Thursday, September 6, 2012


for k.s.

this is no fairy tale
this is a thirteen year old girl
who took her life
this is my daughter crumpling like silk when she hears
this is my son freezing like ice when he hears
this is my friend who sobs on the phone
"she was my kid's age"
this is my son hitting the mattress
"i hate myself"
this is my daughter closing the door
this is the wasteland
this is the void
this is the burning
this is the truth

this is us standing
at the far end of the road
of any semblance of healing

this is me wanting to hold your soul in my hands
like a newborn


  1. Spin

    Yesterday Jax and Lang ran
    laughing all the way into my gut again
    catching and throwing a frisbee in the park.
    When the grass is fresh cut, it lays down in clumps
    and poofs into the air with each step
    releasing that green scent
    the one that smells like summer.
    Folks walking dogs stop to chat
    about the coyotes who live in the scrub
    and the occasional poster for a "missing cat"
    that never goes found. We step among rabbit pellets
    but it's too small a park for deer.

    It's my favorite part of the day
    (except for the skeeters)
    lining orange cones 5 yards apart, putting them
    through the paces to teach them Ultimate Frisbee.
    They only grumble a bit at the sit-ups and pushups
    lunges and footwork, more so at the sprints.
    I'll be the Pied Piper with plastic discs
    paid in smiles and watching them grow
    knowing how that spins back the dark
    theirs, setting goals and scoring them.

    One dad paused, wanting to bring his own 13 year old
    home-schooled boy to join, and maybe ask the new boys
    who just moved in, maybe the soccer girls next door,
    all of them to gallop like meteors across the sky
    and flash teeth like suns. He doesn't get out
    much to socialize, maybe it'd be good
    for him to meet other kids his age
    he suggests. I encourage, Bring him, them,
    next time, it'll be good.

    Maybe it'll be enough to keep
    the roughest part of growing up
    from spinning out of control
    maybe it'll keep them
    from pictures on a poster that's never found

  2. When I first held you in my hands
    I was afraid if breaking you
    Your tiny body fit perfectly in my cupped hands
    I couldn't but believe that even my breath
    could hurt you

    While I held you I looked out into the world
    And became more deathly afraid
    Knowing that it only in this small moment
    that I could protect you
    Knowing that from now on my fear would have
    To be a spear and a shield
    Knowing that when my hands could not hold you
    my fears would always be my companions...

  3. i was never a victim of
    your blue eyes
    they were my gravity
    we got red wine on a westwood frat stoop
    i rubbed my knees raw on your bare mattress
    i told you you smelled god
    you laughed
    told me it was just pheremones
    came inside me
    said i wasn't into dirty talk, was i
    that's okay
    you could call it making love
    if that made me feel better

  4. Doe eyes and precious she needed protection
    or so her daddy thought, until her fairytale world
    came crashing down in flames and she had to become
    the protector of her heart