High Praises

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Oh Goddess of rejections,
insecurities, sleepless
nights, and the sink
that always seems to leak.

Oh Goddess of loneliness,
depression, evenings spent
looking for hope in the
foggy light of isolation.

Oh Goddess of endless
chores, mundane errands,
always lurking around,
watching me toil and spin.

Goddess of painful memories
collected in a heart jar.
Unfulfilled dreams and desires.
The oil slick of wasted time.

I love you for forcing me to feel;
As I stand here holding onto
the railing of my sanity.

I thank you for the hands
wrapped around my neck.

For each tussle with the sun,
that always hides behind
a cloud of chaos.

At least I’m still here, kicking,
and dodging, the shadow crop of
my mind. I know how to make fire,
while others still struggle with flint.

For you it was never about high praises.
You live for the forlorn.
You know the insincerity of the thorn bush.

I praise you for the shattered,
the weeds, the bee stings, the
thunder clouds, every skinned knee,
wilted flowers, the dove that
refuses to eat from my hand.

Oh Goddess of imperfection,
You know that despair is the beauty
life and poetry are made of.

Thank you for teaching me this.
My tears and words sing back
a hallelujah for the pain.

-Tosha Michelle

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An Apprentice of Sadness

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If you listen to the language of sadness,
you know it has much
to teach us.

There’s dignity in the monochrome
Sanctity in darkness, in the pulse
of quiet, in the rut to be dug out of
.
Sadness can be a type of burning bush,
the X on a map.
It can make the unknown, knowable.

It can help us unfold
It can rip away our untruths, like
paint torn off a congealed can,
taking skin with it.

Sadness can then suture that skin
back together.

It can birth art, music, poetry.
I write proudly with my back ink.
I take solace in words,
even the ones written in water

I choose to write my difficulties,
my grinding realities.
The fantasies under which I labor.

I write to remember-my rain of tears.
How cathartic it is when the downpour
renders everything lush and green.

Enlivening the colorful sensations of hope

I am a student of sadness so
I can become a teacher of light

-Tosha Michelle

Headaches, Hornets, and A Hot Mess

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I live for the small things
chocolate, books, hope,
while inside my head
there’s a chattering,
a broken window
of anxiety. Hornets
arriving on the wind.

I search for peace
in God, Buddha, the universe,
a bottle of antidepressants.

I charge my sanity
to nature,
sometimes MasterCard.

I wear a doomed dress of worry,
trying to ward off the fear.
I mix my metaphors and my faith.
I try to carve a pumpkin out of chaos
with a toothpick, I write out an SOS.

I pray to most anything these days:
nail polish, the trees,
the circling hornets,
trying to believe I can
take care of myself without
feeling the sting.

-Tosha Michelle

My latest cover.

Not Quite Love in an Elevator

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Some people keep in
touch via the phone,
the internet, weekly
lunch dates.

You keep in touch by
pissing me the hell off.
Lightening up our
elevator display
of toxicity until
we’re stuck between
floors.

Listen, do you hear that?
that’s my head lacerating
on the wall.

My sense of peace
fractured.
Go ahead pick the bone.
I’m done battling
scratched glass.
Drag me through it.

It’s time to rinse
off the anger,
and nail all 1483 of my
grievances to your
sanctimonious door.

Martin Luther and me
the grand reformers
He sowed in grace.
I’m more prone to
mace.

Maybe, I’ll just try to
lose you in a place
I’ll never find again.
Unraveling your
foothold or finding
mine, up your………

I’ll save the hair pulling
spear throwing, and
obscene gestures of
distain for terrorists
and guys named Tad.

I’ll just vent my anger
in a silly poem
Snide as my temper,
but light as numbers
with no equations,
letters missing
sentences, and a
poet whistling
satirically at madness.

-Tosha Michelle

The Fold Into Winter

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I’m walking through the
Queen City,
moving toward what?
It’s late
November, late afternoon,
The light, leafs
through its book of buildings.
Tall high rises,
The trees telling a back story.
My thoughts are
dark, tangled, melancholy-
as my thoughts
tend to be. This is not a
forlorn plot.
I’m content, enough. Biding
my time, on Trade Street.

In the distance. I hear the
bluesy notes of
a saxophone. For a moment
the sky opens
for me. My imagination shines
like an angel.
The air is so vibrant and busy
my whole body
feels weightless. I let my mind
wander down a
rainbow path. Time turns around
I am the princess of a
lightless country. Free from
the angst of
my mind. The molecules part
for me. I breathe
in serenity. The horizon clear.

I hold tight to the illustrated pages
I listen to the noise
of magnolias. I’m released from my self critical ways.
The words behind words are full of
grace… for once
devoid of longing. I brush a bouquet of daisies
from my hair. My own avant-garde
parade- lace, glitter,
sunflower seeds. I hold tightly to
the plot even
as the sun decides to deviate
from my happy
narrative, turning back into
clouds, tumbleweeds,
and hornets.
I accept the fragments from
the sky. I have
no choice. The stained alleyways
beckon me.
All I can do is keep walking
All I can do is live this life.
Write this life.

-Tosha Michelle

Imagined (Not Desired)

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It’s just you and me
alone in this room
of memory
called my mind.
No door for anyone else
to enter.
We dine on privacy
and live on nostalgic air.

Seeing everything
but what isn’t there.
We are always
best here.
Near but not near.
Out of nothing
into nothing.

Here your thoughts
turn in my hand.
We linger in the
backyard sun,
playing songs
about decaying
orbits.

On the swing.
In the grass.
we make love.
Stretched, sugared
on the over grown
yard of false charm.
Futile as the wet
tongue of dew on
the dying rose.

You touch me here,
where the pulse meets throat,
down my shoulder,
and lower.
Need peels from me.

On my knees,
beneath dust’s feet.
The weight of you
in my throat.
I taste the edges of sanity.
There’s no letting up.
No hint of the dark
birds overhead.

Remembered or
Imagined?

I can’t stop the
breathing air.
A victim of my
blinded eyes,
and the shadow
of you, infused
with what I do
not want.

Singing my fierce,
unthinkable out
stung melody.
Cluttering the
idiot air,
the threads of
flimsy pockets.
Trying to stitch
it back.
When I should just
let it rest.
This sweet delaying
of truth.

One day, I’ll tear down
this room, knocking it
into reality chinks
of light,
into the quietness,
into the empty enamel
of you.

The only thing left,
debris and an
unkissable memory,
the easiest to bear.

-Tosha Michelle

Different Types of Love.

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A note from the poet This one it a bit on the silly side.

Different Types of Love

I love you, but I’m not
in love with you.
I love you like a brother.
I love you,
but your friends have to go.
I love you,
but its complicated.
I love how you are
a dare, a rage.
I love you for your
spirit and how it makes
me think of the ways of
the flesh.
I love how I’m a shrine of
longing for you.
I love the showmanship of
your voice and how my
skin comes alive from
the pitch.
I love how your orbit is
constantly circling me,
but you are never there.
I love how I drown in the
upwelling of your coldness,
just happy to be touched
by your water.
I love your family.
They’re so much saner than mine.
I love your hair and how
I want to sink my teeth
into your neck.
I love how if I tasted you,
my heart would turn blue.
I love you for your
opulent sadness.
I love you, but I don’t
know you.
I love how you write
I want to f””” your poems
I love how you don’t
see me.
I love you more
I love you in spite of
the restraining order.
I love you for hitting me.
I love you more than I ever
loved anyone..
well, except for John and David.
Oh and Kyle.
I love how you get
my sense of humor.
I love your madness.
It’s so competitive.
I love when you go Fifty Shades
of Christian Grey on me.
I love your emotional surcharge.
I love the curve of your hips,
the thrust of your sway.
I love you for your
smarmy imagination.
I love the crack
running through you.
The one I’ll never be able
to repair.
I love how you know all
the words to every Morrissey
song.
I love the void you’ve created
of yourself.
I love how you peel away my
sanity, and suck on my wounds
I love how bright and alive the
world taste when I am
beside you.
I love you, but I hate you.
I love the swelling edge
of your core, the unthreading
of the pulse in my center.
I love how your darkness
casts shadows in my soul.
I love how all things nerdy
and bombastic ring in you.
Often shrill, but always shrewd.
I love you but you’re fictional.
I love you, but I could really
love you, if you loved me

I love you..but…

-Tosha Michelle