rooms.

Waiting rooms.

Dusted with the echoes of those gone before

The lagging whisper of time.

Carpets printed with faded patterns of nothing,

Footprints flecking the floor like blood.

Emergency rooms.

Shrills shrieks of silence, assessing

The common brokenness.

Crisp bedclothes betraying nothing,

Every sound a death knell.

Classrooms.

Sticky hot with the exhaustive efforts to

Think/do/be nothing.

Chalk dust and pressed granite replaced by the tapping of keys

Jingling their way to a muffled end.

Family rooms.

They are not for sitting: do not go in there.

Bedrooms.

Laced with the strain of too little space

Arguments misremembered.

Walls of want crumble and rebuild themselves,

Ghosts of fingers reach through, but clasp nothing.

Motel rooms.

Scented with loneliness and the musk of

Desperation and dying.

Beds hard and stiff and not for sleeping, but for

The nothing that follows the too-brief ecstasy.

Hotel rooms.

Clouded with pretending and breaking smiles

Candle wicks burned down to nothing.

Salted tears arrive with room service,

Charges for the stains that will not out.

Crowded rooms.

Suffocating loneliness, the terror of being seen

And unseen.

Throats parched and closed, voice useless, legs tired

Mouth open—then nothing.

Fragile

Too soon I will beStardust and

Vapor and

Ash. 

I am (This is)

Temporary. 

Pieces of me

Have started, already,

To weather and

To crack. 

Still more stumble

Under the weight. 

But

I am not fragile

I will not break. 

Parallel

Perhaps it is not that you are gone:

While I am awake

You are sleeping. 

In your gossamer night

You promise yourself

I will await her and 

She will know me.

But you are drawn helplessly

Under

And in the moment that you rest

I awaken. 

When I imagine your smell

Or the baritone of your words

You are dreaming of me. 

When I coax your name

From the parched desert 

Of my unkissed lips

You are shifting and drawing

Me near to you. 

When you awake

I am sleeping. 

You can see me, but I am

Too far for you to reach. 

You whisper to me

And you caress me

In my dreams

And our hearts beat again

Concurrently

And you do not ask me to 

Wait for you

But you hope that I will. 

You miss me

As I miss you

For where you are

When you are awake

Is here beside me

But just missing me

All the time. 

When I awaken

In the moment between 

Asleep and awake

Our fingers touch

And I forget that 

Our planes are different. 

They run ever parallel

And they will never touch. 

Only in dreams are we

“We.”

Perhaps. 

You are here. 

In the periphery 

Just beyond focus 

I do not turn so that I 

Do not miss you. 

Sound

Today I exited the house
Ready to begin the world anew
And there was nothing.
No sounds of truckers
Towing their wares
Exhausting children
Yawning away the cobwebs of night
Frantic mothers scraping on
Makeup and a dash of
Happiness
Bored fathers sliding on the drive
late
For work and play
And late
Whippoorwills trilling the climax of
Their epics
Brilliant maids of yesterday, their feet padding
As the sound of wings on air, catching on
The spine crooked sidewalk.
No sound.
I was the world entire.
I exhaled a sparse breath
And the moment passed
And I was safe in sound once more.

For Beauty

For beauty I bore the cold, the chill of one million lifetimes

Of lonely and solitary;

I dreamt in colors

My eyes could not discern,

I pierced the veil,

And offered the scraps

Of my soul

Losing the taste

Of ripe dreams

And the scent of new

And promise

And alive.

All of this

For beauty.
And for love

I swallowed the ache, the thin, blunt dagger

Of being more;

Giving more, loving more

Than what is given.
When combined

Beautyandlove

Will bring peace

Yet…

If there is beauty

And

If there is love

I can neither see nor taste

For I lost sight and taste

In the pursuit.

Tabula Rasa

I have been so easy
Always so easy
To leave behind.

Tabula Rasa:
In creation
small useless thing
To love you.

You carried me,
A picture of him that you hated.
You could not reach him
You broke me.

On bleeding bones
And torn sinews
I carried you
And you drank

Every bit of me
Dried me out
And left me parched and dying–
Little more than dust.

I loved you
Like a festering wound
I petted and winced and healed you
And you burst open and seeped out

And you smelled of death and absence
And I cleaned what you left
And I wept over what little remained

Out of dust you are created
And from dust you are more than me
Swept over, picked clean–carcass

Ignorant. The shadow that sun’s heat
Will never reach, parched for life
Loving hands will not nurture nor
Caress me.

Once, when I was full of dreams and hope
And stardust, I felt that grip
Siphoning the essence of me
Leaving me with nothing, as no one.

Wilting and dirty
Deformed into what you needed
Useless now that I am empty.

You are gone.
You left nothing of you
And yet I remain in your shadow.

I am so easy.
Always so easy
To leave behind.

awake

For many years I slept.

I did not dream in my slumber;

suspended in the in-between,

the not yet awake, but not

asleep enough

to dream.

A bullet

Of all things

awakened me.

Ripped into my chest

Bleeding me

I am awake.

The bullet hole has closed

But it has not healed

It cannot heal.

Over and again it is ripped open

And with my awareness comes

My anger

And your fear.

You are afraid of me.

You are afraid that I will

stare at you

As you have stared at me,

You are afraid that

in my waking hour

I will respond

Against the reality of you

As you responded

to the idea of me.

You are afraid

That I will know

You only cared for me

As long as I slept.

I entertained you

for awhile.

My antics while sleeping

Amused you,

the otherness of me

Lulled you into a stupor.

You were comforted

by my disorientation

By my confusion

You pretended there might be

paradise

In which our ground was level;

While sleeping

you whispered lies to me

Your foot on my throat all the while.

Now I am awake

and you are afraid.

You should be afraid.

While asleep I did not dream

And there are no falsehoods for me

To return to.

I am awake

And I know you

And I know what you

want from me

And I will burn this down

Wrapped in your flag

Using your book for kindling

I will burn this down.

Be afraid

For I will not sleep again.