dust swirls down from
canvas hanging like laundry out to
vertically they plummet
crush me beneath their majesty
but I focus on the shimmer
dust creates dreams
beneath the pools of warm light
olive greens and
romantic shades of pink
and I wait.
drowning in fabric and cheap
paint and heat and
the audience is silent and I am
only two eyes peering
out from behind the careful rubble
works of art
and she sings.
she sings behind the makeup and
old hats and
to people she will never meet nor see again but
her heart is on the stage
and I am too.
the lights dim to nothing and the floor rumbles
and I wake up from the dream
She took me, all I was
Never have I looked back.
She knew me, through the buzz,
Of our hearts melding together.
She saw me in and out,
My anguish like a feather.
She lifted me higher,
I knew not what I would know.
I wish I could hold her like then,
So very long ago.
Six years have passed,
My arrow left it’s bow.
fractured, counted in sighs [ and found where it was never lost
I screamed at the hollowness, I raved at its tangy feel
all the same with days without the sun,
feel the icy edges
and curled fingers deprived of softness to touch,
the night in its thick fibers whispering a song
of bend trees giving in to the wind
that stood tall till the end,
opened to my fragile breaths,
and I welcomed its embrace
with tired eyes,
watching as the moon dripped down the wet streets
and found its way to my skin
the afterglow of dying lights
marked in clustered stars and freckles
each delicate dot painted
with the same purpose,
to count my time with the tramble and sigh
of your name
and then, when there was nothing else to say
I inhaled the silver of my soul
and exhaled the beating core
~ ~ ~
Summer in Philadelphia
It was a Tuesday in July
When I moved to the city
The sun warmed spoilt milk
and baby diapers and
the insides of yesterday's take out containers
The stench wafted through the streets
As empty bags of chips and crumpled newspapers
Blew across sidewalks like urban tumbleweeds
And I felt alive among the decay
Flowers were nice, but they made me feel ugly
Here imperfections are rendered beautiful
By brilliant shades of neon
And there's a buzzing that comforts me in the dark
When it's hot like that
Everyone sits outside on their front stoops
Drinking bodega beers to the sounds of The Roots
And the only grass anyone's worried about
Is the kind that helps you cut the bullshit
Not your front lawn
It was summer in Philadelphia
the leaving times
summer. picnic tables. chatter and laugher and the drowning of thoughts.
all i could say was goodbye -
when i meant so much more.
Reflections on a Lake
On the Waccamaw, the water doesn't have a color.
It becomes a mirror, reflecting every shade of autumn,
every cloud like tangled sheets against the wind's ripples.
And as if the river is a ballroom built for queens,
tadpoles dance around each other in perfect harmony,
until the plop of a bobber echoes between the trees,
and a young man gets a Saturday morning catch,
the click click click of his reel bringing in a small catfish.
empty bowl (white)
metal spoon (silver)
open fridge (squeak)
close fridge (stick)
lick spoon (once, twice)
rinse bowl (cold tap)
put out (to dry)
leave spoon (in sink)
when they ask (how was lunch?)
yum, chicken salad ?
lidded eyes and
tendrils of exhaust
how did my hand end up
on top of yours, because i
don't remember anymore
that's one memory, but
what's the real one?
I missed your birthday party
because I didn't want to see
We had all those plans, and
let you in, smiling like you
belonged there, among the books
and the lies i've been telling myself
I cancelled them.
I wonder how you remember it
all, or do you ever even think of me?
Would I like you to?
You must think I'm
some days I'd curl in bed with tendrils
of smoke wrapped through my hair, still
breathing in your attention like
a child, so innocent, i bet, you say to
yourself, under your breath and spiteful
or maybe it's too harsh to think you'd
be cruel and forget me selfish you've
forgotten me, haven't, would i like that?
I wonder how you remember me.
hands barely touching and that's as close
as we're ever gonna get I think I knew that
I knew that then and I pulled away I knew
The real memory is after your birthday.
Cause we never really talked at all after
that. Cause it was better for me, cause I'm
selfish only looking after myself, no niceties
found out I think too late, but I was
discovering it then that I wasn't built
for you didn't belong there, I didn't
for any of it at all, and I had to.
I had to.
We didn't talk because I had to not.
That was okay,
even if you don't remember me
because I've figured it out.
AP classes filled with rising celebrities, whose ways promised most?
Girls organized, focused, and stuck in the ways of influencers-
Attached to waning boys who only knew tomorrow’s release.
On the benches frantically watching friends score and
Rising stars earn tokens to the future, I focused on one test,
Just one thing to tend so I could launch myself into one heart.
I walk past her like a mirror, only catching a brief glance
Each time I passed by followed by a cold shiver
Almost as if I fell right into arctic waters.
I talk to her from a distant fearful of any breath
Moving her away from my fantasies of movie theatres
And red dresses- space age fins, baby blue with chrome finish,
Burning tire smoke, toxic exhaust, this 1950s
Dead love, singing and dancing in the rain stuff,
A teenage boy’s malaise born imagination- a strange drug.
I run wild in sunflower meadows knowing the sun
Will never be greyed out, Working sweet and sour nights
Waiting for the moment I would hold her soft pale hand.
Restraint a million and one, burning esophagus,
Lonesome weekends with you in my head,
Nothing but you....
Printer page walls covered in thumbtack tracks
Friendships hung, false opportunities fashioned, birthdays past,
No ink could replicate my drywall phases, not even the next inhabitant.
aches with amorous love
I saw you last night. I saw you when
reality fades and the truth escapes
I saw you in my dream, I saw your memory.
you were wearing a grey suit and tie. when I saw, you, I remembered how much I missed you. your black hair, your smile, your laugh. our souls just naturally fit, two outcasts who gave what each other needed. we walked through the crowd, through this dream world, and I held onto your arm, I put my head on your shoulder, and I finally felt
and I thought about how I should have kissed you that day at the park. I should have told you
I loved you.
and when I when I woke up from my dream, I picked up my phone
and drafted you a text. And then I remembered,
I remembered that you left me
right when I needed you the most.
Then we wrote letters
and I fell for you even more.
You were my anchor.
but when I finally saw you
you were different.
You didn't ask about me
and you lied, even when it was obvious.
You weren't right in the head.
Maybe it was just me, but to be safe I broke it off.
I saw you last night. I saw you when I really needed someone. I needed someone to hold, someone to love, someone to laugh with, someone to share my hopes and fears with.
I miss you, but I don't want to see you.