i would be a terrible dance teacher


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I’ve done this dance as long as I can remember

(not the foxtrot. We did that in Gym and I was awful)

This dance of give and give and be who they want and not who they don’t and when they step on your toes don’t say a word because they might leave you and dance without someone else, someone who doesn’t complain when they step on their toes. So even if your toes are raw and bleeding and you can barely stand up, you keep dancing, because the only way to win is for the dance to last Forever


Inevitably it gets to be too much and you realize how messed up this dance is and so you leave. It’s always better to be the one who leaves. And if you should find yourself in that old familiar black hole, well, you’ll figure that out when it comes

They used to have these dance marathons for charity on sitcoms where the couple who stops dancing last is the winner and they’d dance all day and all night and wacky funny things would happen. But really what happens when you lose if you quit dancing is that you get so damn tired and bitter and hopeless and then that’s all your children know of life

They need to know it is not healthy at all to dance all night and all day no matter what the cause. They need to know the Baker bunion is not inevitable just because every other female in the family has it. And so, you sit and rest. You know now in your bones that there are a lot of ways to win, not just dancing forever. Know that bone that is your bunion has been trying to tell you this all these years but you wouldn’t listen. Maybe you thought you deserved to live that way. Maybe you taught them they deserve to live that way. But not anymore.

I was so afraid she’d disappear and never come back. And she did. Afraid if I said even the littlest thing out of line and I was right.

I was so close to invisible I thought I’d found heaven when I heard those words that day. To be so watched you must do everything right and yet not seen at all. And so I see them dancing the dance. And I hope I show them that the way to win isn’t to never stop. That it’s just a silly show and at the end of the day the best part is getting to rest with your feet up at home with the people that love you. And to choreograph your own life to your own song with an audience of one.

Cha cha cha



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Nowhere in the Bible does it say life begins at conception. Nowhere in the Bible does it say 10 year old girls ought to carry and birth their father’s baby if he chooses to rape her which fathers sometimes do. To think this is what God would want says an awful lot about a person. And it isn’t good.

Howard Zinn says you can’t be neutral on a moving train and so I want to hear from my Christian sisters today. I want to hear them screaming for the women who will die, the girls who will die, for the dreams that will die. They asked Jesus the most important commandments and he said love God and love one another. Why is that so fucking hard for so many ChRiStIaNs?

Contraception is next. Do you know I didn’t use contraception for years and I’ve never been a fan and it’s failed me on occasion and I still will give my all to defend our right to it. Do you know the horrors I have seen come of lack of access to effective contraception? Where are you my fellow Christians? With your youth groups and your worship songs and your testimony? Jesus hung with the prostitutes and the lepers. She had two beautiful kids and a hole inside of her so wide and so deep because she’d never been loved and only ever been hurt and that third baby done did her in and now all three of the babies are with someone else and she is in jail detoxing meth psychosis and I miss her so damn much. She chopped wood at 8 months pregnant to try to make enough money to keep the water on. And where were you? At yOuTh GrOuP

I sat in my car and cried for the world we’ve given our kids. I tried. I believed. But here we are. Poor lost children of Eve banished from Eden. But Eden wasn’t enough. Or maybe it was too much. We wanted that apple and who could blame us? How boring a perfect life must be. So huddle together in this Whale with me and let us tell each other tales until the light goes out.



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all of my patients are physically dependent on opioids. ICD 10 F11.20. some of them are addicted to opioids. a lot of them aren’t.

maybe you’re physically dependent on something. for which there is no ICD 10 code. caffeine, zoloft, dopamine, adrenaline. maybe you’re addicted. coffee, zoloft, social media, shopping, toxic relationships, speeding, gossip, little debbie Christmas tree cakes, work, success, sex, HGTV.

maybe you think I’m being cute. or metaphorical. just making a point. no one goes to rehab for gossip addiction (maybe they should). no one goes to jail for possession of little debbie Christmas tree cakes (maybe no one should go to jail for possession of anything. maybe the jails are a crime)

addiction is an escape from the pain of being human. being human is more painful for some than others. but it is painful for all of us. and if someone tells you it isn’t, that is because they are so deep in their addiction, they have lost touch entirely.

eve and adam ate that apple and it all went to shit, you see. our eyes were opened and sickness and pain and toil entered the stage. we all fell down, down, down. and ever since, we have very logically sought to numb the pain of it. because there is no way up, up, up. not in this life anyway.

we are afraid. to hope, to love, to ask for love, to speak our truth, to share our pain, to need or be needed, to want or be wanted. we are afraid to take up space and that we might disappear, to be silenced and to be heard, to be alone and that we might make a genuine connection. we are afraid we are unlovable and that to be loved would be the most unbearable pain imaginable. or perhaps, worse than that, ecstasy.

in addiction we connect with other people. no we don’t. we are with people and we are less lonely and so we think we are connecting. logical. understandable. but let me tell you a story about the time my friends let G die when he overdosed because they were high too and didn’t want to get in trouble and i knew they loved drugs more than they loved me or each other. and the time i went back to my dopamine adrenaline filled emotional intimacy free relationship because right at that moment i loved it more than my kids and i do not want to tell you that but how else can we do better?

and they told me my son played next to other children but not with other children and that he was too old for parallel play. but tell me how much time adults spend engaging with other people and not engaging next to other people? are we connecting spiritually or are we churching next to one another? and those residents we work 90 hours a week with that we save and lose lives with, do we know them at all? and so pass the pipe and hand me that spoon and we will share a hit of Netflix and yoga and pumpkin spice latte next to one another in this Fallen World.

there is no ICD 10 code for the unbearable lightness of being but maybe there should be

Fuck Ted Bundy


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Flesh of my flesh

Bone of my bone

Leave your parents cleave to me 

I am your new home

Home forever

Til death do us part

And if I make you yearn for that end 

Why that’s hardness in your heart

For if you love God

You love marriage, you love me 

And you know when God joins together

You’ll never be free

Free to be who you really are

To follow the fate signed in your stars

No you are mine and I am yours 

Don’t lock your phone 

Don’t lock your doors

We are one in heart and soul 

We are both driven by the hole 

left behind by the barren wombs that birthed us underneath the moon

Mother moon has cried for us while Brigid’s fire inspired us 

To reach for something better than us 

Wait Did I say us? 

I meant me. 

You conjure planks in all our eyes 

But yours are fine 

(It’s a disguise) 

A pleasant reflection outside of you 

Rot and decay is what is true

What god has joined together I will put asunder 

For how can we be one when your trunk is putrid and diseased at its core?

Swoop up the fruit before it hits the floor 

If you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears you’ve done a damn good job of fooling God 

For our children are precious fruit indeed 

Owing little to your bitter seed 

They grow and bloom in spite of you 

Soaring so far past the height of you 

Knowing there is something not right with you

People look at the women that fell in love with Ted Bundy

Stood by Ted Bundy

Accepted a proposal in a courtroom from Ted Bundy

And they think these women are naive or dumb or victims themselves

But has it ever occurred to you that they were there because being in love with Ted Bundy worked for them?

Instead of looking at him as this charming manipulative sociopath fooling these women

Has it occurred to you that she was manipulating him too?

Judas and Ted Bundy and Jeremy Noyes 

Sinners that God so loved he gave his only son 

God and Abraham would sacrifice their sons for the sins of the world

And so do you think yourself holy when you hurt your kids to hurt their mother? To punish her for leaving? For putting asunder what You joined together?

Because it was never about God 

And always about you 

And you, are a jealous and vengeful little demigod 

So easily beat by Brigid and Mother Moon

Viva la Revolucion

Two years ago today I did a brave thing and I’m so glad I did. The world may be collapsing right now, but it’s collapsing around us, not in on us. We are safe inside together. Laughing, crying, fighting, forgiving, growing, playing, creating and eating whatever we damn well please. Thank you God for delivering us.

silver gray honey


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We got engaged in December. It was cold and clear. In front of cameras of course (it doesn’t count if no one’s watching).

The next day, it began. It was cold and sharp. In my car along the Turnpike (with no one watching, of course).

I wouldn’t say the real you came out because I don’t think there is a real you.

You are honey mixed with gray silver micah. Lacking form and shape. You cannot be held but you stick and don’t let go. Clinging to my hands and I cannot quite get all of you off my skin. Dirt and remnants of what was and what wasn’t latched on.

I soak them in water. Warm and clear. And I watch as you dissolve and wash down my drain.

An ee Cummings poem for your Monday

i like my body when it is with your

body. It is so quite new a thing.

Muscles better and nerves more.

i like your body. i like what it does,

i like its hows. i like to feel the spine

of your body and its bones, and the trembling

-firm-smooth ness and which i will

again and again and again

kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,

I like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz

of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes

over parting flesh. . . . And eyes big love-crumbs

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

-ee Cummings

the tap shoes daddy spray painted silver for your first recital


for the other shoe to drop, to drop and disappear


for the dust to settle, to see if you’re still here

is it still you or someone else

someone with fangs and claws

someone from the darkness

see that’s why I need this pause

the earth and the wind and the water and the fire

spinning round and round and round

down the hill arms crossed hitting bumps, rocky ground

and once I hit one of those rocks just right


it knocked the wind out of me

and I was so scared that I might

never breathe again, might die right there and then

might have already had my last breath

but didn’t know it when

I drew it because I hadn’t hit that rock

and I never saw it coming

tumbling down the hill so innocently humming

the songs that go round and round your head

when you’re young and stupid and

sleeping in your twin bed with

your Kurt Cobain poster on the ceiling above

on the phone til 1 AM because

you’re so fucking in love

the way you love

when you’re young and stupid and

don’t see the rocks coming

the ones that will knock the wind right out of you

as the end of innocence comes running

to take away

your naivete

go head and pray

it’s end of day

now you’ll find your way

in this brand new play

whose lines you don’t yet know

a different kind of show

all the other players, though,

seem to know which way to go

and so you follow along

mouthing the words to the songs

Mama said don’t watch the other girls dancing

don’t copy them

You know the dance

So, dance

the way mama taught you

But those days are over


you’re standing on a a new kind of stage

you can look but there’s no lines on the page

it’s a brave new world you’re making up as you go

now on with the show

even though you technically are


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Love came and

cracked open my ribcage.

Reached in and grabbed my beating heart and dug its nails in.

Pulled out


not hard enough.

My myocardium stuck on the shards of my ribs like jaggers.

Lacerated and bleeding, still beating.

Contractions spurring more


My chest empty,

a hole where my heart should be

(even though it is technically still there)


you are physically not

(even though you technically are)

And it kills me

Friday the 13th

I threw my wedding ring into the river today




into the Allegheny it sank

To the bottom where there is

no light.

we met on a river

got engaged by a river

lived by a river

moved and made a home by another river

this river.

In a river we were born and

in a river today we died.

He tried to pull me




to a place where there is

no light.

But I broke free and swam




to the light.

you tried to starve the light in me

you’re still in darkness, I am free

I am not yours, you are not mine

these waters broke the tie that binds

I am not yours, you are not mine

these waters broke the tie that binds

I am not yours, you are not mine

these waters broke the tie that binds

So mote it be