they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Monday, July 16, 2012

looking for the storm.

your feet were bare the first time she swept you up into her arms of grit and grace and ran you quickly down to the basement.
it wasn't raining yet, but you could hear the sirens through the open garage door. the one that attached to the basement. the one that meant your basement wasn't actually all the way underground. the one your dad stood in, looking for the storm.
you sat on the brown lofa - a remnant from them before they were parents - and waited.
the wailing of the sirens got louder.
she tuned the radio to local AM and you heard something about a touchdown near lee's summit. it was headed toward you, they said.
you were cold and there were no blankets. everything you needed was in your bedroom. your comfort quilt. your dolls. your books and music.
"it's green out here," he said from the driveway.
"oh my god! look at the hail!" - you tried to ignore.
but your stomach turned sleep into knots
and she paced in the corner in a panic.
"get back in here," she yelled.
he yelled back, "no way. come look at this."
she didn't go.
there was this chasm that night between them.
her trying to keep him safe. him trying to find the eye of the storm. almost asking it to strike. yelling at the sky, "we're here! give us a show!"
the rain moved through washing down the street - the gutters flooding - pushing winter's guts up and out.
it was the first rain of the spring.
it cleansed him.
but you were never the same.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

you will wonder.

it will tear a hole in you.
don't argue with me about this.
it is fact.
that life is full of pain and
thorn-covered cushions promising to
make you bleed
just as you get comfortable.
just as you ease into a pattern of
right between lunch and dinner
at 2:30
or just before bed -
that's when your face will be stunned
by the sticky slap of hurt's hand.
that's when you'll first notice
your heart.
you'll become aware of its
and then you will wonder
if the breathing that makes it all work
is worth it.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

i did this.

i now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to let you see something i did last month.
it's pecha kucha.
i had 20 slides. 20 seconds per slide. to say whatever i wanted to say.
the timing isn't perfect. neither am i.
but, it's a good reminder for me of what i believe in, what matters and why i'm here.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

this body.

this body is broken
accessorized with scars
and these places i'd rather not notice
until i have to.

it's walked into the lion's den
and has sent you a postcard.
i think it arrived after sideways somersaulting through the rock garden
banging up places like
the space for your address
and my signature.

have i told you that when i cry now,
it burns.
it sinks into the place where i last saw you.
the ones who dared to cast stones
at this body.
the ones whose words stuck
the way leaves stick to the gutter
after the rain.
clinging to my arms
and my thighs
and that place on my lower back that i hate.

i have become what you haven't said.

i am covered in mess.
and there has been no rain


only the faint sound of thunder
and this body
breathing, still
beneath sheets
and my comfort quilt.

and every night, i wake up with songs in my head.
at 3 a.m., i yell at them to stop.
i need some peace.
especially then.
but they don't stop.
the lyrics just mix with my dreams.
- i am nothing without pretend. i know my faults. can't live with them. - 

do you want me to sing them?

Friday, July 06, 2012


i think if i were different
i would have notebooks filled with
paper cut-outs
clippings of grass
drops of dew
and a piece of red thread to hold it all together.

but my notebooks are filled with words
scribbled thoughts
bouncing brain spew
things i need to change

(i always think i need to change)

so i make lists
action items
things i can finish
because i am a finisher
because if i can't,
i am incapable of letting them go.

i don't know how to leave things undone.
how to leave words
unspoken and under my tongue

but who is listening?
are you?

Monday, July 02, 2012


i have been having regular calls with my therapist.
on saturdays on the way to trader joe's
or target.
i always say, "hey, kathy. it's jessi. (pause) hamilton."
as if she doesn't know who i am.
she says, "hey, jessi. what's up?"
as if she doesn't know what i'm about to say.
as if she doesn't realize how much i appreciate her at-home minutes.
as if she doesn't know i'm on the edge of the deep end.
and so i talk.
and she listens.
and talks me off of the ledge and back to the place where
my feet
until i call her again
and she is (thankfully) at home
and i am (thankfully) able to cry and drive.
and then breathe.
and then remember to open my sunroof
and feel the warmth of god's light
turning my brunette into red
in places i'd prefer to be any color but grey.
and then i park
put one foot in front of the other
and buy things like arugula
and lunch meat
and sparkling water.
little things that turn my week
into a plan.
so that i can make it until next saturday
before calling kathy with a k again.