Worth a Welcome 

My presence
seems to have the power
to abracadabra her cheeks
into levitating
several stories high
above her worst days.
I’m
her natural botox
outside the box;
negativity
not included.  

I, pixie dust
the concern on her brow
to accelerate from
zero to gone and she
still won’t admit
I’m the cause of all this but,
I kinda like it that way. 

Her eyes
flirt more honestly
than her lips would permit but,
at least I know
what her soul looks like
without the filters. 

On occasion,
she invites me
through her optical windows;
helps me climb
over her pane and trusts
that I won’t tear out the floorboards
that keep her human like:
her unbroken belief
that a man’s hands
were created for more than
breaking,
more than bashing,
bruising,
blasting
in and out
of a woman’s heart,
although the evidence
for this myth of a man is lacking. 

You see she’s
trusted others before
who’ve polished their
devilish pitchforks
into silverware;
thrusted her trust
onto some cutting board
to dice and mince her love
until she could no longer
discern her reflection. 

I don’t have to tell you
she’s been misused
when her best smile
looks like a hand-me-down
from abuse. 

And that’s exactly why
her faith in me
scares me,
abruptly erupts my core
with how sure she is
that I’m not composed of failure,
that I’m not the man
to fail her. 

So I stand quick
to hail her,
not for the struggles
she has suffered,
not for the battles
she has braved,
not for the whips
she has weathered
but for the belief
that she has saved…
for someone like me.

Someone
who could barely juggle
the suggestions from
right shoulder angel
and left shoulder demon.
I still
have no idea
what you see in me… 

But for what it’s worth
I’ll love you like
the last man standing
to prove your myth of a man to be true. 

P.S:

When she looks at you
through her exit wounds,
give her a reason
as to why you’re worth a welcome,
it’ll look a lot like
why you deserve to stay. 

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Next Crush

When she 
pretends to fall off 
the monkeybars, 
fabricates this scene
of disparity
to host your intro
as her hero, 
only to broadcast
that you have the cooties 
to every child present
after helping her up…

When he
writes you love letters so sweet
that your heart starts to
beat in Maple
and pulse in syrup, 
only for him to deny
that you aren’t his French vanilla
in the company
of “masculinity…” 

When she looks at you, 
eyes you down 
with disdain, 
disapproval leaking 
from the ceiling 
of her tolerance 
while you think 
you’re on the cusp of giving 
the world’s best 
best man’s speech… 

When he conveniently 
“forgets”
to introduce you 
as his better half
to his “she’s just a friend,” 
laughs it off 
in dismissive fashion 
as if your feelings 
were rations it’d be irrational 
to throw a war over…

When she sobers up 
after drunk texting you
her heart’s confessions
only to chalk it up
to a cup too many,
a will too weak… 

When honest conversations 
cease to arrest their attention.

When your weekend 
starts to feel like 
a merry-go-round of clubs
you’ve already seen enough of. 

When you find yourself questioning
why are you even here? 
What do you love about him
that keeps you around? 
What do you admire about her
that fuels your fire
to try to make things work? 

Step One: Self-assess. 
Never sit for a meal
where you’ve set the table, 
prepped the appetizers, 
main course AND dessert 
yet still expected 
to clean up after. 

Step Two: Re-evaluate. 
If this
wasn’t what you signed up for? 
Then do yourself a favor
and leave. 

Step Three: 
It really is that simple. 

Step Four:
Never stay
with someone who wants more
but is allergic to doing more. 

Step Five:
Remember, 
what made you feel alive. 
Remember, 
what about them sparked your flame. 
Remember, 
why he made you feel invincible. 
Remember, 
why you would go to war for her. 

Remember. 

Remember who you are,
that you’re priceless, 
worth going to war for, 
invincible, 
more than a flicker 
of flame dancing in rain. 
You are power, 
you are youth, 
you are beauty, 
you are truth. 

You. 
You are love so
drink
up. 
Get your heart
so drunk with yourself
that you get cited 
with a DUI while sober. 

Get your heart
beating itself in disbelief
for taking this long
to find you. 

Get your heart
unbroken enough
to breakdance
in front of your next crush and
may your next crush
be no other
than you. 

Do it For You

You decided
to break my heart 
before we met. 
I decided
to love you still
with the pieces left. 

You said
you needed to do things
for you, 
for your happiness. 
I agreed. 
I too, 
needed confirmation 
that your smile wasn’t residual
to the afterthoughts of him. 

You made it clear
that a friendship
was what you needed,
one where trust
wouldn’t be ceded. 
I obliged
to hold your heart
til it hop scotched 
into a notch of love
it could be itself around. 

You, 
sounded more
bothered than okay, 
more flustered than
nothing’s wrong, 
more agitated than
you’re fine
but maybe, 
maybe I shouldn’t 
want to talk about it either. 

I’m not a knight
but a bleeder,
not a hero
but a seeker of
what more could I do
to help you forget him? 

What enchantments can I use
short of black magic
to pry your thoughts loose
from leeching on to him? 
How often must I remind you
that your soul
is far too beautiful
to keep cracking
over his faults?
How long
will you remain victim
to his vault 
of emotional assault? 

Please,
come back to me. 
I need you to remember
who you are,
need you to remember
that love is a promise
you made to yourself first,
need you to remember 
your worth 
will always be more valuable
than his barcodes
of depreciation. 

I beg of you, 
before he shackles 
the rest of your existence
to the rust of things you once were, 
to picture frames
of smiles you once knew;
I implore you 
to find yourself
in your scars, 
heal yourself
past the wounds, 
and love yourself
for you. 

Fall in Love

She
made me promise
to hold true to my word
five minutes to one a.m,
four hours to the end
of my circadian rhythm,
three parted heart emojis later
on a night her mind seeks to savor 
something to salvage
from watching her team lose.

I was told:
“Every time you don’t win, 
a part of you loses.”
Loses fight, 
lose grit. 
Loses heart, 
lose grip
on hoping against the odds,
that she’s someone
worth
loving. 

She’s hoping 
that someone will put
a check in the win column
next to her name;
that her heart
won’t be the last pick
in the rough draft
to better relationships;
that her soul
will stop feeling caught
between encounters with third base
when she desperately
just wants
to make
it
home.  

Check if you like me,
leave blank if you don’t. 
She slid this note to her crush;
his mouth said that he can’t, 
his eyes said that they won’t. 
She is so done
with rejection, 
so done
with losing. 

Fast forward
to her last relationship
and she’s not taking an L
for no one. 

This beautiful, 
mermaid princess 
would rather swim alone
then drown in complacency, 
uncertainty
and a shipwreck
of good intentions.

She now lives
in the ocean
of self-acceptance, 
basks in waves
of self love. 

My dear, 
you need not these hands 
to make you whole, 
need not a poem 
to reconstruct your confidence, 
need not a man
to help you heal. 

If “I love you” 
no longer sounds holy
from his lips,
if “you’re beautiful” 
seems laced 
with insincerity, 
then fall in love
with the way
you whisper them to yourself.
Fall in love
with your insecurities, 
fall in love
with all the reasons
they said you weren’t enough, 
fall in love
with you. 

You Owe it to Yourself

Let’s go. 

Doesn’t matter the place. 
We can wrestle over details later. 
For right now, 
do yourself a favor and 
ride out on out of here, 
to your favorite hide out
miles south of fear
or northbound
to a little town
to disappear
so I could repeat 
our meet and greet. 

I’ll reintroduce myself
as your cowboy, 
your eyes
will blink themselves
into my sunrise
so you’ll always know that home
is a faceful of sunset
and a smile full of my pride. 

I’ll lick the postage 
you stamp the seal of approval. 
Let’s work
on the removal of you
from the mundane. 

We’ll saddle
your imagination, 
book inspiration
into your now to take flight
upon planes of existence
that knows no resistance
to your determination. 

You, 
you need to know 
that you’re free;
that the weight of your obligations
are proportionate 
to how much you tip your scale;
that your excuses
only feel like handcuffs
til you decide
you’ve had enough. 

I need you to know
that you don’t have to go
anywhere life may lead; 
your heart
doesn’t have to kiss the floor 
every time it trips 
over something handsome;
that your dreams
don’t need to learn French
to consult more ceilings. 

I need you to know, 
you owe no soul apologies, 
reasons for being:
late, 
early, 
on time
on your days off. 

Off days
will feel like
they’re on time
to being early;
your being
will always be late
for no reason
but when your soul, 
throws a manhunt for apologies
to betray itself,
I need you to know
you owe it to yourself
to never let go
of you. 

Blessed 

Bless the day
that birthed her into existence,
unearthed her soul into being
and heart into feeling.

Bless, her mother’s labor,
her father’s patience
that delivered her into the present.

Bless the past she’s endured
to furnish a brighter future;
the detours in paths
that made her relish the finish.

Bless the trials,
the setbacks,
the drawbridge
the jetlag from flight of thought
to decisive action.

Bless the fractions
of times we’ve spent,
the moments we’ve lent
to leisure.

Bless the attempts I make
to please her;
more importantly,
bless the seconds
I’ve seized her laughter,
caught it into glass jars
of memory and remedy,
shattered it loud
in empty house
to feel you fill the voids within.

Bless the now
you morph into beauty,
the odds and ends
contorting us into unity
and I,
am all too blessed to confess
that you,
are the blessing I’ve been gifted,
never taken for granted.

Dedicated to You

I wrote you a love letter,
in the form
of a budding rose
to let you know,
you’re more
than the sum of thorns
in your life;
more than
synonymous with beauty;
that you’re worth
holding onto tight,
when letting go
would take less might,
less courage,
less fight.

I wrote you a love letter
in the form of sunrays
climbing blindly
through your blinds
to remind you that time,
need not be first
on your mind,
need not be
the last of alarms
you set your life to;
that you’ll find me
in the minutest of moments,
the serenity of silence.

I wrote you a novel
in the form of the night
to remind you:
that no shade of darkness
is impenetrable to light;
that you will be and are
all the star
I could ever wish for and upon
and that,
the only reason
the moon disappears
is because you still feel like
the newest reason to blush to.

I wrote you
a love letter
in the form of a lullaby,
for the nights
you want to tuck in your mistakes
while they’re busy throwing tantrums,
when your pillow
has caught enough cases of your tears
and your covers
cocoons you in loneliness.

I wrote you a love letter
in the form
of you.
Fearfully and wonderfully made,
crowned
as my masterpiece on display.
You,
could bring me down
from the highest heavens
with silent prayers.
You,
could layer me with your sins
and I’d still die for you
once again.

You,
are my letter of love
to those who have forgotten how.
I wrote you
into the world with purpose,
framed you
from the dust of the earth
to ground those in upheaval,
carved you
from the ground up
to always be uplifted
when afflicted.

You
are my favorite verse
in this universe
that I memorize daily.
There is no shade
of mediocrity in your makeup,
no failure
in your foundation,
no fault
to blush over for you
are mine.