April 4, 2017

Step back into that moment:
You at the top of the stairs.
You are not at the bottom,
You are not outside the apartment
door. You are not down
the street. You did not leave.
You are here, waiting
for me to say something,
anything, and I don’t let you
leave; I speak. I open
my mouth and pull you inside.

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April 3, 2017

If I could go back
I’d stop you
from leaving
only so I could hear
the words again –
how they left your mouth
in a whisper, and I gathered
the sound and stored it
in my bones
where it kept rumbling
for years but too softly for
anyone to trust.

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Happiness Project: April

I used to write poems every day. I used to try to write poems every day. I was 29 years old, and I had just moved to a small town in Texas to pursue an MFA in poetry. I sat at my desk that overlooked a front yard littered with pecans that fell from the trees in my front yard as my dog rest at my feet. I looked out into the world and hoped it would give me an image to turn into a line: a red leaf, a smooth stone, a boat by the name of Dance of the Moon.

After receiving my MFA in 2005, I returned to my career as a high school teacher. And the next decade became a blur of my career and motherhood. I continued to write, but my projects shifted away from poems. But I’d like that to change. I’d like to return to the form that fuels me, the form that made me want to be a writer in the first place.

So for the month of April, I vow to write a poem a day. Here’s my first one:

The Edge of Everything

Motivation: the sun
how it warms you into
what you’ve avoided
for weeks. It is easier
to ignore the weight of what
we used to be:      possible
like keys hanging from a heart-shaped
hook. I clung onto the edge
of everything without you.
There was the golden sky
how it opened like a hand
reaching —

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Skylined: A Story of Love and Loss in the City

I’m thrilled to announce Skylined: A Story of Love and Loss in the City, which is a collaborative project that I created with Chicago photographer Laura Lopez. She took the photos, and I wrote the words. Sometimes I wrote a poem inspired by her photos; other times she shot a photo after she read my poems. The result is a series of 13 photos that tell a story when strung together.

To check out the project, visit our Etsy site, where you can purchase 11 x 17 prints.

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