Minor poem purge – thanks to Rupi Kaur’s Healing Through Words

Without Flight 

“Because I’m leaving 

on a jet plane…” 

that could kill me. 

Please don’t plummet to the Earth 

at 300 miles per hour. 

I want to believe humans are meant to fly. 

We end up building our wings 

instead of being born with them. 

Don’t we have to earn everything 

we’re not born with? 

I know without flight, I would have never 

heard the guards shush people in the Sistine Chapel. 

Those men are still gods to me. 

Not only are they divine creatures 

for putting up with tourists, 

they are there to protect that heavenly ceiling 

from unnecessary noise, 

flashes of light, 

the breaths of millions who remember only 

how God created Adam. 

Without flight, I would have never been held 

under a stone at the top of Blarney Castle. 

Hands that held hundreds before me, 

yet I didn’t trust. 

Two widely spaced bars and a stranger’s grip 

were all that stopped me from plunging 

head first and backwards onto the lush green below. 

I pressed a kiss to my palm and reached for the stone. 

With the same hand, I patted the arm of the man 

who kept me from dying. Perhaps he knew 

I didn’t need or want the gift of gab. 

Without a jet plane, I never would have experienced 

the happiest place on Earth, once I finally 

got a sense of what happiness was. 

Without flight, I couldn’t have sailed away 

with old and new friends, 

for several days – doused in margaritas and men. 

Friends who reminded me of the me I needed to get back. 

Flying could kill me. 

But without flight, 

being stuck on the ground 

is death’s fingernails on a blackboard, 

its own virus that feeds on words and chances. 

The Parasite


You’re a need to be alone

but not be lonely. 

You’re a yearning for independence,

yet you always need help. 

You’re a control freak, 

but you pour responsibility freely 

into the cupped hands of others. 

You rarely make sense, 

or you make too much sense – as difficult 

to put into words as love – or more so. 

You’re the friend nobody likes, 

but that’s why you’re kept around. 

Having you is better than feeling nothing, 

yet not having you is like the moment 

your host’s body adjusts to the cold water. 

You’re the racing mind with too many targets 

and the checked-out mind shrouded in a marble veil.   

Those who carry you 

know more about you than you think. 

You’re the baking soda packed 

into the depths of consciousness, 

waiting for your host to spill the vinegar. 

You forget how easy you are 

to wipe clean after the storm. 



Lights On 

Could you do me a favor 

and never not wear black? 

Keep making me laugh 

until my asthma kicks in a little? 

Nothing your finger 

tracing the length of my spine

can’t remedy. 

I wouldn’t mind simply grazing 

your collarbone with my lips 

while my hand strokes the dark hairs 

on your chest, exposed by your 

missing top three buttons. 

Tell me you love animals 

while you build me the world’s

perfect writing desk 

with reclaimed barn wood. 

Come close to tears of joy

when all I can repay you with 

is a scarf and a gentler 

Sylvia Plath-style bite to the cheek. 

Sing other people’s songs, 

and I’ll forget they’re covers. 

Read me your poems, 

and I’ll remember how to breathe, 

at least until you lower me to the floor 

with your promise to never leave 

the inside of me completely.