but the trees said


i left and came back

many times.


i almost left

for good,


but the trees said



the blue mountain air

called across the miles,


across the



held me in its warm

wooded hands


and breathed back

what i needed.


this imprint, this point

of reference and reverence,


takes me out of body,

out of present:


places me



the portal

to my larger self—


the goddess fortress:

where inner child,


inner voices, and

wise woman


are all held in

unison; where


everything needed is

right here: huddled within


and beneath and atop these

great pine branches;


where we can



and feel












light appears light

but can be heavy,


carried for decade-miles

inside these lantern bodies.


these machines with breath

are a bliss and a burden:


they flutter like compass



toward each other,



toward truth,



they blunder,

belie their divinity,


seek to fly off

the face.


only time will tell;

only clichés will fall away.


for now, this is the way

to the bird bath,


to the fat strawberries

along the wire fence,


to the fatter blackberries

along the tree line.


i listen to my self

falling asleep and


each breath is like god moss

cradling my head.








Empty Nest

It is so quiet. I look around at all the things in the exact same place I left them last night. Nothing is missing from my medicine cabinet, from my bedside table, from my closet. There are no shoes, clothes, or dishes strewn around the room.

Sometimes I forget and think she’s just sleeping in the next room. Sleeping well into the afternoon, like she used to, until I would go stir her awake with a squish or the cat or toasting waffles.

Sometimes it feels like she’s gone for good. Like she has died. And I have to squeeze my arms around my body and tell myself: No, god forbid. She is just gone into her own cave for a time.

I’ve heard the term empty nest for years, and it never really meant much to me. I always thought, if I ever get to the point when she’s ready to leave home, I will be happy in the thought that I did my job, and that she has launched successfully—whatever that means. Hopefully it will mean that she has finally finished school, and we will celebrate!

What I didn’t realize is that after the graduation and celebration and milestone after exciting milestone, it would creep up on me slowly and silently: while folding laundry and realizing it is only my clothes; while washing the dishes only I used; while wandering alone around Marshall’s and wondering why it’s no longer fun to poke through the endless knickknacks; while trying to sleep but waking continually with a void deep inside my body as if I’m missing her presence in my womb.

The feeling is indescribable. It’s the first time you realize deep in your gut how attached you have been to your child; how much of your life has been devoted to bringing her into the world and introducing each to the other; how unsure you are of who you are without her there, inside the nest, pressing up against and under your body.

From the outside, this may seem to some like a desperate dependence or unhealthy reliance. But the feelings I am having—as I sit here looking out the window from this new home I recently acquired to share with my daughter—are feelings of pure love; deep knowledge that I have grown so close to another being that I can feel the body of her absence beside me, against me, within me. And it is a feeling of profound gratitude. Because I know real love is laced with melancholy—with the awareness, but also the transcendence, of the fleeting of time. And because I know she feels the same; I know she carries my presence in and beside and around her every day. We are forever connected. And nothing can ever change that; no one can ever take that away.




a love like that

the rain is falling fast

outside my balcony.


i always leave the door

cracked just a bit:


you never know what

may need to come in.


every time i look out,

the view is different.


i want a love like that.


change and beauty

in perpetuity;


underbellies filling with flowers;

two: traversing eternity.


but first, you need to leave the house.


as you take on the monster mountain,

your gifts will not fail you.


the tree line is true;

she wraps ‘round,


she knows the way.

just above, the weather


has his say: he could start a storm,

or dissipate into nothing.


you need to find out.












let me know when you’re passing through;

i don’t want to miss you.


we’ve already missed so much:

the blue-grey felt, the touch


of memory, days spent

punching a clock


as if it’s to blame.

how can love be a


game of chance? of fate?

an unformed baby falling down


basement steps; a balcony door

cracking open.


must i attend the funeral

of this fetus?


of that which lives in the womb, but

can never be brought into the light?


i can’t seem to give up this fight;

i refuse to look, to see what lies in the


coffin, fault-lined with orange lanterns:

a deep trick laughing.









life is lonely:

fill it up.


laugh when you can.

be open to things that scare you.


sing at least once a day.

try to touch at least one being, and be touched.


life is lonely.

it’s ok;

we all know it.

lean into it.


there are times when you need

that space,

that quiet,

that gut-wrenching truth.


out of that wilderness

can come meaning, purpose,

focus, action.


get your fill.





brown eyes,

gold skin,

black cross-hatching,

blue rivers of veins

running through;

i see you. i see you.

your fingers find mine,

carry their own heat;

i feel you. i feel you.

your open mouth holds

what we don’t need to say.

you unfold your acre arms; and

i fall straight through

to the other side.