Fingertips

What was there, within the depths of desolation, when you fell
As if a drop within a well
Were you the shackles or the bars or just the person in the cell
I fear it’s hard to really tell
If you’re the tone or you’re the timber in the notes or you’re the bell

Were you there within the garden long before it ever grew
Or were you taking in the view
Were you the trees or all the flower or the dirt they dug into
I fear I never really knew
If you were why the seeds were growing or the blight they’re living through

What was there, within the brief infatuation, when you knelt
And did it make your feelings melt
Were you the hand still holding on or just the ones holding a belt
I fear I never really felt
I knew the difference when your kiss is just as vicious as a welt

Were there names within the mantra that were made for loving lips
As if a flower for a crypt
Were you the stem or just the petals or the hand that slowly rips
I fear the madness in your grip
But then I tell myself that everybody bleeds eventually, but only some of us survive your fingertips

Complicated

You offered me a hand of old sedition
The crumbling acclaim of your permission
You speak, and like an idiot, I listen
And kneeling ever lower to your blade of false acclaim
You speak of death and I just hear a holy mission

I offer you a hand devoid of killing
But tell you that it can, and that I’m willing
To do so if it means another filling
Of lies and new remissions for the cost of all your gain
But still, I never see the knife that you’re concealing

You seal yourself in wax like you’re a letter
You say that I can open when I’m better
And pay you what I owe like I’m a debtor
And all the while holding all your words up to a flame
Or else you dangle them above an angry shredder

So, am I just the creature you created
With lies or were your statements understated?
Your wings, were they but waders that were weighted?
And all of your assertions, are they feelings that you feign?
And in the end, I’m left to wonder why the truth from you was always complicated

Weak

What was it that was weighing
Where at first was only dust?
The remnants of a curse decaying?
Words that not a soul was saying?
Forward steps forever staying
Still within the places they could trust?

What passage are we passing
In the house we made of doors?
The one with emptiness amassing?
One where time is everlasting?
Those without a hope surpassing
Anything beyond the metaphors?

What cures were we procuring
With our fingers on a blade?
An antidote for pain enduring?
One with words so all-assuring?
Apathy to call alluring
Any form of injury delayed?

What was it we were saying
When we chose to never speak?
That nothing said was worth conveying?
Gods are dead and love is praying?
Answers that we’re still betraying
Every time we say that it was caring and concern that made us weak?

Grain

Grain by tiny grain
Have I subtracted them
Redacted them
Rewinding time to back to when
The hours didn’t have a name
And silences were all the same
And tears…
Well who can say what they became?

Turn by little turn
Did I eliminate
And immolate
Discounting, with a spin of fate,
Trajectories that lead me here
Where nothing held was something dear
And ash…
Well that’s the prize I seem to earn

Step by laggard step
Am I erasing them
Replacing them
A heart forever racing when
The faces seem to dissipate
And names are like a missing weight
And loss…
Well that’s a cost that I accept

Stain by little stain
Am I removing them
And losing them
Forgetting what I’m choosing when
I can’t recall the pain before
The apathy that came to shore
And time…
Well it goes running down the drain as if it’s running from a vein…
…Grain, by little grain, by tiny grain

Converted

How much of it was feeling
And how much of it convenience
Brittle pledges of allegiance
That we used in lieu of filling
Conversations with the pain of honest grievance

What worries were we etching
Under skin that wept assurance
Lacking any real endurance
For the road forever stretching
When our hearts were merely cars without insurance

How much of it was hurting
And how much of it contrivance
That we used in place of guidance
On a path so disconcerting
As if callouses were cured by mere compliance

What pains were we avoiding
With our gazes so averted
From the efforts we deserted
That were always disappointing
As if water in our veins could, into fire, become magically converted

Prefer

I set aside the sentences
I let them take a rest
They stand like people in a queue
Who don’t know what they need to do
While staring where the entrance is
As though their destination is a test

I wish they were a present wrapped
In golden filagree
And paper made of bounding joy
But that would be a mere decoy
For weary words forever trapped
Within a Trojan horse of amity

Upon a burner simmering
They rest without a cause
As though a new ingredient
Will make them more convenient
And grant a glow or glimmering
To validate the ever-growing pause

And so, in time, I relegate
Them all to never were
Regarding them as opulent
As pointless as a compliment
A day nobody celebrates
Or maybe I just see it so and maybe that’s the meaning I prefer

Synoptic

She had for me a list of many questions
And for them all, an answer did I hold
But tiring of sorrow and suggestions
I wondered just how many answers needed to be told

I read them all and then I relegated
Responses down to lacking any point
When world’s away my worry merely waited
And maybe, so I thought, a swift concession could anoint

But lacking all regard, I couldn’t fathom
And giving no reply, I couldn’t bear
So choices offered callouses or chasms
And neither one would change that she was still no longer there

I read her words again, and thus replying
With words that, even granted, would deprive
But answered all the same, while never lying
And realized that though I wished to write a thousand words to her, I chose, instead, to give her only five

Applaud

Left waking in the dark and early hours
Where life is sitting silently,
With rheumy eyes behind a windowpane
And all the morning light, it simply cowers
Behind the fear that what could be is just more of the same

Where every tiny crack in each expression
Goes branching out and rippling
In rings and floral patterns of decay
As if a breath that punctuates a question
Preceding a reply that no one ever means to say

So resting in the somber indecision
That’s still upon a pillowcase
With heavy eyelids wearing weary blinks
But see the edges longing for revision
As if a mouth of cotton caring not for what it drinks

And all the while, slit by slender sliver,
Do all the blurry boundaries
Go rigid, wearing flickers where they’re flawed
And leave us holding moments like a shiver
That greets us like a morning where our hands no longer know how to applaud

Bloom

I settle to the bottom feeling weak
The taste of iron resting on my lips
With water sealing words I wouldn’t speak
And far above, a world of sinking ships

The sun, a weary haze in bleak repose
Left mottled by a storm of swirling silt
I watch the scene around me decompose
Like all the days before were left to wilt

With only but a murmur of a thought
I offer all words I have to give
They leave me like a friend that I forgot
But never could and never would forgive

I shudder for the breath I need to take
While resting in a land devoid of air
And even as my lungs begin to ache
I don’t know that I have the heart to care

I sink until the sand is like a tomb
While thinking, “Maybe this is how we bloom”


If you’re thinking, “This seems a lot like your last poem,” it’s because I decided to write a follow up to my last poem.

Mend

I’ve isolated me from everyone
And separated everyone from me
But, honestly, that means I’ve just begun
This journey to the bottom of the sea

I set my feet in buckets full of lead
And sever all the ropes that used to guide
And, truthfully, there’s not an ounce of dread
When stepping from the shore into the tide

I feel my pockets filling up with sand
And water pressing firmly at my chest
And, casually, I walk until the land
Is nothing but a dream I put to rest

I give the water everything I took
But what I gave away, I can’t recall
And, solemnly, without another look
I take a final breath before the fall

I travel like an anchor to the end
While thinking, “Maybe this is how we mend”