Stockholm at Dawn


Off across the sea, where we went together
Where no man had dared to go before
My doubts swirling in dark clouds
Slowly broken into magnificent beams

Where I needn’t send you a picture
Or coordinate our time zones
Because by my side you were, you are
Unafraid, anchoring the spinning world.

My bluebird, my eager wanderer
Taking what once was complicated
And simplifying — magnifying
Painting strokes so beautiful, so secret, so calm.

We never know when we know
Except we knew
Through an understanding that never contorts
Never cowers, never invades.

They think of dawn as the beginning
But it’s what comes after night
It’s the light that signals survival
Awakening, inviting, unashamed

It’s what brings me into a better day
Where my night fevers evaporate
Into the sky that sees us across continents
The sky that covers us in each other’s arms

Taiwan at Night

I wept for your loneliness
But it was for nothing.

Because nothing was what you wanted.
A pretty nothing hiding behind bright, round eyes

With lips that smile but never speak.
Never moving your soul to terror,

Never inviting you into the depths,
Never inviting you to defeat the darkness.

But only laughing — vibrantly, innocently.
Laughing at your wit, enthused by your charm,

So that your eyes can shine with the faces
Of the people you never thought you could be

And see yourself magnified like the rays of the sun shining
Over a cold snow scattered atop the grass.

The kind of laugh that offers you comfort when you retreat
To your dark bedroom, listening to what the ceiling has to say.

So that you can reflect your bright nothingness back,
Blinding it into blasphemy

As you curl your sheets beneath your chin,
Never again feeling them wet from tears,

And safely sink into your blissful nothing — drowning,
Where your soul needs no baring, crippled into a comfortable nothing.




Guilt met me outside and seized my shirt violently,
Commanding me, “Look at all the problems you cause”
He barked at Forgiveness as she left for the night
Then shook me fiercely and screamed out all my worst flaws

I knew Guilt was right, that my hands were far from clean;
I listened intently to his charges each day
There was no sense denying what we both knew was true

Slowly, I grew more interested in what he had to say

We came to be strange friends, though full of distrust
He was hateful, but he served as authority
At times his silence eerily let days go by,
But when I watched him smile, I knew he wouldn’t leave

It took me time to see what he had really done,
An infection worse than pointing fingers at me:
I was forcing Guilt’s presence on those all around,
Speaking “you should” and spreading my captivity

For Guilt’s hold had altered more than my self esteem:
It was a lens through which I compared wrong and right
He thought something good, I found justification
If he thought it bad, I thanked him for shedding light

I went on a lonely walk through the snow one day
Recalling my wrongdoing as I took each stride
When I encountered a man plagued with Self Hatred,
I felt his pain as he agonizingly cried

His eyes met mine before he turned away in shame
And I felt in my gut, Grace, burning through the grim
Unsure how to help, I walked away and wondered,
“Could anyone see me the way that I see him?”



I tried to find God as I took of His bread
While told to hang my head low out of sorrow
But all I found was a strong sense of shame
Feeling that this grace was, at best, only to borrow

I tried to find God as I sat in His pews
Where my mind couldn’t help but wander
But I knew my heart and my sins, even then
And their relationship that would only grow fonder

I tried to find God as my friends bowed their heads
Convincing me there was good behind their tears
But the sensation that they all insisted was joy
Only spent a lifetime suffocating below my fears

One afternoon, I told you how I tried to find God
How I wanted to believe in this Holy Martyr
But you recycled words from the book you slid my way
Eyes glazed over, smiling, muttering, “Try harder.”



Present, haunting, persistently noticeable
Threatening the darkness to which I am so gullible
Whispering away veils of cowardice and quiescence
And forcing confrontation against justification of silence

Evoking an unnerving introspection
Seeming offensive in its sudden ingression
Proclaiming the truth of its own existence
Involves exposure of deep-rooted brokenness

Realizing, this whole time, it welcomes me on its side:
There is beauty in daring to encroach toward the light.