111

does it ever cross your mind
heart eyes across the telephone
so dejected, disconnected
some company you are

screen cracked, rose-coloured glass
maybe you’re all tied up
I’m curling the corkscrew wire
tousling through my fingers like
those fall nights when we’re alone

casual cruelty, always
aglow from your phone
read receipts left on read
are you even seeing me?

110

we’ll recount summer stories
of warm nights and warmer memories
kind people we met
and old tales we’ve left behind

we’ll find refuge in flannel
cotton wool blends into our daily attire
we’ll forget the way the beach breeze
swept through us like tides

I’m sitting on the shoreline
and I’m imagining all I promised to the universe
of all the good things I swore I’d accomplish
and all I haven’t planned quite yet

I’m awash with thinking I’m
the only person who could feel
so old and so young
and so eager to grow
for the rest of my life.

109

be protective of the person you’re becoming
consider the way sunflowers
face the sun everyday
as they track across the sky

flourish in looking forward
wave in the wind and
believe that brighter days
are coming.

108

material flattery
you used to pine for flowers
brilliant colour centrepiece
saying all the right things, hoping
one day he’d gift you with some
but I’ll let you in on a secret:

you don’t have to be soft if you don’t want to
you can be brash and disinterested
and you can buy yourself flowers
whenever you damn well like.

106

perfectionism, permeating
everything I do
making competitions out of conversations
hoping, always, for a bronzed statue in my name
for a race that didn’t exist

I fought myself to push harder
to be better when I was fine as is
exhausted to impress others
and maybe even me, too
perhaps the silver lining
is that I grew weary of winning
when everyone I met was my opponent

I’m passing the baton and
throwing some matches
catching up with myself again, I’m
watching sunsets, golden
emboldened to be calm
to be anything I want to be
in any given moment
even if I’m not a winner every time

105

I used to think that finding forever
was like falling
the finest collection of affections and failures
and figuring out you still wanted each other.

like a kite, tethered
just in case it would float away, I
eyed the day it would come true
that one day the scaffolding would collapse
and there’d be nothing left of me but
the friction burns of a kite string
stinging into my palms

but everyday I wake up next to you, I realize
we’re not falling or plummeting or
some kind of aerial disaster
we’re the wind itself.