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

waiting for the feeling to return

there comes a time in every man’s life when he must decide
when he must choose his way out of choosing neither side
when he must climb down off of his white picket fence
and earnestly claw his way out of the apathetic rut that he has slowly swiveled his heels into
there will come a day when he must realize
that grace and obligation have everything to do with one another
instead of praying for the orphan and the widow, he’s been preying on them
and while he’s been trying to fit the ocean in a cup
his brother’s heart has been overflowing with the Father’s love
his heart is feeble and his mind is week
never knowing the nearness of the grace that he seeks
he has run away
and into an embrace known only to this world
his feet have been set to walking
and his heart to wandering
he drips with sweat he was never meant to bear
and carries chains he was never meant to wear
he spends restless nights awake and alone
praying to the god that never listens
he’s been screaming
he’s been shouting
he’s been crying out
he’s been searching
he’s been seeking
he’s been dying now
longing for a touch
hoping for a kiss
he says, “I prayed my life would never be like this”
and he waits
he waits
sometimes we wait too long

metaphor

every morning I wake up taking my first breath underwater and fidgeting with a blade at my wrist
whether this is metaphoric or not I still have not made up my mind about
my love is not for you
it exists only in a past time to your former self
your yesterday and your tomorrow are both darkness
the former, the latter, the now
they stand tall in the face of giants we could have never faced together
the mountains weep
the stars tremble
as love dissipates
every bird participates
I cannot yet explain this melody my heart creates
but I know this
I heard once that nothing is real but love
I know now
that nothing real is love
I wake up every morning with indentations
around my neck
I breathe in the salty ocean air that rests only behind my eyelids
I know this can never last
I know this will never be
there is no hope for people made of paper
and rings incomplete
wedding bells never sounded so silent
or streets looked so grim
I see you
you stand beneath lights that once signaled my return home
now denying your every pass at humanity
I see you
cold-blooded killer
my dreams nestled in your shoulder
like the bullets in mine
I believe my metaphor died when you did

boxes

They life is like a box of….a box of
life is just a box
we stuff everything inside and lock it all up
every thought a person can think I thought
I thought of life and death, of friends and love,
of everything under the sun,
and everything under the moon too
when I was 17, I told a lie
by the time I turned 18, I had already told 27
I’m 21 now, and I have completely lost count
I blocked out every hurtful thing ever said to me
and every hurtful thing I ever did to myself
maybe my pain would feel more real if you could touch it,
run your fingers over it,
feel the mingling of blood and sweat dance across your pupils and waltz down your face
what if I told you i cried the first time?
and the time after that
my cheek knows no lover like the back of your hand
my lips know no savior like red wine in a lonely hour
mistaking attention for love, I wrapped up every secret thing you said to me and swallowed it
it couldn’t fit inside my chest, so it dropped down into my stomach
I like to sit at the lake alone and think,
but I often find you here,
wrapped in my every dream,
every thought,
every breath
I swallow that tobacco wind, and I taste you
running hands down legs and across chest to find the knife wounds again
fingers touch scars not made by you
I wish I could crack open ribs,
pull out heart,
and touch my real scars
the ones flesh could not heal
the ones prayers did not answer
the ones that keep me up at night
insomnia is a colder lover than you ever were
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t gotten used to the bruises
they’re like constellations
mapping out every insecurity and pointing me home all at the same time
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt
I’d be lying if I said I was alright
I’m 21 now,
and I’ve already told more lies than I could ever count.