This is not a love poem.

If I were to write a love poem

I would stitch my fingertips to the constellation of stars on your back

so my fingers would never get lost in translation

I would trace the outline of your body

and draw maps better than Google,

my fingers would find every small dent,scar and bump along the way.

I would kiss you until the name of your lover was erased from your tongue

I would sing you songs about the stars and the moon

and when they collide; when our lips finally touch,

I hope to God they’ll form a world around you.

I would whisper stories about your smile
to the birds and the wind

and watch it sing back the stories for everyone else to hear.

I would argue and debate and fight

that comfort can only be found in the

depths and corner of your thudding heart.

If I were to write a love poem,

I would name it after you.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow


Little Things

I notice little things
a little too much,

I notice the smallest things about a person
a little too often

Like the birthmark at the corner of her neck
isolated and perfect,
my empty hand already writing stories about it.

I notice the jagged lines and dents on his forearm
creating valleys that I wanted to get lost in,
as he stirred his black coffee.
I memorized their rhythm
and just like a snake;
I was fixed in a trance watching his movements.

I notice things like
your off shaped tooth
or the funny scratch on your eye brow

I notice when your eyes twinkle
and when they go dim

I try not to on some days though.
But most days, I enjoy noticing things
Little things.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

Come Pick Me Up.

One night I will wake up just before the clock strikes 3 am

I will roll over and pull my blanket around me;

As I roll over I will find the warm wall your body built

between me and the edge of the bed.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

I won’t have my thoughts keeping me awake

instead the drumming of your heart

will sing me a sweet lullaby

until I drift back to sleep.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

it won’t be because the monsters under my bed

are talking loudly, but instead,

it might be because your snoring in my ear stirred me awake

or you pulled the blanket all the way to your side

or just because.

One day when I wake up at 3 am,

I won’t be searching for my phone to text you about the dream I just had

instead, I’ll wake you, or try to at least, and tell you about it.

One day.

One can hope, that One day.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow



Are you alive?

I worry that you were one of the 61 that were killed.

I worry that maybe you were on that busy street

walking by;

or just standing there, watching the world float by.

I worry that you might have been in the wrong place

at the wrong time

and that maybe, you were one of the 61 that were killed.

or one of the 79 that were killed last month

or one of the 500 killed that were killed this year.

I wish I knew if you were okay

I wish I knew if you escaped

just like you always wanted to

I wish I knew if you got out alive.


Yours truly,

Painted Shadow


Something about you.

I counted his birthmarks against the dawn of a new day;
Pointing fingers at us
And whispering through the curtain
That were thoughtfully closed as we got in that morning
Or was it late night?
I traced his birthmarks with the tip of my index fingers
Slowly and gently
His body rose and fell in a rhythmic dance
My eyes began to study these movements
Memorising it as best as I could.
I drew a map from point A to point B
And then point B to C and back again to A.
Gazing at my new discovery at the break of light
I realised I wanted to be an astronomer
I wanted to study the galaxies between your shoulder blades
And take pictures of the gentle ragged outline of your spine,
Creating craters of lust and muscle.
I kissed each birthmark.
One. Kiss.
Two. Kiss.
Three. Kiss.
He stirred awake and turned around to face me
Eyes still closed, he let out a soft murmur
And fell right back asleep.
I will have to star gaze another night.


Yours truly,
Painted Shadow

Strawberry Moon


In 24 years, I’ve probably seen you a million times.
In 24 years, my skin has reflected off your glow probably 
 half of those times
In 24 years, I’ve never seen you shine as much as you did tonight
Tonight you are iridescent.
Tonight you are all shimmer and shine
Tonight, you are hope.
You are deep howls in the forest
And you are fish swimming upstream
You are changing tides
And you are love thriving on the beach
You are promises made on pinky fingers
And you are celebrations felt in bright red cups.
I’ve heard of poets who write sonnets
and authors who write paragraphs about you
I’ve listened to them comparing you to a dozen other things
Hoping against all odds,
against all measures,
that they could justify your beauty and shine.
But they fall short, each time.

Dear moon,
The entire universe does not rotate around you.
Today, you are the universe.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

Send My Love To Your New Lover

Your skin is a mirror of last nights dirty sheets.

Your tongue; a bottle of daisy cologne.

Your clothes are stitched from twisted truths and a dark motel room.

Your eyes sparkle with 5 shades of lust.

The nape of your neck; throbs with bruised red scars

from teeth marks and lipstick that wasn’t mine.

 Your fingertips; calloused and rough spent the night carving highways on someone’s else body.

I admire how your 10 stride walk up to me

was effortless and graceful.

The least you could have done,

the least you could have done,

the least you could have done,

was to delete last night’s pictures from your phone.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow