Flesh never fathomed itself

Into puzzle pieces

Until your jaw rested in the crook of my neck.

Your heartbeat

a lulled, molasses punch from your chest


my back

until my heart felt it too.

Your body temperature became my favorite climate.

I’d sacrifice all the perfect posture in the world

to model the shape of us.

Never has a being felt as blessed being landlocked

as I do with your frame around the back of me,

The breeze of your breath at the nape of my neck.

Who needs oceans when you’re in the arms of the holy land?


I don’t think that you search for me everywhere.

I’m neither that important nor omnipresent.

Rather, my memory’s residue never fully leaves

And you can’t decide what’s worse:

A jolting reminder so intense that the thing is almost ruined by how much your brain stitched my name to it,


Eroding that residue because it’s all you have left of me, and even if the sound of my name now grinds your teeth, I’m a sunrise in your memory—

Something temporary and passed who once brightened your entire terrain and warmed you into being seen.

We all reconcile with that residue,

Most allow a square or more to stay. Not because we want them back.

No, we just want to memorialize what was, acknowledge that it mattered, and maybe, the good is a reference point we can draw upon in the future.


There are 5 men in my family named Thomas on either side, including two in my immediate family.

Thomas comes from the hebrew ”Ta’om” meaning twin.

I’m a Gemini, one of five women in my family born beneath that constellation.
My name begins with the same three letters as one of my grandmothers, three great aunts, and two aunts.

Common sense calls this a bunch of coincidences.

Maybe they are,

but maybe they’re tiny winks from the universe that I belong to these people,

that this, beyond DNA,

is on purpose.


My mom’s favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso.

In it, there’s this line:

“Whatever you end up doing, love it!”

I don’t know if she realizes that she’s applied this to her whole life,

She’s loved it even when it was hard to hold on,

and now, it loves her back all the more for it.