I want to leave here stripped bare
by my own hands, of course
willfully, though not defiantly
lifting off every old, ill-fitting thing

See the trail I leave:
scuffed shoe in the car
blouse draped on the curb
skirt abandoned at security
baffled staff
lacy underthings discovered
where I drop them
at the gate
the surprised, delighted gaze
of my seatmate as
I settle in, rosy pink, for this
leap between worlds

First published in Reveries (January 2022)


Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax

Pema Chodron
Today you think maybe
it is time to be the
one you forgot to be, the most
true version.  It's important
to begin teaching
yourself this.  The way is
easier than you know, to
let go and lighten
your own load, lift up
that beautiful face and
finally let yourself relax


We've just met
so I could ask
all the usual things
(you know the list)

But I must admit
I don't care about
anything you say
until I know this:

Are you good?
Truthful, honest, kind?
Do you come through
every time?

And when you touch me
with hands smooth or calloused
will you know that I am real
beyond your ego's satisfaction?


This life roars through my ears
here in the quiet of the night
all too-muchness, too-manyness
every molehill a mountain
every whisper shouting

I reach to the other side
the sheet smooth and cool
meet my consolation
lullaby in the soft hem
of this long-loved quilt


go there
to the place
that frightens you

go there
with the lump in your throat
tightness in your chest
that place in your belly
wanting only to empty

go there
with the wish
each will find its end
you will pass through
and be free