The End

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The streets were filled with cars
and buses with the noise of
people trying to keep ahead
of time. when all I wanted to
do was make time stop.

You and I were sitting on
on a park bench. Two
lovers reclaimed by
by disillusionment. I
couldn’t look at you. I
knew if I did. I would cry.
So much for forever and
always. So much for young
love. Our years together
receding like taillights in the
the fog. Settling into a mist
of dreams we use to have.

I breathe in your scent- Doir
and the faint smell of mint.
A man nearby played the sax
The riffs like steam off the
pavement. The decanted
notes-melancholy.

I couldn’t help glancing
at you one last time.
I had always been a
sucker for your beauty.
My eyes filling up with
tears.

I could have leaned in
and said something,
anything to have kept
you there.

Instead I walked toward home
crying and raging. Self pity
holding tightly to my hand.
My fears rising like a thunder
cloud, like the prayers of the
dying before sinking down
into nothingness, like
the castrophe that is
love, like regret, like all
all the spoken and
unspoken sorrows
between us. Breathless
silence, a stale memory
lingering in the air.

If you’re reading this,
it’s been years since then.
And everything’s too late
as it often is, as it always
is in poems like this.

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Late Nights

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Books are meant to be read late at night when the house sleeps
and the city huddles under a heavy lidded moon.
In these hours you can escape
from the kitchen drainboard deity
and the goddess of home and hearth

You can open the door to a street leading to adventure.
All you have to do is look down its length.
No matter which way you glance, magic awaits.
The crickets and lamppost light beguiling you with language
and the breath of imagination.
Power lines of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, infusing the body.
Perhaps, reminding you of something you once felt.
The words sustaining you. Fleshy and porous.
Iseult taking form with her thighs and Tristan’s lips.

You stay with them until you feel the sun kiss the nape of your neck
and you hear cars rolling down the street. Life’s commotion stirring.
All glass and asphalt now, waking the household gods, as they demand your attention.
You yawn, stretch, sigh, and close the door to the street’s salted pages and the night’s eloquent lure.

-Tosha Michelle

The Dance

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I’m a fool for words.
I can’t stay away from
them. They define me
and defile me. We dance
out of step, out of time.
Occasionally, we find
our rhythm. Dancing
the language of the
soul. At those times
I like to kick my heels
up in a perfect dive.

I must confess. I’m
envious and in awe
of those dancers who
never seem to stumble,
always in sync with their
poetic voice. Never any
near misses.

I’ll never be the Steve Jobs
of poetry. My words owned
and beloved by the masses.
I’ll never master
Shakespeare’s waltz,
but I will keep swaying,
even trying is a sort
of dance

Perhaps, it’s not so much
about the dance but the
intentions of the dance.
The potential of fluidity
in our bodies as we move
across the green grass

This is the world I
feel most at home in.
My bare feet not
dancing on a rooftop
over a city that glistens
but rooted to the ground.

I’ll never stop dancing.
I will dance, my small
dance of corn maze art
for myself and for those
dancing fools like me
smitten with words.

-Tosha Michelle

Hands Over Eyes.

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Abstract art by Yours Unruly

Hands Over Eyes

Stand behind me
Take your hands and
cover my eyes, so
I don’t see all
those doubts that
take flight in me,
so I have nothing new
to fear. No new
heartache to blindside me
Loss always coming
unannounced.

Whisper filthy things
in my ear, so it can
breathe deep your words,
drowning out the
voices in my head
screaming “be cautious”
Imploring me to not
be so reckless with
another one so
intoxicating.

Give me new skin
to touch
so I no longer feel
like a castaway
in dark harbor
full of scabs and scales

Let me feel your warmth,
as hope slips inside me.
Face to face now.
You teach me that
everything opens
with time- eyes. minds,
and even a heart damaged
by love undone.

-Tosha Michelle

What Type of Man is He?

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What type of man is he?

He’s of the tall and handsome variety
Bright, witty, well schooled in inky places.
He’ll seduce you with the sweet cadence
of his voice, making you think of velvet,
ivory towers, the first sip of hot chocolate,
and the fragrant smells of fall.

He’s the type of man who knows
how to wear his clothes. Fashionable.
fitted to his slender, masculine physique.
He is habit forming to the eyes
Sexy glaucoma. Sparking a fever
with this sentence, which ends
with an ache.

He’s the type of man who will appeal to
your darker places with his Machiavellian
maneuvers. Your upper and lower body
engaged in political debate. One part
rallying for a call to action
(la Marquise De Merteuil)
The other wholly disapproving. A rebellion
stirred in ungodly places. Places that
will beget and begat desire.
Remember even in the Bible
all that begetting and begatting
ended in tragedy.

He’s the type of man who can unbound
the tightest of books. beautifully,
unfairly. He’ll draw the words out
like the sweetest, stickiest of
taffy. The pages anxious to please,
willing to set fire to themselves if
he finds them lacking.

He’s the type of man who’s engaging, entrancing,
so very hard to resist. Touch if you dare.
He’s a stunning disaster. One you can’t
turn away from. The type of man
you will be fatally drawn to. If you touch him,
you both may suffer. Yes, I know. He’s so magnetic,
but he’s a danger zone. One you know, you
shouldn’t enter, one you must not enter,
but if you are anything like me, you just
might anyway.

-Tosha Michelle

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Exquisite Hate

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Hate can be orgasmic
There’s a certain pleasure
that comes from loathing.
For example, I hate
Jason Derulo’s music
I hate it with an almost
palpable pleasure.
I equate it to the delight one
feels when shot nerves
reach their peak and
everything explodes
Throat, voice, heart.
Climaxing in a scream
that sounds almost as
awful and as sexual
as “Talk Dirty to Me”

There’s bliss in the
release. Freud might suggest
that perhaps Derulo’s music
is just a sign of something
deeper. He might say,
“Think back to your father”
Did I mention I hate Freud?
Electra complex this, creep.

I hate spinach, the ungodly
noise of motorcycles.
the word mucus, fake flowers
Nazis, porcelain dolls,
the scent of jasmine,
Fox News, texting
pumpkin spiced anything.
People who prefer socializing
to reading, the feel of wet hair,
Wimpy, whiny men.
I adore hating them.

Detesting is delightful
It tastes delectable on
my acerbic tongue
I’m addicted to abhorring.
And love loving
so much more for it.

-Tosha Michelle