No Easy Bake 


It’s rarely ever simple for
men or women, even as
they lie entwined in bed.
Sharing their lives and secrets.
There’s always the flickering
of the night light,
stars catching flame overhead.
What is it that lovers need
to love endlessly, a flight map
of scars, the coordinates to
Neverland? What if
the compass is broken?
Can we draw another map.
In the morning we’ll venture
out beyond eggs and grits
to the edge of the moon
where it might be possible
for us to hold on or let go.

-Tosha Michelle

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What Love Is

Cool Artsy Shoes

Love isn’t
a weekend in Belize.
It’s not flattery.
Rarely, the perfect fit.
It isn’t cake and schnapps
or a walk by the river
with Thoreau

Love is
a photograph cropped,
rearranged, often marred
It’s an arsenal of joy,
of pain, a loaded gun
Locked, fired, reloaded,
fired again.

It’s salty, gritty
rarely sweet, at times solid
at others, a noddle slip
off a chopstick.
It’s a Rorschach test
a complex algorithm
disordered thoughts

Films never get it right.
Songs sometimes do.

Love is
difficult,
a chalkboard lesson,
in Mechanics and
Special Relativity

Love is
a Dixie cup
full of gin
the brush of angel’s wings
horse’s hooves in hell

Love is
true.
Seldom,
but when it is,
it wears sensible shoes.

-Tosha Michelle

He Never Loved Me

Reckless Heart

What the wise doubt, the fool
believes-
Who is it, then, that love
deceives?
-Louise Bogan


He never loved me.
where others saw a nightingale
to him, I was just a fractured claw.
Still, I gave him the gift of song

He never loved me,
yet he came into my life
trumpets blaring, the way
cream falls over coffee
on a cold December morning.

I wanted to compose him in
in sunlight, instead it was
a melody full of rain.
The sound of something injured,.
a sky broken by ash,.
The wind exhaling regret
only hinted of brighter things

He never loved me.
His heart always
lying in the tense past.
which he saw as tender.
Our future nothing more
than stick figures sitting by
nostalgia’s tree. Me grieving
for him. His mind always
on another.

The after…

Nowadays the raindrops have
arranged themselves in
a pattern of forgetfulness
My misplaced heart finding
purchase in a blade of grass
that breathes life into the
whole landscape.
How lovingly those with eyes
open prepare the earth for
love’s sake.

The gentle brush of lips
across my forehead
reminds me that their still
summertime tunes to be sung.
My lungs alive with promise
My ears no longer attuned
to darknesss.

-Tosha Michelle

Dawn

We are always in the midst
of letting go of something
or someone.
Untying knots
Finger by finger.

Watching as the leaf whirls
in the wind across the grass
into the air.
The sky opaque resists.

We keep searching for
what might have been,
not realizing the beauty in
what is or could be.

The scent of his cologne.
The strong arm around
your shoulder.
His finger around a lock
of your hair.
The uninterrupted gaze that
you missed while your eyes
were on another.

The gift of rapt attention.
You finally see the light’s
transformation in the beauty
of his eyes.
Looking back no more at
the unintended one.
Just a imitation you
mistook as real.
Only stars in your head
after a fall.

The possibilities of love
become endless when
there’s hope of being love
in return
The eve of a new beginning
Giving birth to the life
you were meant to live.

-Tosha Michelle

Beginnings

Kiss me that hard,
that deep.

Punctuate the sentence of us
with your tongue.

Make a victim of the air
with your hands.

Dance with me until I can’t
stop sparking to your drumbeat
thighs and comprising hips.

Let your lightning enter and defile me.
Douse me with the sweat of roses

Write me over in thorns and
petal blossoms.

Let the bees pollinate

Honeyed and satiated.
I come unhinged.

-Tosha Michelle

Lessons 

In honor of suck up to your love day which happens tomorrow, I give you a list. You’d rather have jewlery? Same!

Things I’ve Learned From Relationships

1. Always be yourself if you can’t be who you are with your partner, what’s the point? If you feel you have to be something you’re not to gain your significant other’s affection then this is a huge red flag

For me that means being my awkward, weird and random self.

2. You deserve to be appreciated and treated well. Never be anyone’s afterthought, second choice, or stand in. You are amazing and should be treated as such

Seriously, do not put up with neglect. Ani’t nobody got time for that.

3. Love isn’t like the movies, at least after the endrpohins wear off. Love is a choice. It’s an action. If you base your relationship on feelings, you’ll end up being disappointed or looking for the next emotional high. Feelings come and go, but real love endures and it is a conscious effort

Sometimes love is more like a day at the dentist or a walk off a cliff

4. Compromise. It’s not always about you. Consider your partner’s needs and be willing to meet them halfway.

It’s mostly about what I want though. Kidding

5. Lies and withholding information have no place in a good relationship. Honesty is fundamental along with being able to communicate in a healthy way. Your partner should be your best friend, greatest cheerleader, and your reality check

Nobody wants just a yes man in their lives unless they have egos like eggs

6. Having things in common is important and being able to blend your lives together.

Differences can be fun too.

7. Being loved and validated is everything. You need to feel like you matter and are a priority. The person you’re with should make you feel secure and cherished everyday

Everyday.. even on Super Bowl Sunday.

8. Sometimes, love hurts There will always be disappointments that crop up and growing pains as you and your partner go through your life together. This pain can serve to teach you how to love your partner better

Or how to love someone else better the next time

9. Love goes much deeper than sexual gratification. Sex can be a wonderful way to express love, but shouldn’t be the only way, or the lychpin that holds the relationship together. If you build your partnership on the physical alone, it will crumble. The superficial will never last Take time to connect on a deeper level, one that is emotional and spiritual.

Sex is natural. Sex is cool, but you can find it anywhere. 

10. Sometimes relationships end no matter how much love and work you put into them. People change. Circumstances shift and hearts grow cold. It’s a sad, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is never give up, never stop trying. Love will come again.

In the meantime, there’s always books, chocolate, BOB and lists!

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