I squeeze words out of myself
Like toothpaste from an empty tube.
In both cases, I am convinced that there is reason to hope for more.
We aired our grievances
And emptied our eyes of tears.
As time passed
We occasionally came across
Keepsakes from a past life,
Their hold on us no longer as strong
Their tattered remains as distant
As a somewhat familiar song on an untuned radio.
We made a project of “moving on”,
Taking out boxes of souvenirs
Little trinkets, old letters.
Forcing ourselves to read, to touch, to remember.
Say a word ten times,
It loses all meaning.
And so we read, read, read
So that memory lost all meaning.
And “moving on” transitioned from a presence of resentment
To an absence of love.
But is love an entire entity in itself?
Is it simply that which was directed at you,
Which has faded now?
Or is it also that which originated in me,
A relic of the person that I was?
Over and over, I churned the memories,
Each turn bringing to me a different facet;
Some to acknowledge, some to forgive.
All that remains now is unadulterated and pure
Detached from that ruiner, fate.
Photo by Jaelynn Castillo
You are not the flicker of a candle,
Thirsting for wax and wick.
Nor are you the pale light of the moon,
Waiting each day for the sun.
You are a star held by your own gravity;
You require nothing else to burn.
Note: This marks the hundredth post on this blog.
The beginning of the pain
Fills in the ink into my pen.
The heart fears for itself once more
As the poet comes to life again.
A wrinkle in time,
That binds the past to the future,
Sews together the moments
Of depression and pain
From my life,
And I am left to search
For the happiness,
That I remember once having,
In the folds of the fabric.
Photo by Thomas Shellberg
Is it the eternal optimism of humanity,
Or schadenfreude taken to inanimate extremes,
That we witness the shattering of a star,
A collapse of the work of a million years,
And think to ourselves, beautiful?
I have not stopped eating
Since the day I knew
That I will come to see you.
I wouldn’t want you
To walk away unsatisfied.
I am marinating,
Soaking my bland truths,
In the simmering sauce
Of unceasing conversationality,
That flavor of extroversion
Which is so appealing to your guts;
Digests better, doesn’t it?
I hope the messy tangles
Of my life experiences
Don’t get stuck in your teeth;
I will bring you a toothpick,
Just in case.
A glass of cool indifference
With which you can wash down
The bitter aftertaste of my unaccomplished dreams.
Don’t worry your mind
With remorse or conscience.
You bear no responsibility, after all
That I have put you on this pedestal,
That I have offered myself up.
Feel free to make judgments.
Compare me to the fried;
All smoke and no substance,
The unwholesome, the untruthful.
I won’t blame you
For not putting me in a class apart.
Take a look from all directions.
I know, in this instagram-savvy world,
It’s just the presentation that matters.
Have no restraints, no politeness.
Your crass touch won’t dirty me,
What right does an object have to feel degraded, anyway.
Savor each bite,
As you take away chunks of my hope.
Strip away the skin of dignity,
By forcing me to smile.
Spit out my pride, raw and uncooked,
That bone of righteousness has no place in this recipe.
Dig into my flesh and salt my wounds,
Turn me into that which pleases your tongue.
Photo by Tim Mossholder
I like yellow flowers.
I realize how much has changed;
How the stars appear brighter.
I am wary of the light sometimes.
I remember its deceptiveness.
I catch myself smiling
with a lightness and innocence,
As though I did not emerge
gasping for breath
only to submerge again.
And again. And again.
I chide the part of me that smiles,
child-like. I remind her
of happiness that is hard earned;
I tell her to not spend it all at once.
To save some
For nights that are darker
For mornings that are colder
For roads when she finds — I find myself alone.
I tell her to wrap up her smiles
In cotton wool,
To ration out her joy in bits and pieces
A little here and there, wisely.
She laughs loudly — audaciously.
And it sounds like cowbells
On a warm afternoon in the meadow.
She blows bubbles in the bath
And makes smileys on the fogged mirror.
I stand besides her
Trying to protect her from herself.
Someone has to maintain the archives of memories.
But her happiness is absolute
She wants no part of the carefulness.
I hesitate a little, and indulge
Into a smile like sunshine sometimes.
I still like yellow flowers.
When they skinned me alive,
I was afraid, very afraid.
For I knew my crimes were not merely skin-deep.
And when they pelted me with stones,
A chill crept into my heart.
For I knew I could not atone my sins with broken bones.
But when they reached deep inside
And pulled out that one tiny shard to crush,
A sliver of hope, that sustained my life,
I gave a weak laugh, giddy with relief.
For there could be no more;
The Lords of Karma had crossed that line.
There would be no more punishment
Without violating the very laws that they held so sacred.
I reached out and took it back;
That tiny shard of an already broken whole.
“No more punishment”, I repeated to myself,
A statement and a promise at the same time,
For I had reached, at last, the end of my penance.
I thought there would be no more.
I thought there would be mercy
After losing my limbs, my heart, my head.
But the razor sharp teeth betray
The signs of salivating
At the mere empty shell of my broken body as well.
They have come for my soul,
Hidden helpless under the folds of my tortured skin;
I wonder if they can smell the rotten death inside.
They will peck and bite until nothing remains but bones.
Circling around me, they wait,
Watching the struggle,
To drag myself slowly
An inch every minute.
They are patient in their hunger,
Biding their time, until the end.