as young girls we are taught that we do not need sex or vodka to fill the void.

be confident
be happy
be you

but i’m feeling
especially lonely

if not boys
if not heavy liquor
then what?


sometimes you are
my favourite reggae band blasting
top down
(so everyone can see us)
in dad’s old chevy in
californian air as you
kiss me
with rhythm and blues and irresistible calypso.

and sometimes you are
a breathy message
left on my answering machine at
four in the morning
‘come pick me up’ because
you made out with a foreign freshman
and the taste of his
gin never left your breath.


she was a simple girl who
loved gardenias as much as
her own mother.

she picked him
forget-me-nots on their very first date
when he held her hand and said she was pretty

and when he was away she was
and empty

and he loved to make her cry but
she loved gardenias even more

and she would throw rose petals in his footprints where
his boots left muddy marks

and one afternoon
he destroyed the garden while
she was planting daisies.