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Dec 2019 · 32
Ashes
Sarah Richards Dec 2019
I always thought I'd
  feel the same,
living off of fumes
you can't stop burning

I always thought I'd
  want to stay
Inhaling and
exhaling all our poison

I don't know if through
thick smoke
you can see where this
is going

I'm throwing out our
ashes and pretending that
it's snowing.
Dec 2019 · 39
Tomb.
Sarah Richards Dec 2019
I peeked out
from the tomb
that seemed to have
built around me,
trapped inside
and failing to grow

I reached my
hands up like
there's something
stirring within me

after my heart stopped
beating
    months
        ago.
Nov 2019 · 117
Wintertime
Sarah Richards Nov 2019
I was already
falling
  when the rain
came down

like checkered
streams of
   tinsel
that make
us into
ornaments - a hook,
an eye

I always fall
  come
wintertime.
Nov 2019 · 104
Lahaina
Sarah Richards Nov 2019
One week ago
already today
when I was the
    sunset and you
were the waves
where day closed
its eyes and
the moon & stars
lifted
My hope lies in
you and my soul,
the Pacific.
Nov 2019 · 37
Pew
Sarah Richards Nov 2019
Pew
coffee carafe
unspoken words
clawfoot bath
singing birds

cotton and brass
a pew in church
catholic mass
eternal search

Nothing exists,
that, I'm certain

I want to see
what's
behind the curtain.
Oct 2019 · 39
San Diego and Candlelight
Sarah Richards Oct 2019
I keep thinking about
  San Diego
   and sitting with you
- the oceanside

My blanket's on
my glass is full,
it's all hot wax
   and candlelight

I can read your lips
before I even hear
  goodbye

I'm not ready to
watch this go
& leave
this all
behind.
Oct 2019 · 33
Laugh Anymore
Sarah Richards Oct 2019
Sometime then
  I can't quite remember when
we threw
trash
     on the bonfire

it looked ugly,
   and we'd scream
    
- throw crab apples at
one
    another

Sometime then,
  when we were tired and
thin,
  tripping on patches &
holes
in the floor

I took your hand
  our socks filled with sand
and laughed like
poverty
didn't
hurt
any
    more
Oct 2019 · 351
Gloves.
Sarah Richards Oct 2019
I thought that
reaching out my hand from
  black coats and layers
that
slipping off a glove to
let my fingers out
to feel you
would
make
you
feel
me
too.
Oct 2019 · 33
Barcelona.
Sarah Richards Oct 2019
There's a way
in fall that seems
forgotten
a way in
Autumn that
  never fails to own
you

I'm sitting in a
coffee shop,
but my heart's in
Barcelona.
Sep 2019 · 38
Primrose.
Sarah Richards Sep 2019
When I was
              considering eternity,
a brooding,
primrose ghost
of who
I was
before December

Before the nights were
long &
the days were
shorter -

I was like a
  swan who sat
still,
brass or porcelain,
until the chill of leaving
    pulled me out
the door
       into the
         hope
  of building a nest
somewhere new.
May 2019 · 317
The Room
Sarah Richards May 2019
In orange light,
and October's amber
flood
it's the first time I've felt my pulse, my bones, my hands, my heart,
my blood

In a room
awkwardly shifting in my
chair
I'm noticing my body moving, it's the first time I'm awake and
I'm aware

For years I've lived,
trapped in a haunting
plea
It's the first time I've been pulled out and seen that she's in the room
with me.
Jan 2019 · 818
Gift-Wrapped.
Sarah Richards Jan 2019
When I look at her face,
a small child who is "she"
  and it's clear she has no
idea of stale ideals that block her
path

You are a small angel, and
you're unaware of trails that look like gold

There is truth: they are just gift-wrapped.
hiding "be polite.
"don't sit like that.
"cross your legs.

Here is your truth: You are not small. You are full of magic and there is no path that you don't own.
Nov 2018 · 453
Three.
Sarah Richards Nov 2018
It has been
3 years since
some
        thing
buried me

3 winters
3 falls
3 summers
3 springs

I've felt so
guilty
  since I left
everything

The people
the places
and most of my
things

It's been 3 long years
and 12 mind-numbing
    seasons

But I think I am back
and that life has
  a reason.
Nov 2018 · 171
Repackage.
Sarah Richards Nov 2018
This is not the first time
I've died

This is not the last

this is not about
reincarnation
or something from
"the past"

this is not the last time
I rise

This cannot be the last

I'm talking about moving on
and only glimpsing back.
Oct 2018 · 100
Gold
Sarah Richards Oct 2018
I wore the earrings you
gave me
that used to be
  yours

in the photos I took that
you'd never see

and I had my hair pushed
back
the way that you used to
before you ceased to
be

I leaned against the hills
that night
chilly in the breeze

and thought about
your bony hands
  and all the memories
Jul 2018 · 352
Pinnacle.
Sarah Richards Jul 2018
I've thought often
about
    the eye of the
storm -

the thunderous
  consumption that cold does
to
   warm

The way that the
   dust has a
    longing to fly

when the touching
of temperature
orchestrates
the
sky

I've thought often
about
how two things
come together

be it people
  or colors,

    uncontrollable
weather

The way that what's
   different will
    find its extreme

Pinnacle moments
are the day thoughts
I dream.
May 2018 · 515
Casket of Petals
Sarah Richards May 2018
There are glimpses of
gold when
your shades are
rose-tinted
and when
the sting
of the past
is a feeling that's
       fading

and the thought of
next winter's
from mildew to
Emerald
and December's
devil
is
no longer
haunting

When there are curtains
of gold to be
draped all around
and suddenly sadness
is a song, not a
sound

and somewhere hums a
hope that
there's more we
can't see

there's a casket of
petals where
grief used to be
Feb 2018 · 167
Today.
Sarah Richards Feb 2018
I'll be some
              where tomorrow

and the sky will change to
grey

and even if I close my eyes
the thoughts won't go
    away

and even when I
   fall asleep -
at the end of
every
    day

I'll keep waiting for
  tomorrow
and I'll be
  stuck in
         today.
Feb 2018 · 170
Portugal and Carousels
Sarah Richards Feb 2018
I can't stop
thinking of
the things that
make me happy
like

Portugal and carousels
and
moving on
after
you
    died.
Jan 2018 · 2.9k
Patience.
Sarah Richards Jan 2018
Palm leaves stretching
out their
arms
to reach a sea-blue
sky

I relate to reaching
up
and trying to  
get high

Head back like
a swan or
crane,
I'm done being
complacent

I am ready to
be bigger now

I'm running out of
patience.
Jan 2018 · 176
3.
Sarah Richards Jan 2018
3.
After all of the hard
feelings
and after the summer of
fires.
After the forests had fallen
apart
and after I forgot
desire

After the winter in
whiskey
and after the stars
hid from dawn
after 3 years ago when you
died
I think I have finally
moved
    on.
Dec 2017 · 197
Grey.
Sarah Richards Dec 2017
It's like we're back to back
where I cannot see your
face
and I almost can't remember
what it
looks
like

and I reach behind to touch you but my arms don't
bend that way

It's like we're back to back but
you're also fading
into
grey.
Dec 2017 · 162
Cheers
Sarah Richards Dec 2017
I've been filling up
my glass
night and night
again

peering in the opening
my lips pressed to
the rim

I've been swallowing
my pain again
frothing in my
beer

I've been filling up
my glass
too tall and
lying through my
cheers.
Nov 2017 · 141
Needles.
Sarah Richards Nov 2017
Fresh white paint
And I.V. drips
And flat
Flourescent lights
The medicinal
Smell of
"Not quite yet"
And "i thought we still had time."
These are the
Thoughts that
Come to me -
   That winter when you died
You're somewhere
  In the needles
    Of December,
      Spruce and Pine
Aug 2017 · 351
Moonlight.
Sarah Richards Aug 2017
When I was a child
and I rode in the car
at night in the light of
the moon

I'd watch out the glass
at the fir trees we passed
where the deep woods whispered
and crooned

Abyssal black and
spattered in stars
the sky was suffused
in night

It's one moment where
I was never scared
but reassured by the dark's
gift of light.
Aug 2017 · 233
Snow Angels
Sarah Richards Aug 2017
I don't know why I'm telling you
this,
but I've grown to
be fine.
And I've found a way to live in
fallen snow.

to let the white, bone cold
of winter light
a fire in me.

I'm painting myself in drops of
spearmint,
writhing &
gladly making
pictures fit for
nightfall and snow
angels made
of stars
Jul 2017 · 504
Poverty Confetti.
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
Way back when
when the porch was
caving in
and the creek had never been
so empty,

I went back
to the rabbit
hutch
kicked the sick-sweet bags, the
sticky cans of
Pepsi

Way back when,
when our love was
growing thin
and your hand could no longer
be steady,

I went back
to the edge of
Deer Creek -
& threw hay
like poverty
confetti.
Jul 2017 · 201
Here.
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
Skies that are clear
choosing love, over fear

Taking the hands of
the ones I hold dear -

Being so happy, I could
burst at the seams -

This is the dream out
of all of my dreams.
Jul 2017 · 197
And After, I Hope
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
After everything.

After the embers finally
cooled.
And I left the rain that caused
the chill.

After I felt the touch of
rage
and the hand of anger
try to

finish me

after I heard the breath of
   dying

and I heard the song of
  hope -

after I felt the tug of
rejection on my
sleeve

and the toxic
black and white dream of days

it's
the bitter taste
of nightfall here.

The sinking pause of abandonment.

The hesitant blossom of
springtime.

I hope that I can
find
peace
with the
blisters that
you left me with.
Jul 2017 · 297
Pig Latin.
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
This is about me

These words.

How I've given
myself
  away time
   and time
       a
        g
            a
              i
               n


the secrets I've
kept
to
protect
  myself.

It is you - it's
not me.
It's not my
vulnerability.

It's not my passion.

It's not for my willingness not to fight
- or because my faith is
dwindling

This poem is about me.
And it's about everything you've

taken
from
me.
Jul 2017 · 321
Exaltation.
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
I'm preparing for the
fall-out, it's lover's
Armageddon
Where you're in
San Francisco and you're
going to a wedding

And I'm in Arizona with my
goddess-empire dream
work it work it, hustle baby
I'm Palo Verde Queen

We're preparing for the
fall-out - our supreme
divination
and you're waiting for your next train
home
- Californian Exaltation

from one dry heat to another
two lovers, hope-possessed
work it work it,back to me
and to our honeyed love nest.
Jul 2017 · 212
Untitled
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
I could fall onto
my back
and into
cigarette burns and
the grief-trenches

I could hold onto the feeling
of your hand
in mine
and the hunger I
feel for your
magic
  healing
    words

I don't know if you
knew it then -
but since all this time has
passed
and all the knocks on the door were not
yours (they
couldn't be yours)

and I knew you couldn't be back to
say
goodbye.

I'm so glad I stayed
with you,
held you,
and called our family to the
room
when you died.
Jul 2017 · 230
Molt.
Sarah Richards Jul 2017
Looking back to a summer
afternoon,
where I hid behind every table
with my back straight
and my arms held down
a forced gentle on my face,

I felt like a rattlesnake,
waiting.

I've never been tame - and
I wasn't even, then.
I've never been possessed.
     I've never been locked inside a
room in June - your hand pressing on the silver handle
with its cracks and fractures, its creaky breath rattling like tuberculosis
- your black ash streaming lungs
your history of slithering poison where neither you nor I had
legs to crawl away

The longer the days go
between then's dewy porcelain and the now, and the
shadowy sound of your breathing,
the more I simmer and smolder my snake-seethe and fume
your venom never owned me -

I molted when locked in that room.
Jun 2017 · 228
Rose Garden.
Sarah Richards Jun 2017
I went back to
that weekend
when the hills were full of
roses
and you were only ten steps
    from the path

I was in my
sundress
and you were in
your knack:

a deep and dark depression where there's no
going
back.
May 2017 · 610
Newport.
Sarah Richards May 2017
It's easy to say
that the other's to
blame

when the sand and
the sea play the
push and pull game

and it's hard to get
dry in this grey, coastal
rain

wet wood
on the coast
won't light up into
flame

So I sit by the embers,
glowing in shame

and take a stick to
embed the sand with
your name

- the month that you died,
I wasn't the same

I've never been sure
I was meant to be tame.
May 2017 · 276
Bird.
Sarah Richards May 2017
Between the lonely moments
  And the "I'm so glad you're here's"
And the end of a scotch glass,
Or one too many beers

Between ugly and healthy and
   Birds who forced bees,
  I've finally learned
You were never against me.
May 2017 · 289
Revolve.
Sarah Richards May 2017
We always say
the sun
  goes down,

but we're the one
who turns away.
Apr 2017 · 224
Song,
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
There's a time when song
tells me

and there's the time I let
her be

And then there's the time
I am
begging
for her to come and
speak to me.
Apr 2017 · 202
The Trade.
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
I'm working the trade
of
tethered souls
where it won't stop
raining and I can't
let it go.
Where thunder never seemed so soft against
a field of buzzing strings in an
orchestra it's like the
plague
and even when
my hands are
black from all the digging
this ensues...
I'm working the trade of
tethered souls
and I've
chained
myself to
make do.
Apr 2017 · 706
Absent.
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
I'm aware of the things that come from the woods.

The brooding water paths pushing to the west.
A quiet sprinkling of pine
  needles and
flooding near the
Ash Groves when the winters come

the winter's spent.

Cities are strangers and pavement is trapped soil
waiting for my hands to dig them up and build a
refuge out of dying-to-get-out-of-here-dirt

I'm dying to get out of here dirt.

I left myself in the absent way
a butterfly leaves the cocoon but do not know of what

I'm seek
  ing .
Apr 2017 · 337
Civil Dawn.
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
At civil dawn
I'm counting -
the seconds where it's
indisputable the sun
moves
where names get caught in
time that invariably
forges on
I'm getting caught up, spun around, lost in the cogs of a
stranger's swan
song.
Apr 2017 · 558
Floristry.
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
I imagine petals sound like
a star spray of
harp song
  when they fall on
a dreamer's tilled
land
and that Azaleas grow
  in a backwards life
where time isn't counted by
clock hand
  You have painted
a Floristry of roses
in a neglected girl of a
wasteland.
Apr 2017 · 519
Native (haiku)
Sarah Richards Apr 2017
Like wild blackberry, I have
Invaded and I can't
Stop myself from growing.
Mar 2017 · 575
Scorpion.
Sarah Richards Mar 2017
Arizona made me quiet.
Arizona made me see.
For every flower wilting
there's
the ghost path of a
creek.

Arizona made me cautious.
Arizona made me choose.
Do I prefer a coy, dry heat
or the temptation called monsoon?

Arizona made me hard.
Arizona made me fast.
The sun is not my friend,
  he lives to laugh behind my back.

The red clay dirt sticks to me
in the
luxury of white
sheets
and now I know if I
move
a rock
scorpions
breed underneath
Mar 2017 · 178
Arranged.
Sarah Richards Mar 2017
I'd like to say I've
grown from hollow, from the yellow
flowers in the dell -
from the fading wings of
promise, to the
loved from infidel

I'd like to say I've
found the plateau, from the depths
of all our wars -
from the hazy shade that
summer makes
-
from now to
evermore.
Mar 2017 · 240
Intuit
Sarah Richards Mar 2017
Daily dreamer
& hot showers
coffee au lait and
pressing flowers
falling apart
and waking back up
empty & full and
collecting other peoples' coffee cups

a little bit wild, but
mostly too prudent -
and science is God, but
I'm an intuit
Feb 2017 · 305
Beacon & Chandeliers
Sarah Richards Feb 2017
I'm not sure what happened
my first night at the
symphony -
it was a dark October
& you brought the
thunderous wonder of
        the Oregon
                   sea

I'm not sure what
touched me as your notes
lead me
to the pier -
      I'm drowning in idolatry
               for your beacon
                     & chandeliers
Feb 2017 · 217
Fury.
Sarah Richards Feb 2017
I'm digging through
buckets of sea glass and
agates
I found on the
beach
prying them out of the bitter, cold
sand,
          -  that ends at
white lines -
and concrete

The wind's in my face
and it's a furious hunt
to the point where I almost can't
   breathe

I'm on a continuous search
my knees caked in
dirt

seeking
     la joie  
           de
                vivre.
Feb 2017 · 418
Dry.
Sarah Richards Feb 2017
I haven't been saturated
in rain for
some time
or bathed in soapy shades
of color -
I haven't touched my hip-
bone
to a ballet barre
or even
talked to my
    mother

I haven't felt the tiny hand
   of a child touch my arm
or ran without the need for speed
    or been to my best friend's
farm

- it happened a few years ago
and I really am not sure why
I fell into a sleepy spell
between now and when you
died -
  I moved to the desert,
and I hardly said goodbye...

It's the hottest place I've ever been,
but that's not what made me dry.
Feb 2017 · 778
Clovers.
Sarah Richards Feb 2017
In tall pines and
night storms
when we were
close
to over

& hiking with
my long hair
down
in frantic search
of clovers

in our dancing,
& tambourines,
your whiskey drinking
sober -

You live as a
memory
     in
perpetual
October.
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