So She Shivers

like an abused animal,
she shivered,

craving love and touch,
yet fearing them like the hands
of the ones who struck
her when she risked all.

beat when baring heart,
bruised, her soul

tearing apart
all the true love she’s denied,

punishing the honest
while damning herself.

no more thinking
about what could be…

it hurts to know
what’s missing.

so she shivers…

tending to her wounds,
keeping a cocked eye open
at the corner of the world
that aims her way,


it may be the one this time…
and that

she’ll have to say no
just in case

it isn’t.


~  Em ~



Warning Signs

will you see my scars,

read them like my map?

trace fingers along

road trip to nowhere,


through my deserted past

pit stops for directions

idling soul sputters:

will you lock your door,

will you hit the gas pedal?

will my scars lead you home?

do they scare you

these marks of pain?

can you handle it,

can you stay?

will you love my scars,

will you collect my broken parts?

I’ve cut myself

on my own shattered heart…

will you ignore the warning signs?

can you take me

back to start?


~ Emily C.



i kneel naked

in gray pounding rain
fingernails claw mud
in search of

penitence in a puddle
infinite projections
my forever universe

in a hole in the ground
drowned by yesterdays
i dip in

sipping the future
out of the palms
of shaking hands
that stopped praying
out loud long ago

just grateful
for a wet day
to see abundance
where scarcity


~ Emily C.




On Things Ahead (That Sad Eyes Catch)

horizon with a shifting road
wavers under wandering soles
hands reach for steady branch
slipping off and falling lands

everywhere but where desired
left her friends and loves behind
alone the way is lit with pain
struck by lightning again and again

e’er focusing on breath to breath
on things ahead that sad eyes catch
ne’er forgetting she is (barely) alive
forever grateful, curses despite

trodden long on sod soggy with tears
when e’er reflection caught in iced river
she casts a smile out of broken soul
wishing one day it will come all its own


~ Emily C.



I was the one you loved
but oh God, I couldn’t bear its truth —
to know you would
love me through
the worst

when only the best
is what I wanted to give you
when my weakest
was all I had

how could I fall
the way I had to
how it was coming, like it or not,
knowing you would
want to catch me

you see
I am uncatchable, 

you, the warrior knight
never did I want to hurt you
through my hurt
through my certain demise
through not letting you love me

(better you don’t —

better you find a reason
to hate me)

as I will love you
from safe distance
far from where my pain

might taint the treasure

of your heart

~ Emily C.



now my eyes can only see cosmos
when they are closed
visions of eternity design frescos
in spinning stars

behind cloak of sight
comfort in their disarray
I am in control of my night
the only place chaos is calm

to park my mind for a spell
lose myself, willingly
…would it be so bad
if I left this hell?

hell that tries to pass for life
all that is steady evades
mocking my drifting strife
grasping in vain, slipping away

nothing is as it seems
but when eyes
planted shut within a pretty place

are closed so very tight:

I could be still
cosmos swirls

~ Emily C.


So Very Far

There, the finish line so very far away
wearing this chain around my neck
dragging burdens clang in sway
like damning bells speaking death

no cheering team aside the chute
no hands of help extended me
my gait distorted in lines astray
my face contorted by life’s dismay

how long must this suffering endure
how far will these feet smear blood
the path is endless, onward rolls
its torturous shape — a möbius loop

to them my countenance all the same
the pain invisible to naked eye
for every smile cracks through dark
and belies its truth of dying light

~ Emily C.