Step Ashore

The weather hasn’t been able to decide
if it wants to laugh or cry.
Today it’s doing a little of both
and I can hear the ocean waves
from the bed I’ve been sleeping in
in this small coastal town.
I have learned from many small coastal towns
that you can call any place “seaside”
as long as there’s dolphins and seashells
printed on everything
and you can hear the ocean
crashing its love into the shore.
I have learned
that small thorns love to hide
in the bottoms of my socks,
planning their sticky attacks
into my bare feet.
I have learned that sand holds secrets,
keeps them in castles,
turns to glass when it’s afraid.
I put my feet in warm sand today,
remembered why I love
the ocean so much.
It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten
to believing in god.

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Winter

Lately,
the sun has trusted us enough
to show itself all day.
It’s carved its name
into my pale skin
and brought my freckles
out to play until winter
turns everything back to grey.
Once the weather turns cold again,
I will take my $10 yard sale snowboard
to the mountains
and I will ride freshly fallen snow
until my body aches
and I’m satisfied
that I can be bigger
than any mountain
if I try hard enough.

Dusk

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In the summer,
it’s like dusk never ends.
9:30 at night
can be driving into
the fire of the sun
through grey clouds
and evergreens.
It can seem like
a different world
where hearts
never feel broken.
Where we don’t need
to occasionally shake ourselves
into a reality
we don’t enjoy facing.
Somewhere most magical.

Sore Throat

I am positive
that we’ve all burned our throats
with words we wish we’d never said
or even from the ones
we wish we’d spoken.
Creating fire from friction,
anyone can smell the smoke
from miles away.
I have barbecued
my vocal chords
more times than I can count
and the taste
has never been good.
I wish I could take it all back.
I wish I’d said more.

Barefoot

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Left foot nails permanently removed June 20th. Right foot nails permanently removed June 5th.  

I no longer
feel the need
to bury my feet in warm sand
or thick socks.
There is no more embarrassment here.
It’s all been taken away
and I am left with blood and bandaids,
bruising and tenderness.
I am grateful for the pain
and the process of healing
so that I can walk barefoot
and confident
at the same time.

My Body Knows Trauma

Today
my right foot was numbed
to remove 4 toenails,
to let go of an embarrassment
I’ve held on to for at least 15 years.
I couldn’t feel the pain of his tools
digging and ripping
but my body knows trauma
like the backs of all its parts
because I began sweating
and feeling sick to my stomach
and thought I might pass out.
Instead,
they put something cold on my forehead
and I took a million deep breaths
and felt better.
The nails will never grow back
and
soon,
I’ll have the same procedure done
on the other foot.
In September, I’ll be having surgery
to remove a reproductive system
I no longer need or want.
I will be letting go
of an unnecessary piece of myself
and my body will once again know trauma.
The pain will come later
when the numbness wears off.
The other day,
I burned a letter I wrote
that she will never read
and my body knew a different trauma:
letting go of something
I still wanna hold on to.

Rain

Sometimes,
the rain falls
like it needs to.
Like crashing against
a windshield
is the only comfort
it will find.
It falls with a  purpose,
making its point,
arguing its love
for making puddles.

Sometimes,
I fall in love
with the same purpose.
To feel the crashing,
to be intentionally reckless.
To see her smile
and choke on that poison.