Live With Regret (And Love It!)

If anyone suggests you should “Live without regret”, they are either not alive or do not understand what they are telling you.

If you live, you have regrets. There is nothing wrong with that; if you live long enough to gain any amount of wisdom, you must make and learn from mistakes (or how would you gain wisdom?). If you learn from any mistake (burning your hand, for example), you will regret not having made a better decision in the first place (not putting your hand in the fire). Thus, we live with regret as naturally as we live with thinking.

The secret is not to live without regret. The secret is not to regret living.





The Rusted Key

In the palm of her hand

between trails of geometry and ravines and lines that could map the surface of Mars

The rusted key idly waits for a destiny unrequited.

No, neglected, pushed into the corner of a dark chamber

in a hall of chambers and dark corners

in her mind.


The rusted key was mine.


The lock, an intricate series of oiled steel pins poised and positioned,

waiting for the mission, a call to action… that never comes.

Maybe they are waiting still… a memory of something kept until…


They are aging, once slick and smooth pistons separating oil into constituent pools

of water and sludge

in a dark chamber in a hall of dark chambers

in her mind.


Nearly a perfect pirouette of legs and charm

she slips into the arms of a kiln-fired body

essentially a ceramic toy she can smash with a word

–a sword, a single cut to shatter an illusion of courage.

She could make him drink razor blades.

And the fool would never know her final name.


But bliss drives ignorance

and as you know, when we ignore the evidence

then the evident hides in a dark corner of a locked chamber

in a dark hall of dark chambers

pushed from the abuse of razor blades and illusions

held in her mind.


Like all great magicians and mistresses,

as they dance in a bright ballroom

the ceramic boy and this pirouetting marionette

pretend they are heroes of a kind

in fine gowns and trussed up columns,

He says, “The light is the moon.”

She says, “Then it is the moon, dear”

and as they sway from one end of the hall to another,

he never notices the rusted key,

slipping from one hand to the other.



Beautiful Lie

Your breath is a brush of kindness

—the last ember

—the fading warmth of dusk

that ends the kiss.

In candlewax, a teardrop

on your cheek,

Then my lips

taste saltwater sugar.

Then your lips taste

honor and soil,

our lips…

bitter betrayal dirty fingernails musky sex and morning dew

Before dawn

dries it all away,

Before the rest of the world knew

it was ever that beautiful.

A glimpse of you shimmers

in my palm

while I raise a puddle to my lips

to keep the tears we lost

Before the breath is gone

I close my eyes and breathe in

the last of us.

We knew it had to end, but

it was a beautiful lie.



The Sweetest Crumb

The sweetest crumb of my torture

is to remember the flame before it burned


The searing lash

of every kiss, a blister for every wound

every flicker inside

before it was mine.

Every inch in     every space given

or taken

glows on my skin where lava trails

fill the veins who went there.

You say you like that it hurts me


that love remembered is etched in pain.

In pain? In stinging whip-cracks when it is given away.

I wonder if you will feel the same

when someone else is holding your whip.




That Was October

Night was falling with the Autumn leaves

but in that moment, time stopped

and we lived in that pause

between breaths,

in the skip of a heartbeat.

We lived dreamily

after the smack of a kiss…


Autumn leaves waited for the chill of night

but in that moment, we lived

in the space between palms,

clasped together,

and never felt cold.