Her Aching Thoughts

What do you know about flowers?

“Do you think that flowers know that they’re beautiful?” she asks, in the middle of folding laundry. The bleached white towels stand in contrast to the navy blue comforter on the bed. Her folds are crisp, even, perfect. Her eyes flick up from her work, meet mine, and hold there.

I stand stark still, like prey hoping that its predator will move on. Her eyes continue to pierce into my soul. She will not move on.

“Do you think roses know that they symbolize love or that daisies know that we count their petals to steel ourselves from potential heartbreak?”

The words cling to the air, then expand, filling the whole room with their stifling presence. There’s a moment’s pause as we stand there, eyes locked, surrounding by the agony of her inquiries.

Then she breaks her gaze, looks back down at the towels, and starts to fold once more. “Do you think that when flowers are cut from their plants they know that some of them will end up on top of graves, showing the dead that humans still care?”

“I don’t think so,” I mumble in reply, grabbing a nearby towel and starting to fold, albeit much less expertly than her. “I don’t think so.”

Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels

For A.

How was I supposed to realize?

Even after all these years,
I still find myself thinking about you.

How was I supposed to realize
that the cool touch of your hand in mine
would sear itself into my memory
as if it were the scar
of a thousand icy fires?

Or that your lips that told
of hopes and dreams for a better future–
not just for yourself, but for the whole world–
would be so intoxicating and unforgettable
when pressed against mine?

I have made several mistakes
since that touch, that kiss,
one of which was
letting you go
without an explanation.

Now I am left with the memory
and an apology that seems
too thin, too late, and too quiet
to be of any real benefit
to you.

And I know that everything I said and did
gives you no reason to trust me,
to even listen to me,
but I do have just one question:

Do you still think about me, too?

Photo by Min An from Pexels


They’re understanding.

They’re meeting.
They’re chatting.
They’re laughing.
They’re liking.
They’re understanding.
They’re leaning.
They’re kissing.
They’re goodbye-ing.

He’s calling.
She’s answering.
He’s thanking.
She’s rejoicing.
He’s offering.
She’s agreeing.
He’s planning.
They’re scheduling.

They’re remeeting.
They’re enjoying.
They’re questioning.
They’re debating.
They’re compromising.
They’re delighting.
They’re relocating.
They’re cuddling.

They’re communicating.
They’re walking.
He’s stopping.
He’s kneeling.
She’s gasping.
He’s proposing.
She’s accepting.
They’re loving.

They’re disagreeing.
They’re arguing.
She’s yelling.
He’s withdrawing.
He’s grimacing.
She’s scowling.
They’re apologizing.
They’re forgiving.

They’re moving.
They’re building.
They’re decorating.
They’re bickering.
They’re giggling.
They’re negotiating
She’s settling.
They’re living.

She’s talking.
He’s ignoring.
She’s pressing.
He’s freezing.
She’s trying.
He’s mocking.
She’s crying.
He’s laughing.

She’s packing.
He’s imploring.
She’s glowering.
He’s begging.
She’s finishing.
He’s pleading.
He’s realizing that
she’s leaving.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay



In a heartbeat, three simple words etched themselves on my tongue

Here’s another poem that I had written just slightly earlier than “That Night” on the opposite side of the same piece of scrap paper.


I miss sitting with you.

I remember that day, staring at the rushing Potomac before us
And how your head was in my lap.
We were surrounded by history and new experiences,
But all I could think about was you, just you.

In a heartbeat, three simple words etched themselves on my tongue
And seared the back of my throat
And crushed my chest from the inside.
I opened my mouth and said nothing.

I often wonder if I had said what I was feeling in that moment,
Would everything be different now?
Would this aching core of mine be threatening
To tear me apart with its slashing claws and gnashing teeth?

All these months later, I am stuck once more.
I keep trying to run, trying to fly,
But your gravitational pull is too strong
For me to even leave the ground.

Am I trapped by your will or my own?

Your birthday forces fresh blood
Out of the wounds you inflicted.
How can I put into words how important you are to me
Without being reduced to tears?

So again, I stay silent,
And again, I am filled with what-ifs.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay