To Err Is Human, So Err Sincerely

Never miss an opportunity to take yourself out of an unhappy place just because you are too busy sticking to a past decision to see that it is that decision that made you unhappy.

The true measure of taking charge of your life is not only the courage it takes to take action when the outcome is uncertain and support is scarce, but also the honesty and humility it takes to admit it when that leap of faith you took doesn’t turn out well, and retracing your steps to try again.

The Road, Where Love Stories are Baked into the Asphalt

We began
as the weights of ourselves,
armfuls of strange histories
of having loved and
having been loved before,
and lessons
some embraced at first try,
some learned begrudgingly,
some still choking
our stubborn hearts
where reason had
shoved them down

but timing was our friend
that time
and one step
was all it took for space
to make space for itself
where we can welcome
another story, another soul
and tell us
we can walk together,
stumble and fall together,
get lost trying shortcuts
and scenic routes together,
and be everything
that was ever wanting
in two journeys that
seemed too long
for the longest,
yet in one fell sweep
came to understand that
all the false starts
and bitters endings
have come together
to piece together
a new beginning,
and the burdens added
onto our persons
by layers of experience
are now but second skin,
and we are lighter
than feather dreams
and can run like the wind.

The Disease was Never the Cure

I thought you were good for me
and I believed it even
long after you have caused
the worst pain I’ve ever suffered
I blamed it on the world
blamed it on everything
and everyone else but you
I blamed myself, worst of all
while you remained in my mind
the only good thing in my life
and it didn’t occur to me
to correlate the way
you wrote our ill-fated romance
with the way that I became
predisposed to ruin
after we crashed and burned

I had a death wish
I called it different names,
like “none of you
deserves the best of me”
like “I fear nothing, for
I’ve lost him and
I have nothing else
worth losing”
like “don’t leave me broken
halfway, world, why don’t you
break me all the way”
so I flirted with danger,
put my faith to the fire
and slept around with
beautiful nightmares
I reinvented my heart
many times over
but didn’t think to kick
the one thing that makes me
keep falling apart

with you in my life,
even if for the most part
it was only in my imagination
and the part of me that
would not give up on you
and could not recognize
self-destruction
if it grabbed me by the throat,
I was never really alive
I ate only ashes
and breathed only shadows

and I write these lines now,
in soft, sighing remembrance
because for the first time
I’m loving
in a love that flows forward
instead of back
and finally I want to live,
really live,
sweetly dressed
and with direction,
taste every moment
and adore not knowing
what tomorrow holds

The Inside Man

He thinks I brought him
to God
his family and friends agree
and they thank me,
thinking I must be
some kind of pure angel
that saved him

but the truth is
I had also
needed saving
and we saved each other

it may seem at first that I
for them who were too far
away from the site of
my personal evolution
to catch the echoes of my past,
a woman of pristine morals
one of those described
once by a preacher
as having “a heart so hidden
in God that a man has
to seek Him just to find her,”
that I hailed from a land
of spiritual enlightenment
and arrived in his life
to turn it around
and walk along a well-lit path
till death do us part

but the story is much
more complex than that

because I am a sinner, and I
had walked on the patch of gray
between the undying righteous
and a living hell
of blasphemy, of promiscuity,
of messying myself in questions
that I was never ashamed to ask
they offended some and
made others fearful for my soul

I was groping in the dark
with the faint candle
of defiance for guide
and I felt the touch
of His hand when I saw this man
he needed light and so I
let mine burn a little brighter
and it was only then
that I realized how close I was
to the edge of a fatal drop

they see us together, now
praying and believing
growing in faith
and living a blessed life
they say I got him to start
when in fact
it was because of him
that I finally found the reason
I desperately needed
to never stop.
.


Lines 20-22, commonly misattributed to Maya Angelou, was originally by Max Lucado.

Sweet Solstice

I am beholden to this sunrise;
it taught me how to love—

with streaks of awakening
piercing a day that is always new,
and ushering in a beginning
where new words
can be written
or said,
more promises
can be kept
or made

wearing a warm layer
of unapologetic hope
and revealing the rest
of what was always there
but previously unperceived,

an illumination
after dawn’s reinvention
of what’s beautiful,
what’s true,
for pasts that cannot be undone
and souls that made it
through the night,
for all that a morning
represents,
and is,
there are no more ways
or reasons to hide—
there is only
that sweet second chance
and that inundation of light.

Anthem

I used to have a promiscuous heart
like Taylor Swift
what you know about me now
is the work of six thousand nights
of inevitable reckless choices,
of dancing with devils
to the tune of promises never spoken
but implied, tucked away
among the beguiling notes
of romance and possibility,
of intoxication that didn’t seem to end
flirtation and addiction to pleasures
and substances I could not see,
that got under my skin
and altered my state of mind,
kept me awake
and my heart beating, beating
unapologetic and sincere,
of days when the world
was molten gold on fire
with brilliance to rival the sun
and diamonds were nothing but legend
and the street was littered
with broken hearts that sang
songs of identity and rising again
and the sky was never just sky

Oh, how I’d love to say
I was molded to perfection,
that my red-painted town of a story
was all minutely crafted by fate
to give me all the secrets
and see me emerge
at the end as a butterfly
with alchemy etched on my wings

but see, everything happened
by accident, and sometimes
a blind swerve at the last minute
is all that saves you from disaster,
and finally I crash landed
into Heaven,
the same guitar-caressed anthems
worn on my sleeve like I was
never meant to learn my lesson,
with my heart, somehow, still intact,
and I came face to face
with love, my only master

She’s No Disney Princess

And through all my jadedness
and confessed intimacy
with shadows,
I believe in love,
and believe
it transforms from within
like benign poison,
like surgery on the soul,
crafting miracles and open doors
where the limits of the body
and the incarnations of fears
have put up defenses for walls,
and the way love
makes us see what we see
that is otherwise ordinary
is a mirror,
and we are everything that
we’ve never noticed about
the world before,

and I believe chance is
love’s fairy godmother in disguise

for we all have broken parts
that will never be repaired
even by all the magic
romance and second chances
have to offer; we can only
dance around them
accompanied by music
that doesn’t really last
and they will come to overtake us
and clothe us back
in tattered rags and
sooty memories
at the stroke of midnight.
But love that is true
has always been our birthright,
and fits like a glove the hand
that in turns brandishes the flaws
and casually covers them
with hopes of a happy ending
and the dance is always
a dance worth remembering