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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
• 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?
• 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, 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
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, 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.