The Infamous Shaira

Everyone in my life recognizes

That Shaira was a very special person in my life

Except Shaira, who has reduced my importance

To the occasional Facebook message

And wouldn’t make the trip for my funeral

Let alone my wedding

But everyone is dying to meet the infamous shaira who

When asked about my time in Korea

Was always the protagonist

Even her name now brings to mind

Four or five anecdotes

Worthy of a captive audience and a fair few chuckles

Poignant silences, groans

They say they’re curious to meet her

Dying to even, and that according to my stories

There’s no one in the world like her

That she’s very unique

But the stories come less and less easily to me



No longer will I peer past the brick

and into the windows of that shabby-chic

Italian restaurant, where, on nights like this

when the dust is just starting to swirl

yellows into pinks, I could catch you

dining with your EX boyfriend, and

you’d both look up and wave gaily


no longer will i jump snowbanks

to join you for tea or some fangled new

soup recipe you concocted on a snowday

or bravely try to find you parking

on the igloo days where safe spaces

mean totally different things


and I’m sorry I tried to replace you

prematurely. I will never hug another man

or tell him i love him, outside of

a purely professional basis

besides my father, my brother

and whatever current boyfriend


no longer will i look onto a freckled

EXED-out face in the distance and swear

never to make a friend again

before reaching out to make

another enemy in your name


no longer will you hold me

while i fall asleep, angrily

or hurl my frisbees back

stamped with “of courses”

and “I understands” and “My god,

I would kill him myself

if he ever did that agains”


Now it’s just me

and my boomerang


The Unavailable Waitress

You want to enrage me? Engage me in a discussion
about george orwell, ernest hemingway
and the blue lives matter campaign

you want to endear yourself to me?
Don’t assume anything. Don’t ask
what im doing
before you ask me
if i want to go get a drink
because, then,
i have to make an excuse
just ask me if i want to
go out with you
ill tell the truth

and stop trying
ive already met all the men
i want to in this lifetime
too many have called me
a waste of their time
just for taking a minute
to talk to them
they act like
i owe them something

no, you dont want
to be my friend.
ive played that game
i know how it ends
a conversation into
a price on my head

i am a person
i have people friends
who don’t want anything from me
but a phone call now and then

Backing Away Slowly (Christmas edition)

you broke the glass and stepped through it
without noticing you left a trail
of bloody footprints
you paid someone to clean up
the next day, december 26th
you werent home enough to clean up
after yourself or our group
we left pizza boxes
and condoms strewn

your friend gave me a poem
that christmas
but i didnt listen
i was watching you.

when i saw you again
your eyes were glazed over
and you held out your hand
to show me-it was bleeding
you were on a rooftop
and wouldnt come down
i dont know what i was doing there
but you were laughing
and you weren’t alone
it was a big group thing

and i used the fire escape
to climb back down.
i hope youre doing ok now.

merry fuckin christmas (She was only on vacation)

life is nothing without an enemy to thrash against
but don’t quote me on that, i often claim to be a better person
than i am and im sticking to it
so this is christmas when i used to throw fits
way back when i was only twenty six
and bribed my best friend back down to peru
so i could beat the shit out of her, too.
claiming it was a tradition
and come on, lets try it.
she won, i didn’t.
we had a fight instead of presents.

so this is christmas when i left him
and never trusted anyone again
so this is christmas when my mother
went missing, but actually we found out later
she was only on vacation

so this is christmas
when i realize i could never have a child
because i still don’t know what love is
exactly or at all or anything

so this is a coming of age story
and that age is almost thirty
and so this is christmas,
somebody shoot me.