Friday, October 5, 2018

Mai Poina: Aloha

The haole say:
Aloha means goodbye, 
But you and I know better
Aloha is the way i say: 
i am always with you, even when you choose to leave
Aloha is the way i say: 
you used to live outside of me
And now, i feel you etched into my every breath
Aloha is the way i say: 
Iʻve pulled mountains out of the sea to bring forth the world you deserve
Because Aloha is the spell i whisper into ever gourd i can find, 
Hoping it calls the right wind to bring you back to me
Aloha is what brings you back to me

Aloha is what i say, 
because it is the only word audacious enough to try to hold you
And aloha reminds me
Thats there is no word for goodbye in our language
Our kupuna have no map for me to understand 
this kind of departure

So instead I say
I love you 
Even when you are walking away
I say, 
I am waiting for the day we are we again
I say
There is a dance between wahine like me and you
Its as natural as the tide’s insistence to rise 

Aloha reminds me: 
I want to speak to you the way our kupuna would
With language pulled out of this dirt, fished from our sea
I want you to know 
What i mean 
When i say: 
We are a moʻolelo i heard long ago but never had the courage to believe 
& today aloha is choosing bravery for me

E kuʻu wahine aloha. 
Eia au e kū nei me ke aloha pau ʻole 
Me he ʻaʻaliʻi kū makani mai la 
ʻaʻohe mea nāna e kūlaʻi 
E hoʻi mai, a moʻolelo nō kāua 
I mea e kono i ka ʻoiaʻiʻo mai kēia pō mai
Mai poina
ʻo ʻoe no kaʻu i upu ai
Mai poina 
ʻo ʻoe nō, he lei mau no kuʻu kino 
Mai poina
A hui pū hou nō kāua
Mai poina


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Notes on missing you

I cannot remember the last morning i woke without your words
or voice
you, my love, are far too sacred to be called routine
instead you've become ritual
and loving you is now
my favorite part of morning

but today i wake and you are not here
and i wonder how long its really been 
I know it cant be long
i can still smell you on my skin
in my sheets 
your breath is still stuck under my tongue
you never really leave
just linger
close enough for me to feel your distance
your quiet
in all this silence 

i play music over the loud speaker until it makes my bed frame shake 
I am trying to remember what it feels like for this house to be alive 
i am trying to remember what it feels like for you to be by my side
without question or reservation
i am trying to remember 
and you are moving 
further and further away 
and every day there is more and more quiet for me to lay in
and i am forgetting your taste 
the vibration of your voice
so i turn off the speaker 
close my eyes
drift back to sleep
tell myself to try again

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Remember the evening we walked the beach by your house until the rain raced us home
how not even our fear of darkness was enough to chase us away?
later i caught an eyelash on your cheek
and wished for a million more evenings exactly the same,
the black strand simply flew away

or remember the night and next morning our kupuna sent showers to celebrate our love
how i couldn't overflow without apuakenui being moved by your voice?

Remember all the times we've been baptized?
Waimānalo, Waimea and all the wai in-between?
how there was no water that could refuse our skin
the way our ʻāīna and moana was constantly transformed by our potential

Or the nights i held you as you drenched my shoulders in your regrets
how i told you it would be alright
as another woman circled your mind?

Remember when you told me you loved me
and then drove to her house?
How i was the only sky that shook and shattered that night
as you let her breath slide back under your skin

Remember how it pulled all the water from my skin
until i was just wound and salt?

Remember the years we promised to each-other
how they turned only to days
remember all the love we left unmade?

you and me
as anything other than this way.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Only STory

The thing about pain and heartbreak is that
it tricks you into thinking
youʻve never been hurt quite like this before.

and perhaps that true.

But its also true that every heartbreak you've ever experienced was insurmountable and you endured and overcame it anyway.

The truth is we tell ourselves two kinds of story:
1. She's never coming back
2. Sheʻll come back someday

but the only story that really matters is the one that forces you to come back to yourself
regardless of who comes and goes.

The only story that matters is:

         This two shall pass. One day at a time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Try again

To the words
she says
The first time around
Watch how they build brick roads for your departure
They are Sirens
You should take notice of

Pay attention to how
You are offered opportunities
One after the other
To take cover
And hold yourself as the tender thing you are
Pay attention to the way you choose to refuse
How you
Woman of rock and lava formation
will shed skin after skin
Until you are the very shape of open

So that when you are left
With the same questions, you’ve asked yourself before
Wondering, where this distance come from?
Or how you arrived in this barren landscape
You will have the answers
You will not need to beg at her ankles for explanation
You will not shrink until you evaporate
You will know
You did not listen,

Take the time,
This time.  to heal
And then, try

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

One more song

How did you become
This secret song 
Afraid of it’s own melody 
What was this falling 
Out and apart 
That frayed your edges 
So far to blur 
you could no longer see
what was inside, out and in between 

How did you 
Make becoming 
A quiet prayer of forgetting 
Of slipping away into your own shadow

i am looking 
for that still place where the music waits 
for me, to breathe her into the morning
it is the only way iʻve ever known how to pray
i am looking 
for the woman i was
who once built a monument in the name of maybe
who was willing to fall for possibility 
i am looking 

won’t you sit here with me
watch the notes bounce against the rafters
catch them in the corners of your mouth 
let them dance across your lips
with me 

won’t you
sit here
rest your breath against my palms
just for one more song 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Moving Water

To hide in the ʻehu of someone else’s love 
Overflowing over me
I wonder: Is it the same
As hiding from the salt I have inside of me
as refusing to feel my own 
burning sea

A question to ask yourself every morning: 
Given the chance
What kind of kai would you be?
Would you be the open 
The ripping tide?
The dark and deep blue 
so blue it has its own name?
Would you be the calm,
The quiet, 
The daring rough,

Would you be always moving moving moving 
Chasing the horizon
Or would you 
Stay here
Stick to the walls of this cliff called fear