it just begins to live that day

A collection of unsent letters written 2014 – 2017.

Continue reading “it just begins to live that day”



I’m making a pb&j at midnight because I live alone and can do this kind of thing without arousing suspicion. I haven’t eaten a full meal in a week. The world has made me sick.

As always when I’m sick and tired I think of you. How it’s been almost three months since we last spoke. Almost eighteen since we kissed. How when Death came for me my mother turned you away from our doorstep and how I am glad and resentful for it. How you went from being the woman I wanted to marry to a bullet grazing my cheek en route to elsewhere. Late nights like this the scar stings. I do my best to soothe it with hamfisted metaphor and flourishes but I always fall short.

I always fall short.
I never read the letter you left on my nightstand.

But then you went and gave my mother a card for me in the wake of my nearly-dying. A card full of hallmark sentiments about freedom. “You just crawled tooth and nail from your death bed but don’t you remember how I broke up with you? Aren’t you happy I let you go free?” I’m paraphrasing but that is the spirit of it and I wish I’d never read it.

Would you have said the same thing at my funeral? Eulogized not my corpse below you but our relationship? Waxed poetic about the crushing kindness you did me by breaking my heart?

As if I would allow you to speak at my funeral.
I think I understand what happened now. When your feelings fill your lungs like tar you don’t know what to do about the slow pain of drowning. You wheeze about your selflessness and sacrifice and the undying love you bear others and never manage to cough up what’s eating you.

Lucky for me I’m not dead and I only miss you like this when I’m tired and hungry. Maybe that’s what drove you away. I smother the things I love when there is no clear line at the start of no man’s land.

First come the smiles, then the lies- last is gunfire.
Here we are. Alive and full to bursting. Me with cheap metaphor and you with unspoken tar.

Tell me, how does your freedom taste?

rlb 8.18.17

Let’s Talk About Death, Baby

On the off chance you haven’t noticed yet, let me be the first to tell you: I write about death a lot. A lot. So muchguys.

Sometimes I write about her directly, sometimes less clearly, but I write about death as often as I pick up a pen it seems. Death is even a major player in the scifi-fantasy epic Moira and I are writing, turning up as two separate characters with two distinct, vital roles. So what gives? Why am I so obsessed by death?

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Death, Baby”


I devoted years of my life to a boy and he does not think of me. I could die tomorrow and he would not mark my passing but my life is changed forever for having known him. Thanks to him I love the stars, the sea, the unknown. I fear it, yes, but I love it in equal measure. Because of him I am brave. Oh the irony! I should know better than to expect so much of men.

When I think of how I lost him, how I walked away from him because I grew so weary of the hunt, it strikes me that no one– not my best friends, not my lovers, not my kin– has ever loved me for those passions and traits I hold dearest to me. No, because their eyes glaze over when I talk about those things but! They love me for the ways in which I absorb and magnify their wonderments. Is it any wonder that I am a hall of mirrors? That I’m utterly at a loss for how to make conversation when I’m not being talked to? That I do not know what to do without instruction? Maybe that is why only a precious few can stand my presence, it is only those few who can appreciate their own company. They certainly aren’t here for mine.

rlb 5.1.17 

I don’t write poetry.

I am not now, never have been, and never will be a poet.  

This is a fact I repeat with stubborn pride whenever my sister challenges the claim with evidence that somehow, some way my prose has a breath of poetry in it.

I’m not a poet. I have no rhythm, little skill with rhyme, no head for any imagery outside of the literal, the tangible, those things that I can get my hands around and crush to my chest out of a desperate need to slow the inevitable decline into entropy and heat death that every atom in the universe will somewhen face.

I am not a poet.

I am however a list-maker. It’s a consequence of that same need for an illusion of control.

Lately, I’ve been enumerating all those things of yours I kept, those I left for you to remember me by.

Love makes us do stupid things.

  • Five (5) pairs of ankle socks in pink, orange, yellow, teal, and violet
  • One (1) pair of thick winter tights in the shade “nude”
  • Seventeen (17) selfies you sent me on Snapchat that were extreme close ups of your eyes, shoulders, elbows, mouth
  • Twelve (12) pictures of us together
  • Innumerable black hairs from your cat’s love of my drawer full of skirts
  • Your love of high-waisted, floral print panties that I never appreciated until I saw you in them
  • The softness of your hair as it grew back from the buzzcut
  • The curve of your waist into your hips that you couldn’t hide no matter how many layers you wore. I could spot your silhouette from four blocks away in the dark
  • The memory of a thousand kisses
  • My sense of adventure
  • The letters you wrote me
  • My bed, because we slept there, watched too many hours of netflix, ate waffles and pretended the world outside didn’t exist. My bed where I sat when you stood above me, pacing and raving about how you could no longer stand my presence because I did not make enough money to live with or support you.
  • One (1) check, prorated for only 11 days’ rent out of spite

I tell myself that if I never see you again it will be too soon. I’ve destroyed all the pictures and this summer I promise myself I will burn your socks.

I doubt I’ll ever get rid of the one thing I wanted to give to you more desperately than I wanted to flee the inevitable, slow death of the universe, though. Between the refractions of the opal and the overtones of the gold it looks and sounds too beautiful to give up even if every second wearing it I think how lovely it might have looked on your hand. My great-grandmother had the best taste in rings.

rlb 2.13.17

The Evening After Politicians Make Terrible Decisions

Yes, I know, you are scared. Yes, I know, you are grieving. Yes, I know, you are weary, you are sick, you are dying, you are rage. You are. And so you will continue to be. But will you let them feast on the soft sweet meat of your belly while you lie prone helpless or shoot you in the back for sport while you run blind screaming impotent? Turn your eye toward your fear your anger your despair– from where has it come? Where is it going? Harness it. Ride it. Generations before you have faced down ranks on the back of the same beast. This is your inheritance.

5.4.17 rlb


No wasted time.

No wasted days.

Only the best cheesecake will do.

a wise person once said

there is poetry in brutal efficiency

which I suppose is why

we remake our bodies and souls

into crucibles

temper bones like steel–  

damn the consequences.

There was desperation behind those words

mirroring my own maybe this is why

I loved, idolized our captain

at the helm of the ship her voice

shy of cracking and

too well-trained for betrayals as cheap

as fear of death and broken homes.

She spoke a language I understood.

rlb 4.7.17