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LadyBird Nov 2015
Come to me, darling,
in the midst of this sleet storm.

Come with your chest open,
your heart pumping.

Forget the words I thew and
the glass that screeched across the room.

Forget the night you held my hand
and whispered her name.

Don't bring a bouquet of apologies
or a fistful of daises.

Don't tuck your marionette strings in
your back pocket.

Leave all your master tools at home,
and come home into my arms.

Lay with me and show me the ****
interior of your veins.

Break apart my rib cage and steal
a gulp of air from my lungs.

Borrow a scalpel and let's peel away
the layers of each other's skin.

****** the bed in the process, but
bask in the honesty of muscles and tendons.

Reveal to me secrets hiding in your intestines,
and I'll introduce you to the skeletons in my mind.

Risky? Yes. But maybe we'd be a pretty kind of sad,
like a broken butterfly wing stuck to the pavement.
For you, my love.
LadyBird Nov 2015
I was pulled from the comfort
of sleep and warmth by my
father's voice from the floor
below. "Double-time girl,
we're going to be late!"
I hurried down the stairs
of our home to slip into
winter boots and zip up
my puffy winter coat.

In the garage, my dad was
already in his gray van.
I opened the passenger door,
climbed up over the rusted
rims and plopped into the
seat next to him. The cold
raced to reach my body. I
buried my bare hands in my
sleeves and prayed my wet hair
wouldn't freeze into icicles. I
could feel the stitches of the
leather pressing through my jeans.
Even they were cold.

My father's figure sat hunched in
the seat next to me. He gripped
the steering wheel with black
gloves. Staring forward,
he considered big things:
chemical structs and his
wife's lingering debt.

A familiar melody began to
waft out of the radio. Oops.
That meant that I had made
us  late to school...again.
At 7:35 each morning
Garrison Keillor's voice
spoke on something my
parent's called the Writer's
Almanac. I listened with
fascination to his voice,
which seemed to promise
each listener an afternoon
backstroke through the
milky way and the strength
to land, with grace, on Earth's
hard ground.

Out my window,
I watched the early-morning
breadwinners rushing to buy
their fuel: gasoline
and coffee. I wondered
if I could ever be good
enough, worth enough to be
mentioned by Keillor.
What could I do? What
would make me special?
Should I write poetry?

The episode came to a
well-known, comfortable
close: "Be well, do good
work, and keep in touch."
I hoped to do just that.

My dad's sudden voice
brought me back to his
shaky van. "****."
He too had been
LadyBird Nov 2015
You were the Barbie jeep engineer.
You were the 5-card pinochle player.
You were the gripe to do the dishes.
You were the patient mall bench sitter.

You were Elvis Presley records and
paper backed crime novels.
You were my new antivirus software.
You were the chatter in the middle of an
NCIS episode.
You were the "It's okay, sweetie" on the
other end of the phone.

You were the voice of every bathtime storybook.
You were the baking soda on my first wasp sting.
You were the green Ford Escort parked
outside my middle school every afternoon.

You were the loudest clap at my graduation.
You were the sticky caramel corn crumbs in the
living room that held the place together.
You were the laughter

You were the toolkit when my pictures hung crooked.
You were the cornerback baker, the pecan pie maker,
dance recital seat saver and the road trip driver.
You were the puppy-dog pill-giver and the
broken heart mender.

You were the church goer and the goodness seeker.
You were the black-haired teaser and the
very best secret keeper.
You were a prideful wig wearer and
wheelchair rider.

You were a cancer fighter.

You were my first call.
You still are.
LadyBird Sep 2015
If the angel of the girl I once was didn't
fly so far away from where I am, I would
stick Forever Stamps on a million notes,
hold them together with a broken pinky
swear and send them to her like a bundle
of weary promises. I would instruct her
to clutch them against her fluttering chest
for a moment or two, then scatter them like
breadcrumbs leading home.

I would send her the night you showed up
drunk and giggled your way into my bedroom,
where you collapsed on the chair in the corner
that was covered in the silhouettes of song-birds.

I would send her how it felt when you hugged me
onto you lap, my thighs squishing on the top
of yours. Our laughter melded with the Joni Mitchell
lullaby humming on the small side table.

I would send her how we looked, your nose brushing
mine and the silly smiles that made kissing impossible.
We couldn't have looked pretty, with your wide waist and
my blemished skin but I'm sure we looked lovely--in-love.

I would send her the taste of your tongue after you
whispered in my ear with hot, sweet breath, "I'm happy,
more than I have ever been before." I believed those
tickles of your thoughts, because I was too.

But most importantly, I would make sure to send her
a final note that included the creak of my bed as you
sat up and the sound of your soft footsteps padding
towards the for as you left my lying there.
LadyBird Sep 2015
She sat alone on a pretty park bench, breathing
in the ugly air. She had encased her body in layers of
wool and worry, but it didn’t keep the cold out.
She felt. She felt the hard wooden boards beneath
her thighs and the metal pressing into her vertebrae.
Her fingertips secretly snuck out of her unraveling
gloves; they were still chapped from endless empty
nights, still grasping for a warmth they knew long ago.

An odor emanated from a pile of courage
in the corner. The lump moved to her throat
and conjured a swarm of guilt like spears that left
scars on her lonely lips and bruises on her unforgiven
hips. She watched as the men splurged together on the
serendipity found in a half-eaten, tofurkey concoction.

Killing the ruins of peace in her desert
chest, she was pulled to the shore. Tasting
the salt on her cheeks and the salt in the air,
gravity guided her to her knees. The water
soaked through her jeans, chilling her knees
and conquered the remnants of her soft spine.
Two bony hands then emerged from the dark
and encircled her homeless heart.
LadyBird Aug 2015
My brain is a clock.
tick tock
Since the last time we spoke,
Since that time your laughter colored the air and my cheeks a pretty pink.
tick tock
Since the last time your hand found its way into mine,
Since that time your tender touch cleansed each pore of my skin.
tick tock
Since the last time your body shocked mine into euphoria,
Since that time your warm mouth proved to be the key to my pleasure.
tick tock
Since the last time I looked into your eyes and found my home,
Since that time I saw your smile and knew I would never need another.
tick tock
tick tock
tick tock
The hands in my mind have counted
Each agonizing second since you left.
LadyBird Aug 2015
Some people feel their pain with grace.
Some people swallow their emotion and let
It claw out of their chest with an exquisite
Spray of blood and a melodious sob.
Some people wake every morning,
Sure that they are alive because their heart
Is adorned with the scars to prove it.
Some people are a pretty kind of sad.

Other people are brutish transformers.
Other people quietly inject their toxic pain
Into their bloodstream and wait for it to run its course.
Other people work every day to sweat it out,
But never quite feel clean enough.
With clogged arteries, other people explode.
Their pain takes their power and other people
Break things, break people, break love.

In hiding you will find only danger;
There is never anything beautiful about anger.
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