smoke signals

I know it’s been a long while, but I think I’m finally ready to start sharing my poetry again. I actually just did an independent study in poetry last quarter, and I’m so glad I fought for it because I learned so much, and can see how much stronger my writing has gotten along the way. When I started writing this one I was thinking about my ex, but it kinda morphed into an exploration of how hard it is to let go of a relationship that feels so good and exciting, even when you see the signs early on that make it clear that this kind of relationship can’t be sustained. Smoke is always the first sign of danger when a fire is present, and when we see smoke in real life, it’s so crazy how instinctual it is for us to get the fuck out (unless you’re a sim lol… I had to do it). But I’ve come to realize with a lot of past relationships I’ve had, either romantically or non-romantically, even when I could feel the heat rising, and the smoke billowing, I never took the signals seriously until I had either been burned or suffocated by the other person. And in those moments, it’s so easy to want to blame the other person for the smoldering pile of embers you have left of the relationship, but if we are being real, how often did we also ignore our smoke detector intuition? I know I did way too many times. Acknowledgement is hard, especially in situations like this, but it’s something I think we all have to be willing to seek in order to heal and move on as better people.

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we started a fire in my bed

2 flames flickering

in the dead of night

billowing my bedsheets

burning red hot screams

into my pillows

so loud

I couldn’t hear the

smoke detector

      or maybe

I didn’t want to

     the heat from your stroke

sent sparks up my spine

setting synapses ablaze


a smoke screen stacked

before my eyes

in the shape of our bodies

so thick

I couldn’t see the

blazing red dot blinking

on the smoke detector

or maybe

I didn’t want to

I know I’m not supposed to play with fire

so I tried to fuck it instead

I tried to love it instead

I made a home for it

in my bed

in my head

     all while ignoring

the burning in my ears

  the scalding tears

smoky mascara streaks

dripping down my cheeks

the weighty creak

from your midnight retreat

the bitter scent of loneliness


in the salt & charcoal stained air

the speckles of smoke sauntering  

against the last slivers of moonlight

just before

the truth of the matter

had a chance to dawn on me


in my scorched sheets &

charbroiled memories

I lay in my fire pit


synapses smoldering

my mind

the weight of a ton of coal

just seconds from crumbling

crackling embers

I can’t bring myself to

stomp out