here I sit,
taking inventory of

thirty-six dollars,
a card that gives me license
to drink and to drive
(but not together),
another that gives me credit,
pictures of her,
and tickets to a show
that won’t go on.

countless passwords,
a bachelor’s degree-worth
of knowledge I rarely use,
friends’ birthdays,
how to drive a car,
and memories of what
life used to be.

the most beautiful little girl,
the kind of friends
you only hear about,
a family that dulls others
by comparison-

and a stubborn refusal to give up
on the idea that
will always win.

to the ones who stick.

here’s to the ones
who stick:

who trick
the odds and statistics

and decide not to quit-
the ones that know when you hit

gold- in friends, in love, in family-
you don’t just ‘wait and see’

what happens. you choose
not to use

people to your advantage, instead
you commit your head

and heart to being there,
no matter where

you’re needed. you answer the call,
you break down the wall

if you have to. the ones you never doubt-
they’re what life’s about

and they deserve your best, your most.
so here’s a toast:

I raise my glass to the profound-
to the ones who stick around.


the actor, he’ll go on
with the con:
saying the lines he knows
they want to hear- he shows
up when, conveniently,
there’s an audience to see
just how “spectacular”
his character is, the actor,
he’ll play the grateful, repentant sinner
and critics will think he’s a winner…

and the stagehand will remain
behind the scenes, where it’s plain
that the real work is done-
away from the spotlights and sun
where no one sees the sweat and sorrow
she’ll still be there tomorrow
and instead of playing the part,
she’ll live it and love it and her heart
although in hiding will be lifted,
and triumph, unscripted.



so you want my secret-
the one nobody knows,
the one that let me live
and love and grow-
even after the hell I t.r.a.v.e.l.e.d. through?
I must protect the [little]
left of my heart
but here’s a hint:

else you do,
if there are skeletons in your closet,
make them dance for you. 


Be careful with your words, my dear
Be careful with your sighs
Be careful with confessions,
With your omissions and your lies

Be conscious of your promises
Your encouragements and   s m i l e s,
Be wary of the kindness
That is hurting all the while

Take caution with your lips, my dear
Your truths are full of dust
From the disuse of a month, a year-
And I’m all out of t.r.u.s.t.

Your foolish words are empty, dear
You know this to be true
And if you do not take more care
They’ll all catch on to you


There they stood,
[face] to [face]:
two kingdoms
prepared for war

He moved first;
She started forward
– h e s i t a n t –
as he watched for
an open door

Then, tired of the
lazy pace,
she pushed her troops
all in

and she watched
her kingdom    cr u   m    b    l  e
as he destroyed her
in the win


I’ve seen you clearly in the sun,
Your face in morning dawn-
My eyes have all but memorized
The way you move along.

But who are you at twilight?
Who are you in the dark?
When the night reigns supreme
Do your eyes still have that spark?

What are you when
You’re just your voice?
A whisper or a shout?
What are you when
You’re just your hands,
When the bulbs go out?

I yearn to know the truth-
where does your secret soul reside
When everything is stripped away
And light won’t let you hide?