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…you’ve got to come to peace with the fact there are those who won’t understand, in order to find that there are those who do…



4 of 30


Sometimes I hear my former lover

in the words that tumble from me by habit

— the way things ended

when they finally ended

everything was ugly—


still sometimes I pattern—

average phrases plucked from one

whose beating heart once was mine

-isms I adopted back when—


a linger of guilt



little lines—moments—carried

transplanted to new incarnation

ghost imprints on a pad of notebook paper, words

like grocery lists, to do lists, doodles—

carried over from a page torn away

invisible carbon whisper


his voice echoes after

and my mind wonders

on these habits

was this me

was this us


and it feels like cheating

it feels just like a secret in broad daylight


and I can’t decide

to let it go


or if it’s even wrong


- C.R. Cohen



3 of 30
I fear I’m losing words
Slipping out the back of my head
 like air let out of a balloon
I’m scared I’m losing focus
As I say this, I am reminded
 that I am the focus
My fingers close around this in a fist
The words in my hand seek a home
They are transient beings 
Page to voice to ear to soul
A flitting, flirting wayward force
Ever full of motion
My fear is losing me
Slipping out the back
 as if the air out a balloon
Escaping. I. Into new landscapes
 of words and journeys
The Safety and Happiness
They’ve never been my home
New words enter me
Roll up my body from toe to crown of head
Filling with warmth
I close my eyes and ohm
This is peace
This is being
This is okay
I breathe my soul back into me
Like air into a balloon
Journey and focus and words on a page
A ritual renewal
Discovering meaning and mystery
 through pen scratching and ink blots
What do you see?
What do you see?
It’s different for everyone
It’s different each time
That’s why they call it art


- CR Cohen


To My Younger Self

2 of 30


Stop wishing too hard for the future to arrive.

Time will go by faster than you like.

Slow down. Take a breath. Enjoy life and celebrate it.

You will meet a boy who will convince you not to.

You will agree with him.

You will hold more value in what is to be than in what is.



Keep your friends.

Ambition will blindly lead you to abandon them.

This will bring you to the loneliest time of your life.

Two will become one and you will never forget the feeling

 of lying in bed alone, with the one who took it all away haunting the next room,

 transgressions too large to lie beside you.

You will not know his secrets till sometime after your wedding day.


You will get married.

Your mother will cry because she’s just so happy

 that you dodged such a bullet.

You left the boy who gave you darkness.


Marriage is not a business contract.


The boy who reminds you of this gives you a ring.

You still hold that phone conversation one morning on the kitchen floor

 as the most important one.

You still say that boy saved your life.

You regret nothing of how you left.


Beyond that phone call, that night in the bar in Michigan stands second.

The moment you realized you couldn’t remember the last time you had laughed.

You didn’t even know you were unhappy.


Hold on to happiness.


You will learn it only takes one to wipe it away.

Minute erosion is imperceptible.

Therein lies the danger.


Never let anyone be your danger.

Learn the lesson once.

You get a free pass for everything once.

After that, it’s on you.


You will be tested.

Be ice cold when you need to be,

 but be willing to thaw when it no longer serves you.

You will understand this when the time comes.

Self-preservation can blur into self-deception.

Don’t let it.


Help others.

But only so long as they are willing to help themselves.

Accept that some would rather go down.

Don’t waste your time polishing the brass on their decks.

Water seeks its own level.

Seek yours. Consciously.


Know that your story has a happy ending

 and that “what doesn’t kill you…”

Use that phrase to be your strength.

Then let it go. Move on.

Know that you don’t need to suffer.

Know you are stronger.

The rest no longer serves you.

This makes you calm.


You will find yourself in this new place

 and even this will scare you.

Take the time you need to settle into it.

Soon enough it will be you.

And it is good.




- CR Cohen



1 of 30


I feel just like a kid again

Breezy and carefree

Time lends itself to me again

Spokes and sunshine

Wheels and wind

And all the world to see


- CR Cohen



My house is lined with shelves and shelves

Of books I haven’t read

Reminding me of time gone by

The tick tock in my head

The sun shines on a sandy beach

Or dirty cobbled streets

Cobwebbed skull of fantasies

And lovers I won’t meet

But every night I rest my head

On pillows next to yours

And every day I wake up knowing

Who this life is for


- C.R. Cohen


NaPoWriMo 30 of 30