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One was meant to be,
the other, not so much.
Two contrasting Stephanies,
but neither woman out of touch.

You met her on the dock
just before you set your sails.
Fleeting moment, coffee shop,
a pair of pastry hearts going stale.

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For the past eight months I haven’t had much desire to write poetry (or anything, for that matter). I’m not quite sure why, but whenever I’d think about doing it, I saw it as a chore instead of the valuable creative outlet it’s been to me for years. Seeing it this way left me feeling a bit down, as I’m happiest when I can be creating on a regular basis. Earlier today was the first time in too long that I had a genuine desire to put my feelings into poem form, and I’m hopeful this will be the springboard I needed for returning to writing, not only consistently, but enthusiastically as well. I hope you’ll enjoy the result of today’s inspiration. Thank you, always, for reading.

Being Polite

I caress the arm of a lover I haven’t
seen for months,

the days divided
and stacked upon each other

like crinkly polaroids
that never tell the complete story,

giving only glimpses of smiles
manufactured by politeness.

Is it polite to be disingenuous?
The truth aches much less

than the mealy mouthed
tripe dripping from their lips.

Let my heart be punctured
and heal

rather than these distractions
that bankrupt the conscience.

I’ve been kissed and held
by honest love,

have experienced the magic
of acceptance, flaws and all,

and so with that knowledge
I gently push their arm away.

Lemon

Certain numbers apply pressure,
squeezing life out of a lemon.
But to the lips it’s bitterness,
this sour self-deflating weapon.

Cheap Shot

How can I be happy
when these dreams aren’t my own?
When I’m pushing and trying,
my reward being alone.

I’m a husk of myself
when I’m reading and reading,
not understanding
my menial bleeding.

This going through the motions
for the sake of a path
I don’t want or need,
carved out in a class.

Stress hoists my emotions
so they’re obnoxious and rude,
my mind a rough draft,
fragmented and crude.

What’s holding me back
but the things of my mind?
What’s keeping me open
to what I haven’t tried?

I’m standing right now,
but I’m bound to collapse.
It’s a cheap shot to failure,
and a long one to “success.”

One year in
and everybody pretends
like this isn’t the way
things have always been.

It took a loudmouthed dumbfuck
to pridefully reveal
the unabating ugliness,
the curtain finally peeled.

That we could be so great
if only Russia hadn’t intervened,
if we’d put a Clinton in the White House,
we’d still have our American dream.

The same policies are better,
and nicer are the wars
when they come from subtle Ds
instead of vile Rs.

We’ll sleep a little sounder
when it’s not shoved in our faces.
We’ll ignore the suffering,
back to normal, enabling racists.

Lifetime Monogamy

Asp of the tongue,
I ask, are we done?
Destroyer of love,
joy, innocuous fun.

I slide into depths
safe but cold to the touch.
Warmth is above me;
kindness doesn’t mean much.

A sharp answer here,
a distant look there.
I get the words out
like I’m pulling gray hairs.

Constancy
is costly, see?
Bleed ourselves dry
for the sake of “we.”

The Confession

Our burnt remains,
or to be more clear, the remains
of warm promises in the night.

Spoken over kisses
that at the time didn’t seem finite,
but then the confession…