Between These Lonely Walls

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Circus Attraction


I keep old tickets

in pockets of my heart—

memories of when you let me in

now that you’ve barred the door

I’ll be scalping for new tickets

hoping to find another way

into your heart

The Whole Damn Circus

Infatuation is no good for me

all cotton candy sweetness

and cheap roller coaster thrills

This circus only brings temporary joy

and leaves behind elephant shit

and stale popcorn after the big show

No, the circus is no good for me.

but goddammit

I want the whole damn circus

to come to me anyway.

Run Away With The Circus

You wore a warning over your head:

“We are the kids your parents warned you about.”

And you knew better than to invite

good girls like me to run away with you.

You didn’t know me from when I was a kid.

I may be the girl you’d be happy

to take home to your parents.

But I’ll be the daughter my parents

will be ashamed of if you choose

to run away with my circus.

For Show

We prepare ourselves for the big show

Go through all the motions of looking good

—fancy clothes, elaborate masks,

and grand gestures—

for a few seconds within each other’s sight,

get-love-fast schemes to impress each other

I wonder how much of it is just for show

and how much of it could be for love.

Hide & Seek

It’s better not to join the game

if you prefer to be sought after.

What if no one finds you?

What if no tries to look for you?

Then where will you be?


Baby, just stand in the spotlight

so I know where to look.

Ring Leader

If ever you need an ego boost

look for me at the top of the bleachers

way above your adoring crowds’ empty faces

my gaze could be the spotlight for you

just give me an excuse to look at you forever


I’m afraid to touch you.

I’m afraid to reach and touch your surface.

I’m afraid to find that you’re only glass

waiting for me to break you

Elephant In Your Room

I know you see me

staring at your eyes

watching your every move

wishing you didn’t pretend to ignore me

You heard about me

whispering your name

talking to everyone here but you

wanting to hear you say my name

I’m the elephant in your room

that you’ll eventually have to address

Don’t waste time ignoring me

Someone else wants

to take my room for himself


We’re walking the tightrope, you and I.

We are looking at each other from opposing ends,

hearts beating fast, sweat on our brows,

hands cold waiting for the other’s to take them.

You look down and try to turn back.

I run to you and call out your name

“Don’t look down. Look at me

and we can fall together.”


Watch me fly right past you

I’ll swing, fast and agile,

you’ll think I was the wind

that made you stumble and fall

I’ll even do it without the net

Leap from one trapeze to the next

Just promise me you’ll catch me

when I let go and fall


In this circus

I am the clumsy clown

who can’t seem to do things right

and you are the mute mime

who can’t get the right words out

It’s like we’re failing on purpose

when we’re within a mile of each other,

when all we ever want to do

is be with each other at the circus

Tally Marks

I tally moments we crossed paths

all the time.

And I wonder who in this game,

this staring contest,

won the most everyday.

“I tell you, babe,

I’ve never lost this game

until I met your eyes,” you say.

“What’s the prize?”

You don’t answer as you dive

deeper into my eyes.

I add another tally mark

under your name.

Pick One

You wake me up

in the middle of the night,

sweat on your brow

chest heaving fast

body shaking relentlessly

You wake me up with a shrug

and ask fearfully

Are we going too fast?

Pick one

• Why does it matter?

• Not fast enough

• Does it matter?

• Yes. Go back to sleep.

• Go back to sleep without answering

You slept soundly after that

But I stayed up all night.

Body shaking relentlessly

Chest heaving fast

Sweat on my brow

I watch your sleeping form fearfully.

What did I just wake up to?

Pick one

• Dream

• Nightmare

• To be continued...

• Sleeping Pills

• The End

No More Poetry

When you begin to love me back

I promise I’ll stop writing bad poetry.

If I could hold poetry between my arms,

why would I settle for just the words?

Don’t Look Away

I can’t bear to look at you,

to look you in the eyes.

I’m afraid you’ll see too much,

see the ugly freak in me

I’m scared you’ll regret looking back

after seeing something you don’t like

But don’t you dare look away anyway

I’ll risk making you look at this freak

If it means I can see all of you—

Every freaking part of you.

Show’s Over

Show’s over, you say

Take a bow

Tip your hat

Exit stage left

Get back on stage, I say back

Raise your eyes

Smile at the crowds

Break a leg

I say when the show is over

Ours hasn’t even started yet


You lowered the curtains on me

Took down all your photos

Hid your marquee from the world

Covered your face when you saw mine

The pretense might be over for you---

Take off your costume

Wipe the sweat off your brow---

But look at your adoring crowd

You know I’ll want an encore

Day At The Circus

You’re never the same person

every time you visit the circus

You recognize the lights, the sounds, the scents

but the visit is never like the first

But I always go home happy that I went

and sad that I had to leave

You’re never the same person

every time you fall in love

You recognize the feeling, the words, the touch

but the visit is never like the last

But I always go home happy

and also sad that it had to end


My head must have been

full of helium when I met you

Because when all the air was out,

you looked very flat

Now that I can breathe fresh air,

I exhale all the poison out

and just float away


It wasn’t a question

of whether I wanted him or not

—because I wanted him so much

It was whether I was willing

to break the veneer,

the delicate glass casing,

for a shot at something real

Glass #2

I reached out and broke the glass

only to find my own heart in there

broken into a thousand glittering shards


Before the lights go out,

let me look at you

without the veneer,

the glass casing,

the haze of reality

When the lights go out,

I want to remember your face

long after you’ve ended the show

long after you’ve stopped looking at me

long after you’ve left me

Move Along

Move along, nothing to see here

only confetti litter on the floor

lights losing their luster

champagne residue in the glass

Move along, don’t look back

the show is over

leave all care at the door

—you won’t need it where you’re going

Leave now, nothing to see here

there might have been love here

but now, there’s only sediment

—poison if you drink it up again

It’s time for you to move along.

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