I’m looking for where the smile is easy

while still trying to drop the baggage.

If only it were as easy

as releasing pretend suitcases.

I know the cost of clenching:

holding fast to what no longer works.

It’s amazing how my brain



is that how a hawk hunts?

Are birds of prey like my brain?

In 16 minutes

my coffee cools

and the expert relaxes

the tight coil of my memory.

Unclench yourself.

I wipe the picture frame clean.

I keep photos of smiles that spill joy

to remember there is life without layers

back there, too.

Hiding in the brambles I like to revisit

I can hear spirals of laughter, too.

Now the rain hits and runs down

black tar paper.

I slip into sound.

Drop the story.


And Again.


The rain.

The heat pushes up

through the vent

whispers, ‘here.’


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