The Ex

The Ex

He’s smart, sexy, and, oh, so talented!

I used to wonder:

Why did she run away?

Now I know him so much better.

I ask myself:

How did she stay so long?


This isn’t my fight

This isn’t my fight

My body has become a battlefield.

Do not wage YOUR war in my flesh.

I welcomed you in with open arms

(and legs).

Why did you only bring your rage with you?

I am not her.

She is not all women.

It’s my fault for not building a stronger fortress.

Question and Answer

Question and Answer

It’s a strange thing.

You’ve never said so,

of course,

That you can’t seem to allow even the


of me in your heart.

So why is it

Every time we’re together

You leave a mark on my body?

Are you claiming it as yours?

Or are you really just that careless?

Don’t answer that,


I told you I felt unbreakable.

I was wrong.

After the Hurricane

After the Hurricane

I never intended to keep her.

I just wanted to try her on,

My shiny new toy.

You have to understand:

She was so beautiful.

She put out this light-

Her love was radiant-

Her eyes shone,

Reflecting back at me

Everything I’ve ever wanted to see.

I never intended to keep her.

I wondered what it would feel like,

To chain her heart to my feet

And make it dance only for me.

What it would feel like

To take all that love she has to give

And lock it in a cage.

Make it only for my use.

I never intended to keep her.

When the chase was done

And she was mine:

I ripped off her wings.

Just because I could.

Just because she let me.

Because her light, her love,

Weren’t quite enough

To fill that void inside me.

I made her MINE.

I let myself bask in her light.

I took her to dark places.

My poor, wounded little bird,

My elemental beauty.

I caught her with words of love

But, reader, trust me-

I never intended to keep her.

When I was done

And her light was dim

And her heart was tired from the dance

I threw her away.

I have to move on to the next one

I never intend to keep.

When you lose again

When you lose again

You can’t lose something

That you never really had.

But try telling that to your heart

When it’s breaking.

And you don’t recognize the noises

Coming out of your own throat.

They sound like an animal’s,

And not the roar of a lion

Or the scream of a hawk.


The sounds you make are

The mew of a kitten

The squeak of a mouse

Something small and helpless

And totally unlike the Strong Woman

You wear as a suit of armor.

You can’t lose someone

That you never really had.

And I dare you to tell that to your heart

As it’s breaking.

Arrogance (Naïveté)

Arrogance (Naïveté)

I thought being pretty would save me.

I thought

My face, my body,

My heart, my soul

Were beautiful


They marked me as special


That I wouldn’t be alone for long.

I thought

Because so many men have wanted me

over the years.

I thought they wanted ME:

the face, the body,

the heart, the soul.

But it turns out

All they want is one specific part of me.

And when I ask them to love ME back:

my face, my body,

my heart, my soul.

They can’t run away fast enough.

I thought being pretty would save me.

From the casual cruelty of a man.

The things I didn’t do

The things I didn’t do

I didn’t coat my life in gasoline

And strike a match

To fly into the first beautiful cage I found

And waste my voice on someone else.

I didn’t find the courage to speak MY truth

And put it out into the world

To silence myself for your comfort

And move MY body to your tune.

I didn’t trade my love for freedom

And walk the lonely road

To settle down in something that takes my soul piece by piece

Instead of demanding the whole upfront.

These are all things I didn’t do

Choices I didn’t make.

I won’t be a fool for you.


Surprise! I’m still alive and well. Well, alive at any rate.

I survived the Hurricane, I survived the aftermath. I hung on by my fingernails for most of it. I lost my voice (literally and figuratively). Now I’ve got my fists in the cliff and I’m about ready to climb.

If you had told me where I’d be now a year ago, I would have laughed in your face. And probably died a little inside too.

What I can say from the other side is this: After you’ve said the big NO to something, it’s hard to start saying yes again. Keep at it. Keep saying yes. Keep being unafraid to look around, asking yourself, “Now what?” and answering it with, Who the fuck knows? Just try everything until something feels right. 

Love, love, love,


Coming Home to Myself

Beach Ice

I braved the cold and went for a walk on the beach this morning. Every time I test myself against the harshest elements of winter, I feel strong. Like I’ve come home to myself.

It was absolutely frigid; my thighs went numb right away despite my long coat.

There were chunks of ice littering the beach that had been thrown out by the waves. It was like walking on broken glass.

I had the beach to myself. I turned my face to the sun, and let my heart crack open a little. The shore of Lake Michigan in the winter felt like the safest place to do so. I was deeply in touch with myself, and strong enough to handle what came up.

I am afraid to be quiet and alone in my new home. I am afraid that I’m not strong enough to face the challenges ahead in the next year.

I am afraid that ending my marriage was the wrong choice. He was one of my best friends- he still is, in fact. I was so tired of struggling to get him to be kind to me. Of swallowing my voice to avoid conflict, of feeling like I wasn’t accepted as fully human by him; being his project to “fix”. Yet, I am still afraid of losing that connection.

I am falling for Hurricane. In my head, I know that it’s a bad idea. I know that I am not even close to the life I want to build for myself. I know that neither of us is in a place to truly commit to another person. My heart won’t listen though. With the next look, or word, or touch, I fear that I’m a goner.

Standing on that beach, I knew, deep in my being, that I can let all of these feelings wash over me. These fears can buffet me like waves on the shore, they can and will change the shape of me. But I will endure. I will emerge from this eternal winter of the soul. I will go on.

Beach Ice 2

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I go to put the camera to my eye

My pen to paper

My fingers to the guitar strings

And it hurts.

I have cracked open

I’m bleeding on the floor

-An embarrassment-

To strong women everywhere.

My loneliness

A stamp of failure

I wear on my heart.

When I dare to venture out

I leave a trail of destruction

In my wake

Along with tiny pieces of my soul.


Watch where you step.

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