NPM – 13 of 30

upon waking
I discovered
the cat had
knocked over
its litter box

after a day of work
where I barely
came up for air

I made my way
to the harbor
where I met
a friend who
was in from
out of town

we walked
to a restaurant
and met another

we talked a lot
caught up on
each others’ lives
the way friends
do when they
love deep and
miles don’t mean

difficult usually
a trio of friends
I’ve had my share
of heartbreak
with others
but these two
are different

maybe it’s
because we’re
older now

maybe it’s
because we
know ourselves
better now

maybe it’s
we found
each other

NPM – 11 of 30

The Reading

where I once felt at home
I now feel somewhat outside

I set myself apart physically
put up walls to keep others out
let them down a little
when I perform
not knowing if I’ve already
turned the audience off
for not being very social

I’m not a talker on the mic
I let my words express it all
I let my body sway
to my own rhythms

I quickly sit when I’m done
rarely expect anything back

tonight, I was called ‘modest’
while I’ll accept that modifier
from others, I wouldn’t use
it for myself, because who is
modest who calls herself modest

I leave before it’s over
slip out while the host
introduces the next poet
my guilt is fleeting

I’ve put in my time
and then some
it’s always in me
but I have to keep
my participation in check
to make sure
I still enjoy it