When The All of Me Fails.

When my life becomes
hard. I write away in
my notebook of dreams
that lives on my desk.
I take a short cut through
ink to be with it.
My pen
of angst spilling out
particles of love. desire,
I wonder how the pages
can ingest them all. My
constant purging of
emotions. Trying to
convey with words
truth before time
distorts it and it
becomes an artifact in
the Museum of
UnNatural History.
At times the fog
likes to exert control
over my verse. Longing
tend to be blind to
reality and reason.
It never sees things
as they are. The poet
trying to alter the
past and its asterisk
Poetry becomes a
contraption of denial.
Truth fight its way
through pages
watermark by tears
to sit on my back
like a weighed
pack, pulling
down hard on the
straps. Reminding me
how flimsy
my poetry and life
would be without it.

-Tosha Michelle 

Years Later 

Years later when we meet again.  I’ll see you sitting on what used to be our park bench. You’ll give me that same sweet smile, grimmer now but still so beautiful. I’ll marvel at how I thought once  I could love you. We walk arm in arm for our last dance. We talk of the past and how it can never be taken from us but wonder where do feelings go?

I ask him if he’s happy as he thought he would be and the gleam in eyes and wedding ring tells me he is. For a moment, they are a blade to my rib cage, but then he tells a joke and in that instant. the cut doesn’t feel so deep. We are both here but not here. I confess,  I’d hope he’d see me and be presence with me like he was before, like there was no other woman waiting for him behind a door now closed to me. 

We walk toward the street he lives. I can tell he’s anxious to get home.  He mentions her name. It sounds like the ocean in the creek of my ear. He moves towards his sideways gravity. He’s reached the vanishing point with me. And no, we’ll probably never meet again.  We part with a kiss on the cheek, a barren bow and Goodbye. 

And then there’s the smell of pine trees, damp as if freshly plucked. The cemetery nearby with the dead in it, and rain from the sky falling lile a melody-the affection I had for him/ gone, like a nightingale’s rib cage cleanly picked.

-Tosha Michelle 

Those Three Little Words

Every time love has visited me it has been accompanied by a death spirit. Leaving behind the chill of isolation. Yet, I know I have been blessed to love, to have loved.  After heartache, after lesson learned in tears, the chest becomes less tight, the soreness fades.

I long to look at love in a new way, while standing in its light, to be caught in its sight, to gaze up and see Orion shining.  to be joined in a long continuance. The hard candies of granite and bone. I long to live alongside love in the fervor of hope, in the heard, seen, and finally fathomable power of a soul held in place.

I want to feel the brush of love’s tenderness,  to remember the constellations I once dreamed upon. I long for a vocabulary built on the promise of truth, in a world where I know the language like I know home, residing on a strong foundation that can  prevail in the sweetness of the summer harvest and in the noon frost of winter. 

Give me a love I can dwell in. I’ve had it with uninhabitable beauty. I desire a place thar suits me, a place to rest where I can finally tear the footbridge down

Tosha Michelle


When I get tired.
I sometimes wonder
what’s this poetry
thing all about?

What am I writing for?
During these times
I’m usually stuck
in a creative muck,
I still don’t dare
call it a rut.

There’s no food
in the picnic basket
so I eat drudgery instead.
My mouth full of lost time.

I’m so hungry for words
that have run off
with my silk dresses.
I dream of nouns, adjectives,
and verbs, sinking
in a sea of syntax.

I try to dive in
but get stuck in the sand.
I sit along the shore
I wait. As seagulls fly
from under my bed,
my silk dresses hanging
from up above.
I reach for them
while I still can.

-Tosha Michelle 

Holy Ground 

Didn’t we love each other?
Back in the days
when you kissed sunshine
from my mouth.
And we danced from a room
of desire into a room of
commitment and trust.
And weren’t we good
and gentle and inspired?
Wasn’t it holy- the sweetness
we licked from each other’s skin?
And were we not beautiful then,
as beautiful as rain,
as spring, as fire?

-Tosha Michelle


For David and Jen and Tony and Jersey girl 

Tonight I feel more alone than the moon

overthrown by the clouds.

I take solace in the rain, the sway of the trees

being shaken out like a well loved blanket by the wind.

I know you are out there under the horizon. We’re on the same Earth.

The moon plays peekaboo with you too.
I understand how time zones float like helium balloons across the globe.

But the sky and this poem know how much I want you here.

I want to look at you

and mark how time changes you,

as it changes us.

I want to love you up close.
It’s true as you say, distance doesn’t define love, we do.

We always find each other. I look up at the sky,

just in time to see the moon sneak through the clouds.

It whispers to me in sibilance.
For a moment you come closer. Comforted by the knowledge of you,

I speak to you in trees and air.

The gray eyes of the night translates my love diction,

as the Milky Way pours itself over two lovers

swept up on a star yet to be named.
-Tosha Michelle