The Heart

The fake out happened when we were taught
The smooth curvatures
And piercing point of the heart
Perfectly symmetrical
Empty bubbles to be colored in
Pink and red.
It became sweet confections
That dissolved sticky on our tongues
And the emblem of forbidden notes.

But it wasn’t until
We slit the skin and cracked the ribs
To expose a heart.
The heart.
Tubes sprawling in all directions
Veiny, crimson and gory,
And a beat hanging on for dear life,
That I understood why love is such a mess.



I was tuning each breath to the tick of a clock
When the words tumbled out of your mouth
Each letter dripping with syrup
Sticky and sweet.
In my ears they flew
Whipping around the twisted curves of my brain
Until recognition forced them to whiplash.
The pulp that was created began dripping down
The column of my spine.
Slowly it infected my heart
And brewed with what I already knew.
The awakening forced air into my lungs
And what I heard yesterday
Desired liberation.
“Don’t tell anyone,” she had whispered.
So I choked the twisted letters back down
Forcing submission with each swallow
The crooks and edges scraping the back of my throat
All of the way down to the tomb of my stomach
Where they will dissolve
And slowly become a part of me.


For the Love

Come on, poem!
I can feel you sitting smugly in my brain
Getting a gorgeous tan from all of the neurons
Jumping around, working overtime
Trying to squeeze you out.
I feel my hemispheres collapsing on each other
Giving me blurred vision and a clenched jaw.
My veins, so rigid from the grip on my keyboard
They might burst.
I dare you to fall out of my brain and splatter
Onto the paper.
An inky crime scene.
I dare you…



in an attempt to be self-aware
he frequented thrift stores
listened to folk music
sipped on fair trade coffee
and attended grass-roots campaigns.
he created countless adventures
stating that danger was subjective.
none of those things could be accomplished
though, without the snap of a picture
and an upload eliciting favor and praise,
the proof of what it is like to be alive.

his last picture was standing in the middle
of a train trestle, suspended over a canyon
the caption comprised of Gundersen lyrics,
“here I stand in the land
of the rocks in the valley,
trying to be a better man.”

but being authentic does not equal invincibility.
the conductor still has nightmares.


The Bed of Love

In youth
It was about rocking and rolling
Followed by
Tiny humans invading your sheets.
And empty nest sometimes leads
To a periodic, cold-sided bed.
But those who last beyond
The orgasmic sweat,
The pb&j smears
And pang of solitude,
Find that the real bed of love
Is holding a bluish, wrinkled hand
Sadly waiting for the line to flatten.



I recollect
That time I called collect
From a payphone so scarce
I could scarcely recall how to use it.
The numbers came to mind
Without having to be reminded
From a time past
When the timing was off.
“Use this,” he had said,
“When you’re done using him,”
And he penned them on my hand
After handing me a beer.
He got lost in the crowd
While I got lost in my thoughts.
Summer passed, then fall and winter
And I found myself falling
For the stranger in the bar.
Barring logic, I was his
If he would only pick up
On the upside of town.
Here I stood calling collect
Hoping I was more than a recollection.


On Cloud Nine

She was far above
The skyline
Skipping from one
Cumulus to another
Completely enchanted
By his touch
So much so
She was blinded from
Cumulus to cumulonimbus,
The lightning strike
That would arrest her heart.


for fear of being misunderstood

blinking cursor beating to the rhythm of racing hearts
the dance begins all over the keyboard
fingers plopping down on keys
like juicy raindrops splattering on asphalt.

thirty paces forward then back- tap!, tap!, tap!
some other word to fill the space
thoughts are materialized, immortalized, then vaporized
with the command of an index finger and key.

seven lines in and the breathing begins
reiterations turn into incantations
as the lips whisper the words in hurried pace
progression, possession, obsession.

closed lids and I hit “send.”


Beach Body’s Insanity

I know, I know. I’m the naturally small-framed girl who doesn’t get to complain about her weight gain. Except that I do.

Me, ten years ago, when I was a professional cake eater and didn’t have to worry about consequences.

No health resolutions this year. Nope. Why torture myself? But the fitness train smacked me square in the forehead the first week of January. The crisis? The shimmy and shake to slide my summer shorts up past my thighs and then the inability to button them, let alone, zip them up!

And then my husband signed me up for a ladies’ weekend at Hammock Beach in April. Let me tell you. Not fitting in most of your clothes that zip and button will speak to you! And the culprit isn’t even the baby weight. I’ve been fortunate enough to bounce back with my body after both of my babies. But the issue came when I stopped nursing but kept eating like I was…until eight pounds later and no zip-zip because of the hip-hips.

My burning bush moment.

I had to do something. And buying the next size up was not the answer. I got myself into this mess, I’m going to dig myself out. No easy outs.



For three days, and then I realized that I really wanted something that would work my entire body.

And then I remembered I owned Insanity. No. We mustn’t. We can’t. We shouldn’t. Curse it and crush it, we hates it forever!

Except, my precious, I knew that was the answer.

I’ve started Insanity three times and have never finished it. And by “never finished it,” I mean I made it two weeks and missed several workouts during that time. It’s a 6 days a week commitment, but once you miss two days in a row, it’s time to say sayonara and sip on a milkshake.

Not this time. I have clothes that keep sending me love letters telling me that they miss me! And I miss them too!

But then there’s the second piece of the puzzle, and it’s a rather big one: nutrition. More like no-trition. The thought of giving up junk after years and years of being able to eat it and not gain an ounce was not appealing. But the problem is, your health is only 20% exercise and 80% nutrition. The mantra is “abs are made in the kitchen.” Why can’t French fries produce abs? They come from a whole food!

That’s where MyFitnessPal came into the picture. I started Insanity and keep a log of all the foods I eat throughout the day to help keep me within my calorie range. The cool thing is, the healthier you eat, the more you get to eat because most great foods for you aren’t astronomically high in calories. Plus, the app is educating me about what I’m putting into my body.

Insanity comes with a nutrition guide, but it’s not practical for my family. So I decided to simply try to eat as many whole foods as possible. Protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats. I’m not good at variety, so my days look a lot alike. Five meals:

Breakfast: Kashi go Lean, oatmeal, or eggs

After workout snack: mixed nuts, fruit, or plain Greek yogurt sweetened with some honey

Lunch: Leftovers from the night before

Afternoon snack: cottage cheese, veggies and dip, fruit, yogurt, or nuts (depending on what I had earlier), and unsweetened green tea over ice

Dinner: I subscribe to Dinner A’fare so my meals are planned for me three nights of the week. However, most of their meals are nutritious whole foods prepared different ways: chicken breast, steak, or pork tenderloin. I usually do a side of veggies, a salad, and a complex carb like brown rice.

I only drink coffee in the morning (with my ungodly amount of creamer because Satan hates me), and then it’s water all day long with a side of green tea in the afternoon.

But, I’m realistic. I’ll never be a tofu eating healthy super woman. Ditching every last piece of junk is what makes me crash and burn. I still have a glass of wine here and there, some sort of treat once a week (usually a serving of ice cream, which sadly, did you know, is only ½ cup?), and I eat pizza once a week.

I haven’t had a soda in over a month. A MONTH. I think that’s a new world record for me. I’ve eaten chips potato chips only once (thank you, Super Bowl), and the only fast food I’ve had is two different trips to Jersey Mike’s spread two weeks apart.

A rare picture of me, 18 years ago, praying and thanking God for the Mt. Dew I held in my hand. The varsity girls basketball team was not allowed to drink soda during the season. This was after our last game. And yes, I’m the one in the birkenstocks. I was raised in Asheville. What did you expect?

The cool thing is that now that I’ve been in a habit of eating like this for thirty days, it’s become just that…a habit. But it’s a good one! I don’t really crave all the bad stuff. The thought of drinking a soda now and wasting 150 calories of my daily allotment on something that has no nutritional value seems absurd to me. Will I ever have a cherry coke again? Absolutely. But it will be the exception, not the rule.

So yes. I made it through the first month of Insanity without missing a workout and without completely falling off the nutrition wagon, and I’m in love with my new lifestyle. I’m in recovery week (which is still a workout, but not quite as intense), until my second month hits next week. I’m scurrrrred.

So have I gotten closer to obtaining my goals? I say yes and no. I took a picture of myself in a bathing suit as well as the shorts I want to fit into when I started this journey. I also took one last week and compared. They look pretty much the same to me. However, I also took my measurements and I am, in fact, down 2.5 inches overall so far. That’s not a lot, but I’ve gradually been putting on pudge for ten years (that’s what happens, kids, when you get married), so I can’t expect to shed it in only a month’s time. Also, while the scale is not a big deal to me, I have dropped five pounds. Your body gets to decide where it wants to burn fat first. I assume my body decided to start with places I don’t care about like my forehead, wrists, and toes.

I feel stronger. I feel more energized. I feel healthier. I’m teaching my family what healthy eating choices look like, and I know I’ll be the better for it in the long run.

So, yay me!


Plus, when I reach my goal, I have a stack of gift cards to go shopping with. I’m hanging that over my head, and it’s definitely propelling me forward.