Monday, December 31, 2018

Rhyme and Rhythm

First i waited for the waves to roll another way
For the current to pull instead of push 
for the tide to pitch and bring you back
I held on tight on the nights they did
Hoping it would last

And on the nights they didn’t i waited for a different present
So long
Til i ended up 
Wishing for a different past

And then again by morning you were gone 
so i wrote 
And wrote
And wrote until i ran out of words
Until all my love was wrapped in rhyme and rhythm 
something you might think beautiful 

In the mornings I waited for the ink to dry
Then i tore the page 
And started again
Each time i got further and further from the start 
But i kept trying anyway 

By the afternoon I was waiting for the wind to blow
For the rain to come crashing down 
For my driveway to flood
For the water to bring you home
And when it didn’t 

I waited for your call 
Your text
any way For you to say i love you
Without being prompted 

And when you didn’t I spent my evenings waiting 
for you to want me 
For the quiet to settle 
& For your loneliness to catch me in your attention
And when it did, 
I said to myself 
She’s back again 
Until you weren’t 

And one night when you took the ocean away 
I got tired of waiting 
And i stopped believing in water 
And salt 
And tides 
And currents
And rain 
And wind
And you 
And you
And you didn’t even notice 
And carried on 

And the catchy motivational meme I read 
said: Not everyone you lose is a loss
said: those who want to stay will stay
said: that just because i love someone doesn't mean iʻm supposed to be with them 
said: someone can love you and not be ready
said: you never have to convince someone to do the work to be ready
said: the right person would fight for me
said: i would be okay
said: let it go and let it be
said: i will not be undone
said: i will not be undone
said: i will not be undone 

I read them all and wrapped my heart in whatever rhyme and rhythm i had left
But I’m not sure I believe in any of that anymore either

Friday, December 14, 2018


You always had 
The worst time 
Waiting for the waters to still 
Always wanted 
To wade too early 
Into her rough 

But what if 
You could quiet your own storms
 long enough to learn the difference 
Between the first pull of a rising tide 
And distance 
What if 
You could make yourself a shore 
Full of all the desire and wanting 
You ever needed 
So you weren’t left 

Always Wanting 
Palms facing god 
Waiting for rain 
And her current to change 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


you say
and i hear promises that never left your lips
i see futures so clear they feel like memories
iʻve lived a hundred times over
i taste your breath again
like you never left
i smell your skin on my fingertips
someday you say
and i feel, instead of think

you say
and i remember
all the somedays i collected that never arrived
all the visions that faded
all the beautiful women iʻve loved and lost fiercely
who left me behind
who i gave gave gave to
until i was left with only my shadow
and the whisper of my own voice
how i had to crawl back to the forgotten mountain of myself

you say
and i am displaced
and everything i know is suspended in past or future tenses
i am floating back and forth between expectation and my failure of reaching aspiration

you say
and i remember the first night i kissed you
how i tried to get
until i had no walls
no skin
until i was an ʻauwai
flooding you away from me

Someday you say
but this time not to me
because there are miles caught between our lips
and though i can love you from a distance
i far too near sighted to imagine you doing the same

So instead, i said someday too
and it poured for 30 days and nights until my home became swamp
and the water caught in all the cracks i made with somedays
and so i sat and sang and overflowed with our favorite songs
and said your name, over and over until the falling water knew your shape,
until you both were one and the same

so i said Someday too
and i whispered my aloha to the wind, asking her to bring you back to me
and sometimes she did
and sometimes she didnʻt
and both times, i was here
with the wind, and all the water
still moving anyway

and this is how i know
that someday the rain will fall
and the breeze with blow
and maybe you will be in my arms
or maybe
you wont

and someday
maybe my yard will flood
and these trees will shake and shatter
and it will not conjure the memory of you
here and it will just be me
and the rain
and the wind
together again

with or without you

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The One

There is the one who got away 
The one you pushed away 
The one who helps you find your way 

Only the luckiest get the third woman last 
The rest 
Go looking for eyes that commit 
On the faces of women whove run off before you can beg them to stay 

How did I 
Always waiting in my own wings 
Giving away curtain calls 
To whoever shares a shimmer 
How did I 
Of what used to be
Projecting futures 
In What could have been
Neither a story worthy 
Of me withering 
For women who will not return
Who should not have left
But did anyway 

When did I forget the part where the woman sets me free 
The part I walk on my own two feet 
When did I forget 
The shape of myself I held 
Before my skin
Knew her hands
Before my lungs
Knew her breath
Before I was worried 
She’d forget 

When did I 
Agree to be 
This shackled skeleton version of me
In the waiting 

When do I 
Speak in present-tense again

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


If only she knew 
The number of times 
A beautiful Woman has told me 
I want you forever 
Just not right 

What is this black magic that has me
My whole life suspended in some static future I can’t seem to catch 

Do not allow yourself to be 
Another woman’s getaway vehicle 
Another woman’s way out 
Or escape
Not again

Every time I start my car 
My phone calculates the minutes until I arrive at your door 
It tells me that traffic is light
It should be just the length of this song until you are in my arms
And yet, I feel freight cars stalled on the bridges cast from this quiet

What I am trying to say is:
I am always acutely aware of the exact distance between us 
How if I am not careful 
Your absence will swell and fill cavity in my lungs so deep 
I will forget how to breathe

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