Welcome to my happy place (an excerpt)

It’s 5:43 a.m. a brisk breeze pulls me out of the bed next to where my little sister lays peacefully asleep against a wall painted golden from the waking sun. I walk through a few familiar doors, feel the hardwood of my porch comforting my bare feet and let the breeze wrap itself completely around me. It feels warm, like hugging my deceased grandfather in one of his knit crewneck sweaters. I can almost feel his initials , monogrammed (SCG) against my chest. I hear movement downstairs, I know it’s my dad, I let myself wander and creek down the stairs. the creeks feel like home beneath my toes. They always respond and never require more than a listen. he hands me a mug with a hundred old coffee rings, probably from the use of my ancestors and we go sit on a bench made of granite rock and welcome the sun, embrace the warmth of having another day filled with light and love.


I am unplugged. I can physically feel the air making its way down my chest, into my lungs, and out again. It is refreshing to feel so alive. I let the south breeze snarl my hair and for once in my life I am able to ignore the mess. This sky show is for us. The wind skews clouds for us, creates a painting that transitions and emerges into a hundred different landscapes, each one for us, for me and for him, for the memory of my grandfather, as the sky turns blue the color of both of their eyes. to be alive is to love the world in its natural state. to make music out of the waves the way they crash against the rocks give them kisses of thanks and recede back to where they are most needed. As the sun moves its way into the new day, it attaches strings to my lips and pulls them into the most unpolished smile and mmm it feels freeing, time stops fleeting if for a moment.


welcome to my happy place, if only I could stay…


I think I love myself the most

when my heart is broken, not longing

but lonesome and feeling small in

oversized knit sweaters, the weight

hanging from my shoulders so effortlessly.

I think I love myself the most

when my heart is wandering, not

wondering but fluttering through

sun rays high among the treetops

with my feet just dangling there

in thin air. I think I lost myself the

most when I felt whole and pieced

together when I had nothing to search

for but things that would break me.


Perhaps being lost is my found. Where I am in a single moment is never where I am completely. My soul has souls that wander off and come back at their leisure. One walks barefoot on granite grinning, one trembles at the steering wheel of an unwarranted back road, another is up in the woods. And my body, it thinks up shiny dreams of elsewheres;

granite warm against my spine,

looking over shades of green,

feet in a mirror ravine,

next to you. we trade breath

for kisses all day til a blanket

of stars falls light on our beings

and we fall into a distant dream,


Yesterday I moved out of my childhood home, left my broken closet door for someone else to fix, looked to fix myself between four strange walls. let me tell ya about how the air feels fresher, how my lungs have me convinced they haven’t been previously charred. how I feel like all my souls now are working together to better my weathered mind.

I kiss him goodnight then

make a vow to myself to leave

the baggage on the shelf this

time around. light a candle of

earthy moss and bury all I have

lost in one of my elsewheres…

My Life, A Forest

I am sorry you got lost

that you pulled your car over

on the side of the highway, got

lured into my luscious green forest,

found yourself on unmapped trails.

I’m sorry that beyond these trees,

you did not know there was an unforgiving

sinkhole, that the ground would require

more than just feet.


you are stuck and I am stuck in my ways

of push and pull, of found and

unfound, of always seeking.


I was raised by wolves but still,

I have predators. Until I leave

no stone unturned I am no queen in

this wooded life. I am still searching

for my pedestal.

Scrolling Through Pictures On My Phone

Oil pastels melting in the summer heat,

she draws flowers growing on Saturn, and

writes “grow where you are planted”,


the sun sets over a city and an old man

with a camera becomes a quick friend,

his hands adorned with wrinkled memories

that transcend her time,


A sign on a wall in an art gallery reads

“it’s going to be o.k.” but who are they

and how do they know?


she is standing in a forest, dresses in

earthy tones like the trees, runs her fingers

through the crevices in the bark and feels grateful.


her sister makes a crown from flowers

in their yard, how she had the patience to be

creative, how she held up a peace sign with pride.


there is a patch of tiny red flowers

east of the brook on the orange trail, a home

for bees and a sight to see.

someone painted “love yaself” on the

footbridge, she loves herself, and the world

for all the things they have in common.

If My Mind Was a House

in the kitchen, I give in

to temptation, lick dirty plates

without a thought, becoming

ravenous in desire and impulse.


in the bedroom, I get trapped

in mirrors, fall into his indent in my mattress.

I am alone with myself, overwhelmed

with memories that shake me to sleep.


in the living room, I become lost

in a virtual world. The monotony of

society becomes a noose around my neck,

I can no longer tell falsities from truths.


in the stairway,I become

a ticking clock, wasting time thinking

that every car that pulls up could be his,

seconds become minutes. I learn hope.


in the library, I thrive.

I am validated, my histories align

with those of thousands, each

life just as vivid as mine, if not more.


I often sit at the window seat,

welcome in the breeze to wrap around me

never knowing if I want it to pull me out

or let me stay.


the privilege

of being young and foolish;

we live free from form,


act solely out of instinct and impulse,

suck every drop of marrow

out of our own free will.

we cherish forgotten memories,

find joy in piecing them back together

with polaroid pictures

and whatever it was that made us laugh

or cry the previous night.

barefoot and shirtless

we wade through high tide

waves laced with nostalgia,

welcome sleepless nights

and embrace accidental bruises.

star-crossed and cross-faded

we latch onto the satiety

the summer heat brings

wrapped in each other’s arms.


we take life’s bittersweet nothings

and make them


Kaleidoscope Eyes

Look at the world

through kaleidoscope eyes;

mosaic faces,

sunset bruises,

and satin waterfalls.

Auburn back roads

lead you home

beneath a landscape

made up of constellations

as lightning strikes

turn ashes to art.

A thousand grains of sand

make a canvas,

trees become history,

oceans brand new,

watercolor painted

just for you.

The Calm Inside The Storm

I liked the way our porch hung

at a most perfect angle

to watch the storms come from the north

and how my dad always taught us to run to it,

and not from it.

I liked how where I was from,

the chaos drew people in,

how everyone would come around

just to sit on bare wood

and let the wind slap their faces

and tangle their hair.

I liked the way it felt like the world

would stop in peace for a few moments,

and continue when the line of rain

dancing across the sea

finally made its way to our bodies,

and then my favorite part:

the sound of fresh raindrops colliding with salt water

to the strum of my dad’s guitar,

the sound of his voice singing Dylan’s words:

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.

And right when the storm would blow over

we would race into the water

and hang like a school of cordial jellyfish

bobbing up and down without a care in the world,

watching the thunderheads recede

and our goose bumps disintegrate

all at once.

I liked the rarity of it all;

the remarkable way in which we learned

to create accord from discord.

No one ever talked about the calm inside the storm.

Frida Kahlo

you can not replicate a self-portrait-

though you can try.


try to build and rebuild an artist,

stroke by stroke, try to recreate

a visual of thorns shedding red paint from a stranger’s throat

but you will not know the pain she felt

dripping real blood on her original canvas

and having to cover the evidence up with acrylics.


the monkey on her shoulder-

a reminder of heartbreak she wants to run from,

but she remains stuck in a golden frame,

an exhibition for people to awe at.


I bet she held her breath

until she put the brush down. I bet she did

but I know nothing for certain,

except the familiarity

of her eyebrows.


no one will ever be able to

paint Frida Kahlo as well as she painted herself.