You know that this old house will break me.
This place where we still live
And walk the halls ’cause we’re not free.
You know that this whole place is empty
But still so full of us
And we can’t stand
To just let us be.

You know we’re bound to find the keys someday
And throw the doors out wide
And go outside
But we can’t seem to find the time to walk away.

I know that these old walls still haunt you
And echo all the sounds
Down all the halls
We walked through.
You know I’m still stuck here
I know you’re always near
We know we need to leave
And burn this place down to the ground and just start new.

But man, we’re bound to find the keys someday
And throw the doors out wide
And then go outside
And then think of some amazing way
To say goodbye
But we can’t seem to find the time to walk away.

She Still Builds Bridges

She builds these golden bridges
just to try to get closer to more of the same
and she paints all her days to look just like the others
impatiently waiting to crave the tame.

And she wants to want to sit and stop
and she wants to be just fine
while her heart is still made of wires
that still spark and spatter and pop

And sometimes she lights her whole world on fire
just to burn down the orderly mess
and sometimes she’ll sit much too close to the flames
just to see if they hurt any less.

Be My Distraction

Be my distraction
my your-will-be-done.
Be my complication
my confusion
my ready-to-run.

Be all of my dysfunction
my every recreation
be all of my commotion
all my focus
all my fun.

Be mine to rearrange around
my favorite interruption
my everything-that’s-wrong-with-me.
My only irritation.

Watch Me Burn

I know that my quiet’s too loud for you
I know my smile is transparent
I know you can to see my insides
I know you can feel me on fire.

I can’t make this wind just stop twisting
or ask the sand to stop stinging your eyes
I can’t turn off the noise or vibration
Just stand there and watch me burn.

I know you can see my hands hanging
at my sides when you think I should reach
I know you can see me see through you
when you just want me to want you to preach.

I don’t have a way to stop smoldering
I don’t know when the coals will go out.
I won’t know till I’m through with this moment
Just stand there and let me turn.

I know my running is running you down
and my standing still is far worse
I know where you are when I feel like I’m gone
Just stay there and let me burn.


Your selfish treats drip down your teeth and into my blood stream
And circle around and settle down
And fill up all the empty in-betweens

And I let you keep on giving me, handing me, feeding me
Poison and venom and fire
And you kept on taking and faking and breaking
And dragging me further from fine.



As soon as you see the sun
you catch your breath
Don’t gather your things
or wait for your head
Just look for the line of light
Feel for the warmth
and run for your freedom, girl
Pick up and run.

Watch for the clouds to break
look for the dawn
stop letting this storm inside
drown out your song.
Run for who you used to be
so far from where you’ve come
Fight to get out this time,
Pick up and run.

As soon as you feel the breeze
kissing your cheeks
suck up your courage
get up on your feet.
Get up and run from the heat at your back
you’ve got so much to get to
so much to get back.
Run fast for the sunshine that’s waiting for you
Run from the dark that you’re holding onto.

Get up and break free this time
Reach high for the sun
Fight to get out this time
Pick up and run.

Here’s What Happens

I am not afraid of things anymore. Things that used to spark the anxious what-if’s don’t even touch me now. I could jump from a plane, stand in a crowd of hundreds of people, climb a mountain, be all by myself, swim in the ocean, fall in love; face any of those things you guys used to tease me about being afraid of. I guess once you have felt the rush of adrenaline that comes from the realization that the worst possible thing has actually happened and can’t be undone – well nothing else really seems that intimidating. You would be proud of me – you weren’t afraid of anything, ever, and now – neither am I.

I don’t hesitate to stand up for myself anymore. I want what makes me feel good and happy and loved, and I can’t wait anymore to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t – and I won’t get rid of the stuff that does just to make anyone else ‘ok’.

Days of the week and month sneak up on me, and its hard not to feel like time is out to get me. Yesterday was the 19th – four months since the call that you were gone and not coming back. All day long on the 17th and 18th, I felt followed around by an urge to hurry; hurry to get to you, hurry to fix this, hurry to change something, hurry to not let the 19th happen. And then it did, again, and I felt overwhelmed, again, that I can’t change the outcome this month, either. Thursdays happen, Fridays happen. We rush around to go and have fun over the weekend, and then I’m seized with wondering why I didn’t try to call you that one Thursday night. Could I have changed this if I had just tried to find you that Friday morning?

I can’t lie now. “How are you?” prompts me to say “I’m a mess” more often than “fine” unless I really feel fine. And I do feel fine sometimes. There are times when I’m comforted and held together by the idea that you are exactly where you wanted to be now. That you are safe and free and.. fine.

We’ve all come together, but we’re all kind of.. broken. The whole ‘family’ of us – we all have become closer and are holding on to each other tighter than we ever have before – but its like there’s this invisible barrier now. None of us want to be the reason that another one of us falls apart again. At your service, your mom kept saying “Just don’t hug me deep. Only on the surface.” That’s what everything feels like now. It’s easier for me to fall apart in front of strangers than in front of one of my own people, because it just hurts too deep.

I think about you every single day. Sometimes it is filled with grief, and sometimes it is with laughter, but every single day you are on my mind. More than anything, I wish that I could have had just a few more days or hours or minutes before this happened. And every time, it is for different reasons – sometimes so I could talk you out of this, sometimes so I could just tell you how much I love you, sometimes just to hear you laugh again – but it’s always the same wish; more time – more time – more time.


It’s funny how grief plays tricks tricks on you.

I’ll be moving along; doing the things. I have accepted that this overwhelming pain might hit me when I’m unprepared. I’ve made peace with crying in front of strangers and in public. I’ve learned, almost, how to recognize this new warning voice that comes out of me just before I fall apart. I can talk about him now without having to remind myself to breathe afterwards.

And then all at once I catch myself thinking, has it been long enough yet? Is it over yet? Isn’t it time yet for them to explain how this is all has just been a terrible misunderstanding? And then a whole new side of this hurt unravels and I’m right back there in October, angry that someone has had the nerve to turn the pages of the calendar. Shocked that we’ve all started saying “he was” instead of “he is”.

Every calendar I’ve ever owned has been full. All my babies birthdays, all my other babies birthdays, all the anniversaries of important milestones for each and every one of them. I am blessed to have so many dates to remember that I can’t remember them all. My photo albums are filled with their faces and their smiles during every road trip, every party, every random thing that happened when one of us had a camera. My heart is as full scrolling through hundreds of shots of us all together; Billy and Brady studying their army guy villages ; Bella’s pink dress and her Easter basket – full to the rim with eggs because her boys would never had let it not be; Mikey’s school picture the day after John shaved off his eyebrow.. And then one will catch me sideways, and I see that one smile of John’s that meant ‘Whaaat? You can’t actually be mad at me for this.. IT’S FUNNY!’ and before I can catch my breath, I think ‘When will he come back? How will we get any more pictures?’ and ‘Didn’t he know that we don’t have enough pictures?’.

It’s February and he’s still gone. It’s still real. I hadn’t accounted for that.

Fist Fight


You use your history
Like a fist fight
I’m dodging flames I didn’t even know where burning
I’ll hand my weapons in
I’ll wave a white flag
I’m just done swallowing the acid laden pretty things.

Deceit was tangible
It tasted bittersweet
I knew the flinch of falling embers from the last time
You’d burn the house down
I’d sweep the ashes
And build another tilted card house on the land mine.

You kiss my burning hands
And fix the faulty wires
And patch up all the broken hearts and all the shattered things
I can’t keep losing me
and preserving you
Just so that you can have a fresh start every morning.

What’ll We Do?


What’ll we do?
What’ll we do?

When every single step is wet and heavy with you?

What’ll we do? What will we do?
When each of all our fingers will still just keep reaching for you?

What’ll we do when we cannot touch you
What’ll we do when we do not see you
What’ll we do when we need to find you
Where will you be when we’re done with not having you?

What’ll we do when your seat still sits empty
and you’re late to come home cause we can’t just stop waiting for you
What will we do when you just keep not calling?

What’ll we do with not getting to look at you?
What’ll we do now that we cannot touch you?

What’ll we do?