Units of Measurement

How do you measure a relationship?
In years?
We’ve lasted four.
I’d try to get it down to the second,
but I’m bad at math.

I’d rather measure ours
in moments:

Like the first night we spent together
and stayed up until 3am talking
about…you know, I’ve forgotten;
but I do remember the sound of your voice,
like a roll of thunder over my skin,
and how I wished your fingers had chased the sounds.

We were so silly
the day we decided moving in together
was the best solution to our first real argument.
But I was frustrated–I missed you,
and you won’t admit it,
but you missed me, too,
and even though it was stupid,
it worked out all right in the end.

I remember the day I dyed my hair
and you said I looked beautiful
and we tumbled into bed together
and some months and days later
we named our son after your grandfather.

It’s weird, isn’t it,
that buying a house together was scarier
than those 16 hours of pain.

A lot can happen in four years.
I’m curious to see what the next
four years will bring–
maybe a daughter?

For my SO, for putting up with me for so many years.


Debt Collector

My headstone will be a dollar sign
made of cold green marble.
It will not say
“Rest In Peace,”
and it will not tell you
when or how I lived,
nor have any cute anecdotes–
instead, there will be an itinerary
of every time a little
piece of me died because
I could not afford a peaceful life.
I could not even afford
a peaceful death.

Growing Up

Like a porcupine’s quills,
your hair stands in every direction.
Up and down and straight and curled–

well, only one curl, actually.
Right on the top of your head,
and it reminds me of another time
when your hair stuck straight up;
sort of like Alfalfa’s,
and you were so cute then–

not that you’re not cute now!
It’s just that you’ve lost the baby fat,
and your face is contoured,
instead of round like a little ball.

Still, you have the same dopey smile,
and have the same silly hair,
and the same goofy laugh.

You’re not so changed after all.
I can see flashes of the baby
you were in the toddler
you have become.
I just hope some day,
when you’re grown and care
about what your hair looks like
versus how much fun it is
when mommy tickles your cheeks,
that I’ll see flashes of the child
in the man you will become.

A Boy and His Cookie Monster



blue fur
with any number of gross things
and white eyes,
the pupils long since chewed off

it’s a broken thing,
this doll

but loved

with open-mouthed kisses
and tiny fingers sunk deep
he pours into it
his joy
and his tears

the blue fur,
matted and gross,
absorbs it all
absorbs the simple love
of my little boy
and gives it back with a smile