Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Silent Scream

There is no sunrise,
only rotation.
There is no sadness,
at least not that I can mention.
There is only silence,
a scream inside
I can never let out
like the painting -
frozen in color and pain.
I am orange, yellow, red -
flames curved around
an alien face
you can't see is me.
I open my mouth
and push out only air.

Yet I keep screaming.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Storm Surge

It came in waves
at first.

I'd duck under
or climb over,
tire myself out
with every effort.

Then, another hot slap
from the Atlantic
took me down,
sucked me in
until up
and the ground
weren't any different.

The air slipped
away
one bubble here,
twenty there.

My lungs burned
with the hunger
and pain
of wanting more.

I always want
more
when there's nothing
left.

No breath, no happiness,
it's all gone -
a sunken beach house
smashed to memories
by the storm;
an entire branch
of family
broken off
at the seams.

I am lost
because no one
sees me
disappear.

I scream
in the distance,
hands flailing,
body frantic,
but you
are never listening.

After three tries
I fail;
the water
recedes,
taking me
with it.




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Our Past Has No Future

Blue eyes
Red lips
You always go
for the same thing.

Twenty years back
we knew it all,
but we were still babies
learning to crawl.

Life went on
until the bottom dropped out.
You showed up just in time
to drag me farther down.

I fell apart
and you let me fall;
you enjoyed the show -
it's your fatal flaw.

But time pushed us forward
and away from you I flew.
I was suffocating here
and underneath you.

I slipped away
and out of your life,
down the road
and across the miles.

Then I see you -
a stranger staring back at me -
smiling in familiar poses
with someone who's not me.

But something has changed;
you look different.
Your smile is wide and bright,
and there's no hint of diffidence.

You finally look happy,
which makes me happy too;
and I am finally free
from whatever I was to you.

We are a past without a present
or future to speak of,
but we have had our time
and it was more than enough.




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Life In Color

You paint me
in black and grey,
then ask me
where the color
has gone?
Where is the yellow
in the blond
of my hair;
where is the blue
of my eyes
you imagined
when looking
at the ocean?
I cannot say.
The palette
was never mine
to choose the paint.
I live somewhere
between the light
and dark
of your mind
and heart,
a place color
cannot go
because you
never chose
to live outside
the shadows.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Perspective

I dreamt I died
and you didn't care;
it was just more drama
you didn't need.

It was just a dream
but it was also true.
It wasn't real
but it was still
me and you.

Why can't I
be drama-free
the way I am -
man-free, child-free,
success-free?

This is what you see
and think
and believe
right?

But this is not who I really am.

I don't fit the image
you've worked hard
to create.
I don't understand
how full your plate
stays
or how to save
and plan
and wait
for life to work
the way you need
it to.

I'm not in tune
with your needs,
your goals,
your pain,
your hopes.

They aren't mine;
they are yours
which is fine
until it's not.

I don't know you
the way you pretend
to know me.
I don't say words
out loud I can't unspeak.
I don't use my mouth
to shove your face
to the ground
when you're already
on your knees.

I don't turn your good deeds
into crimes
to justify my inadequacies
or anonymity.

I show up.
I stand up.
I shut up.
I shut down.
I take the blame.
I swallow the pain.

And I believe
if I was gone
a part of you
would feel relief.







Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I Let You In, You Let Me Down

I spoke the words
out loud,
giving this pain
a name
so you would know
it's real. 

I let the truth
spill out of my mouth, 
revealing all
like word vomit,
hoping you
could understand
what I've been through. 

But you didn't.
You don't. 

And I haven't spoken
to you since. 

What's the point
if you don't listen?

I know my demons
by name now -
I guess 
thanks to you -
but you don't need 
to meet them
or know them too,
especially
if you're not around
to help me fight them.

This pain isn't fleeting,
it isn't going away. 
It's another battle
in a war I fight 
every time I wake up, 
but it's mine. 

It isn't something
you can fix
or prevent
or take away.

You used to ask me
to be more open,
to tell you things
you didn't know. 

Now that I have, 
I wish I never did.

Maybe then
I wouldn't be
so disappointed
in all the ways
I've let you in
only to be 
left alone.

The Eye of the Hurricane

I once stood
in the eye
of a hurricane. 

I was nine. 
Or ten.

I remember
the silence
and the stars
and the way
the storm
seemed angrier
when the second
half came round. 

It was like I stole
something from it - 
coming out
and looking right at it
so boldly in the face
and I've never done it again. 

Some Days

Some days
I can't sleep.
A hurricane
bubbles up
inside me,
and my thoughts
swirl and churn
until they
are spun dry.
It's a spin cycle
that won't quit
no matter how
hard I try.

Some days
I can't get
enough sleep.
My bed sucks me in
like a Serta Sleeper vacuum.
I'm alone
and free
to sleep sideways
if I want -
and sometimes I do.

And then there are days
where thirty-eight
is too old,
my life is too young
to be this empty,
my heart is too melacholy
to thump one more time.

But it does.
And then it does it again.
Beat, beat, beat
against every word
or feeling
that tells it not to.

And then it does it again.

I Felt Myself Sinking

I felt myself sinking,
toes first
into the pluff mud
of my life,
slipping away
one piece
at a time.

The darkness rose
like an island,
pulling more of me
further down
and before I knew it
or could say a word,
I had already drowned.

It was that quick -
the silence -
and you were nowhere
in sight.
I guess if you looked
from a distance
I always looked fine.

Or maybe
you just never looked.

My Hometown

You are filled with history
and controversy,
ghost stories 
and monuments
of a time long gone. 

But you will not let go. 

You hold the past
with an iron fist
dug into the ground, 
anchoring us
to a sinking ship
no matter how hard
we try to swim, 
we know what's going down.

We struggle
against hurricanes
and heartache, 
rebel flags
and white rage,
sins of the past
and present mistakes. 

It just never ends. 

I escaped. 
I moved away. 

I found somewhere
I could breathe again,
where the humidity
didn't win
every time 
I walked out the door, 
where memories
didn't surface
every time
or any place I drove.  

Then I came home. 

And the only change
I see
is me. 

Strangers

I wanted more,
I wanted to be yours;
but you said you weren't ready -
it was all just too much.

Years changed us
but not how I felt.
Then you said the words
I'd waited for since we met -

And I was still not enough.

Somehow we made it through
and something honest began,
but it was like trying
to hold onto smoke.

You disappear
and reappear
like a bad magic trick.
I don't know about your life,
you don't know about mine.
We know nothing
because we don't ask
or talk or try.

Maybe
we were never really friends,
just two people
walking in the same direction,
occasionally making conversation.

Maybe
we were
but that was then,
and now -

I don't know you at all.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Heart Is A Barrier Island

My heart is a barrier island
with bridges and inlets
keeping the world at bay. 

It's untarnished by hate,
wild with the overgrowth
of unchartered love. 

The ocean beats
against my shores,
beckoning for explorers
to come. 

No one does. 

I pull the bridges up
and withdraw
into the brambling forest
of loneliness. 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Like Old Clothes

You tried me on
to see if I'd fit -
my intellect
and your wit
could make it
work right?

But that isn't it -
there's more skin
and sinew -
too much for you
and the wrong color
too
I imagine.

You tried me on
once before
to see how I'd feel
but you took me off
in an instant -
something wasn't right
but you didn't know what.

We were friends
and then nothing.
You just put me back
in the closet
and left me hanging
until you were ready
to try again.

Two times you tried,
just enough
to be sure...
but it's not you -
it's me -
so you traded
me in for someone new.

Who?

Discarded, unfit...

It's time
to quit
wondering
if I'll ever find
someone to keep me.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chris Cornell

Your mind was a garden
of rhythm and words,
sung out in four octaves,
touching the wounded souls
in this world with gentle hands.

Your mouth was a white flag,
begging for forgiveness
and peace,
whispering prayers
to anyone who'd listen.

We learned your words,
we sang along,
but we never listened.

No one does.

The darkness swallowed
you up like a black hole
and we all stand shocked
in the sunlight of today,
wondering what went wrong?

You had everything, didn't you?
What shadows followed you
besides your own?

We'll never know.

Your life ended
before we could find
the right questions.

Say hi to heaven for us.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Time

It's been 2,975 days
since I saw you take
your last breath.

I struggle to catch mine
each time
I think of you
as my eyes blur and burn
with sadness.

We had so much still to do -
together,
separately -
but life goes on
without us
and our plans.

Everywhere I look
there is a memory
of where you once were,
where you stood,
something you said,
your smile, your hurt.

An ache builds in me,
pain screaming out
just to have you back again.

But no one is listening.

My voice is silence
in their ears -
much like it was
to you most of my life.

I fold into myself,
into this void
created when you left.

I cannot catch my breath,
I cannot imagine a life
without you
no matter how hard I try.

2,975 days becomes 2,976
and then 2,977...

We all just keep going
like the second hand of a clock
who does not realize
the minute hand
stopped
8 years, 1 month, and 22 days
ago.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sentence Prison

It wasn't the night we met
that ruined me.
It was three -
no four - years later
when you labeled me
the dream girl
you always wanted -
- a dream of a girl
in a world
I could never fit in
or belong
or could be.

I heard what I wanted,
but you said the words -
I just ignored the grammar
and the order.

It was all there -
for a single moment -
the life I'd imagined we'd share
breathed into existence
by words
that have caged me ever since.

I was never enough
except for one night
in a Burger King
where you said everything
I wanted to hear;
where truth I knew
and you still don't
dropped from your lips
like atom bombs filled
with glitter and dust
instead of napalm and indifference.

I can't remember now
what you said
or how it stopped my heart
the way it did.
They were just syllables
and punctuation -
nothing more, nothing less.

Words strung together
like old Christmas lights
you hope will set the tree
aglow
and not on fire.

Words I have made my prison,
locked myself in
and thrown away the key.

I'm still sitting
in that booth,
listening,
though it's been years
since you left.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Betrayal

You wrote me letters
and signed them with love.
You sent presents and money
like your words weren't enough.

You always offered to help,
no strings attached.
I blindly accepted,
falling right into your trap.

I loved you like no other,
and defended you to the end,
but your letters stopped coming
and I was left alone again.

You think money is the answer,
that it'll buy everything you need,
except at the end of the day
only your love could buy me.

So what did your words mean
now that you've disappeared?
What about your promises
that you'd always be here?

There is no defense
that could mend my broken heart.
You were nothing
but a liar right from the start.