It was the year
I swallowed the ocean into
the whale of my belly,
then begged with drowned terror
to be spit
back out.

It was the year
you plucked
the strings of my heart
teaching them to play
your tune,
then took your
sheet music and left
while my symphony tried
to play on.

Some days
I’m still searching
for your missing

It was the year
I realized what
it meant to love men,
for whom I would swim channels,
who wouldn’t jump
in a pool
for me.

I know now
they have spent
their entire life
someone will discover
their secret.
They don’t know
how to swim.

It was the year I learned
how to gather
the ashes
left from your
and rekindle a spark
within my tear sodden wood.

It was the year I learned
how to resurrect myself
from the crucifixion
of careless hearts
who scratched their itch
of lonely
against my splintered post.

It was the year I understood
why Gatsby stood on the dock
in his green light.
Heart ceaselessly beating with hope
against the current of his past.

It was the year I watched
my green light go out.
I learned what love is,
I learned what love isn’t.

It was the year I learned
how to bear my ocean
and swim a channel for me.
I lost your harmony
and found my melody.

It was the year I learned
sexual generosity
is no substitute for
emotional availability,
and no woman
will ever find peace with a man
who does not know the woman

Who has forgotten
heart’s necessity of breaking
to make room for more

Who has forgotten
Jesus wept.

It was the year I stepped
more deeply
into the whole of me
carrying my full.
A resilient heart learning
to find light,
when green lights,

It was the year I learned
even on the most creased of days,
still I lift
my proud chest
and happy heart,
kissed in assuredness of my being,
to the gift of sky
as my melody sings,

I am.
I am.
I am.