There’s no catch, it just works out.
And he adores her the way you adore a crush you barely know
Scribbled names in notebooks, glances, glimpses,
Watching through open windows,
Delighted, intrigued, when there’s mystery
And you don’t already know
How great it isn’t
Bouts of cold days directly after summertime
Warmth, no warning, immersion,
Swallowing, smothering, choking
How do you know
That this is it and this is as good as it gets
When I know what it’s like to be alive
I’ve felt it before
It’s there, it’s achievable, it’s possible
To relax the neurons, snap back the synapses
And smile with open mouths and white teeth
And see color that’s not there
And exaggerate events until it’s an experience
You’ll archive and access
On bleak days like today.
There is no prison for innocent people.
Death like a leaky pipe creeps virally across the autumn/winter cusp,
An eerie reminder of the fragility of every entity,
From man-made waterworks
To the more natural essence of life,
Anything can crumble and dissipate.
Worldly toxins inject into culture as a stimulant of the mind,
a recreational way to pass the time.
Stricken are we
Once hooked by the deepest sinking lines.
Sunken are we, too bored to get by,
Too miserably discontent to just accept the
Bevy of opportunities we’ve been gifted .
Too misguided and pretentious to merely grab
Hold of the helping hand we’ve been born with
Like a comic book balloon hovering above us since infancy.
A gracious, glowing hand ready to pull us from detentions
to air-conditioned educational facilities
to tampering in your mother’s medicine cabinets.
Why do we reject the helping hand?
Attached to parent, teacher, neighbor, no!
No hand is is skilled enough to answer the question
How am I going to entertain myself tonight?
As if the plethora of media can’t pleasure the mind too screenshook,
They turn to the never passe intoxicants to pass the time.
I will not lecture you as your ears are ringing with phantom noises
I only ask that while you breathe you do something worthy of
Engraving on your epitaph.
I’m going to help heroin addicts, she said
And then she railed a line of coke off the kitchen counter
I wanted to believe that maybe she was genuine and she really would help people and it wasn’t one of those situations where you fixate on someone else’s problem to cover up your own
No, maybe she would help. Write articles, educate, volunteer, tumble into obscurity, like the rest of the bad things that we shelve in the back of our brains
A shadowy confessional
Keeping the dark thoughts contained
But acknowledging they’re there and they’re bad and they’re not buried deeply, shallow, digging in, taking root, breaking down
I didn’t do it
I had to do it
I don’t remember doing it
That’s what evil people tell themselves when they want to do evil things.
She lives off diamonds and gasoline
Feeding on what she has to
Curated with the precision of a gallery
Exhibiting the best angles
This is how I want you to see me
I will pose. I will showcase. I will illustrate
This wonderland where you think I live
With my rabbit and my blue dress
And my many friends and my many elegant engagements
And you’ll believe
I’m always this put together
And it takes no energy at all
To persuade you that I”m perfect
And I didn’t do it
And you won’t notice my ways
When I’m alone in front of the mirror
And she’s looking back at me
She lied to us
And it’s just old stories in a new outfit
And her eyes are not window
And her soul is long gone
This is who she is
Dim light shining through frosted glass
I”m not afraid of falling
I’m afraid of wanting to jump
There’s just us or there’s nothing else
None of this trouble, revolving revolutions, locked boxes, lowest force possible,
Do you really believe all this?
Can you form an opinion about everything?
Or is it all just glittering distraction from the inevitable demise?
We all collapse
Into brittle bones, melted brains,
Tears all around
Is your throat sore?
Are your knees buckling?
Pounding the pavement, iPhone camera in hand, the likes this hashtag will get, you’re instantly famous
Was that the goal? What’s the goal?
I still get excited for sushi dates and mild entertainment.
What excites you is the novel and the new
It’s not a protest
It’s an uprising
I thought I saw riot gear
These things always begin with violence
The gentleman on the outside
Holding the door open, paying for the drugs, that one time with the flower petals and in the bath, like you could rinse my soul with working man hands
Like you understood what was wrong
Could decode my behavior, assign the blame, repair, the holy carpenter
I thought you were everything, you got me close then you went far, cold distance, metered miles, deaf shrugs and long pauses, and breathing on the phone, banging on the door, when I finally said it and it set in, you put me in peril all along,
I didn’t need to be rescued
But you wanted to save someone
You let me get used
And I still get hot but nothing about you is warm and the hair becomes fur fists clenched into hooves swinging tail bloody horns
I saw the monster from the inside
You’re not like me
And that’s fair
You don’t feel this in your chest, on your skin, in the corner with your back up against the wall
And everyone just keeps going, autonomously, like it helps
Like it quells the burning pit in my stomach, pulsating, generating the reminder that
I’m really here
And I really can’t stop it
We all pretend like it’s not there,
With countdowns and fleeting legacies
And I wanted you to change that
And not ask me what I did
Why I did it
Or how I come up with these dark questions
Pushing my limits
Blending my consciousness
A slow drip
Until I forget all about it and set my clock and paint my nails
And get in line
Like the order soothes me
Sequential serenity, scrolling ticker tape
I dreamt you were there
Or were you?
I get on, still, without you
You don’t scare me, she said
And the deadness in her eyes confirmed the bold statement and he realized she wasn’t trying to sound tough
Or puff up her chest like a hollow bird trying to look bigger
To mate or fight or whatever it is that compels us to inflate ourselves physically, literally, verbally mentally
Like this string of well-researched vocabulary will impair your ability to retort, to one up, like it’s just one by one
Squeaking by, up this empty race, this winless competition
We somehow still try to win
And when she said she was not scared
Of him, he felt his chest swell, his face get hot, his throat choke his words escape
But he couldn’t say he wasn’t scared of her either
You’ve read my secret words the ones sewn into my skin, inked closed to the heart, under dimmed light, in between day and night
I read yours too and I want to keep reading them up and down
Across your chest
Around your arms
All of the secret words you can’t speak, only show, only press into me, sentence to sentence, skin to skin, your stroy passed into me
I want to read all of your pages
Chapter to chapter, cover to cover, the way one act becomes another, the way two souls consume each other
Alone now, I ache to turn the page
To see what happens next
As they say in Washington DC, “No comment.”
Worse than any comment, the silence you’ve created between us like a wall-maintained PR boundary
You shut me out when you want to but when their backs are turned there you are
In a single message, a sign, a signal, a flash of you I saw or did I?
In the distance, driving, turned to the side, walking away
I can orchestrate this reality where you’re non existent and there’s no map and I can’t even track you down
Even if I wanted to
But the number’s stuck in my head
And your name
That only I say, I’ll never hear it again because I’ll never have you to call it and I’ll scramble the letters and scatter the ashes and put on the blinders and look forward down the tunnel, around the corner, you were going too fast
You should have slowed down