Little Boy Blue and Mary Quite Contrary


Dear Past,

It’s been awhile. I come waving a
flag of peace and unarmed.
My arsenal is depleted.
I have no time for hate or malice
laced air.
I imagine like me
you want to live in peace without
the threat of guns and
claws. To awaken to the sound
of serenity, not bombs going off
in the distance.

I hope hearing from me doesn’t cause you pain.
Frankly, I miss you. Your theatrical ways,
always leaning toward a Shakespearean tragedy.
No time for much ado about nothing.
Although, everything had to be as you like it.
How you were
a master at parlor games and word play.
Your eyes a depletion
of fallen leaves and green tea.
Hair as dark as a grackle.
Arch so charming, fencing with
unseen stars. Little boy blue,
and Mary. Mary, oh, so contrary.
How our garden did grow.
Shells that pelted the ground,
causing wreckage and carnage.
It wasn’t all welts and hell.
There were days when light swelled
and sliver bells grew.

But i digress, as I climb a slide of memories,
backwards with slippery hands.
My legs lose traction,
my lungs clog with dust.

I end up on the ground negotiating
with my untapped toe.
Trying to reclaim the beat with
half recounted facts
and nostalgia’s false sense of rhythm.
Holding a few cards in the hand you deftly dealt me.
Beside me lies a map, marred
by revisions.
that reads let it go. Let it go.

I stand up, and realizes there’s a
tear in my heart, that I
mistook for my sleeve. I walk through the open gate,
ignoring the stained alleyways,
cobble stone,
and street lights shaped like a question marks.
The scent of orchids lingers in
the tired air.
My soul fighting off bees and
the counter winds.
You, dear past, will always sting.

-Tosha Michelle


Imagined (Not Desired)


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

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

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

Reborn in Red.


I’m tired of living the waiting life.
A still life is no life.
If life is a highway, I want mine
to be well traversed.
A science of motion,
even if I have no idea
where the road leads.

I want to throw banana peels at time
and watch it slip, and for once,
not away.
I want handfuls of sugar,
the long slow drip of molasses and honey.
I want to surrender
to the scent of the jasmines.
I want to rise with the tulips and lilies,
to be overtaken by the sun.

I want a man who pushes
me up against the wall
as soon as we get through the door.
One who kisses me
until I’m shaking,
until I’m drenched.
His mouth and tongue
explorers of the small towns
and cities of my flesh.

To hell with guilt and Joan of Arc.
To hell with a childhood of fear and damnation.
To hell with cotillion and Victorian girls
wannabes swooning, and acting shy.

I want to live.
I want to swim in the ocean,
and feel the current drag me around
like a broken piece of rock.
The waves of the sea whispering:
Yes. Yes. Yes.

I want to hum
until my own drum sounds.
I want to walk into calamities
and feel the wind’s elation.
I want to travel to distant geographies.
Happy with uncertain edges.

I want to circumnavigate the globe
and my own heart,
and let it lead me
to our next destination.
I want to suffer for art, for love,
and let it kill me,
and then I want to be reborn
in a red dress and six inch heels.
A dress that makes
your pupils widen.
I want to feel you
surge against me,
and tell me how fucking
good I look.

-Tosha Michelle