Rumination

a cold wind caresses my cheeks
in a tingling reminder
to leave behind stillness
when inner thoughts
become suffocating

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Christmas Card Etiquette

For years I sent you Christmas cards and never received a reply.
Once, my well wishes included an apology because we had argued.
(Neither the card nor the apology was acknowledged.)
This year, I lost someone and decided I would try one last time.
I thought that at least a goodbye should be full of good intentions and sweet.
This was the year, you decided to thank me for my card.
I cried, knowing I would never send you another one.

To J, the lovesick

you who brought her to the doctor
and signed for her packages
so that her parents wouldn’t berate her
for expensive spending habits

once told me, she asked if you were in love with her

and you said no
but from then on,
it was push and pull

an isolation from other friends

this twenty-something
she had seen the color of your heart
found the pen to scribble over it
like a child vandalizing her belongings
THIS IS MINE

and still you persisted
even as you told me
where we would eat
what we would watch
what we would do

until one day I said no
and you fell silent

love or friendship
we are human beings
and not things to be used or tossed
or pulverized to fill
the gaps of other people’s wounds

Dear Goldish

I won you at a street fair
five years ago
a lifetime ago
before illnesses, deaths, and weddings

everyday, I stopped by your tank
fed you your flakes
every week, I changed your water
and you would be happy to see me

today, you passed away

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more
than a 5 gallon home
which always felt a little too cramped

you were important;
when I felt all alone
I sat by you and spoke:
“We’re both just trying our best to live.”

thank you for being in my life
if you start a new one
I’m sure it’ll be as wonderful as you were