it might just mean something

.

The florist gives Julia her number

Along with a discount

On her bouquet of tulips

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Butterflies flutter through Emma’s stomach

For the rest of the day

Because she’s not usually this daring

Her hands go on arranging flowers

But her mind is in the clouds.

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IV.

.

Dylan is sitting

In his anthropology class

His eyes barely staying open

Because he stayed up late

Studying calculous and

Latin American History

.

He imagines he looks like

Any other college student

Wearing sweatpants he bought

From the campus bookstore

Half swallowed by a gray and blue

Hoodie that is just a bit too big for him.

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A half empty cup of coffee

Rests beside his laptop

And everyone in the room

Seems just as exhausted

As he is.

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Everyone, that is, except Miles.

No, Miles is giving a presentation

Wearing a crisp, ironed

(What college student irons?)

Button-up flannel

Tucked into dark jeans

With polished shoes

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His hair is styled with gel

But just enough so that

It still looks soft to the touch

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He actually looks at other students

As he talks

His blue eyes kind and just a little bit shy

Even though he speaks with ease

About marriage rituals

Across different cultures

.

Only facing away from the class

When he turns to the next slide

In his power point

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Dylan

Takes another sip of his coffee

Which is cold now

He’d been in this class this whole semester

How had he never noticed Miles before?

Like really noticed him?

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His voice is soothing

And he seems so nice

And he’s cute

Like, really cute

.

They were both pretty quiet

He tears a piece of paper

From his notebook

And starts scribbling on it

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He didn’t even know if Miles was into guys

And maybe it was the coffee-fueled

Lack of sleep

But he figured it was okay

To take a chance

.

He looks at the piece of paper

He’d scribbled on

As Miles finishes up his talk

On it, it reads:

“Want to grab lunch with me?”

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V.

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New stories are born every day

Love stories are born every day

But it’s about a lot more than attraction

These stories of attraction?

They’re not about love.

Not really.

.

But they could be.

 

Navigation

navigation1

I hold on

And I wonder if there are any ships

Fast enough

Strong enough

Steady enough

To bring me closer to you

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I’ve tried everything I can think of

To navigate these waters

And they’ve surprised me

With the way the waves glisten in the sunlight

The way starfish find their way to the shore

And then back again

You’ve surprised me

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I thought I knew your constellation

But it turns out

I’d only wished upon one star

But you are a novel

You are a story that takes time to unfold

And I’m here, I’m listening

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Tell me about each of the stars

That make you

You.

I’ve chosen my ship

And I’m holding on

Navigating these waters

Navigating the stars

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Knowing that when

I get to you

I’ll have found my way

Home.