Intensive Care

I observe death,
Watch it
Praying, loudly
with passion,
and conviction,
for it to make a turn
and come back to me.
To us all.
Silently wishing,
as time continues,
dragging on and on,
and still I see no signs
of recuperation.
Or restoration.
And without the element of
or miracle,
or even dumb luck,
on its side…
That it would just give in.
It its sleep.
Like a true victim would.


Crazy-making Heart

Heartbreak will make you sleep for hours more than any human ever should need to and stay awake longer than anyone ever should be able to.

Heartbreak will make you cook for hours at a time but not let you eat a single bite.

Heartbreak will make you stand outside someone’s house just waiting. Hoping you’ll see them walk out and catch their eye. And that they will meet your gaze and come running back to you… Even though you know it will never happen.

Heartbreak will make you drive to the gas station and sit in the parking lot for hours just because the last time you remember truly feeling happiness was in that very same spot.

Heart break will make you needy and messy and annoy the shit out of everyone around you.

Heartbreak will make you spontaneously burst into sobs over dinner because the taste brings back a long forgotten memory you want to either relive or never have lived to begin with.

Heartbreak makes you rethink eveything you have ever done or said or thought or wished for.

Heartbreak makes you regret you’re whole life in one single moment.

Heartbreak makes you obsessively think about how to stop obsessively thinking.

Heartbreak makes you angry and mean and bitter inside.

Heartbreak makes your heart feel so full of sorrow that you can’t imagine there will ever be anything in it but that.

Heartbreak makes you weak and wobbly. It makes your arms seem heavy and your steps seem shorter.

Heartbreak makes you want to run away from everything, especially yourself.

Heartbreak makes you sit in the porch and smoke half a pack in one sitting until you develop a headache so bad that you can justify the pain you’re in.

Heartbreak makes you want to break someone else’s heart and someone else’s trust and someone else’s mind.

Heartbreak makes you want to be anyone and anywhere but you and here.

Heartbreak makes you cry ugly.

Heartbreak makes you say things so cruel just so someone else feels as shitty as you do. Because you don’t want to be alone in that feeling anymore.

Heartbreak looks like puffy, red-rimmed eyes and long sleeves. Like hoodies and avoidant glances. Like sweat pants and slippers and bathrobes.

Heartbreak makes you smell like hot tea and Benedryl. Like greasy hair and unwashed clothes.

Heartbreak gives you bed-head all day long.

Heartbreak makes you suddenly aware of every heartbeat you’ve ever taken for granted.

Heartbreak makes you wish you didn’t have a heart so that it could never have been broken.

Heartbreak makes you a crazy.


First things first. And first, this: you just want to be. Be normal. Be happy. Be healthy. Be–Oh god. Do I even say it? Do I dare put it out there?–loved. *gulp*

Love; the word you find the easiest and the most difficult to say. You say it the least cautiously to the people you love the least. You say it without thought about movies and books and songs and commercials.

You just love chocolate!

You just love those shoes, ohemgee!

You just loooove getting stuck behind a slowly moving tractor on a back road. *eyeroll*

You hide it in love ya!s and XOs and <3s to make it easier to sneak past the cautious boundaries of your own heart. Clothing it in casual sounding pleasantries and friendly little waves. You bleed your wishy-washy heart in emojis. You make it everything, but make it look like absolutely nothing. You're love is a covert operation to sneak past your own good senses. It's a private detective to your emotions.

Love? You don't love them!

You luv them.
You heart them.
You ❤ them.

Lov(E) with out E. That's your protection. Your armor against Everyone and Everything. Against Emptiness. Your refusal to waste Energy on Emotions. Your Expression of Empathy without showing your Eagerness. Your secret way of Emoting without Ever Exposing your hEart.

Oh, but one day… One day you will be tired. And giddy. Maybe a little drunk or weedy. Maybe you’re high on life and just heard the best song ever. Maybe you had a really good day or a really good sandwich or really good sex. Maybe you will have just realized that you look really fucking good in hats. But, you will say it.

You will say, I LOVE YOU. And you will forget to not mean it. You will forget to hide it. You will forget to not let the warmness your mouth link up the deep redness of your heart with the raw calico of your mind, and you will mean it with every breath in your lungs, every beat of your lashes, every sweat bead forming on the small of your back.

You will mean it. And the oxygen in your lungs will turn into an army of angry restless soldiers and the blood vessels that run down the pinky side of your hands will throb in this painful, frustrating way that nobody but you seems to ever experience. In a way that makes you scared by just how much you don't want to be alone anymore.

You will mean it. And the past will meet the present like future in-laws at an engagement party. Awkward. Forced. Unfamiliar in the most familiar setting. Turning the dial to "on" and the cycle to "rinse and spin". Turning the switch to "signal"

You will mean it. And you will wish to God you didn't. You will try to swim away from it but the current will fight you. And when you start to escape, a dangerously powerful undertow will grab you around the back of the knees and pull you down under until you are swimming in love. Sinking in love. Drowning and suffocating and choking to death on love.

Drunk on love.
Hung over from love.
Fucked up with love.

You will think to yourself: this is why. THIS is why you don't love. THIS is why you Do
Not. Love.

But, it will be too late. You'll find that you can't save yourself. Once an I LOVE YOUer always an I LOVE YOUer. An I LOVE YOUer for life. So you fashion your life into a public service announcement on the dangers of uncovered love. An exposé on the pyramid scheme that is love. You will preach to anyone who will listen about the trap that is love. And you will write books and create seminars and run an institutional rehabilitation center for addicts of love. And you will strive with all your might to help others break the bonds of love and to free others from the bondages of their own hearts.

And finally, one day, when you are old and tired and plentifully bitter. When you are isolated and this anger inside you has cooled down to an even and steady burning inside your chest. When love starts to seem no different than hate or hunger and sickness or cold. When the words I LOVE YOU stop evoking pictures of any particular persons in your mind, then you will truly find a long and lasting bitterness. Then, and only then, will you know for sure that you are free of love. Forever. And that nothing will ever be able to jeopardize your self-control again.

Not Now, Not Ever.

I was standing under this tree– some kind of oak tree, I believe–pulling off leaves one by one. Tracing their veins. Absentmindedly considering if their fluids were like the blood in my own. I decided they were and I shredded the leaves into a wet, sticky pile by my feet.

I was thinking about you with my heart. Minds have a way of occupying themselves with the strangest little oddities and an assortment of bizzare behaviors, otherwise unaccounted for, unexplained, whenever the need arises. It’s how humans get by. Push past. Plan. It’s how we fashion futures out of nothing but bundles of empty, hopeless feelings and burdensome regrets.

I walked up and down that dirt road, telling myself I was looking for stones to skip or feathers to take home for washing, drying, and pressing. But, under the moon light all I could see was this twinkling fire of a million fragmented diamonds peeking out beneath the gravel, from the corner of my eyes. And it was all that I could do to stop myself from wanting to give all that light right to you. Delivering to your doorstep, wrapped up in a big red bow, with no card attached. I imagined your face as you saw it. So I scooped up handfuls of the mirrored moonlight and shoved them deep into my pockets. Some moondust remained on my fingers still when I pulled them back out. I licked them and it tasted much like the most unimpressive dirt. Still, I knew the secret of its beauty, so it rejuvenated me for a moment.

They say the only way to cure a broken heart is to break another heart. Though it’s possible I made that up. I do that sometimes. Just make up things to fill the gaps between things I know to be true and the things I’m still considering about life and people. Temporary stepping stones. Baby teeth that hold the place for stronger, more solid ones that come in later. They are very useful until they are not.

I suddenly became angry. So very angry. I don’t know why. But, I went home annoyed. In a generally fussy mood. Feeling betrayed by some part of myself it seemed I couldn’t reach even with my own internal whispers. That part of myself which seemed to grow deaf at any moment that my mind happened to be making nothing but logical sense and sound discovery or observations of the most reasonable and truest sort.

I opened the door, first with my fingers. Then my hand. And like in any real dance, I continued in with a tap of the hip to complete. I led and the door, like a stiff partner, squeaked and jarred but finally gave into my will in one smooth, fluid motion.

It was just as cold inside as it was out. And so I felt my way around in the evening dim for the lamp. The place was old and smelled even older because of the rotting wood around the window frames. The electric outlets were oddly spaced and nearly ridiculous by modern standards, but I had grown accustomed to them by that point, the way one gets used to any mild annoyance or inconvenience.

My hand slapped against the lamp, and I pulled the string to bring light to either the room or the situation in which I found myself. As it turned out, it was more of a lamp unto my feet than a light unto my path. But it did shine faintly on the small bundle of firewood in the corner, so I suppose there was a gray area to be had there.

Minutes later, as I sat before a roaring fire, simultaneously counting both crackles in the fire and cracks in the hearth, I remembered the way you crack me up. Then I cracked my knuckles. I cracked the spine of the book I had left there hours before when I had suddenly decided what I needed most of all was a walk to clear my mind. Then I felt something inside my chest, in what I couldn’t at that moment, and still cannot even now, think of a better way to describe than, being cracked open.

I looked at the clock and saw that it was late. So, I yawned forcefully to convince my mind I was tired. To convince it to give in for the night. Which it didn’t, but my eyes fluttered and closed out of instinct and allowed me, at least for a little while, to enjoy a few moments alone with you before morning.

Only in those few moments between eyes down and sun up, do I surrender to you without fight. Without anger. With out resistance. Only, only, because even warriors have to sleep simetimes. Even they have to give in to the battle just to win the war. And for no other reason than that. No. No other reason than that.

But, I will never tell. Not even if you ask me. Because that’s not who I am. Not now. Not ever.

That One

You hide, inside
A solitude of your own mind
A place devoid, divided, devised
Of hopeless hoping
Of moody, mellow, moping.
You hide, deep inside
Your mind
A cave of your own creation
Where it’s spacious
And there is nothing but time
To run out of
To run out on
You’re clicking and clacking
And believing your own quackery
It’s painful to see
You crack up
Right In front of me
You hide, inside
Because misery loves company
And folly, and melancholy.
Like twisted branches of Christmas holly
You feel misinformed
So you watch and wait
Because you gave up on praying
And think of it now as
Quaint little sayings
That keep you feeling safe
Or safer.
Maybe saner.
But you disdain it.
So you hide. Inside.
Your mind.
Where you are judge, jury and jailer
Living in
The safety net of your own failure


I like medical shows. You know, those actual reality shows where people walk in from the street with a nose that won’t stop bleeding or are driven in after a stabbing. Of course sometimes it’s something benign like babies with runny noses and sprained ankles.

That extends to drama as well, so long as the ailments and corresponding diagnoses are actually plausible. I adored House. ER had its moments.

My all time fabourite medical show was called Mystery Diagnosis. It’s a show about, you guessed it, mysterious illnesses which were hard to diagnosis. It’s real people talking about real problems and their bizarre journey towards finding out what was wrong with them.

The reason I love these shows is because I like to see how quickly I can guess their illness. It’s like my own personal game show.

I have a sick fascination with this. But, I’m actually, oddly, good at it. In fact, I think I could play a doctor on television quite convincingly–so long as you didn’t ask me to actually explain anything. Or math. God I hate mathy things. So nothing involving dosages. But, that’s kind of irrelevant.

The problem with these shows is that I can’t turn it off. I get into diagnosis frenzy. I start diagnosing myself, my friends, my family, strangers who walk by.

“I think that guy has had his liver checked. He looks jaundiced. He needs dandelion tea and plenty of sunlight.”

That was actually on a Dr. Quinn episode once and I was so excited that they got it accurate! Dr. Mike gave the patient dandelion tea and within a few days she was responding as to be expected.

And then I get sucked into Google for hours learning about things like Legionnaires disease–which by the way was first discovered in 1976 at a Legionnaires’ Convention. Like 35 people five or so died before they found out where is was stemming from.


Also, there is (apparently, lol) this parasite that some people believe was developed by the government as some sort of anti-terrorist form of terrorism, though some think it was just a freakish evolution–but it has like these threads that shoot out of your skin. Fine little hairs; all different colors. And a lot of people were being labeled as crazy hypochondriacs for inventing this problem but finally a few doctors took it seriously and realized that it wasn’t just a parasite but somehow combined with fungus and a virus and was able to spawn in a very odd manner. (Or some wackadoodle idea of like.)

And some say the only way to get rid of it is by torching it. Others, by bringing it to a temper of 180 degrees or higher for at least 120 minutes. But, some swear that it’s also killed, or perhaps repelled by, Bounce dryer sheets. Though I can’t for the life of me figure out why they can’t hone in on exactly what chemical or compound causes it so they can replicate and administer in a more effective way than simply rubbing everything with dryer sheets.

Other people, of course, say they are just bedbugs.

Or that it’s a case of Münchausen Syndrome.

I have no opinion. I don’t know what it is exactly. Probably just a bunch of crazies with some inexplicable symptoms which they are far overreaching to try and explain. But, I was still obsessed with reading about it for weeks. Then I discovered videos of people showing off their weird symptoms which eventually turned into watching old episodes of World’s Dumbest Criminals and the videos about the lack of safety in amusement parks around he world. Look it up! It was just a few years ago that this girl’s legs were completely severed by a wire from a ride that snapped. Terrifying!

Oh my God, Intervention! And My Addiction on TLC. Oh, oh! And Freaky Eaters. There was a lady who ate her dead husband’s ashes so she could feel closer to him. Now that’s what I call some freaky eating!

I like seeing the odd connections between things. Like, did you know there is a direct correlation between a woman’s chin and her cervix? Yeah, if you’re a doula you probably did know that. But, most of you aren’t. And it’s a trick that comes in very handy when you need it!

There was this one special that used to come on PBS when I was a teenager where they go through all this art, worldwide, from centuries ago until the present and find all of the hidden references to aliens and spaceships. What the fuck!? Who ever thought of that? It used to scare the shit it of me for some reason so I kept all the lights on.

Then I discovered the one about the Egyptian tombs and pyramids and how they were built. (Don’t ask me. That had way too much mathiness.) but how the bodies were preserved was just so freaking cool! How did they know so very much back then?

Once I was watching this ER show on television in the middle of the night while my husband was at work. God this must have been like 15 years ago. Anyhow I was just sitting there and this guy on the television had been in a bad accident. He was conscious and alert but he had basically been scalped, but it was still attached to his head in the back. It was a lot of blood but I was cool. Then the doctor examines him by pulling back the scalp flap and it was just skull and blood and it was so cool! But then I fainted. I freaking passed out on my own couch. Alone. Like an idiot. Which really taught me the valuable lesson of never going into the OR with any of my clients unless I had stable blood sugar. Trust me, it makes all the difference! (I haven’t passed out once!)

The way our bodies and brains work every day is completely amazing. And we don’t often consider that until they start to fail us. Until we’re angry that they aren’t working the way we want them to. That they are aging before we feel ready. And they hold weight in all the wrong places. We have a big butt or our hair is too frizzy. Our ankles swell in the heat and we have a trick knee. Our memory isn’t what it used to be. We battle with our own mind like it is holding us hostage against our will. And often we feel like it is.

We complain so much over our bodies. Thinking of them as a burden and not a gift. As a curse more than a vessel providing our souls an opportunity to interact with other souls. We see only the bad about our bodies, our lives, and how very frustrated we are with our limitations.

Why do we do that? Why are we so entitled from the very moment we arrive on this planet?

It’s a very curious thing. And even as I sit here and see the complete wrongness of taking this life for granted I am still powerless to it. And I will continue to do so with this fool-hearted belief that I, somehow, will never have to face being separated from this body one day.

We just do that. I don’t know why. It makes no sense to me. But, that’s what we do.


How I bake this dairy
Unstacked, unboxed, unwrapped.
How I use my fleishig pan
Kosher, pure, dipped.
How I fire up the oven
Scorched, kashered, holy.
How I watch it bubble
Baking, treifing, erasing.
How I eat impurely
Hungrily, defiantly, angrily
How I say goodbye.