one more chance

i cannot change the world,
i cannot heal it,
i cannot even fathom it.
i am glad
that i cannot understand.
if i could, i imagine
i would only
cradle my head in my hands.
i thank you God
for my light yoke,
for my small piece
of the puzzle.
i am sorry
for my anger,
my paralysis,
for the blank stare,
for the heart-numbness.
i thank You for Your patience
and Your grace,
and most of all
i thank You for today,
for one more day,
one more chance
to figure it out.

please

in the blackness
all I have is Your hand
so don’t pat me on the head
and tell me it will all be all right
don’t shrink my head
and tell me to try harder
don’t tell me I’m not enough
don’t tell me I’m just fine
tell me the truth
take me away
lead me to the heart of the matter
tell me who I am
show me Who You are
hack apart the root of my sickness
let me out of this cage
take me somewhere open
help me to breathe
give me back my voice
set me in a safe place
please
save me
please
lead me out
please
hold onto me
don’t let me fade away
please
please speak to me
because in the blackness
all I have is Your hand

dear depression

Dear Depression,

If we are to get along together as roommates, there must be rules in place. First, so long as we abide in this glass house, we shall not cast stones. Second, don’t interrupt me or finish my sentences–it pisses me off. In return, I won’t talk over you, but allow you to speak your piece. Thirdly, let us do our best to stay out one another’s way–I won’t hinder your comings and goings so long as you don’t hinder mine. Fourthly, mind your own fucking business. I don’t need your opinion on every goddamn thing I say and do. And finally, feel free to move out any time. I don’t like you that much.

Very sincerely,

Me

the grist for their grind

we grit out the daily grind
between the mortar and pestle
of a society possessed
by opposing fantasies
of the working poor—
one shimmering with all the promise
of a verdant green mirage
exposed as the grinning skull
of the desert-starved
and dune-thirsted weary traveller;
the other a passionate fist
pounding down all the judgment
of a fire-and-brimstone door-to-door salesman
masquerading as judge and priest.
we pay the usurers’ indulgence
for a quick shot out of limbo—
out of limbo, sure, and knee-deep
in the seventh ring.
one dream glitters with promise
for the gold pot waiting at the end of pilgrim’s progress
one dream crucifies the welfare scapegoat of the many
for the glamorous excess of the few
but we’re neither here nor there
no, we lie between the two
convenient, invisible
the grist for their grind

sorry

God, forgive me
for shattering myself against You.
or rather the graven image I made for You,
shaped with all the tongue-biting concentration
of a two-year-old with her first crayon.
You were trying to say something to the world
when You made me,
something about joy and grace.
but these days I’m afraid all I say to the world is
“leave me the fuck alone.”

patience

it’s a damn long drive back to ohio
with every mile marker a reminder
of what I’m leaving behind.
everybody wants to talk about the big things,
the declarations and the rose-petaled bedspreads.
but I’ve got those sunrise cups of coffee on my mind,
the subtle touch our words put to things,
eyes glimmering with some small joke
no one else sees.
they all talk about the heartbreak of love lost
but I’m shouldering the weight
of love found and deferred,
dragging it all the long way home with me tonight.
patience, patience.
fuck patience.
there’s a little kid inside me perched
under a Christmas tree with saucer-shaped eyes
and all the voices around me cooing “patience! patience!”
but this red-eyed adult on the outside is the one
making this long drive home in the dark,
counting all the miles,
sighing all the sighs.
patience, patience.
fuck patience.