“Killing Time,” and Other Poems

Cristopher Gonzalez

We are the undying, we are the dead

I begin with just a flash
And I’m reminded and set
The smell of northern wood
and gasoline
Your peaceful air passes through me
Our bodies shape together
As the currents stream together
In a swirl of muted colors

The relentless mornings
The way your cheeks curl into your mouth
The rumbling silence
The sound your love makes
The suspending pulses
The way your palms suit my face
The gentle vacancy
Your calm eyes enclosed in honey

These desperate hours approaching insufferable
They’re not real
Not like the hours spent willingly
Never long enough to be complete
My eyes too dry to open
My sleep too beautiful
and too connected with yours to age

We are the air around us
We are the birds and we are the grass
We are the weight below us
We are the folds, and we are the walls
We are the clocks and we are the motors
We are the lamp and we are the bed
We are the love inside our breast
We are the books
We are the smoke
We are the undying
We are the dead

I let my ribs collapse and allow my chest to cave in
And so my skull and my legs
My arms and my hips
The sun filters through the window
as the dust settles
And my heart is all that’s left
Choking on the air
and racing
Primrose sprouts from the ashes of my chest
They spread into a fusion of red and orange
and white and yellow
And then slowly burn from the inside out
to reveal a collage of violet and indigo

I turn onto my back
and see you floating above me
Your lips just touching mine
Our eyes like braids
Your dress waving
Your hair swimming
Eclipsing the abyss
And as your arms take mine
I erupt in a flash
And the black becomes negative white
My limbs stretch out
And my bones turn to sunlight

I wake to the taste of your lips
And your gentle embrace
The smell of smoke rising from the corner
The warmth escaping through the window
I dig my face into your breast
And return to sleep


In this hour of sleep and certain death
I ask for your hand again
I seek your swift and impartial breath
And for you to show me the rivers end

I bathe in the trust you so well deserve
And promise to never guarantee
After all the true meaning of words
depends on what you believe

Your eyes plead for a change of pace
And I’m inclined to feed your desires
I study the dips of your body and the lines on your face
I never want you to feel tired

I stare into the depths and the certainty out of reach
The tears of your longing dripping from my eyes
The ever grey seas and the ever dry beach
And the gentle glow from existence
And all too familiar distance between the earth and sky

At this speed I’ll surely be flung
And I’ll skid on the rubber and then finally sink
And though my heart is old and my eyes are still young
I must swallow and fill in these holes with ink

I beg you to stay with me
And to feed on the love filling the air
I can smell the adrenaline, and the ash from our tree
But now I can only ask you to remember this moment
And the truth of a moment so truly rare

Killing time

The water is still
and quiet
Not a drop out of place
Not a sound in the room
except the sound of my lungs
and the unbearable silence
I’m thirsty
Obviously not enough to get up
But enough to feel like I’m wasting my time
The weight of my eyelids getting ridiculous
The pain in my gut almost arrogant
Though not as useless as it was yesterday
Or this morning

On to the next stack
The next hole
The next drink
The next week
The next defeat
I put a few more quarters in
and bumble down the road
The water on my left
Flat and rippleless
Not a bird in sight
The beach on my right
I see a block of Styrofoam
and a wooden bench
and two boys who seem to be spread out in the
Killing time
Cooking beans and burning leaves
I get off the highway and make towards the
back country

I finish my drink and roll over
I feel the mattress creak
and the walls creak
and my bones creak
and I wonder what you’re thinking about
I turn the fan on
and listen to the hum and the current
And it soothes the pull in my forehead
The weight of my arm against my eyes
The soft blanket against my cheeks
The stale aroma in the waves
And the gentle tugging on my heart
The air is still
and quiet
And sleeping
The room is dark
and empty
And cold
I turn the fan off
and the white noise enters my ears again
I lie awake and wonder
My feet start to sweat
and my mouth gets dry
My fingers go numb
and my knees start to ache
I turn the fan on
and drop back into bed

Forgive me, I don’t know why
Maybe I just wish I could do better for you
I wish I could give you everything
I wish I knew what to do
I wish we could just disappear
If that’s what you wanted
I wish we could live forever in the valleys of old
Or the pocket of a star
I wish you’d come around more often
I wish you’d stay
Maybe you will someday
Maybe someday I’ll go with you
I wonder about the future
and wish I hadn’t
As the wind settles
my heart falls out and rolls onto the floor
I pick it up
and swallow it
I pop my eyes out of my head and swallow them
I swallow my tongue
and three shots of whiskey
I swallow my thumbs
my ears
my mind
my pride
my bellybutton
my hair
my teeth
I fall back towards my bed
Dead asleep

Sincerely yours

The lost return indeed, and still forever
Never to be lost again
Only to lose the weight and solid mass before the shrunk and ever
Depending on your point of view
We lose a certain face every so often, and always often
And terribly expendable
And coy
And dangerous
given of the hour or the day
There’s only billions
There’s only so much infinity left in our hearts
There’s only enough to make a point
So take my arms to never fold, and my legs to never fall
Throw my eyes into the abyss
But let my tongue be as it wishes, and let my ears go first
Teach them to listen

I’m not coming back
In all the hearts I’m glad we’ll share one
Until it’s your burden
And your time
Don’t let me hold you to this place
Don’t hold me to it either
Don’t let me hold myself
Or hide myself away
This isn’t form this is something new
I from below a tiny stretch but never fading
And you who seem to cross through the light
So I know and grow to be your stand, and then I feel the same as you
did once
And you can help me if you like but I’m not staying
Maybe I never was
But this field is not for leaving home
I move from this and say your name, and I feel solid
Maybe more than I ever have
So I know not to believe that what did was over
To be sleeping like our love until the flowers take our shape, and so the
rain and such as anything
And with this vision I feel nauseous
For my eyes are foolish and my thoughts are subordinate and conceited
Show me your infinity
Show me your infinite abyss
And your spite
And your lungs
Take everything I have
Take everything
Show me everything
Take me
Show me
Shake me
Save me
Me, me me me, me, me, me

I send my chest into the air and let it bounce from the heavy mountains
and forever like a mirror
I haven’t let this rhythm burn, or let my ribs be rocked in a long time
The cracks like dry weight, splitting with my song of balance
And on this earth and still not only, but for now I speak for us
We are the late
and the mistaken
And there was no other way
So can’t we face each other’s mirrors, and to long another day, but in the freedom of the way?
Or are we leading and completely useless
My friends we are the watches
And the grind
We are the line
We are the answer in its birth
And we are the simple glow
True peace is for yourself
Within yourself
Before the ultimate slip
Like an impossible dream
For those who won’t understand, hopefully, even this
Don’t hide away and let the logic in your soup consume your passion
For the burning man is only that


The unexpected like the gum of a wall of paper
or a middle ground fighting for existence
And a true pocket of chaos
Without warnings or repeal
Only flaming naivety
or unawareness of its own truth
Fresh like a wet skin
Or an ash of ember

With prominent beauty
Like kneading clay
And all the pressure of allocation
And the apprehension of designation
And the purely joyful nature of curiosity
And the sadly redundant tendencies of self awareness
Like possibility, inevitability, reality, vanity
As well as polar negativity
All harmonious and fluid
Touched and dissonant
And incongruently imperative

Regrettably underestimated, but organically current
In the sense that we’re slowly beginning to believe on our own, in our
own time of life and living, and death and dying
Newfound fossils of philosophy in our very ears, culminating
A unified whisper of an endless row of souls, and so mirrors of those souls forever emanating with vibrations, and resonations of erroneous secrets
buzzing with candidness

A plan of a beginning of a plan of the beginning
The mercurial seed of an indecisive and specific chaos
Involuntarily essent, and purposed and happy, and fearful (conceited)
of something greater (personified)
But regardlessly,
and relatively

Again I am bound to a present force unbenign to any mercy, hesitance,
or fair balance
But I can only imagine a muted field of grass or gravel
On a day of time and uncertain breath
And not to feel it all the same
Or to be feeling something completely separate, and other
But not instead
Only present
and relevant
and tangibly composite
and fluid

And my hope for its true existence is what I have now to carry on
For with its life shall come its death
And I will step on from this mud and repetition to find another mud to
And so you could argue of a blending, or a fractioning
But I argue for the chapter of another self discovery and universal concept
Until true growth has occurred
Or solace

It’s funny how only endless stepping and replication forms an
impossible circle
Happiness at the cost of unhappiness, and uncertainty
Readiness, and inexperience
Bravery in fear, and recognition of that fear
And believing what cannot be known or proven
Though lost or taken
To be, or to not

Not to be taken lightly
Certainly not heavily
Unequivocally real, and fleeting
Truly painful, and unnecessary
Charming and elegant
Bright and inexhaustible
Slow and deep
Free of choice and reason
And sanctity
Honest sanity
We are to which we’d love to know for sure
This is real
Realer than the senses and the sensed
and the truth of individualism
Harder than the crust of an ancient shell
And the wall of resting consciousness between you, and yourself
A true taste and by product of chaos
and the narcissism, or desperate need of something more

Don’t ever stop

Waning down now upon what seems to still be
Who seems to still be watching
Still twitching
Ever twisting in the light of the darkest night
And the trap of the mountains well of souls

It is upon them, but this time, I refrain
You are a vision of the truth
You are less than the truth
You who aren’t
and yet the only way of knowing

But now I know

And here I always knew
And I was always here
But you won’t let that be
Not with your willful disorder in balance and of
balancing the weight of a point of energy
greater than itself and that of itself
I don’t need your purpose
Or your idea of purpose
Of my purpose

Our time together is not lost on me
But my idea of time may be lost on you
We are the possible
And beyond that, the unoriginal
But we still fight for our place in all this
And I am so tired of fighting
We could be so much more
But there’s too many of us
And in our differences, we are too similar

We are too collected
And now we face extinction
Now we face result
Now we face loss
and homecoming
Now we face time
and infinity
But I don’t need this infinity
I don’t need time
I don’t need homecoming, or loss
Or result, or extinction
I don’t need to fight in this war
I don’t want to fight in this war
I am tired of war
I am tired of fighting
I am sold and empty
And pruned and dried
And dry and lonely
And lonely and waning
And waning and empty

I am here
I see you there
I am the sun
You could be the rain
We could be the flavor of a new earth
We could be the breath of a new life
A new life

We could be the beginning
And therefore the end
We could be the last
And therefore the lost
Just don’t ever let me fool you
Don’t ever let me leave
Don’t ever stop wanting me to stay
Don’t ever stop loving
Don’t ever stop chasing
Don’t ever stop waiting
Don’t ever stop planning
Don’t ever stop wishing
Don’t ever stop crying
Don’t ever stop searching
Don’t ever stop wondering
Don’t ever stop wanting more
Don’t let this kind of pain be yours
I wouldn’t let you
I couldn’t

Cristopher Gonzalez is a second-semester Berklee student.
Featured Artwork: John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA [CC BY 2.0]