Autobiography · Mental Health


We get coffee while it’s dark out. Our reflections bouncing off the window back at us. The barista plays a Dashboard Confessional album I haven’t listened to since about 2004. He hadn’t either. Something in the air made him want to put it on. Something about the mood. Like we are all going backward.

I remember what it felt like to be in high school. Remember the growing pains. Journal after journal filled with questions about how to survive, but no answers. Just postpone. Always just postpone.

My sister tells me that suicide does not put an end to pain, it just transfers it. And that’s the only thing that has ever really sunk in. I can’t imagine making someone feel the way I feel.

But there are also moments. While we share our warm drinks. While I answer customer questions at work. While I walk with music blasting through headphones. While we drive home at 3 AM singing loud to pop songs. Andrew’s head resting on my lap while I write this.

There is still goodness out there. There is still goodness in here. We haven’t lost it all yet. Maybe we never will.

Photo courtesy of Alex Wong.

Autobiography · Relationships


"rot" © Dean McCoy, 2012. CC BY 2.0.
rot” © Dean McCoy, 2012. CC BY 2.0.
At one in the morning he climbs in bed next to me. Lips at the back of my neck, our arms and legs tangling. He whispers confessions so sweet they can only be said in the dark.

The sun comes up and he tells me that every word still drips with honesty. He does not shy away from loving. Doesn’t shy away from anything.

A life conceived of saying what we mean. Openness and validation. Reassurances and listening.

During dinner he makes me laugh until my belly aches and I finally remember what it feels like to be excited about living. Not even sure if “remember” is the right word. This is new.

We are all hand holding and bleach-scented hotel sheets. A new beginning that gets to be whatever we want it to be.

When everyone else leaves the room, he leans in to kiss me. All soft lips and safety, his hands engulf my body.

I finally understand what it feels like to not be fumbling. Roots. Wings.

He loves me steadily. An exponential graph of passion and longing welcomed happily.

Still life. All shadows and light. Everything about him is home. Comforting.

And when he goes to sleep I rest my hand on his hip and pull him into me. Knowing that I want to be right here for as long as he’ll let me.

Autobiography · Poetry · Relationships


The boat arrived elsewhere
by the time you showed up.
Yelling back to the current
that now you have enough.


We fought the tide together,
but eventually you sunk.

“I’m sorry,” slips from your fingertips
and never found its way to your tongue.
“I’m different now,” is a charming thought,
but I have to interrupt.


We said we loved each other,
but I guess we got stuck.

“I’d take it back if I could,” shines
in the dark room.
I turn off the screen
and dismiss you.

You ask if I have a minute after you call.
Send emails, texts, keys in the mail.
It’s over, but you’re not leaving.

I didn’t mean to dissolve you into
smoke signals and shouts.
You’re not broken,
you’re just grieving.

You know what this is all about.
It was our future I wasn’t seeing.

And, yes, I should have done things differently,
but that doesn’t delude the words.
When I say what I mean
you need to know
it doesn’t matter if you believe me.

Movies don’t make better entrances
than when I was standing at your door in the rain.
Hands outstreched, smile on,
palms placed against my face.

Slip shoes off, drop coat down,
press me hard into the wall.
Murmur something sweet into the space between us
then make sure there’s no space at all.

Electric and magnificent.
All the lights powered up.
We created something beautiful
just by using trust.

You tell you love me too early
and it still feels like you took so long.
I exchanged the words and understood
we belong here from now on.