Growing Pains

By this time your skin has gotten rougher and

you’re trying to swallow back that bitter taste in your mouth.

Maybe now the ceases around closed fists have deepened,

from all the times you’ve held on a little too tight.

Remember callouses can only come from friction.

It will take some time, love.


You’ve lost those fangs and now

think you know what it takes to bear rings in your wood.

But only deep pain and rejection truly manifest this.

Why does this still surprise you, my darling?

Did the ache in your bones when you grew never show you?


It will be easier this way.

You’re older now and the world

is close enough to cut into your soft flesh, love.

You’ll have to be rubbed raw to become smooth again.

This is only one of many first defeats.


The boys who cut and mark you,

walk away unscathed and laughing.

Those scars that decorate your legs,

have bloomed into violets.

Please realize you’re healing, love.

Next time it might not even pierce the skin.

The Burbs

We exist in dimly lit suburban rooms

Antiques with minuet dust collection

Windows that reflect back the life within

Smatterings of push pinholes in walls

Testaments to the images of idols

Tacked to them over adolescence

Now a gallery of all the dreams we

once considered, mused over

then threw to the waste bin.


Somewhere in the closet

lay the bare bones of a forgotten instrument.

Somewhere in the closet

I carved our last name with safety scissors.

Sloughing off the ghosts of us in this hollowed space

Like scars speak novels on skin

The warping of this furniture tell our tales.

What caused bitter loneliness before

Now gives these monuments meaning.


Off to the thrift stores they’ll go

To be mulled over by the masses

And yet, how will they know

That you and I were crafted with the oak

from our bedposts and end tables

Unknowingly chipping away pieces of our history

in the suburbs that forged us.