How to Date Her Like a Sunburn

It starts over sushi on our first date.

My hands shake for messy-haired boys with belly laughs and calloused guitar fingers, and you are a straitlaced aspiring masterpiece.  I wish you would stitch instructions into your pocket because the way we sit, I don't know how to relate.

"Lot of ice," I giggle.  That's so stupid.  What a stupid thing to say.

"Uh, yeah."  You study me like I'm a ruined experiment.  "So, uh, are...

When You'll Have It All Together

This is where I'm safe.

I'm in my Minnie Mouse pajamas and nestled into our couch that smells of barefoot Julys.  The Land Before Time blurs through black that kisses and warms.  Mom is sunk in beside me, grazing the tips of her fingers along my back.

My eyelids fall like a first snow, then half-rise like an uncertain spring.  I watch Littlefoot and his friends through the broom of my lashes.  If I...

Poetry Mixtape

The past 365 sunrises have been nothing shy of beautiful and messy in the love field.

I've relished shifting it into letters almost as much as I've relished living it.  Here I share ten of its little poems.  Some are direct descents of truth, while others are shadows of events I was lucky enough to witness.

As always, all the love to you.

PS: I know this isn't really a mixtape because a) there's no...

To My Anxiety, the Worst Friend I've Ever Had

You're beside me as I type.

The keys crack, crack, crackle with each stroke, and you're hovering.  You're hovering, Constance.  I don't appreciate it.

Until now, I've been polite.  I've shared my couch and favorite blanket.  I've asked if scrambled or over easy eggs would calm and better prepare you for the day.  I've offered pillows, long after I should have been asleep, and listened to you worry -- worry about his lack of text back and...

It's an Explanation, Not an Excuse

As a kid, I wrote.

I daydreamed, drafted scenes, doodled features.  I rushed off the bus to knock knees under my desk, where I romanticized the blank page and the blinking cursor.  When words trickled out of my fingers -- drip, drip, dripping like rain sputtering out of an almost empty cloud -- I cursed my lack of talent that I couldn't rattle words like Roald Dahl.

I didn't choose to write.  I couldn't recite...

When It's a Traffic Light Kind of Love

This life is the green glow from the clock illuminating your face at 2:37.  "We should do this always," you say.

Together we're experts at intertwining feet and slaying sleep.  Lying beside you feels like escaping an endless winter on a southern beach.  Or like marveling at rain from under a canopy after fleeing a ground shaking thundershower in just the right instant.  With you, it's all easy.

When your eyes decide it's time for...

To the Boy I Eye Fucked in the Coffee Shop

Hi, spicy cheeks!  It's me, your charming future girlfriend!

You know -- the one who gawked at you from 50 feet away and morphed into an unblinking, unspeaking automaton.  Then, realizing she'd forgotten Chapstick, licked her lips while only staring deeper into your soul.  It was all very sexy serial killer.  Or baby doll without eyelids.  Guys like that, right?

Let's back up.  Perhaps you aren't sure if I mean you?  I do this sort...

"I Can Beat a Tornado!" + Other Lies From TV

TV is a ruthless beast.

It's basically ruined my life.  And I'm not just referring to flattening my ass and removing any trace of a college education.

It's ruined my life by infiltrating my mind.  It's forced me to believe that I'm capable of things no human is capable of.  I'd sue, but who has time for that?  Instead, I've compiled a list of lies.  Ugh, so passive aggressive.

"I can beat a tornado!"

Perpetrator: Storm Chasers

Full disclosure: I've never...

Goodbye to the Girl in the Song

Of all the plaid shirts in this place, you somehow ask what I'd like to drink.  You're a singer-songwriter you say, like it's only the air you breathe.

You're everything my 24-year-old heart begs for -- a musician, passionate, and funny.  Well, mostly you welcome my jokes with stares to the beer stained floor.  But you'll appreciate them eventually.  And hey, it's okay if you don't!  You're a blue-eyed boy who comes alive in beats...