When you began, it was with a bang.
With words and actions aimed
like a barrel full of monkeys at the night,
pouring chaos and light into graves
shaped like the dreams you thought
were worth the wait.
Today, the wait is all you have.
And now the waiting takes on
a shape that billows like a cloud,
crowding out the voices that tell you
why you do what you do,
why you’re worth it to your friends,
why it’s worth it in the end.
But all you can hear is end.
All that matters
is the way things come to a close.
If there’s any hope for this bed of thorns
it’s that it started with roses,
but when you made it you knew
you’d lay in it even if it hurt,
and it hurts so much more than you thought –
and so much less than it ought.
And now everything is going quieter
the tighter up you curl, while your world shrinks
to a face shivering in a teacup,
held in hands that shake and quake and wait.
If anything’s going to happen to you,
it has to come from out there,
because you no longer know how
to open the front door.
Nobody who loves you
knows the score of this funeral march
the way you do.
Nobody else hears the bell that tolls
for the youth you can’t recapture,
or the way love used to enrapture
and now just stresses you out.
The pressure is still there,
to find a hand to hold
and a mouth to meet
and a universe to fill clean up
with the burn of shared silence,
slick violence, and lives bathed in lights
that only make sense to the two of you:
sun or club or candle or screen.
You want fingers in your hair
and prints on your brain and fights
that end lost in a frenzy of sheets
and grass-stained skin.
You want a bonfire that looks like maybe.
You want someone to know you by name,
to set you ablaze, to love you by touch --
and it isn’t, you think, too much to ask.
The world, banked like a coal
in a hand that knows the way of loss
better than holding.
"Holding" © 2017 xeian
theprose.com/xeian (170508) 
Originally written as part of a much longer spoken word piece that felt too personal to leave up here. Reworked for clarity, tone, and arc.