Connecting Flights

When her emotions
feel like they’ve been 
stranded at an airport
for half a lifetime
waiting for the next connecting flight, 
hold her hand
and don’t let go. 

She won’t need your words so, 
can them if you can
to the nearest bin
and deposit hope
into her lap
with a sincere smile. 

Let your eyes
voice reassurance that she
won’t be one of many
to compete for your attention;
may it express
that your itinerary maps a future
she can forget her past in, 
that you won’t abandon her 
for taking longer than most
in the security line. 

She’s
checking for explosives. 
Patting you down
for reasons you might detonate today,
or tomorrow. 
Understand, 
she may be used to seeing things
blow up in her face, 
but that doesn’t mean she likes it. 
No part of her
has adjusted to find beauty
in the flames. 

So when her touch
feels like it’s tired
of bracing for impact,
embrace her soul
and be gentle. 
Be patient. 

When the time is right, 
you’ll know. 
She’ll look back at you 
as if she’s found
all the pieces of herself
and you
have redeemed them
from the land of lost baggage claims. 

You won’t understand why, 
don’t ask. 
Let her love you
in the silence
of your heart’s connecting flights. 

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She said…

She said,
she’s never been
held like this before but,
not verbally.

It was in the way her
hands glided up
and down,
gripping enticement.

The way her fingers
ghost walked
down the corridor of my spine,
flanked my sides,
continued the aerial assault
on my senses
with nothing pretentious.

I could tell,
even her shadow
wanted to be one with mine
with a union that cloned
our identities,
so seamlessly.

An amalgam
of mind
and flesh,
soul,
and breath,
heart
and chest;
a rhythm
we meshed
beautifully.

Somewhere
her inhibitions
lost their footing.
Her nails,
clawed for reasons
to let go,
found none
to drive her to safety
only satiety.

She converted my embrace
into home,
willingly placed herself
under house arrest
in my arms,
til she can trust
another’s touch
won’t leave her more judged
than justified,
more livid
than loved,
more broken
than she was found.

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. 

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. 

Move

Move. 

Contrary 
to your exclusive beliefs 
she doesn’t want to be 
a couple dressed in secrets,
clandestine companions
furtively in fashion
with all things pretty privy. 

Move.

She’s told you
on countless occasions 
to make your manifestations of love 
a little more obvious like:
you can at LEAST
change your FB status 
to taken now. 
I mean it’s only been… 

Move. 

Remember that convo
where her eyes 
uncapped the vials of her tears, 
poured them into your lap
in hopes of saturating 
some part of you
to squeeze into action?
Why does she always
have to plead 
for you to… 

Move. 

Oh, you said
you’re waiting for the right time? 
Seven years post intros,
five years of exclusivity,
three years of officially
making it verbally official,
and all that falls under
“still dating?”  
I wonder
if she know this? 

[Move]
She thought
you were building
something together. 
[Move..]
You must’ve thought
her patience was eternal. 
[MOVE…]
She thought
you were different.

Watched you flirt 
with commitment
to so many other things
other than her, 
that now she questions
why her shadow vows
to even stay.

She wasn’t 
holding out for perfection,
clearly. 
She didn’t beg you
to rescue her,
didn’t ask
if you’d buy her the moon
when your account
boasts of craters bigger
than that found upon it.
She didn’t even take
Beyoncé’s advice 
to force you to put a ring on it and yet, 
she was good to you. 

All she asks now is that you

Move… 

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.