Full steam ahead –

without flinching or thinking,

without looking up to see the damage

I might do.

I got red in my eyes

and a scent in my nostrils that burns

like sulphur.

Remember that story

in the Bible

about the cities that God judged?

Fire and brimstone.

I wonder if they smelled it coming?

Wonder if I smell like that –

judgement, damnation, a reckoning of sorts.

I’m all in a rage and can’t shake it –

gargantuan beast who tramples the ground

and doesn’t care.

Maybe I don’t want to stop,

or shake loose the crimson in my skin.

Maybe I want to be done turning

the other cheek

and let someone else carry the scar for once.

painting by Eric Tippeconnic


Where were you during the storm?

When the wind shook the sky

and bullied the trees, and that old windmill,

just bare bones,

took the brunt without a word.

And then the darkness bellowed and taunted the light

like a petulant tyrant.

And the rain battered our skin as though

we were made of paper.

Did you see the clouds puff up,

all arrogant and full of fake machismo?

But the sun smirked and pushed the squall aside

like it was nothing and I felt okay again.


photo courtesy of Tiffany Simmons


Those wildflowers along the highway,

mixes of yellow and light pink,

and the Indian blankets I fell in love with

as a child.

I know most of them are weeds

pretending to be flowers,

but I try not to think about that too much.

I’m sure there’s a lesson

in there somewhere about a wolf in sheep’s clothing,

but sometimes I don’t think the weeds

are like that.

Maybe they’re trying to be deceitful;

maybe they just want

to be accepted,

to be looked at and smiled at

and not thought of as only a weed.

They can’t help it –

it’s what they are, and they have a job to do,

but it doesn’t mean they still

can’t have a little moment of happy

before they play the role of executioner.

Irish Beach

Imagine what’s over that hill –

so green that it looks like grass out of a fairy tale.

Only Snow White or Cinderella

or that Frozen princess could live in a place like that.

I can see miles of sand and the mixed blues

of sea water just beyond

the swaying grass.

Suddenly I’m thinking

of every movie

I’ve ever seen that involves a beach scene.

Is that where Harry Potter

landed when Doby died and every person

watching that scene cried

at least a little.

Free Doby sacrificed his life so gallantly,

while still wearing that sad little tunic.

But he was free when he died,

and he was on a beach. Maybe even that beach.

The sky is almost like the water – mixed shades of dark and light blue,

with thick white clouds.

As the waves crash against the sand,

I imagine clouds in the water too.

I bet I could be free there, just like Doby.

But I would be better dressed.


I wish I could follow the sand,

moving down the beach

like snow in an avalanche,

moving at 100mph.

Or seems that way anyway,

as the wind slaps

my hair back in my face

while I watch the sand.

I wish I could follow,

just go with the wind

and not care where I’m going

and not care that I’ve left.

But instead,




so the sand

doesn’t get in my eyes,

leaving tracks

that look

like I actually went




I originally wrote this for one of my grad poetry classes, almost exactly three years ago. How time flies – regardless of what you’re doing. 


I’m a displaced person for the second time in five months. And not just from one house, but two. My own trail of tears as I carried boxes from his place. His place – never really ours. He will miss my hugs, he says. Wants to still be friends. Sure – perfectly natural. We decided to avoid the eventual mess of marriage by being buddies. Totally normal. But maybe this is what I get for thinking that one life was greener and fairer than the other. The whole” 80/20 Rule” – although I still can’t decide if I left the 80 for the 20 or vice versa. Or maybe there never was an 80.

“The Displaced Person.”

I remember the story from class, but I doubt Flannery had break-ups in mind when she wrote it. Although there was a kind of break-up that happened. Mostly it was just sadness and death in the end. I didn’t die, and I’m barely sad now. I just want a place to put my books and then not move them again for a while. And I want my movies back.


Eight years and I still can’t remember

the exact day that it happened.

Sometimes I think that makes me a bad person,

a bad mother,

that I can’t remember the day I lost you.

But I remember the season,

and the month – that’s something, right?

And I still mourn you,

like you were ever actually here,

and I actually held you.

I mourn you twice a year actually –

your early departure and your scheduled ETA.

I think it’s better

that I don’t remember

because I can still pretend that I had you

with me longer than I really did.

But I know that day is quickly approaching –

beware the ides of March,

or somewhere around there.

Or maybe it was sooner?

But how much does it matter since you’re not here?

Regardless of the day,

I still lost you and I am still waiting for eternity

to see you again.

At least I named you –

I’m not a completely terrible mother, right?

the dark side

Kylo Ren says to let the past go –
“kill it.”
But I don’t think that worked
like he planned.
He should have kept it metaphorical.
It’s not bad advice –
sometimes I think about killing
the memories
that still haunt me.
Kill them dead.
Gone. No more. Erased.
I would strangle them like they did to me.
I don’t want a sweet ending,
but a punishment that fits their crime.
Then again,
Kylo didn’t just terminate
the memory –
he went to the source.
Sometimes I think about going
to the source and pulling
a Kylo Ren –
fierce red light saber and everything.
Does that make me a Sith?
Or just human?


I am a pretty piece of flesh
but do I really think that?
Do you think so?
I know I’m not supposed to care
what you think, but I do.
I might even admit that I dress
for you,
just in case you decide to tell me
that I’m lovely.
Hawt, even.
I could get used to slang
if it means
that you want me.
But if not,
maybe I can eventually get used
to the idea
that I’m beautiful.
That pretty piece of flesh.


I don’t have the prettiest hands-
they’re scarred from sores, insect bites,
cuts and scrapes,
and that pencil that attacked me
in middle school –
left a dark spot that still freaks me out
when I think about the dangers
of lead poisoning.
My nails often break,
and the paint is perpetually chipped.
Maybe that’s why
you don’t want to hold
my hand anymore –
too rough and scarred like yours.
Too much like the past.
They’re not different enough
from what you remember,
even though we joke
about sharing a brain cell and your
ex isn’t anything like me
except that we’ve both loved you.
Sometimes I wish my hands
looked different, looked better –
daintier, prettier, softer.
Maybe you want someone with
girlier hands,
even though you mock those
kinds of girls
and you always offer to warm
my hands
when they’re cold.
I thought I loved your hands –
but now as I wait
to see if you’ll remember to say hi,
I’m not so sure anymore.

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