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none

is my presence convenient enough for you –
something to acknowledge when it suits your fancy?

shallow shells of friendship;
I am chronically misunderstood. 

how much can a man take before he succumbs to the weight of distrust?

everything has to die. 
every friendship must wither. 

it is uniquely human to believe there is still hope—
or uniquely human to know there is none.

space

when I met you I was scared to fall in love
butterflies grew claws and scratched up my insides
no coincidence that eyes dilate for both fear and longing
my heart learns you
molds only to your hands
your hands know me
know only my throat
windpipe beckoned to bone
and bones to dust
our first date was on backs looking up at stars
that familiar shimmer reminds me that you placed those flickers in the air
then you created space to keep the stars from ever seeing the sun
now space has filled my veins
and the moon lies behind my tongue
my breaths become reflections
my blood seeps into puddles beneath my feet
and I remember that these stars are not yours
I’ve thought my feelings into fog
filled my lungs with smog
there is no turning back from this place I have escaped into
who I have become loves who I am more than she ever did

wanderer

I have changed my identity 1000 times
hidden pieces of myself in places you can never occupy
places you don’t even know exist
I’m a wanderer
attachment is not a concept I give into easily
or frequently
the space between my bones and my skin has become a safe one
curling up next to the shivering frame of my body in the nighttime
and when it’s only dark within my chest
my heart quivers in sunlight like a vampire
or a broken girl
he asked me why I struggled against him
I said because you can’t know me too well
then I moved across state lines because they knew me too well
solemn solitude has become my sole accomplice
walking lonely trails at dusk
praying I get lost in the vastness of the lonely
pulling myself away from connectedness
and grimly lit silhouettes of intimacy
I clawed myself out of the depths of hell
but when I reached for a hand to hold onto
I could only find mine

grandmother

her memories drifted to sleep younger than she
but her thoughts sang chords
she lies in bed with back down and music up
unable to recognize faces
she sings me a song
a chorus
an ode to her lifestory
she will never remember the days spent sipping coffee with the spice of Cajun stories on her tongue
but she knows every word to please come to boston
synapses become lyrics
and lyrics are love in its simplest form

unbeknownst

I dance the line between real and whimsical
darling, you are the force-field that keeps me grounded
bends and warps, but always catches me
noose me to the hip of ambition, and set me free
let it pull and tug
and move me to greatness
I want to do this life with you
I want life
if only you knew how rare an utterance such as this was before you
my soul lied in wait for the god that never was and never will be,
but you are my first sip of water after a 500 mile walk though a desert through which none have treaded
the only breath that never escaped me
the only future that will not phase me
I thank the stars for every beautiful and broken thing that led me to your arms
my pious curses have been silenced
my screams have been bottled with a message to sender and thrown into an ocean too deep for us to comprehend
I have learned to love the winds and curves of the sidewalk
I have learned to love
our scars melt together beneath sheets I never thought I’d touch,
under a moon whose rays I never though I’d feel
you brought me back from a place unbeknownst,
and unbeknownst to me, you saved me

porch swing

innocence rests in your eyes
I see my grandpa sitting on that porch swing
with a cup of coffee and a cigarette
smoke puffs like clouds above my head
a miniature universe and he is god
he tells me tales of time gone by
about flying kites and falling in love
he says that hope is like a bubble
mirroring the passion in the sky
he says it reminds him of my life
how I never quite touch the sunshine
but I also see my grandmother
standing by the kitchen counter
making peanut butter cookies
and telling me about growing up hard
she said her daddy never loved her
he never told her she was beautiful
he drank his life away
and she hated him until the day he died
and that hatred has eaten her alive, she says
I hear my mother
crying all alone in the bathroom the day her father died
I hear her whimpers pierce the hallway
through her fake smiles
barely reaching my ears before I fall asleep to dream
of my father’s hands
working hard but hating life
struggling just to put me through school
and give me the life he drank away when he was younger
I see a man
who can’t quite mutter the words “I love you”
a man
who was never told how beautiful his insides were
a man
who is struggling just to be accepted
the innocent blueness of your eyes is captivating
but it kills me more than you know
because I see a childhood
that never manifested
and a man with festering wounds in his heart
I see a soul ripping at the seams
but he seems okay
and you act alright
but I know that you are praying to a god you don’t believe in
and hoping in a light you’ve never seen
a light you never hope to see
like my grandfather
sitting on that swing
talking about the good ole days
the ones he can’t get back

dreaming of being a star

Your lips move like a stuttering soliloquy
reciting rehearsed lines from the prose of your mind
but the subtext of your heart proves you a liar
your curvaceous silhouette conceals your sly hesitance
but the contours of your heart bulge through the scars in your skin
not cuts, but scars
cuts are endodermal but these scars are endocardial
they are cardinal; like the color of your blood
as it frees itself from the prison of your wrists
shackled hate unfettered from arteries 
arteries so clogged that mere breath is stolen from you
lungs filled with regret
plagued from the infection of past deeds
cloistered by apprehension and blundered trust
you are recluse
shamed by reckless love and blackmailed happiness
trust; born of a virgin 
too naive to discern and
your bones were made of glass, stained glass
stained blue by despair
and shattered by cutting bitterness from broken promises
the cons in their speech led to knives in your back: conniving
your pride lies 
lies murdered in the streets of abusive relationships
you’re abandoning ship
but smooth seas never made a skilled sailor
so you take a ship called emotion and sail her
sail her farther west than sins were cast
joy castrated from your heart
a weary soul casts a shadow of impotence on unsuspecting travelers
but you travel alone
bearing the burden of darkness entirely
willing to trade intimacy for a quiet conscience
and passion for sane thoughts
you travel alone
a lone wanderer
or maybe a soul wanderer 
they say “not all who wander are lost”
but you are lost
shipwrecked in a teeming town of solitude
your eyes are like Paris in the rain
dark, but still lovely
abandoned, yet hopeful
a contradiction
the antithesis of optimism
but not quite a pessimist
with ambitious dreams and lofty aspirations
self pity is a temptation
that leads to self depravation
and allusive fantasia
you’re a dreamer
with your head in the clouds
and an anchor on your ankles
the immobility is paralyzing
you linger with your head high but your spirits downcast
your sun was cast down from its conceited throne
and thus ceases the illumination of the moon
so you waltz with stars
though they burn you, they save you
though they cut you, there you find salvation
you envy the stars
they fall when they desire
shoot daydreams in beams of freckled light to a lamenting earth
and people are always thrusting dreams upon their shimmer
but as those stars grow brighter
your light fades
dimmer, dimmer, dimmer
until the only lightness about you is a free spirit
unabridged apathy
bridges the gap between body and soul
now your arms are your mind’s diary
your heart’s monologue
logging every affliction 
affectionately writing love on your arms
hoping someone might speak your language
but your silent screams fall on deaf ears and colorblind eyes
as you lie in bed at night
dreaming of being a star
you have a faint hope
a faint hope that tomorrow will be a different day

gravity

some days I wake up like God put too much gravity in my knees
and now I’m falling prostrate
and on my face is written the name of a god that I created
a god that can’t know my name
this god is a million empty bottles
and a pile of burnt grass
and a collection of brash masks
and a feeble past
and lonely ash
that will one day become my body
I’m killing myself softly
and slowly
and intimately
my feet are dancing vicariously around the idol called me
and I’ve forgotten which way is up
I climbed down from a tree
and ended up in the sky
that was the last time I trusted my own intuition
or my own sense of direction
I asked God to tie balloons around my eyes
so my face would always tilt upward
and so that every god that dust created
would fade away
and fall apart
and die in someone else’s arms