But Never Again

featured in the poetry forum November 13, 2019  :: 0 comments

I loved you once.
I craved your laugh,
Your love,
Your touch, once.
I saved up for engagement rings.
I thought you were brilliant, once.
I thought you could light up any room.
I thought I was so lucky, once,
To have the honor of doing your
Laundry,
Dishes,
Floors,
Once.
I felt safe, once.
I felt chosen.
I felt seen.
I believed you were everything, once.
I believed you would never hurt me.
I believed we could be forever.
And, once we were done,
I even fell for your lies again.
I thought I was the bad guy.
I thought I owed you more.
I felt sick,
I felt dirty.
I believed that I’d ruined your life.
I believed that I was ugly,
A burden,
A traitor.
Once upon a time
I still loved you.
Once,
But never again.

editors note:

When once is too many (do for yourselves, dudes). – mh clay

The Ashes In My Wake

featured in the poetry forum August 21, 2019  :: 0 comments

It’s easy to forget
Sometimes
How I got here.
I look back at the
Broken hearts
I’ve left in my wake and
All of the bridges
That I set aflame on my way to this
Haven. I mourn
Sometimes
Because those bridges supported me,
Hadn’t they?
At some point.
And what a monster I must be
To have hurt so many
And still live in peace.
But then I remember the scars.
Splinters that jabbed my palms,
Uneven boards that tripped me,
And the constant fear of being
Allowed to fall.
Those bridges hadn’t supported me.
I survived them.
And I have to remember that I did not
Burn
Out of malice. I burned them,
So that I would not look back.
I was not granted this sanctuary.
I earned it.

editors note:

Sometimes, a burned bridge is best. – mh clay

My Body

featured in the poetry forum January 30, 2019  :: 0 comments

I’m not sure how to be
Right now.
What should I do
With my hands,
These clumsy creators
Who do me no favors tonight?
Where am I
Supposed to look?
Or should I just close my eyes?
I’m sorry
I’m so
Awkward.
I need you
To tell me what to do
With this body
That has never been mine.

editors note:

Seeking an out-of-body experience, body bound. – mh clay

Parenting

featured in the poetry forum November 6, 2018  :: 0 comments

You own nothing.
Those aren’t your toys. I bought them.
Even your clothes, your furniture.
I provided them for you, you do not own them.
But if you don’t clean your room, I will
Take a Big Black Garbage Bag and throw away
Every toy, every dress that isn’t on a hanger.
These are my things, not yours.

Your college says I don’t have access to your grades,
Because you’re nineteen, and I don’t pay your tuition.
Don’t tell me it’s none of my business. That’s bullshit.
I am your parent. That makes it my business. I pay
The insurance on your car, and the title is in my name.
You won’t be going on that road trip, unless
You bring me your transcripts, signed by each of your professors.
So long as you live under my roof,
You are not entitled to privacy.

I’m not obligated to help you
In any way.
You decided to leave
And go play house.
That was your decision. You’re on your own now,
Mommy and Daddy don’t have to bail you out.
You wanted your independence.
Sink or swim.
Just don’t expect anything from me.

And why don’t you ever call?

editors note: Our conscientious co-dependence. You need to (we need you) no need to, needs must, need not… – mh clay

Dominos

featured in the poetry forum September 5, 2018  :: 0 comments

Reports of darkness
Remind us of the darkness in ourselves
And we fall like dominos.
It is just so hard to stand
When everything around you
Is pushing you down.
Do not fall neatly into line
Dragging down those behind you.
Don’t get me wrong,
I understand. But
If you can,
Stand.

editors note:

No telling what you can’t stand, until you stand (in, against, for) it a while. – mh clay

Stalking My Ex On Twitter

featured in the poetry forum July 9, 2018  :: 0 comments

How dare she be beautiful in that picture
Laughing, arms raised to the falling snow
Wearing those sweatpants I hated.
In most photos, she looks every part the
Trashy, classless, misanthropic shrew
That I discovered in my bed.
She used me and cast me aside,
And I resent her for good reason.

But sometimes,

There is a pure moment
And she resembles the
Witty, vital, fearless Valkyrie
That I fell for.
How dare she remind me how it felt
When she was mine.

editors note:

The cake you ate and no longer have; doesn’t mean you don’t like cake, just not THAT cake. (We welcome Alexandria to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Hierarchy of Fear

featured in the poetry forum May 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

He asked me why I chose to board the plane
If I was so afraid to fly.
No hesitation:
“Because my mother would
Kill me
If I didn’t.”
A pause.
I laughed.
“I mean, of course
Not,”
A joke, naturally.
It had to be.
Because if I thought I would
Die
On the plane, I couldn’t be
More Afraid
Of my own mother.

..Right?

editors note:

The greater fear gets a capital “A.” – mh clay

Better Than Broadway

featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

“This doesn’t look like Broadway,”
Remarked the man
Boasting a snide grin.
And I was angry
At first,
Because it’s easy to feel
Bitter,
Working front register
At a coffee shop
In a small town,
When you once
Dreamt
Of fame and glamor
On the grand stage
In the big city.

But then I smiled,
Because I do not need
The spotlight
When I see how my lover’s eyes
Light up.
I don’t need crowds
Cheering my name
When I hear how my lover
Whispers it.
Because this is not
What I thought
I wanted.
This isn’t Broadway,
And these red hills
Don’t say
“Hollywood”,
But you can keep
Your greasepaint and glitter
Because what I have
Is better than Broadway.

editors note:

Yes, better; especially if the show goes for a lifetime run. – mh clay