It despairs as
But it passes.
It despairs as
But it passes.
One of the last of the old guard
And he alone remains,
stooped and slowed;
still, there is strength in his resolve.
Tangled in the cobwebs of what
they all were together
he, the god of time-rent yesterdays,
Holding fast to their firsts,
And their lasts;
Their inside jokes;
And the taste
And the stardust and magic
that made them
Escape him now,
Diaphanous and fleeting as dreams
But fading and already missed.
He is weary and afraid.
Perhaps they will not be there
With the other half of
the memory he holds
The whole of it to fill in
the aged pieces
He grasps like anchors
in a tightening plane.
He is afraid he does not belong here
And perhaps there is no there.
He loses time
Gets lost in himself
When he awakens he is in the dark
Though all around him is light
Perhaps more brilliant
than any he has ever known.
In sleep he remembers whole
And he is whole.
He loosens his grip
Just to rest beneath
this old familiar veil once more.
Or in a number of countable breaths
He will exhaust his space here
Will lapse into the dream
From which he will at last not awaken
And over that which they all were
He will stand sentinel
In early spring you clipped me,
You tore me by my roots,
then rent me until raw and vulnerable
I stooped before your
You said I was too beautiful,
A mere thing surrounded
by beautiful things.
Before you I grew.
Should you leave I would yet grow.
So you clipped me.
Beneath your oppressively absent eye
I would never grow again.
Never know home again.
Everywhere I was was damned,
You beheld a being so beautiful
You wanted to watch it die
And become a thing less beautiful.
You yourself could not create beauty—
A beautifully damned nothing, then.
In the frost
Away from you
Unnatural to me
I sought the light.
A tulip in snow is an unnatural thing.
But a tulip in the dark
I am not nothing.
Unnatural now, perhaps,
But I am.
Pull the shadows down deep until they are behind us;
Now only we remain.
Naked as you found me, but unafraid.
I drink you in.
Before, wordless, I would have let you
Take all the best lines
And all of the good light would paint your soliloquy.
But I have learned to fill the silence with pretty tokens taken from your tongue.
A marionette, I spend my days pretending
My painted face and human likeness dampen and crumble away like rotted wood about me
Until all that remains are splinters from
The useless mask.
Here I have laced together my clumsily begotten words
And too close you see the rips in the seams
And the wear
But when you are there and I am
And nothing but time stands between us
Know that they mean I love you.
And I loved you.
And I will love you yet.
She suffocated in silence, trapped in a room stifling with its many doors, all of them devoid of handles. Indeed, once one entered the room, one dug through or asphyxiated in the ashes of those who had gone before.
She had not noticed the bones and the nothingness when she floated into the room; she was too distracted by the scene above. A pinprick in the sky, so small she had to paint the picture herself—paradise. She was embarrassed to admit how easily she was beguiled by an imaginary thing, the room. She would have walked past, but it was there and convenient and she was so very tired and perhaps her original journey was so far off—a quick detour? She might like it? So she tore parts away that might be unseemly and tried—really tried—to make herself small enough. She scraped herself inside but then a trick of the light enveloped her and she was lost.
She was so struck by the cloudless, brilliant above that she did not notice she was trapped in the cramped gray below until the door was closed and the only way out was up.
The doors were not true doors. Could she claw her way out she would have found unfinished wings and crumbled edifices. Perhaps some would enter the room and find other ways—but it was not her room. She simply did not fit.
So she climbed. Nothing above but what she could imagine, for the room shifted and all she had of above was in her mind.
The way was long and arduous and lonely, the only sound her gasping breaths, her guttural cries in the dark. The only company her own pulse, the steady beat of her heart keeping time.
Still, she climbed, for what else was there?
She climbs still.
Hold my breath
Just a little longer
Until it burns then aches
Until I sleep, and the last breath we shared
Seeps out and is lost.
Rip the sheets from my desolate bed
Still drenched with the scent of you,
So I tuck them into the closet, unwashed, until
The scent of you goes stale,
And the ghost of you like
Tendrils sinks into me, claiming the whole of me and ruining my insides.
I can’t breathe for want of you,
Even if just for a moment—
Just fragment, stolen
From your broken life.
You have chosen the brokenness
And I cut myself on the shards of you
The blood seeps into the sheets
And intertwine with what is left of you
And we are once again.
In the pallid tension of a fragile dawn
That awakens stretching old legs beneath its tired sky
The wail of the mourning dove sounds the alarm,
Its hollow boned wings slicing the air, a guillotine.
I heed it not.
My resolve is already pulled like bootstraps,
Ill fitting and tattered, but
I have promised my mirror—today.
We have practiced our part a thousand times, my mirror and I.
We have ticked by uncounted hours of caught breaths and stolen smiles.
We have cracked its glass with smudged lipstick and clouded eyes.
We have lost one million days to wanting.
We have held conversations that only we know
And have imagined the tenor of your voice reserved only for us.
We are ready for the stage and perhaps you will know your part already?
In words that only I have heard
Deep in darkness, your lips pressed to the shell of my ear,
You have almost said as much.
Haloed by sun, sticky with humid summer heat
You, Adonis, and I, Medusa.
I find myself stone before you.
I would compare you to a summer’s day, but
You compare me to a bit character in a movie you like first.
It isn’t the movie you love.
Your love pricks sweet like knives in legs I wear for you—
It is devastating and gorgeous and I drown with want of it.
I know it because I am near enough to its warmth to glimpse it and know it,
Though it does not know me.
When you recount the character in the movie you like well enough
Your eyes don’t steady and you don’t soften and pause, remembering.
But you like it well enough and you offer the part to me.
I had words that would draw you irrevocably to me
But I lost the line.
I sold the best parts of myself for ill fitting pieces,
And besides we are surrounded and watched.
Therefore a chasm rests safely between us
In the event that together, we are seen.
I am white noise in the periphery of you.
I turn you over and remake you in my mind for hours.
The part and place was yours and it is now mine and it is precious.
You promise me one night.
We will dance, your fingers laced in mine
And under the diaphanous gaze of every star I have ever wished upon
We will be seen.
“Wow,” is all you manage and the word carries me forever.
We do not share the dance.
Your finger tugs mine in the dark and that small moment
Becomes every moment—
But in the naked whiteness of light it is gone and we divide.
Years pass with the burning swiftness of a
Southern sun in summer,
And we play out our lives parallel.
I hold the myth of you to me until I find there is no room for
Specters in my ruins.
I bring you to daylight and I recount the tale of you.
I share you in a sacred space—
As the steam laps at my scalp
And the gentle crown of coils is made brittle and bone straight,
I await the truth of me
And my atonement for still wanting you–
For forgetting my line
And ruining us.
You are recounted to me, true:
were never we and
Were never tragically starcrossed, nor
Chained by the dark—
I was the dark
And by you, would never be brought to light.
You, a southern son,
Played your part;
(Your ignorant, grinning little fool)
I danced, dazzled by your splendor,
and I waited,
and I wanted,
and I—remanded to the shadows of a lesser you—