red stamps

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she left her trademark
wet tannin-red kiss
like a map through the park
citrus wedge lower lip

her kisses a maze
on mugs, cups, and cheeks
puzzle-piecing the days
into ruby-stained weeks

story of summer
she imprinted the town
each kiss like thunder
hot, humbling sound

her breadcrumb trail lay
no storm could hide it
holding out for the day
a kiss cartographer might find it

one who read kisses
just the way that she did
smudged on cold objects
arranged in a grid

a new line for her stamp
curved and warm and sweet
she could set up camp
make a home where lips meet.

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the perfect summer weekend

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You know how New Year’s Eve tends to be a let down? You get dressed up, drag yourself out in the cold, get your hopes up, and end up freezing as the fireworks explode overhead and you count down the minutes until you are at home in bed. July 4th can feel the same way way- the expectations, the promise of a “perfect summer day,” the fireworks- and the inevitable disappointment. Nothing particularly un-fun has happened, but the build up for the big event leaves you feeling underwhelmed when the day comes and passes without a massive surge of extraordinarily good times. Well, this was not that 4th.

It truly was the “perfect summer day.” Followed by yet another pinch-me-perfect day, just when we thought we’d used up all the luck. A long weekend with my best friends in my happy place, complete with morning mimosas, ocean dips, belly laughs, and fiery sunsets. York even gave us a big, winding rainbow on our last night. What more could a girl need? New England Summer, you’ve officially outdone yourself.

the silhouette inside

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she whispered many magic things
to the silhouette inside
dangers of the outside world
like love and lust and pride

she warned her of confusing things
what might happen when we die?
and the strangely ever humbling fact
that elephants can cry

she shared with her the nice things, too
butterflies that flutter by
birds and bees and heeled Hermes
winged creatures who can fly

one lucky golden afternoon
the sun brought her silhouette outside
so they promised honest reverie
seeing eye to outlined-eye.

armor amour

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beetle in the bell jar
will you ever be free?
climbing glass walls with glassy eyes
an invisible sight to see

tell me what life was like
before it trapped you here
I’ll sit and blink and think a while
here, please take my ear

why not my cheeks and nose, too?
they could serve you well
see the world through my face for a day
and I’ll put on your shell

it’s dark and hollow in this place
you must not let much light in
through your shiny armor or
under your upturned chin

from the inside now I see
all the beauty that you guard
dewy mornings in the early sun
children playing in the yard

muddy fingers tracing wings
afternoons spent foraging
a soft heat melting gooey air
on which the summer birds sing

I see why you hide now
keeping safe in your deep shell
all the memories you’re missing here
living in a frail glass bell.

nostalgia

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Funny, isn’t it? How a place can hold so much meaning in our minds? A smell can make us cry, a crack in the sidewalk can take us back in time. A certain rock shaped like a chair, or a ferris wheel that spins too fast. All brush strokes in this dizzying abstract we paint over the course of our lives.

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Sometimes an entire town can wrap itself around us, weaving in and out of our pasts with a whole myriad of “times.” Good ones, bad ones, insignificant tiffs, overwhelming laughs. The little spot on the rocks where you told someone a big secret, the rocking chair where you said your first goodbye. Even as you watch the waves approach and retreat, though you know they are disappearing, it’s tempting to hang on to their imaginary immortality. Nostalgia likes to perceive perpetuality, even in the bold face of nature, as you stand in awe of her constant change.

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It’s an indulgent pursuit, to seek sources of nostalgia. Despite this awareness of our intentions, nostalgia’s captivating ruse can pull us in. The remarkable ability to find familiarity in something actually quite foreign; to chase a time long past. The human mind plays all kinds of pretty tricks, if you are willing to let go and let her.

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saltwater nymph

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circe can’t go home
oceanid with holographic hair
her formation is terrestrial
every cell hails de la mer

saltwater nymph
imprisoned in her own shell
destined to sway the unwilling
to hold them in her hell

historically avoided
her plea silent like the sea
to be requited is to be understood;
to be understood is to be free

tormented temptress
neither goddess nor goodness, she waits
for the creature who will create her
the only one who holds two fates

circe can’t stay home
her liquid lips must rise
to meet her lightning lover
in the heavy-handed skies

-rainy days in providence inspiring greek mythology poems

u know who u r

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I’ve been watching you
For some time
Can’t stop staring
At those oceans eyes
Burning cities
And napalm skies
Fifteen flares inside those ocean eyes
Your ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I’m scared
I’ve never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

I’ve been walking through
A world gone blind
Can’t stop thinking of your diamond mind
Careful creature
Made friends with time
He left her lonely with a diamond mind
And those ocean eyes

-Billie Eilish, Ocean Eyes

a carousel of rays
your tide, a golden sting
ocean eyes are melting me
lips that silently sing

pressed to my chest
your rolling glow burns straight
there’s a new wrinkle to your spoke
unspoken words whirling without weight

bodies crushed
faces flushed
our dance so dangerous
a tango you can touch

sunny circles can’t keep up
with your warm, spiraling bake
you’re spotlighting my summer skin
in your precious golden wake.