better the devil you know

there are little mercies
when i close my eyes
and drown in my darkness.
the silence cradles me
and i can breathe easy.
the compromise begins
when the words replay
over and over again
a feverish chant laced
with sadness and despair
but this is preferable
to the madness
outside of my head.


death becomes me (edited)

I ran with death once
my movements were swift
but he kept up with ease
I only knew he was near
when I felt my lungs constrict
and I could barely breathe

we took a road trip
with a blues soundtrack
and a mellow high.
slow then fast, daring
him to end the ride.
when we reached our destination,
I sat graveside, cursed the world
then said my goodbyes.

finally death and I were floating
downriver, one lazy Sunday morning
no sun in the sky
the church bells going
like a haunting lullaby
the cool water enveloped me
then spit me out and set me free

the shoreline caught me
and didn’t let go
then death sat beside me
to attempt some comfort
you’ll get your wish kid
when it’s your time, you’ll know
then he was gone
and I was all alone.


A Brief Author’s Note That Can Be Completely Skipped

I wrote this poem a few weeks ago for a prompt. And while I love it, I rushed into posting it and it had some errors so I promised myself I would redo this poem. Initially, I only intended to fix the grammatical stuff but I did end up adding and changing some things here and there. Normally, I don’t edit poems with the belief that I write how I’m feeling at the time (a sort of I meant what I said wrote if you will) but there are a handful of poems that I have tinkered with because I can really appreciate the head space I was in when I wrote them. The poems that I do revisit usually have a story/prose feel to them and maybe that means something or maybe I’ve just taken one too many English classes ūüôā

Anyway, I’m done rambling. I’m not sure why I felt the need to write about the process of this poem but it felt good so here it is.

Thank you so much for reading and come back soon!

the nostalgia 

candy coated
and rose colored
we were happy
for a long time
you were
the man of my dreams

your ghost lingers
and remains
the stuff of legends
sending me into
rosy tinted reveries

and the memories
make me long for you
but we broke apart
you turned around
I walked away

and those we know
march down the aisle
alone in the crowd
i can only think
this should’ve been us
this could’ve been me

an ode to my lost love

i know this is a dream
the field of flowers
stretched far and wide
a sea of brightly colored
petals, the smell is subtle
but familiar – we are alone.

i remember concrete streets
and dull tones of grey. this is
where you are now. the colors
are blinding but you are smiling
and i think i love you over and over

i don’t know why i am here
and i sit as if you asked me to stay
while you tell me stories of people
i do know but some i don’t. the petals
danced while we laughed and laughed
and i think i miss you more and more

the wind changes.
this will be over soon.
i feel your hand in mine
but we don’t make a move
the petals let go
and drift in the air
as we stare and stare
and i should say something
i should say anything

but i don’t say nothing
so the world crashes down
and i am awake now.
by myself with these dreams
i wish you would stop haunting
me. i wish you were my reality.


we use violent words
for illness. we fight.
battle. the pain bursts
then sharpens. digs in
and roots around. we
ask for mercy not knowing
who will answer the call.

(i am locked up. quiet.
they say it’s a brave
face but there are no words
for the shifting in my body.
i imagine the cells exploring
places they should not go
multiplying in a frenzy
excited to do more.)

there is no comfort in
illness. nothing is enough
and everyone is doing
too much. in the space between
the get wells,
the you can do it
lies a gentle sigh of relief.

home. the pills shake
and rattle ready to be
included in your daily
routine. resigned. there
is no fight. life goes on.
you start over each day
the pain is a reminder:
death did not answer your call.
you are alive.

Art (and prompt) by Darla Vaughn 


time skipped the hole
I suppose where my
heart would be
if it were not in the millions
of pieces
that I have not
put back together again.
it was only covered in
the barest of protection –
before it was rubbed open
with a word,
a careless touch,
the seamless way you
appear in my dreams
I didn’t know it was
possible to be this
heart broken –
to have wounds
re-opened by a song,
the slightest smell or
a scant memory.


I don’t know how to deal
with the sadness
it comes like a gulf drowning
me in my own sorrow.
I inhale it all and
it burns on the way down
giving reason for tears to form,
slow at first until
the torrents appear
with the crippling feeling
that I am no longer in control
i am a prisoner in the depths
of my aimless random thoughts.
they prefer the chaos.
they control my moods,
my life. everything i do.

cheer squad

cheer squad
no pom poms
or rah rah
sis boom…
bah – the sidelines
chant with fervor
the energy flows
through and you feel
powerful. you can do
anything. the rhythm

and you can fly
high with the words
stirring on the inside.
tell life to bring it on.
you got spirit, girl.
you got a squad.
right beside you
cheering you on.