And the Truth Spills Out

Let’s imagine that
you love me,
and no light can dim,
no faucet can leak,
and no one can take
you away from me.

Let’s imagine you love my risotto
and seared salmon,
and that you drink the wine,
the Scotch, and the tea.
Your eyes constantly on me.

Let’s imagine I’m what you imagine,
and I can cook risotto and seared salmon,
and never let your glass run dry.
All with my eyes on you.

Let’s imagine we had chemistry to spare,
that we are all warm mouths, and entwined limbs.
The eyes of the sun and the mountains.

Let’s imagine we weren’t the long read,
that took moments to unread.
The storm cloud that spilled
from our shattered wine glasses.
The headlights that flickered out.
The seared salmon that went cold,
the burnt risotto in the pot,
the empty glass in the leaky sink.

Now let’s focus on one true thing.
Your lying mouth and treacherous kisses.
The way you hurt me. Your eyes always
on the next best thing.

-Tosha Michelle

On the Clouds Eating His Shadow


The clouds drank in ravens
making the pines lucid.
His shadow fell beneath
the sky. If she listened
closely, she could hear
his melodic cadence
delivering soliloquies
adrift on the wind.
He as he was
She as she became
Awake. Aware.
Taking color and form.
Both somewhere between
what was there. What’s
not there. Someone you
remember and can’t
quite forget.
Lost mail on someone
else’s kitchen table.
The parenthesis enclosed.
Time takes away. Gone
in an instant particles
of the past.
She stays.

(She can’t stay)
Tired from this slow
burning off of yesterday.
That which was lost
will not become again.
She always thinks she
see gleams of him,
glimpsed and then gone.
The stem decimated but
drowning in rose petals.
No longer powerless
to the undertow.
His presence merely less,
but no longer wholly more.
His shadow falling,
falling into dust.
The only sound she
hears now is her
voice turning into
an early frost.
To every poem there is
a time and season.
Seasons that coagulate
into lost years.
In this one, she scourges
the past with lyrical ease
The wind no longer
contradicting itself.
Her pen drops ink
of flames, no longer
pointing to the sky.
Dr. Syntax gives her a
lollipop and a clean
bill  of closure. 

-Tosha Michelle

Advice to Women

Better to be alone than devalued.

Men are like shoes. Replaceable. 

If you do find a pair that fit. Treat him like your favorite chocolate or mixed metaphor.

Honey and milk under the tongue should always be spiced with peppermint and truth.

You can do better or worse 

There will be seasons of weeping willows and years of cherry trees. Savor both.

So called friends are like your favorite cereal, easy to find.

Real friends more like magic seeds but if found can grow oak trees that will anchor your city for a lifetime. 

Don’t be afraid to strike a match but expect your thumb to get burnt.

The easy way out ends on the last train to nowhere. 

Trust is the taste of sunshine but lightening is always poised to strike, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. 

Conjugate verbs full of hope. 

Be with the one who doesn’t just praise your face but your soul as well.

Don’t wear out your voice calling out for someone who doesn’t answer. 

Leaves always depart. Let them go. 

Don’t be afraid to climb mountains bare-handed and trees bareheaded.

Better to be a beloved lover than just a lover.

Always dream like a kite gliding over a serene landscape but be aware of diseased branches out to snare you 

A million roses bloom inside of you. Let them spill out onto the pages of the world.

-Tosha Michelle 

Dear No One

Dear No One,

Forgive me for writing unsolicited poetry about you. It’s just you bring out the John Keats in me (some would say without the talent). I know I lack decorum. Is it that insane that I want to buy you flowers? Ruminate on your good looks? Try and capture your wit and grace in mad verse?

I may never walk beside you in the night, but you’re still my favorite star. My poetry longs to stir your breath, knowing in reality you are an inert thing. I’ve looked for you in ;others, only to be left in tears.

 But still I turn to pen, to paper, to assuaged you. I hope my words are a benediction to your being. I long to neither save nor condemn you but merely lace your altar with beauty.

Your lightning holds no promise of rain. Yet, just like a dove, I keep flying in your direction. I’m not concerned with the elements. I’m like the wind, a contradiction. I never can right my mind for long. I’m stuck in perpetual twilight. Nothing can be salvaged. My soul should dream no further, but it does, and I do. You’re a part of my weather now. Your humidity is felt inside of me.

I must close this letter and get back to my life. It’s time to dance and stumble around with shadows. But first, I’ll look out the window and see the leaves stirring, shaking as they fall to the ground, and imagine you. One last time. One more time.

Dear No One, I hope to find you soon 

-Tosha Michelle

Laying the Blues Down

image

I’m tired of dragging my
hurts round like a stick
along jail cell bars.

And my tune always broken,
and the warden always asking
for some change.

Let me lie down on a cot,
or in the middle of the floor
and scatter my grievances
and self abuse all around.

And wait for another inmate
with a bottle of whiskey
and harmonica, who knows
how to play the blues, to
come and sit down beside me

And we’ll harmonize our angst
like pressing a finger to a bleeding wound.

And our hearts may be broken organs,
but we’ll pluck a banjo from it’s strings.

And we’ll sing until the night
opens for us like a door.

And let our song carry us as
far as the sky will go or, at least
to Chicago or St. Louis.

There we’ll swallow snowmelt, and
take our self doubt underground.

Finally laying those
melancholy blues down.

-Tosha Michelle

Tell Me

image

Tell me how you suffer
in notes both high
and low.

Tell me why everything
is rarely enough in a
world that is collapsing.
The sky nothing more
than cornbread crumbs.

Why do we not
notice this?

Tell me how we got lost
in a word of logins, of likes,
of tweets, a web of passwords.

When did Google
become a verb?

Tell me why people are disposable,
and we are constantly
judging our life
by the lives of others?

When I hear music,
my life shifts.
Layers of overstimulated
brain cells shed
their skin.

Dress me
in your melody.

Tell me in a song
why we love
something we
refuse to talk about.

Let your tune speak
of shattered knees,
barbwire fences
cutting into roads,
illness, loneliness.

Sing me
your pain.

Tell me how words
in old books
draw you near.
How their ghosts still reflect
pleasures recalled.

How peace is the
county you want
to live in,
but you get stuck in
customs instead.

How hard it hurts
to fall, to fall,
but each bruise,
each disappointment is
a testament that
our system is still
functioning and
there are tunes
still left to be sung.

I’ll sit beside you as
you serenade me
and finally pay
attention to the
sky.

The evening opening
up like a meteor,
a tail of a comet
waves to us as it
touches the sidewalk.
Satellites fall. For the moment,
heaven comes closer,
entranced by your song.

-Tosha Michelle

Nobody does suffering better than Adele

Brand New 

You who carry sunshine in
your hair, the sky in your hands,
and blueberry pie in your eyes

You who knows all the words
to every Chet Baker song.

Why don’t you come by my record shop?
I’ll teach you the percussive du wop

Come unearth my city plot.
Right my upside down heart
with the lilt of your melodic
voice.

Stain my soul with your graceful fingers.

Sing me your red velvet tune
with not one note of sorrow

Scrawl on my tongue
your heart song.
I’ll sing along.

Make music to a woman
not quite young, but not yet old.
My mind a score of hunger.
Patterns of passion across
my face.

Don’t be afraid to improvise
summer nights composed of
bodies and sway.
Wingtip and rosehip.
We’ll create our
own tune.

The tenor sax takes the lead.
It sounds like desire,
like it won’t ever stop.

Let’s crack the night with needle and groove.
Let the blues run off with D minor.
As two lovers infuses the dark with rhythm and spark.

-Tosha Michelle