Whole, Broken

I am a human —

I am not just a woman,

I am not just a moment,

I am not just a gift.

I am alive —

my emotions ebb and flow

just like yours, sad man.

The sad man, taking space

for the story;

the sad man, sharing tales

about his glory

forgetting the time he said


stomping out the past

as if he’s doing me a favor.

I am whole,

and now I am also broken,

just for you—

another sad man

so unequivocally,




that I question why I’ve carried

around this hope at all.


I saw Slave Play last night and credit it for the “sad man” reference above. What an important play…and an important line.


October 18th, 2019

A Poem


it’s not enough

to write a poem.


“Feel it on your back,”

she told me

from the church cellar.


“Know it by name,”

he whispered

through the garden;

he chased the snake

but only I could tell.


“Let it loose,”

she sang,

leading the students to the edge,

bird cage in hand,

lowering her fingers to the door.



it’s not enough

to listen to a poem.

“Jump into the sea!”

he screams to me,

head rolling with a laughter

children know at dawn,

no midnight mass approaching.


“Hold onto your hat!”

she begs of me

on the local F train,

subway cars dashing past

and claiming my wear with it.


“Don’t open your eyes!”

states the man

sitting on his box, NW side,

poking the sidewalk

with a stick,

just as he has

every Wednesday I have seen him,

handed him a banana and ran.


being the poem

is not enough.

“Open the box


and, of course,

open your eyes…”


October 3, 2015

A Damaged Heart

A damaged heart is utterly prophetic,

isn’t it?


All of its piles of bandaging,

miles of weak needle and thread

rushing off into an oblivion

we do not yet know is just

the journey of our souls.


It is the clearest paradox:

with its burden, one can see the world

clearly, unbiasedly real

and yet the world would not exist

if not for our experiences, they are

synonyms, of course,

thrown on to our ragged bones

and go ahead– douse your heart

with as many tears as needed

for the time you cannot handle

being alone,

let alone broken.


May 4, 2014

Left of the Heart

Bang on the table

and you leave,

stage left

of the hand

and the heart

must realize

where it has left off

in order to set it right

on the dotted line

of friendship

you told me,

“You’re right,”

but soon our pride

got in the way–

were we both right?

How do we know

when the doors are closed,

windows open, and all my dreams

are going in one side

and out the other?

October 15, 2014