can you feel it

the stink hanging in the air-

the pervasive rut of sadness that crawls

into your knees and hangs in your shins

like stones-

the toxic wave of anxiety

that creeps into your muscles

like an ache you were fucking born with-

the stink of helplessness,

the stink happiness left rotting in its shadow,

that fucking stink-

this rain needs to wash that shit away

because we

are suffocating

Rest

It’s a pocket of sunlight

through an old, weathered window,

dappling warm and inviting on the bedspread,

an easy place to spend a waking dream.

It’s a storm at night,

rumbling thunder singing low and captivating,

as the pitter patter of the rain

echoes in the dancing shadows on the wall.

It’s a warm winter morning

with glittering snow between the trees,

the dusting of white lustrous and fresh

burying the secrets

of all the days before it.

Places I Left My Heart

The house I grew up in and the swing set in the yard, the lid of the sandbox colored with marker to look like a giant pumpkin

in the town I attended college and the nature preserve behind it, the walking trails bursting with the smell of green life under the light of a full moon

the beach near my apartment in Los Angeles, the smell of sunscreen and salt, and the bluffs of Palos Verdes overlooking a sparkling ocean

the crowded, bustling streets of New York City, decorated with lamplight, no stars in sight, and soft snowfall melting in my hair

on Gramma’s porch, where she would tell me about chickadees and sing A Bushel and a Peck, feeding me chocolate covered graham crackers or popsicles

the theater in LA where I spent hours in rehearsal, selling tickets, and partying until the early hours of the morning, the smells of cigarette smoke and sweat hovering in the doorway

a house my aunt no longer owns, where we had dozens of Thanksgivings and Christmases, carving our names in the foam exterior of the air return in the basement

the house my Pépé built, with its glass doorknobs and pine paneled walls, and late summers picking blueberries from the bushes around the pond

in the heart of a friend I haven’t seen in half a decade, who lives in a city I’ve never been to, without whom life hasn’t been the same-

Pieces of my heart lie in memories and loves, lost feelings and burning hopes,

they are the sum of my scattered soul.

Today

I miss early morning showers, walking through brisk air,

and the first cup of coffee in the office before anyone else gets in.

I miss the hustle of the city, hurrying to catch a train,

laughing with friends while running to get out of an unexpected downpour.

I miss quiet, dirty bars,

with tipsy bartenders and bad karaoke singers in the back.

I miss sunny walks through the park,

seeing endless amounts of dogs and people laying out on blankets.

I miss the city at night,

pools of light on street corners and the soft cooing of sleepy pigeons.

I miss ten minute train delays, waiting too long for an under-baked bagel,

I miss tripping into a puddle and shrieking when my pants get muddy,

I miss the quickening of my heart when I think I’ve lost my metrocard,

I miss the smell of street vendors even though I hate hot dogs,

and I miss the kindness of strangers, the reliance we have on each other.

I miss New York.

I miss my life.

Isolation

An uncommon quiet fills the air

and overwhelms any awareness of time.

Sunlight still streams through the back window

and the cat still lays in the patch of white light

stretching his big paws as he lets out a yawn.

There is still cooking and baking,

practicing the piano and taking gentle naps.

The silence becomes discounted,

part of the everyday,

part of life.

When there is a siren now,

a noise once part of the background of the city,

it rips at the air and ravages the ears,

ruining the reverie,

a grating reminder of the truth outside the solitude.