Sonnet of a Spoiled Child

The important things don’t have a deadline
Nothing happens if you don’t play my game
Your salary and prestige won’t decline
I’ll continue to love you just the same

Nothing says we have to build sandcastles
Or go outside to find a shooting star
I can see my wants, to you, are hassles
you’re here (your body) but your eyes are far

With all the time (apart from me) you waste
It’s hard for me to believe that you care
Being second is just not to my taste
So I must warn you (yes, of course I dare!)

If there’s something more important than me
I’ll run away since there always will be

trop loin de toi

i fell asleep today
and woke up very far away
so far, in fact, i’m not sure
if i can ever find my way back

i’d like to think you’re warm at home
looking out the window for me
cozy by the fireplace, with tea
won’t you leave a light in the window?

it’s dark out here and i can’t see
maybe you’ll come find me
before i surrender
to the dark and the cold
and the calming nothingness

so that even when the sun rises
even when i’m home again
i won’t be anyone that you know

Old friend

Let us applaud our way of living a lifetime
(condensed) in just one weekend
A day by the sea, a day in the forest
An evening of bright-burning stars

Boulevards lined with lighted trees
Balmy weather beneath swaying palms
The colors of the morning sky don’t look real
from the as-yet-not-open lifeguard stand

Your silent father, your jabbering mom
revealing your family’s history
over sausages of various spiciness,
all gathered around the kitchen table

Sweet and strange how we have changed
(I used to idolize you)
Now you’re the one holding on to my words
Sorry they aren’t what you wish they were

It isn’t me you want, it’s the memory
Don’t get yourself confused
Once a year or three we can pretend
That we are who we aren’t anymore

But, someday soon I hope we can
load all our friends in the Vanagon
along with strings of Christmas lights
and soak in the hot springs of Baja again

Credo of a Fabulous Monster

Hello, I’m a monster — so pleased to meet you
and here are my qualifications
my flesh tearing claws, my skull grinding jaws
my teeth sharpened on tendon and bone
my ego stands ten times bigger than any church door

I have a heart, oh, don’t say I don’t
It’s large and soft and armored
in seven layers of titanium and ice
It’s hard for a monster, you see
(everyone’s afraid of me)

I could try to play gentle, roll over, and fetch
I could pretend I don’t like to maim
But in my heart I hold out hope
That one day I’ll meet a little boy
Who, instead of a kitten or puppy, just wants a monster like me

I can be nice! (But I have high standards)
I can be sweet when no one else sees
No one can hurt me, but I want that to change
I’ll open my heart, all seven layers,
and let him crawl inside — warm and protected

But no one can see me and say
“I’d like this monster for an ally”
They want to tame, to chain, to make me nice
To dull my teeth and remove my claws
To box my ego down to their size

It’s a sad message, and one I no longer bend to
In captivity, I start losing my fabulous fur
My eyes get dull, my mind gets weak and all I do is sleep
I scrabble in circles, strange and unsure
In captivity, I’m really not worth my keep

But if you can watch me destroy with delight (and we can rebuild it better again)
If you can dream bigger, then bigger than that, then bigger again
Then maybe together we can fly beyond the clouds, among the stars
To where a little boy and his monster can rule,
(and I can be his and he can be mine)
ever feared, ever loved, forever, for all the rest of time.

Hibernation song

While I was sleeping, a sad-worm crawled in my ear
and tunneled into my brain, nestling in —

whispering grave doubts about everything

“What should I do? What do I want? Where should I go?”
There’s a one-size-fits-all answer now:
“Ich weiß nicht, Je ne sais pas, I don’t know”

Winter is here, the sun sets earlier now
My fingertips have lost all feeling
In my heart — a holiday covered in snow

I’m too proud to live on scraps
you know I’d rather starve
I hate feeling like a beggar

So, forgive me, but it’s warm in my nest
and alone is what protects me,
what saves me from the cold

I’m sorry I’ve been so spoiled
I’m sorry I can’t hear “No”
I’m sorry that all I can do now is go.

But if you want, come wake me in the springtime
Tell me when the sun paints the sea golden at nine
Wake me when it’s time for us to run away again


Grey, navy blue, black and grey again
Boring school skirt, grandpa cardigan
Don’t miss me, no, don’t do that, no
See the colors of my laundry?
I’m not interesting at all —
(credimi almen)

Sunsetting sunlight dies over the hills
you have better things to do
so put your fingers back on your keyboard
and your mind back in your work

If your thoughts go crawling after me
tell them, “Hush!
What’s meant to be will be.”

One day you’ll forget me
One fine day, none of this will matter
Until then, remember to eat
do your very best to sleep

Remember that I’m boring
also just sleeping, eating,
(rinsing, repeating)

Just, for me, don’t be sad
I’d rather think of you happy
Even if you’re far away
where everything’s uncertain
I hope you’re out there smiling

And if you must, MUST think of me,
think merely
“Oh that silly girl,
folding her boring laundry”


I told you once, “I’m not jealous” —
words I wanted to believe

But I am more jealous than anyone
Than anyone could ever be

I am jealous of your teacup
Your lips touch it tenderly
over and over

I am jealous of your hairbrush
I want those to be my fingers in your hair

I am jealous of the shirt you’re wearing
wrapped in your warmth all day

I am jealous of the pillow
that you nestle into at night

I’m jealous of your shoes
who walk with you when I can’t

I’m jealous of the stars
guarding your sleep at night

I’m jealous of the sky, the leaves,
the books, the dreams,
of meteors and novelty —
I am jealous of everything that brings you delight

I wish it were me

Finitely Many

I have heard twice or more now, stories from friends about girlfriends who demanded sweet emails daily. One forced himself to write poetry every day, one coded a “sweet email” generator, and I, as the laziest person you will ever meet, have written this one poem that (one hopes) might excuse me from the assignment altogether. Do you find my solution elegant? Read on, and feel free to use it as your own if this situation should ever plague you. I think it may cleverly also absolve you from ever using the words “I love you”.

There are finitely many words, my dear
that I can ever say to you
and finitely many again,
that I can ever hear

So if I’m silent, if I’m gone
If you haven’t heard from me in far too long
please take comfort
please, I beg you’ll remember why
remember this of finite lists:
there will always be a last

I desperately, so desperately, my darling
don’t want to run out
I don’t want to meet our last word, no

Everything I see, I see through your eyes and mine
Every thing entreats me, “Share me,
I will delight, you two will grow closer.
Share me, show me, tell my story.”

But I will resist, I will hide,
I won’t say a word.
It’s only because (deep down)
I fear

the day when we run out

Think of me as just a petty miser
Each word I speak bringing me closer…

to losing you

If only I could see how many words remain
Then I could say it once (just once)
My last words to you — though I’m sure you knew —
instead of maudlin goodbyes…

(I love you)

Just two drinks

Just two drinks and the world opened up

The rain, the jellyfish, the rainbow scepter raised high

Halloween in the quarter, your costume mirroring mine

Your mask won’t hide where your eyes wander

They find me over and over and over

I didn’t want to leave right then, please know.

I didn’t want to go.

It’s only just, I understand

I can’t give you what you want — I wish

I wish I wish I could

(I can’t)

So all of this? I’ll never let you know

I shall only — for your sake — let you go.