His shirt is devoid of him.
My dress is much too
pretty to put on.
This day is an easy
choice. Tomorrow,
might not be.

The flames fan to
a jar of splinters
we chopped the
night before. The
fire takes what is
giving freely (without

I choose to take the
heat in his eyes. I step
out of the shower.
and notices the sexy
message he left
for me on the mirror,
Now the glass is
less full of clean

We make our decisions
We become our choices
We become pleasure
We become pain.

Life with all it’s options.
Roads to choose.
Do we drift or stay
on course? Turn
forward? Turn back?

We make love and tea.
Pillows spill from the bed.
We roll around on the floor
wallowing in soot.
A mop is the only response

Dawn slivers through the
window and across our
bare skin.. The sun winks
at us through a wave of
white. The sky, tall and
blue, curtsies. Taunting
us through the window
pane. The sky and sun
knowing (of course) that
they are an easy choice.

-Tosha Michelle


F. Scott and You.


F. Scott Fitzgerald speaks

to me through gin and

chandelier music while I

hibernate in the winter

wasteland of my mind.

No longer mourning

the absence of you.

I’m going to fill up

on vitamin D. D for

determination. D for

deadly intent to create.

Let your snow fall.

I’ll wipe the frost

from my eyes.

I’m going to lock the

door. Watch as time

breaks away.

Disconnect for awhile.

Hang out with the bones

in my closet. I have an

uneasy relationship with

the past. I’m tired of the

unrest. I’m going to put

on my red heels, bob my

hair, and reconnect with

the skeletons.

We’ll dance the Charleston

through every room

until I’m dizzy from

spinning, until I am

unghost and unfettered.

The bones shattered.

The windows of my mind

clean once more.

It’s not about what was.

It’s about freedom.

I pour sugar on the

future and swallow time

in the last shot of gin.

If you ask me

about happiness,

I’ll give you my

wounds instead.

Singing the song of

the swan.

I stick a bandaid

on my heart and

run off with the

jazz quartet.

Fitzgerald nods his approve

as we shimmy off into the

golden- on the edge of a

cliff fall night.

-Tosha Michelle

A Life-Blue


I translate myself in poetry,
often getting lost
in the fog of my mind.
Always looking for reason
in my narrative arc.
Here I roar and rage
all I want.

My words often drip
with disdain, despair.
The story loosely based
on my life.

Some truths are
too sacred to share.
Some truths belong
solely to me.

I try to decipher
what I’m really after.
Notebooks of fire,
letters stumbling around.
The margins full
of heart lines,
trying to capture
the red hours.

My pen sits up straight
and listens to the
commands of my interior

Language spills out simply,
but with fervor.
I create something
that is mine.
Fangled trees and damaged grass.
My cameo of grit and grace.
I give you my light, my dark,
my counter winds.
The oracles of desire.

I give then to you
before they burn away.
before they become a valediction.

My gilded fragments
of a life in blue,
suffused with question marks.

-Tosha Michelle



I’m snapping green beans
I bought at the store today,
thinking they would remind me
of Granny and sitting
at the kitchen table,
listening to her “well,
when I was your age” stories.

Hoping that just for a moment
I could hug her again,
feel the sureness of her being,
her sweet familiarly.

Go back before dementia
stole her mind,
and cancer her body.
The days of sweet tea,
peppermints, and house dresses.

Granny could solve any problem
with a hickory stick or a stern look.

I miss her, even now years later,
I can’t help but compose
her in a poem- warm hands,
dark hair, sadness
that never left her eyes,
a lifetime of hardships

For a moment I’m ten again,
and Granny gives me her Irish grin.
Something soft but fierce about her.
Finding joy in an orderly
home and things done right.

How solid and healthy
she looks laboring away
over green beans.
Singing her favorite hymn
“In the sweet bye and bye”
Light shimmering through the room.
Real but unreal.

“We shall meet on that
beautiful shore”
Her notes gradually
becoming fainter.
The words descending,
echos from the past.
Love in every syllable.

I listen as evening opens
around me.
Sorrow changes its pitch.
Thee last of the sunlight
streams in the windows.
Swelling, even as it
disappears, even as it waves goodbye.

-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 conscious.

-Tosha Michelle



For you, I slip off my
insecurities and step
out of my nerves.

I remove my doubts and
set them on the nightstand.

I unhook my inhibitions.
Spread my desire out
upon the bed.

You dissolve in me
like a pill, a remedy
in water. Spilling your
lightening into me.
in an explosion
that removes the
numbness in me.
The spear in my
heart- dislodged.


Finally adding a comma
to my life, I pause.

My soul silhouette
comes out from
behind the shade
My spirit untangles

For you, I am finally bare.

-Tosha Michelle

And on a totally unrelated song note.



On nights when sleep has ran
off with my sanity, I lie in bed
and contemplate my fears, I
dwell on sentences left undone.
Conversations I wish I’d had,
The nights I’ve wasted not
dreaming. I wonder about
others like me, not sleeping.
Do they ponder the darkness
of our world? I think of those
without a place to rest.

I dwell on falling monuments
and fallen men. I wonder how
our hearts can break apart
and regenerate again.
What would it be like
to see everything at
once? Does God know?
Does he even exist?

I wonder how many days are
left in my life.? How many more
truths are left to reveal? Does
it even matter? We all fade to
nothing in the end. Don’t we?

I just want to rest now, to snuggle
in the arms of the one I love,
to kiss his mouth, to stop thinking,
to just say goodnight to the
shadows, the ticker tape parade
inside my head and those restless
souls like me……

awake and wondering.

-Tosha Michelle

Blown Away


Today you called me
to tell me the mistake
wasn’t what we had,
but what you tossed

The winds here are
strong. The storm
rages heavy with
grief and regret.
All the windows
in the house

My blood is cold.
My heart tied to
a madwoman’s
fears, while the
heart gains
strength from
the head to
to bolt the
door. My
scarred, I
hang up
the phone.

The love we had
buried under stone
All the cracks and
corners filled.

You introduced me
to the death of love
and now it is your
disaster to owe.

-Tosha Michelle

Hands Over Eyes.

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

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

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?


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