Help and Hummus

Vanilla and Brownie Batter Hummus from Aldi.


Sometimes hummus is help.
It’s luxurious enough to be beyond
our everyday.
At least my everyday.
It’s exorbitant, decadent.
Sidewalk coffee or
an un-needed book.
When they’re all needed.
Almost as much as the help.

Sometimes, that’s all we offer ourselves.
An acceptable extravagance.
As if help is something to be saved
and spent miserly.
Only so much to go around.
Eventually no more in the bowl.

Sometimes we need more.
Help needs to be more.
If we can’t ask,
and it can’t tell,
we scrape our knuckles
scooping up the last morsel
left us.
Not feeling worth
another exchange,
us for a new opening.

Sometimes help is there.
Our doubt and bewilderment
don’t change that.
Until it does
and our pulling from the past
everyone not and don’t
chases it from there
to gone.
It showed up.

Sometimes help is delicious.
There for the sheer delight of it.
Plated in front of you,
served for your enjoyment.
Pushing away from the table
as if you don’t deserve
only wastes the sate
you could know.
Allow the indulgence.
Savor it.
Roll it over your tongue.
Lick the heat and
swallow the sweetness.

Sometimes help standing in your kitchen
can be as deserved as
the hummus on the counter.
Just as real.
Just as tempting,
as emptying
if you choose it.
To fill you,
inspire, conspire
to stoke your fire
for existing.
Take the help,
lick the plate,
enjoy the taste
as everything it can be
and as it is.

All I Know

If you could make it hurt,

I can handle that. 

Yell, tell

Bemoan my elective ignorance,

My intentional obtusity

Say I could find my mind

Detect, perfect what’s placed before me

Surmise and surpass if I would 

Not give up before I try. 

If you could not be nice,

That would help. 

The ice of nice is 

Deceiving, retrieving the heat

Buried in the cold

Is a worthy excavation but

Pricks your thumbs

And makes you come

Up with a million reasons

Long after the cold victorious 

To keep digging. 

To keep rigging the ropes

Around your throat

Help for the fall

Still hoping the ground

Never meets you. 

Did I ever meet you?

Did I imagine you?

Mold you from my flesh

From the icicles where my

Ribs were,

Condensed clouds 

For breath. 

I wanted. I waited. 

I loved. 

I love. 

So I cut. 

My heart the pick axe 

My brain the swing. 

Letting me out. 

Letting you in. 

The ridges crusted 

With years of unsalted 



Detritus of the survivor 

Of frostbite. 

Tips and toes still black

Where the tissues surrendered 

But the soul stoked the furnace

Of continue. 

Tell me, yell me. 

I love you. 

Stay alive under my snow. 

I here. 

For now. 

All I know. 

Watching for Embers


Watching for Embers

Starting again.
Old to new.
Broken to patched.
Curled around
to upright.
Blowing out a candle
and transitioning from
wicks and fire
to electric light.

Letting eyes blink in awe
of a power
before unknown
but here
blinding and stark and
driving out shadows.

No going back.
Don’t want to go back.
That way is darkness.
That way is dripped wax
and blistered fingers
and the risk that
any strong gust
can turn illumination
to devastation
to uncontrolled flames.

Going back is
peeling skin
back on the corpse,
sliding and slickness,
evading re-animation.

Too alive to go back.

But looking back,
can’t be stopped,
headstone keep the body buried,
the body unable to rise
but the head can still turn.

Left alone, that ember,
that red memory
can spring to life.
A careful bellow
and guided hollow
and the ash and orange
return to dance.
What the pyre didn’t consume before
it now takes to sate
midnight hunger.

Done on purpose.
With purpose?
Having the courage
to plunge down the snifter
but not the will to seal it,
not able to strangle it
letting the smallest whisper
of air in
to encircle and
keep alive
what could be killed.

But can’t be killed.

The wisp of smoke
kisses life into the lungs.
A center of magic
if the new world
and its promises fail.

Undisturbed, it waits,
the chance to

The ember watches.

Lost Feminist

I don’t think I’m a bed feminist.

But I’m definitely a lost one. 

I’ve gotten so entwined in the idea of being equal that I’ve lost sight of being me. 

Every man I bring close into my life, I find myself eventually treating as a competitor. 

And I won’t even get started on how I massacre my self-worth when I share my world with a woman. 

I don’t want to wage this war. I don’t have a competitive code in my DNA. My heart can’t endure it. 

Until it comes to the person with whom I share my life. It’s not that I want to win. I simply need to be seen as a cohort and colleague, not a student. 

You starting a blog? So will I. 

You learning to cook? Me too 

Becoming fluent in Spanish? Lo mismo. 

And you know what? 

It’s exhausting. I’m barely crawling out of bed with the weight and heft of it. 

Worst? I bring every second of it on myself. 

That’s not feminism. That’s self-defeating bullshit. 

Feminism does not mean being the same. That’s being a middle-school girl. 

I don’t have to play guitar to be equal to my partner. I don’t have to be as strong of a writer. I don’t have to have as much money in the bank. 

What I do have to be is better. 

Better me. Not another version of them. 

Not fitting in and re-informing every heinous stereotype of the the nightmare over-sensitive woman. 

Asking for help, coming for instruction from someone who has had the luxury of education and experience is not weakness. It feels vulnerable but in that is the potential for growth. That’s empowerment. 

Treating a person as their own and not holding them accountable for reparations for every mid-deed I’ve encountered before we met. 

Let them make their own mistakes. I’ll be making mine, to be sure. That’s equality and respect. 

I know there’s peace on the other side. I can see it. The warmth of the light peaking is warming my fingers. 

I have words to give. And love. And compassion. And curiosity. And listening. And a willingness to work. That’s what I have. 

I don’t have to be the same. 

I don’t have to be better than. 

I can be a little lost. 

In the end, I know where I am. 

Just Shut Up

Shut up.

 It doesn’t matter. 

You think it does. You know you want it to. It might to you. 

Does that matter?

Are you sure it matters? Really sure? Because your brain, it lies. It doesn’t see what’s good and only screams what’s bad again 

And again

And again. 

Maybe it’s not that bad. 

Bet it’s not. Bet it’s nothing. 

Maybe you’re looking at black bark and knowing there are maggots and mold inside, instead of seeing the beauty of the tree. 

The crimson leaves. The cool shade. The good. There’s good there. You can see it. 

There might not be breaking at every branch. 

Shut up and stop swing your saw and digging teeth into everything growing around you. 

Cut it down, dig it up and you’ll be picnicing alone on parched earth, yellow grass and snakeskins for company. 

Not the worst, if the food still makes you smile. 

What if you can’t shut up?

What if your arms are swinging the ax and your throat is raw from ear cries, fighting to get to the core of what you planted with those same arms?

What if you can’t sleep, can’t rest, can’t stop until you know what’s buried?

And your shoulders quiver and your eyes sting with sweat and the tears can’t cool the burn-

Shut up. 

Keep wanting the leaves and the beauty. Get a spade and turn over the weeds. 

If you want to sit under that tree so much. 

So much.

So sit. 


Shut up. 

Unless you can’t. 

Then scream. 


Until every twig and bough

bends and threatens to upend.

If it’s quiet, and it’s firm in its roots,

and will not shuffle loose,

scream one last time. 

Then shut