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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Just Go


Flowers of what is pollinated
by bees of what might have
been. Mundane afternoons married
to evenings of TV and ringtones
that have forgotten how to ring.
An old journal reminds her
it’s not too late
to resurrect a dream or lost
shimmer, to right her caddy-corner
heart left askew by
a lover’s hands. She grasps
for the notes under air,
leaving the past to glide
past and out the door.
She bows to the cartography of light
and presses the guidebook to
her chest. Knowing it’s time
to rise and go, to spiral out
into the unmoored and unknown.

-Tosha Michelle

This Year’s Death

The year’s death is approaching
and my soul is in migration.

The breath of frost lingers
longer with each passing winter.

I sit looking out at the night,
coming down like calendar
pages falling to the floor.

The moon looks like a clock.
The wind whispers “tick tock”

The ghosts of 2017 stumble around in my backyard.

Unfulfilled dreams appear like
oracles at my front door.

I measure my loses.
I count my gains.
I write my life in blue.

Praying for the luminous dawn
of fresh beginnings.

Hope diamonds the sky.
I long to dance with starlight
in a tango I’ve never danced

Hipswaying my way across
the galaxy.

Peeling off the last twelve months
like sheets.

The flakes of auld lang syne.
no longer glazing my bowl.

The skeletons of the past
under my feet.

Knowing biography is not fate.
There’s still time for revisions.

My heart quicken by the sun.
My soul renewed.

Bathe in the bright light
of a new year

-Tosha Michelle

And It Happens Like This


Eveytime I put on my sandals
I open the door to ice.
There’s a fire in the building,
and I’m stuck in the elevator
with a haystack and a needle.
I escape with a hard hat and scalpel
only to find the costume party has
a Star Wars theme.
When I try to hold on to what
I need. There’s an angel on my
shoulder saying go, you’re what you need,
you idiot. There’s a baboon on my other
saying don’t let go, you little sh&$
I climb out of a ditch just in time to
see I’ve missed the bus. I order
orange juice but get lemon instead.
I put one foot in front of the other in hopes of going
anywhere only to find I’m on a treadmill.
First come love, then comes marriage and
well you know the rest.
I just want a comfortable bed.
I’ve been told seeing is believing but it isn’t,
it’s a road stop on
the way to somewhere else.
Thursday I’m at the the bank
submitting myself to math
that never adds up. Saturday
finds me in Vegas playing the
slot machines and knowing
I’ll never win. Sunday I’ll push
beyond cereal and milk
and plot my escape plan.

-Tosha Michelle

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