i’m told to pray for courage, wisdom, though
i haven’t felt serene – in fact, that missed
me quite completely, lost the hour my lips
first caressed a bottle. i feel van gogh
swallowed yellow paint the way i swallow
liquor; the desperate droplets scrape and slip
against my throat – attempting to eclipse
and drown my aching, empty patch of woe
and oh! i fear without my 80-proof blood
the words won’t flow as beautifully from my tongue
as once they did, when vodka made me numb
so i will let it pour like a fucking flood
‘til every stinging sip engulfs my heart.
isn’t it lovely to suffer for art?
i told you i could hide away from love,
a lonely skill acquired through lonely years
spent building walls no one could climb above –
a shield of apprehensions, doubts and fears.
i told you simply, brushing past the pain,
as if existing separate from my life,
was easy, and I didn’t have to feign
a smile when every moment felt like knives.
i told you i would run if i feared loss,
like every time i’d doubted in the past.
your fingers brushed my skin, your pity crossed
your eyes. your lips were soft and when you asked
when i would stop, how much i’d have to lose,
i laughed your name – half-teasing at the truth.
your skin: warm honey and milk, cloves and wood smoke –
you’re like home against my tongue. oh, you kissed a
small, brief, memory of your love into my
flesh, at the places
where my shoulder hollows into my throat. my
name escapes and slips from between your lips, and
drips like nectar until my ears are bursting,
brimming with your voice.
blood lined his eyes that were staring but not seeing
the spot etched where his body rested
bruised and yellowed and purple and flesh and
hands that were once shaking under the table at every family meal
i wanted to grab them and
scream at him-
the worst is to think
he was once a baby, a toddler
his choices now make him no less.
another body consumed by the struggle within.
what do you do when lives need more
more than tears?
more than love?
So the veiled mourner’s now widowed by death whilst
Blaring her sadness like a fog horn signal
Dampening the glow from the lanterned steeple
Ashes strewn crosswise
And a mockingbird sits on her cypress branch
Sounds of lust and taunting of prey about her
Oh how mimicking the love birds’ flirting screech
Pierces the quiet
I saw a man walk down the street alone
And he was doing fine, though I could see
The color of his shirt he’d well outgrown
Turning yellow. Could it have been for free,
My brain wonders, wanders more into his life?
Don’t know why I let these thoughts consume me
Or give these unnamed people so much strife
With stories I create inside my head:
I wonder does he have some kids, a wife
And did she leave him even though they’d wed?
Maybe she couldn’t stand the house ashtray
Or how it was placed right beside the bed.
He sleeps in cotton sheets, now stale and gray
I don’t know the truth, it’s better that way.
Although we’ve never met on Earth before,
I’d like to still be clinging on the thread –
that someday Mom will learn to not ignore –
the ring of light that gleams above your head.
I’d like to catch some laughs from down the hall,
where waves of shadows dance unevenly,
but ashes, yours, litter the window-sill.
and all I hear is Grandma singing tenderly.
I know we’ve never met on Earth before,
but Mom had always wished I’d play the part.
So how do people learn to fake-ignore
the numbness of their heart? I yearn to hurt.
I’m taught to miss the boy I’ll never meet,
but I was born with feelings incomplete.