The Day After

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He’s somewhere between a
brother and a lover.
But not my brother or lover.
He says my sighs say broken.
And because he’s near I’m
transformed somehow.
The words sound different
when they come out of
my mouth.
My form has changed, even
the evergreens take notice.
I bathe in the dappled light
between the trees.
He takes my hand and leads
me down an uncharted road,
where no one has thought of easy.
He says December is the perfect month
for skinny dipping in Minnesota.

-Tosha Michelle

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Upon Reaching for the Sky

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Inside her pocket
she keeps letters
she’ll never send,
and long lists.

She sits at the vanity,
brushing serenity out
of her golden hair.

Listening to lost rain
that’s surly meant to fall
anywhere but here.

Somewhere already green
and lush.

Her mind grieving winter brown

It’s February.

If she mailed her letters
and shared her lists,
who would read them?

She asked for a cup
of tears
The liquid burns
her tongue.

She listens for the
soft cadence of his voice.

Her heart repeats its inquiry.

Memories and reality
undefined.

-Tosha Michelle

Scattered not Sown

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She quietly watches as he
buttons his dress shirt.
Briefly, she catches his eye.
He starts to speak to say, “What?”,
but turns away from her instead.
She feels the doors, the windows,
the ceiling of her heart
glazing over with ice.
Every day now, the hardwoods
pop off the floor, slat by slat.
They could redo the flooring
with carpet, or just move
him or her, out.
She’d claim a tree somewhere,
cradled by branches to hold
her where the echo of love’s
disaster resonates
the heat dissipating,
above the treetop as memories
turn the color of ash.
Her heart knowing
everything changes,
everything ends.
The wind honors the
vanishing.

-Tosha Michelle

My cover of “Cold as You”

Listen to Cold as You. by Tosha Michelle 2020 #np on #SoundCloud

Vacancy

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I want to change your mind
not who you are.

You, as you are,
is what I want.

See the neon blinking?
There’s no indecisiveness here.

Just a vacancy sign
and a room for you
with my truths and affection

I’m a dime. Merely nothing
One in a dozen of hopeless
souls who hope, hope, mope, I.

-Tosha Michelle

Grappling

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I’m sitting on a park bench
composing a poem to my
inner nobody.

Traveling via my mind
down a pathless path
to the past.

Knowing it’s never too late
for regret, not in poetry
or a bottle of gin.

The pines around me seem
to thicken with nostalgia.
The leaves rustle their complaints.

I find words in the half
conscious, morose stirrings
of all my yesteryears.

The distorted shadows
of faded summer afternoons.
The air thin there with
near perfect density.

Soon the light will leave me,
fading with dust and ash.

I’ll scale the music now,
while I still remember how
that old song went.

Then I’ll take my paper and pen
and walk off into the bruised wind,
knowing by tomorrow, the world
and the poet will brighten again.

-Tosha Michelle

American Honey

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I miss childhood,
when I could climb trees,
unencumbered by branches.
The delicate days new born,
when hope came in dancing in
from the backyard and stayed
for Sunday dinner.
Endlessly long days that
always seem to fade into
sunsets and deliriously delectable
dreams of dandelions and
determined alliteration.
There, nights were made
of lightening and a well lit horizon-
the symphony neverending.

Now life has uprooted that sense
of joy, of ignition.
These days I’m just sound
slighted, the residue
of the morning mist,
burnt out on the melody.
Longing for backyard green,
the verve, the contentment.

-Tosha Michelle

Desire: written.

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When he speaks in my dreams
I am allowed to look at him

Somehow our clothes
are always off.

I let his perfect form
slide all over me.

His lyrical sound
is loud in my head.

How my mind wanders
and sparks.

The thoughts reaching out.

I try to still my hands,
but his skin is a tempting idea.

The open mouth kiss
of illicit toxins, sensual sin.

The more I try to latch on
the less real he feels.

The space between his face
and mine only grows longer.

I awake in my bed, the good girl,
still feeling the lingering wind
blowing in from the bad girl North.

How it likes to torment and tease
tameable me, untameable in dreams.

-Tosha Michelle