4 Haikus and Somehow, It’s Still Not Enough

Slow dancing with you
is the only way I know
how to keep breathing.

Slow dancing with you
is proof that you can inhale
and exhale at once.

Slow dancing with you,
I learn how it feels to die
and to live again.

Slow dancing with you
is more than enough for me
and still not enough.

Failed Attempt #29: An Autobiography

The cloud is back, darker than ever.
It rains acid that brands my skin.
Each drop is shaped like a letter
and the downpour makes a novel of my body.

I can’t hear anything over the sound
of my intrusive thoughts being seared
onto my flesh, drowning out
your voice.


I can’t take how much you care.
The way you insist that I’m more than
”failed attempt #29” when it’s written right there
on my bicep where my fight used to be.

I find a bench to give up on,
but the sight of me draws a crowd.
They stare and wonder why someone
would set themselves on fire

as if I could simply
walk from underneath despair
and out into the reprieve
brought by sunlight and fresh air.

As if this is the book I’d have written
if I had any control at all
over this nimbus from hell with its
constant reminders that no matter where I go

Pain follows.

5 minutes

you’ve been on a loop in my head
ever since that first 5 minutes we spent
in a world where time meant infinitely less
than you mean to me.
i play every second back and i feel as breathless
as i did then.
and i know the only way i can breathe again
is if it’s you that i’m breathing in.
even from miles away i feel you
like the phantom of a limb i never had.
your hand doesn’t leave my face.
if you have a blue light i’ll show you
the tattooed fingerprints you left behind:
a glowing trail around my waist,
down my neck and spine,
through my chest leading me back to you.
i melt into your warmth.
your cheek pressed to mine feels like home
and i’ve been homesick since.
you’ve been on a loop in my head
ever since that last 5 minutes.

what i would’ve given for six

Perfect Storm

you swept through my life like a tornado,
dislodging me from my foundation,
emphasizing my rustiest links.
i watch my anchor lose all sense of purpose as
they snap
and i’m carried away by your smile.

you looked so still as you barreled towards me.
i waited.
sirens screamed warnings i couldn’t hear.
with a shy wave you decimated the scene
but where i should’ve seen destruction
there was nothing-
empty space that i filled with what could be.

your lips convince me to give you my last breath.
as gravity gives into you, my body
cuts ties with the earth to find a new home
in your orbit.

Tornadoes only do one thing.

i can’t see anything besides
your eyes begging me to stay,
to pretend that you aren’t the end of me.

but the sirens scream
louder and louder and something
shakes me awake.
you dissipate
and i wonder why being saved feels this way.


finally, a glimpse of Spring.
having you near me, i come alive.
deep breaths pull in what i can:
you are extraordinary.

i want to lay here,
among all the pretty things
that make you so beautiful.
but this garden was not planted for me.

the bees scream:
“what do you have to give?”
even now, your pedals are
crushed under the weight of my longing.

i caught a glimpse of Spring
and i stood just out of reach.
deep breaths pull in what i can:
you’re not meant for me.

i close my eyes
and let Spring linger in my chest,
terrified that my releasing breath
will sound like a confession.


there’s a moment in time,
right after you know the secret you’ve been keeping
can’t stay secret anymore.
right before you change everything,
when ‘seconds’ and ‘minutes’ are just made up words.

the world speeds up and time
fractures and in the broken glass pieces
you catch glimpses of your reflection:
of “this was a mistake,”
of “i’d never want to hurt you,”
of “finally!”

my tongue tries on words like shoes,
searching for the best fit before running
into the open air between us
where i’d never catch them.
it is in that moment i decide to say
just half of a true thing:
“i want you…”

i’ve never been more aware
of the longing inside me.
desperation clawing at my throat,
trying to escape through vocal chords that
have not been used before-
not for this.

but at my hoarse confession time repairs itself
and the fractures mend and where
my reflections were, now there’s only you-
minus a few missing shards
where your heart should be, where mine still beats
in code over and over
saying half of a true thing:


the end of my writer’s block and a reintroduction to who i am when i’m not pretending.

I stopped writing for a while.
At first, I thought it was because I
had nothing to say.

Turns out I was drowning.
I’d left the flood gates wide open,
convinced I was contending with a stream

when there was a tsunami inside of me.
My thoughts rose like water and I was trapped-
trying to bail the words out of my brain,

worried I’d become so full of them that
they’d spill out onto the pages
of this book in a way that

wouldn’t make sense to me
in a week when I returned to this
ground zero to pay my respects.

But today I decided that
maybe, I should let them.

Treading Water

I have no breath in me.
How often must I plead for someone
to lend me theirs?

I hate this.

I want to give to myself and I try
It’s not the same as your air.
And I’m scared that I might do
for it.

I hate this.

Desperate gasps,
my lips just above water,
my legs moving ferociously to keep them there.
And it gets harder and harder
and I’m scared.
My lungs feel crushed under the weight of
give up!

“Might it be better down there?” I wonder,
knowing it’s an awful way to die.

What an awful way to die.

What an awful way to stay alive.

Inside Voice


the sound of her own voice scared her,
she wasn’t expecting it to resonate so assuredly.
she sat quietly listening to the echo,
reliving the moment she opened her mouth
and released herself from confinement.
Does she dare try again?


She said hesitantly,
waiting for someone to notice
and ‘shhhh’ her back behind the gates from where she came.
but no one noticed.
and no one complained.
and she wondered why she ever locked her voice away in the first place.


And this time she screamed.

Shattered Glass

tell me what it’s like.
speak slowly,
help me bring your words to life
so that i can feel them.

i’m watching you from behind the glass
just out of reach.
i ache knowing that i could.

i could.

i could muster all my longing
to form a battering ram.
fuel it with all the tears i’ve cried for you.
shatter the glass and feel you
instead of your words.

but i would bleed
and you would bleed.
as our bodies meet,
the pieces of glass stuck in me
destroy you.
the tiniest shards poke through my lips
and i know to kiss you would be a sin.

so I stay.
i ache.
i find solace in knowing
my pain is mine alone.

tell me what it’s like
until i go mad
or until i am set free.

whichever happens first.