Relief

The warm evening summer sun

interrupted by gentle breezes,

flowing through the trees

and through your hair.

The breeze is a relief,

the sun, though setting, burns bright.

When the wind blows,

it takes with it any sense of doubt

and any negative feelings we once had.

 

We stand in the forest,

surrounded by trees and bushes,

a plethora of greens and browns and yellows.

We’re barefoot, but only for a moment,

just to sink our feet deep into the soil,

root ourselves in the same dirt these trees use,

and maybe understand how they can stand so tall

in a world that doesn’t seem to want them.

 

I feel connected to the forest,

in the summer at dusk.

I feel as though I, too, will soon become cold and restless,

mischievous creatures will stir within me.

But there’s a beauty in the silent forest nights,

though most fear to approach the darkened woods,

those who do will find it’s calm and eternal;

it’s not out to get you, it just wants to survive.

It just wants to grow, to thrive

and as far as I’m concerned,

that’s all anyone else wants.

Simpler Times

There’s something about nostalgia

I obsess over it.

Most of my tattoos are tied to it,

half of my wardrobe is related to it.

I attach myself to the past,

it’s difficult to let it go,

it’s too easy to reflect on,

to reminisce about the Simpler Times.

I find myself playing old games from my childhood,

going for walks where I spent so much time as a child,

but why?

I’m often let down,

the games aren’t what they used to be,

the walks cluttered with litter and nosy people,

but I find myself drawn to it all.

Maybe it’s something to do with the simplicity of it

and how nothing ever seems as simple as back then.

It’s beautiful in the saddest fashion,

how I will never again relive those memories,

and every day they’ll fade more

until I hardly remember them at all.

(not) rock bottom

I exhaled and found myself

twelve feet deep,

surrounded by seaweed and crabs.

They say not to sink too low,

but if means I can breathe again,

I’d find Atlantis in the abyss.

I’m sitting on the ocean floor,

not too deep that I’ll drown

just enough to feel the waves pull me around.

I’d kill to feel anything these days,

a little clarity is all I ask.

They told me I need to cleanse my soul

so, I sank to the sandy floor.

Now I can’t breathe or think,

and time is running out.

This isn’t where I wanted to be at 21,

drowning in stress and loneliness.

I feel the seaweed wrap around my legs,

tighter every second

until I accept defeat.

This isn’t rock bottom,

but I can’t sink any lower.

Things I Love

Warm summer nights,

the heat of the blazing sun has subsided,

but the warmth still radiates.

Sitting around a campfire,

conversing with friends.

 

Going to sleep after a productive day,

knowing I’m loved and cared for

even though I have my flaws,

knowing my friends don’t mind

they have their own flaws too

and that’s what makes us unique.

 

Being able to reflect on the past,

without being burdened by it’s misfortunes

Knowing I’m in a better place now than I was years past

and being thankful for the bad times as well as the good

because now I know how bad it can get,

so these little problems I encounter

they don’t seem so bad anymore.

Sure, sometimes life still gets me down,

but now I’ve a whole array of skills to deal with it.

 

Having a cookout on a mild day,

the shining sun and friends’ laughter filling the air.

Sunsets that turn the sky shades of pink and purple.

Looking up at the sky on a cloudless night,

stars twinkling as we relish in their beauty,

the moon full and illuminating the surroundings.

Knowing this isn’t time wasted,

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Let the flowers grow

Let flowers grow inside you

in places you once thought 

could never see life again.

Let the emptiness inside your chest

be the soil that nourishes new life.

Let the earth take over 

fill sadness with hopefulness.

Bury your feet in the dirt

and know you’ll be fine.

Just because you feel alone

doesn’t mean you are.

They left you hollow and lost

but just because you’re empty now

doesn’t mean new life can’t grow.

Summer mornings.

Hot dewy air,

fresh cut lawns,

birds chirping,

hopeful breezes,

unsure what today will bring

but it rained over night

and the humidity finally broke,

so maybe it’ll be a good one.

 

Sipping coffee outside,

groggily making plans.

Trees green and lush,

flowing in the gentle breeze.

Taking in the moment,

remember this feeling.

 

Winter is soon,

these trees will be white,

the breeze brutal.

No more sitting outside in the morning,

waking up and feeling whole,

so remember how good it feels.

The Grand Canyon (Part 2)

Our friend came out to us last night,

in an emotional speech surrounded by loved ones.

We were still on the road,

now in Nebraska.

She FaceTimed us and told us she was trans.

She had her friends over,

the moment felt right.

I wished I could’ve hugged her.

You and I talked about gender and sexuality for a while

well after the call ended.

I learned you once contemplated not being cis.

I did too, back in high school.

I told you I loved that we were still learning about each other.

You smiled and agreed.

We were on the road,

on a street we’d never seen,

in a car you only bought a month ago,

but I couldn’t have felt more at home.

Spring Sadness

It was the middle of spring,

Birds were singing, flowers in bloom.

I should’ve been happy,

Why wasn’t I happy?

Everything lush with color,

Everyone chipper and chatty.

Why couldn’t that be me?

What was holding me back

From enjoying spring to the fullest?

Could it be I’m just not over my depression?

Or is there something getting me down?

Winter seemed to breeze by,

I was sure I was over being depressed.

But now that the sun is shining,

And the air is warm,

I can’t help but wish I was someone else.

I daydream of running away,

Starting a new life with a new mentality.

It feels like I’m in so deep,

There’s no escape but to restart.

 

You’d think I’d know by now,

Running away only causes more problems.

Starting over only gets me so far

Because all my problems follow

And soon enough I’ll be in the same position

In a different location,

Daydreaming about running away again.

Grand Canyon (Part 1) a road trip we’d never forget

I didn’t eat breakfast.

You tell me, climbing into my car.

Don’t worry,

I respond,

We can stop at Dunkin’.

You smile.

It’s still early,

The sun hasn’t yet risen.

We’re early, too,

We could stop at the beach,

And watch the sunrise.

First, you need breakfast.

I pull into the drive-thru,

I order you a sandwich,

You don’t have to tell me what you want,

I know what you always get.

I order us both coffees, too.

We’re going to need it today.

 

We’ve got a long day ahead of us,

First you have the dentist,

Then I have therapy.

Then, we’re driving across the country.

We’ve saved money,

Calculated the hours it’ll take-

37, with no traffic.

We packed our bags,

Got the time off work,

Found a place to stay.

We’re staying with my friend,

He lives a half hour from the Grand Canyon,

And we’ve always wanted to visit.

He moved to Arizona two years ago,

We’ve hardly seen him since,

Never to visit him,

He’s only come back up to the northeast.

He introduced us to each other,

So we owe him this trip.

 

I’ve known him since high school,

You two met through mutual friends.

I was surprised we had never met,

We frequented a lot of the same places.

When he introduced me to you,

I knew right then.

 

We met a week before our friend moved away.

For a while that was all we talked about.

That grew into how we met our friend,

Which grew into discussions of high school and college,

Which turned into stories of high school and college,

Which turned into our hobbies,

Of which we had many in common,

Which turned into me showing you my favorite show,

Then you showed me yours,

And two years later,

We’re on a road trip to celebrate our anniversary.

 

I paid for our breakfast,

And drove us to the beach.

I made sure to go to one that faces the sunrise.

I’ve made that mistake before.

We ate our breakfast

while our favorite songs played through the speakers.

I was reminded of past dates,

Sitting in this exact spot,

Eating take-out and laughing at each other’s jokes.

I smiled blissfully at the thought,

knowing fully there were more of those moments to come.

The Never-Ending Race

I don’t know where to go from here,

It feels like I’m running a never-ending race.

Every time I think I’m at the finish line,

The road turns and shows another five miles.

There’s always obstacles,

There will always be.

I’m not surprised.

That’s how life is and I’m not complaining.

I just wish I could take a break.

I have these dips in my mood

Every couple weeks,

Where life becomes too much

I get overwhelmed

And I wish I could pause time.