the deep

So I pulled you from my chest and I buried you still beating, deep in the blackened earth. Weak with hunger and trembling, my sun-parched lips cracked and bled as my fingers, drenched with blood, covered you in the cold, damp deep. I let no tears fall—besides, there were none. Long ago they were spent, wasted on nothings and no ones. The only part of me with room enough for you was aching and dying alone smothered in the earth.

You were not alone, though, not really. We made a graveyard of ourselves and cast our own bleeding bits into it. We did not speak of the graveyard, but it called us by name and we knew to bury there, and we knew what stones to overstep and which pieces belonged to whom. We did all of the burying ourselves. We did not prepare, and it was always quick and under the cover of night, while our souls slumbered, before we lost our nerve.

We let the earth tear our flesh and chew our sinew as offerings for accepting our endless trail of ruined burden.

Tattered remnants of muscle survive, though. Like a chord around our necks that tightens now and again as what we cast away breathes a slow staggering breath and demands reckoning. When they come alive we wrest power again away from them, each time slower to move. We beat them back until they lie stone still. They are not dead, they simply wait until our guards are down and we think enough time has passed and perhaps they are truly void and then they lurch and pull us back again. 

Or else we are carrion or carrion birds, rooting out the flesh of our own unmaking, a grotesque dance of being and unbeing.

How I have suffered long, keeping you from me, and me together without you. 

To give you over—to be free of you—I have bound myself. Hollow and unmade I wander the earth as a ruined thing, blood dripping slow in my wake. 

I won the battle, but you have won the war. I will stagger to you eventually, my white flag clutched to me in sad surrender. I will join us again, stuff you back into me and we will drown together, broken and bleeding, in the deep. 

Advertisements

Letter to My Beloved

Dear Newly Beloved,

I will love you, but more often
I will hate you.
Forgive me now,
For I will not ask for your forgiveness then.

I will fill you with me
Siphon everything from you until your breath
Becomes my breath and your heart
Beats only for me.

I will love you completely
But I will leave you wrecked and bleeding.
You will ache for the loss of me
But I cannot stay for you.

I am selfish, beloved. I live for me
And my scars are my own.
I gift you my time and me.
In time will be whole again.

I am sorry for this, beloved.
I will leave you anew.
You will be stronger in the wake of me.
You are not left with nothing.

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.