My Dude

I see

How quickly your


tendencies/comfort with me buying my own

drink/and tendency to flinch

when I speak

in femme


In the presence of even one

other dude


How does your wokeness come and go like that?

I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to

work, like

It sputters every time he turns his head our way

I feel like probably

you shook something loose with all of those

somersaults you did when he walked in? and you

should check that out



K, I mean, I guess if you don’t feel qualified to do

the work yourself you can always

Take the wokeness someplace to get its oil

changed but


Real men learn how to fix their own shit

also? all the shops I know closed their doors to

you three years ago


You didn’t know?

They got tired of doing all this work for you

For free


I know

That when they hold you

It excavates the pain from your chest and

Brings the air back


My love


I wonder

if you have asked whether


They have stolen your air

Captured your breath

For themselves



This is how they tether your heart

to theirs

By deceit

and dependence

After all

Everyone needs to breathe and

We are always grateful

to the ones

Who pull our heads

Above the water

So grateful


After a while

we stop asking

How we started drowning

in the first place

With Love,

I hope that grief wraps itself

around your heart

not like a strangulation of ivy but


like a lovers’ gentle arms

So that you can lean into it and

have it accept your tears

with compassion


I hope that loss leaves you pieces of the past

scattered around like seashell baubles of memory

so that you can pick up a conch and hear

their laughter

one last time

instead of bricks, heavy, weighing

on you, waiting   to stub toes


I hope that your dreams take a cue from loss,

dredging up joys

supplanting the doubt you feel

when you miss them, replacing it

with the certainty

that they loved you while they were here

they loved you deeply, truly



And I hope

Oh, dearest, I truly hope

That this pain will build you up instead

Of breaking you down


But I also want you to know that

no matter what grief does to you

no matter how unkind loss decides to be

there is no wrong way

to feel

or mourn

or find your peace