Ode to Grass Stains and Wildberries

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We create our own joy.
Come roll around with me
in the grass til our
clothes are stained.
Til the clouds turn violet.

Let’s eat ice cream under
the stars and hold each other
until the restlessness dissipates.
Tonight let’s not battle the hardwood floors,
the laundry chute, or the dishes.

Let’s defy gravity, monotony,
the drudgery of life.
Throw away the map.
Let’s find another way.
Eat the wild berries.
Live on the breeze.
Amp up the brightness of
the moon.
Who cares if the universe
complains?

Let’s create a language
that fits us, in a land
of pine cones and sage.
Red dress on the ground
where desire stays.

Nouns infused with passion
tongue, earlobes, necks..
Shuttering hands, quivering bodies.
The sentences of ourselves.
Infinitives, unearthing new verbs
and their allure.

Upgrading our love
to a window seat in first
class.

Rethinking how.
Reordering now.

-Tosha Michelle

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Here, There is Pixie Dust

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Sometimes I am only interested in small things.

The chocolate bar. A hot bath.
The turned down corner of a book page

This is not unhappiness.
Yet, still I dress in layers
of sorrow.

I wrap a scarf around my heart like a tourniquet
to keep the darkness from bleeding out.

It’s winter inside of me,
but the frost has not yet taken over.
My soul still hints of blue birds,
jazz notes, Monet paintings.

My mind’s attuned to spring.
I hide it in the closet for later.

It’s always a balance regardless of the season.

There’s still daisies in need of planting.

Leaves in need of raking.

Tonight, restlessness breaks
like a coconut, open windowed,
near.

Where is serenity?
For weeks its been poetry,
Chet Baker, and Cheerios.

I grow weirder with each passing year,
more aloof.

I long to flame the wind
with a strike of a match
only it knows.

I long to praise the weeds, the wildflowers.
Who’s to say which is which?

I’m still seeking glitter and swoon,
the litter of pixie dust.

Now before Neverland becomes never.
Now before life is tossed downriver,
spinning in time’s current.

My unattended heart, wait to be taken away,
beyond the window, to starlight things.

To design a language I can dance to,
to find kismet in avoiding the side steps and serenity in the fall.

-Tosha Michelle

Shadow Dancing


Be the howling moon
or the quiet wind.

Be Orion and his
starlight shield.

Be the road with no
street signs.

Be waylaid plans;
the lost map.

Arrive on the sidewalk
without knowing where
you are going.

Be the lightning bug.
The crickets,
telling secrets to
the air.

Be the couple walking
into the privacy of
nightfall,

Be their watch. Be
their hands.

Be the cafe always
open late, slide
into the flow of
the coffee.

Be the noodle slip
off the novice’s
chopsticks. The
soup disappearing
in the bowl

Be the siren in the
distance, the choir
music filtering
through the door of
St. Michael’s

Be the
patrons leaving the
bar.

Be the drink in their
glass. The holy water
they swim in.

Turn left.
or
Turn right.

Be the narrow streets,
the high beams on a
city bus. The cab called
they waved off.

Be the cracks in
the sidewalk, the steep
stairs leading 5 floors up.

Be the bright apartment
and the glow from the
lamp light coming through
the window. Want to be
that glow. See two bodies
sways.

Be the shadow behind the
shade.

-Tosha Michelle

The Last of It

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I’m always sure enough of
your rain to walk into it.

I wander, and your downpour
wanders.

You light the way
with laments and oxygen.

By nightfall the wind has
scattered you so that the
stars can peak through.

By dawn, you are the
darkness that has passed
through my eyes.

I see your shadow
stenciled in by the sun.

There’s a translucence
between us, as memories
vaporize, steaming away
the last of the rain.

-Tosha Michelle