the dying of the light

mama, i did not rage
when the light died –
i died with it.
i died with it.
a thousand deaths have
taken place inside me
and i don’t yet understand
how i am still here,
when the light died,
mama, i died too.
not even a flicker left,
i was extinguished from
the inside, total darkness
in my every room.
this world is cruel,
you taught me, and i
learned that early,
and during,
and after, and
again and again.
repetition, always –
the message sticks,
the message always the
i did not rage, mama,
or i did, but
it made no difference.
i did not rage,
or i think i was rage,
and then i vanished.
a big bang, and after,
not a new world but
the light is dead, mama,
or is dying,
and there was nothing
and there is nothing i
can do.
the light is dead, mama,
and i think i might be too.


So good at silence now,
I stumble through the world of the speaking,
a stranger again,
another home to be banished from.
Hard to miss, carrying my
solitude like that.
I know what a strange sight I must be,
a broken and fragile beast.
I know you’ve come expecting roaring.
How can I tell you it’s been days
since I’ve heard my own voice?
That even the moon looks away
from me now,
ashamed of what I’ve become.
But I’m so good at silence now,
I swallow even my explanations.
What a waste, you say, and I agree.
A small nod to let you know:
I’m disappointed too.
But this silence – and my fantasies
of nonexistence – they’re all I
have to offer you now.
Sit with me if you like,
for a while,
I don’t mind.
Leave if it unravels you.
I promise I’ll understand.

living with loss

he knows me well,
walks through my apartment
like he owns the place,
casts a shadow on every
corner with even a
semblance of light
reflecting off it.

we live together.

the closet is half mine,
half his.
he fills his side
with all my traumas,
color-coded and
freshly folded,
ready to wear.

he owns the
air i breathe, too
and charges me guilt on
days i breathe too well,

i tip him extra.

half the fridge belongs to
him. he stocks it
with my memories,
plastic-wrapped and frozen
in time,
ready to be consumed.

most breakfasts are
nights at the hospital.

for lunch,
he’s spoon-feeding me
beeping machines and calling
for nurses, sleeping on
the ICU floor,

he wants me nourished and

and i swallow every bite.

this is loss.

and you might have not noticed
him, but he saw you here.

he was the one that made sure
every kiss felt like our first
and our last, the butterflies
in our stomachs
fluttering but heavy with

he’s bigger now that
you’re gone, too.

this is loss.

he knows my name.
and i know him more intimately
than i ever wanted to.


For years, your hellos
meant “welcome home”.
I was a soldier
every time you walked in,
running to you homesick
and wounded, looking
for the end of the war
inside me.

You put the
fires out every time,
defused all the ticking
bombs, declared my heart
a peaceful nation for
once –

How was I supposed to fall
out of love with you?
You didn’t even have the
decency to turn into a

The nerve to still be
your gorgeous self.

You ray of sunshine,
you light of my fucking
life –
I wasn’t afraid of the
dark until I met you.

The audacity to stand there
and continue to embody all
that is good and beautiful
and holy.

How dare you?
To become both my pain and
my healing, my executioner
and my very last wish.

Now my heart is a country
in turmoil, war-torn and
ravaged, bombs going off
a famine of the soul;

How dare you carve yourself
into my skin then expect me
to just shed you?

Rings on our fingers and
rings on our skin,
you were it for me.

Even now, I love you
is sub-text for everything
we say,
even “I hate you”.

We know this.

When I ask how you’re doing,
I’m saying you’re still
the love of my life.

I know your “I’m fine”
is just I miss you.
Blanket reality with

We are so fucking polite.

Last night, I realized again
that I lost you.
It comes in waves.
It washes over.

I came to you gasping for

I said “hello”.

hourglass figure

I’ve lost so much I don’t know how
to keep anything in my hands
Not this love. Not even hope.
There are holes in my palms and
every thing falls through,
sand in an hourglass,
always a second too late.
If I no longer have the things
I think I deserve:
living without melancholy,
the ability to recognize the
extravagant beauty of rain,
maybe that’s what I’m deserving of.
People slip through my fingers
like they’re made of water, and
when I try to hold on the waves
pull me into the ocean and leave
me there to drown. Every time.
I look for you, still.
Water filling up my lungs.
I look for you – still,
and for him – always,
but I can’t find anything.
Not hope. Not even comfort.
I thought if I deprived myself,
I’d learn to swim, alone, but
I’ve lost so much and I don’t know how
to keep my heart from constantly
having to rebuild itself from
the ground up.
She and I are weak.
When I was younger, all I longed
for was independence.
I sought it out like it would
save me. I lit a match
and flicked it into every gasoline-
soaked person I walked into and
ran – excuses to be both the hero
and the villain. I was saving me.
Now that all I have is myself,
I’m just tired.
Just here.
Drowning and on fire.