b e mccomb May 13
your car doesn't have
a cd player
which is a little unsettling
but i don't really mind

your hands remind
me of my dad's

i want to wear dresses
play taylor swift
spray myself in
citrusy perfume
and paint my eyelids
a shimmery pink

when i'm with you
i feel safe

i'm not convinced
that soulmates exist
but i am convinced that
we pick up people on
our way through life
and some of them just fit

some people are habit
can't remember a
time without them
and some people are the future
what could be instead of
what's always been

you're art in the foam on a cortado
you're a peach drenched in
heavy cream and limoncello
old overshirts and amaretto

you're champagne
and i'm the idiot
who intentionally
calls it "sham-pag-nee"

you can see through the
espresso stains on my
hands and arms right
down to freckles over scars

even if i slap myself to wipe
the pleasant look off my face
at the end of the day
you'll still think i'm cute

and when you say things
like that i start to feel all
gooey and underbaked
like a fallen cake with
cinnamon buttercream
melting down the sides
perfectly and
unabashedly flawed

i am selfish and afraid
and you don't seem to mind

so here's a toast to
letting someone new
into my life for
the first time
to allowing myself
to be vulnerable
and happy even if it
might be a mistake

because goodness knows
you're sweeter and softer
than i ever dreamed
someone could be
copyright 5/13/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb May 10
the sun is creeping towards
the horizon under the trees
and a sliver of moon is
all that remains of night

my chest
is tight
with heavy
dull twinges

and though i always
long for things to break
up my monotonous routine
a funeral on a thursday
morning in spring was not
exactly what i had in mind

yesterday was recycling
to the curb and while i
ripped apart boxes a
staple stabbed my finger

the sight of blood only
increased the palpitations
under my skin and i've been
trying to forget it for twelve hours

trying to forget
what's coming
ignore the sense of
gloom pooling around
my ankles and the anxiety
wound round my wrists

i just have to make it
through the morning
into the afternoon and
then i can tell the racing
thoughts in my head to
stop what they're doing

and they will
obey me

would it be too much
just to ask for a hug?
copyright 5/10/18 b. e. mccomb
the worst part about funerals is that they aren't really for the deceased, they're for the living that are left
b e mccomb Apr 26
i fell asleep last night
buried in sand on a
soundstage sunset
all maroon velour and
puffy yellow cinnamon
maple leaf squares

the gold and rose
shimmer my eyelids
were made of ran
down in sweaty
rivulets that dried
into fairy freckles

and i was neither
happy nor relaxed
and yet i was
content

drinking silver wine out
of a deep brown glass
quietly and bitterly
warming my twisted back
until a white robed
bedouin breezed in
on a gust of his own
cool half of the desert

shook me to my feet
and told me that the
blissful gauze over
my minds eye
couldn't last forever
and i had better
catch a camel before I was
consumed by the night

so i handed him a yawn
with a ribbon round it
said that it was not my
responsibility to know
the history of the
ceiling fan by heart
rolled upon my stomach
returning to happier dreams

and still the bedouin
could do nothing but
stare through me with
sun bleached eyes
that pulled my bones
out through the skin
of my back and turned
them whiter than the
moon before the night
had even clambered in
on top of dewy skin
and blushing cheeks

and i drifted away
on an inflatable raft
into the night where
nothing could hurt me
copyright 4/25/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb Apr 22
it's a perfect morning
sun flickering through spines of
bare trees onto grass and gravel
thick layers of frost covering the car

the perfect kind of morning
where if you shut your
eyes tightly and angle your
body towards the light
the world is so bright it leaks
right through your lids

and when you point your
face towards the sky to
let your hair blow back and
taste the deliciously cool air
it's impossible to decide
if it's april or october

but either option
is a good one

waking up
eyes puffy from
snatched sleep
and anxious
excitement drawing
your insides awake

tablecloths
jars of coffee
big smiles
bouncy feet
too much
nervous energy

things are different
things aren't ideal

but things
are still good
even when things
are bad

and how is that?
because i make
my own damn
rules now

and if i say things
are good
come hell or high water
things will be good
regardless of whether it's
april or october
copyright 4/22/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb Apr 21
don't find a boy who looks
at you the way he looks
at the stars hanging in
the sky or the waves
crashing on the
shoreline at sunrise

find a boy who looks
at you the way he looks
at a lightning storm
in awe and respect that
a man cannot keep a
force of nature for himself
copyright 4/21/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb Apr 20
the process of crocheting an
afghan is about just that
the process

you make an afghan looking
forward to the nights you will
curl up under it and relishing
the way it fits over your
legs when it's halfway finished

or thinking and hoping
how much someone you love
will love and appreciate
your gift of time and callouses

weaving a container for whatever
emotions you need contained

i realized this that first winter
deep in february when i began
my long nights of scrap yarn
desperately trying to piece
something together out of
the not knowing why
i told myself that this was it
the sum total of my works
the item they would fold up and
place on the table next to the jar
of my ashes come september
and it was done by march

a slow and roundabout way
of pushing myself through
the suicidal smog
smeared through my mind

my friends had blankets wrapped
around them that bright morning
of the anniversary we all cried together
my tears falling on my afghan

i made them each an afghan
plus a few more
always pushing myself
to look forward

lost count of how
much yarn i used
how many stitches
passed through my hands

but by the time the next
march came around i
had made or charted
out five more

to fill the void
clawing at my insides

spent a year making
myself another
in tight ripples of
time and television

and now
my fingers
slow
and stop

seven afghans
in two years
is an accomplishment
that might send the
head of even the
highest caliber of
grandma spinning

i have no more afghans
left in me to make

so instead i crawl
down into bed
two i made
two from friends
and one from
my mother

and lie
head pounding
eyes puffy
void of energy
in the space
between my afghans
copyright 4/20/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb Apr 20
i miss the way
coffee used to taste

i used to take the dregs
at the end of the morning
pot and pour them into a
steel tumbler

mix in handfuls of
refined white sugar
to fight the bitter
flavor i had not yet
learned to accept

then it went into a large
glass receptacle with
terminally stained
interior corners

mixed with milk until
pale and creamy
left to sit in the fridge
for a week

drunk from shimmering
crystalline glasses at
any hour of day or night
because consequences
didn't matter to me

my summer coffee tastes
different now
not so watered down
and drunk early
from plastic cups
through straws that crack

just because
it's there, not
because i took
the time to make it

and i miss something a lot deeper
than the way my coffee used to taste
but i cannot for the life of me
remember what it is
copyright 4/19/18 b. e. mccomb
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