Eleven

A hundred into fragments
In a world where nothing’s new
And what became of magic
And the delicate belief that some illusions could be true?

So whole becomes a fraction
Searching for the matching few
And multiplying actions
Did we merely start dividing all the gaps we can’t undo?

A hundred less a quarter
And there’re only dimes in view
So how did all the order
Lead us casually to chaos where the days are all askew?

So half is what’s remaining
When by halves we all withdrew
With seconds ever draining
Did we throw away the hope that one and one are one and set aside eleven for a day of, “this’ll do”?

Rope

Terrified of falling, so I went to buy a rope
“A hundred feet enough for you, good sir?” – I answered, “nope”
But bought it all the same and then a hundred feet to spare
For never do we know how far we’ll fall until we’re there

Worried of ascension, so a ladder did I need
“This here’s the biggest one we sell” – I woefully agreed
But bought it all the same and then another just in case
For no one knows how many rungs you’ll need to find a place

Terrified of callouses, so gloves I must procure
“Ones for lifting? Ones for climbing? Ones for battle?” – “Sure”
I bought them all and several more, an extra set of each
For never do we know what we can hold, or we can reach

Safely, with my ladders, ropes, and gloves, I sat prepared
For all the moments missing for the deeds I never dared
I bought so much of worry and I paid for it in hope
And staying where I was to stay exactly where I am, I bartered living for an extra length of rope

Duress

There’s nothing you can do to make me love you less
…Nor change the tone or timbre of what I profess
…No phrase or posted picture that could thus oppress
The beating of my heart that has become a tired drum
…And still, unto your tempo, it obsequiously runs
…Enduring any failure if it meets you with a fraction of success

There’s nothing in your heart that I cannot abide
…So, tell me of the wounds that you so often hide
…The failures and the injuries you’d not confide
To most, or even many, for the pain is ever there
…Regardless of assertions that, for you, I truly care
…I know my words are nothing but a drop of light beneath the darkest tides

There’s nothing in your closet that I can’t condone
…No frailty, fault, or failure that you wear alone
…Or any sin of yours that you would need atone
No shadow in the corner that could change the way I view
…The better parts of me that only live because of you
…Like flowers that have grown above the weeds because the seeds that you have sown

There’s nothing you’d demand I wouldn’t acquiesce
…No burden in your heart that you could not confess
…And find a hand that offers you a soft caress
To say, without a word, that all your injuries are mine
…You hurt, and you were hurt, it doesn’t mean that I’ll resign
Enduring any injury, incurring any enemy, defending you with lentiy – as though you’re my serenity – I hold the love and swallow the duress

Caring

And so, because I care, I try
So you can live, I opt to die
And so that you can face the day,
I choose to hide my face and, so, for both of us, I cry

And so, because I care, I stay
So you can sin, I choose to pray
To gods I don’t believe exist
It’s worth it if it grants you but a breath or just day

And so, because I care, I reel
So you can breath, I opt to feel
The pain of loss and say, “It’s fine
I’ll bleed without a sound if you require that to heal.”

And so, because I care, I lose
I choose to be so you can use
Me like a needle in your arm
But, oh, I care so much for you, I don’t know how to care for me and so, instead, I try to be the needle that, one day, you’ll finally choose

Concern

So with a tap
I say goodbye
But never stated
Like I mean it
Or I feel the space between it
Like I know how to relay it
When I’m searching for a map
Where you and I
Had not created
What was nothing but a trap
We knew would end
The way we tend
All of the sorrow pouring out as if it’s sap

But you don’t care
So why do I
Keep fucking trying
Like it matters
Or you’ll see how much it shatters
Every facet of my being
As I lay my atoms bare
Beneath the lie
Of never crying
So, instead, I choose to stare
And just pretend,
That in the end,
It’s how it always had to be because if not then why were either of us there?

Mementos

What stones we left behind
And shedding skin
Like it was merely rind
And though we keep the pen
We always leave behind the rhyme
For all the things we swore to learn
We, looking backward, slowly turn

And disregarding tracks
From weeks ago
As though they aren’t facts
And truths we clearly know
We chose, with markers, to redact
So we can leave with the unknowns
And say we see no scattered bones

We fold the paper self
Into a card
And leave it on a shelf
For others to regard
The thinnest version of our wealth
As if a fossil set in stone
A gift for someone else’s home

Some things we try to keep
And some, forget
So we can finally sleep
And some, we merely bet
And still some others, bury deep
And there are things, we try to burn
And so in time we finally learn
That after all the tears we weep
That there things you can’t return

Star

I looked into the night
Devoid of sight
Beyond where heaven burned
A slight
And weary white
Behind the webs of all our dead concern

Held as little fragments
In the amber of despair
And so a heart we made of magnets
But the iron in our blood
Was like the fire in our words
And all the mettle we required wasn’t there

But stretching to a sky
Forever high
And cruelly out of reach
An eye
Upon the die
Now resting like a stone upon the beach

Feeling so unstable
With a view of high and low
A single foot upon a table
And the other in the mud
So do I stumble toward the birds
Or do I fly into into the fire’s dying glow?

I looked into the sun
And found the one
That said, “However far
You run
You’re never done
Because, to me, you’re always there
And so, to you, I guess I’ll always be a star.”

Luminance

I set aside a lantern
With a bulb that should be dead
Sitting by the road
I see the moths coagulating like a halo on an old cadaver’s head

I don’t know why they flutter
‘Round the light I cannot see
Like they’re merely flies
And they’re just feeding on the death and the decay and misery

But, no, their wings are larger
And they orbit like the sun
Lives upon the grave
Within the center of a web a dying spider surely spun

I take apart the lantern
And I wonder why it glows
There inside my chest
Without a shred of my behest
And, still, I wonder why I never see the light that I’ve been told, it surely shows

Exchange

We swap the sin for sugar
It’s a fix of mere degrees
…Just trading ticks for fleas
By saying puddles aren’t seas
…The scope is validating
Of the truth the lie is stating
…Just mitigating symptoms of disease

We trade the tears for terror
It’s a barter of regret
…An exchange of fear and fret
By changing brands of cigarette
…It seems accommodating
Like the past disintegrating
…To justify another losing bet

We swap the sores for serum
It’s a game of zero-sum
…Just trading naught for none
By saying, “better to be numb”
…It’s almost vindicating
Having love and hate abating
…Putting ribbons on the losses that we won

We barter blood for bruises
It’s a shift of little gain
…Just trading pride for pain
By saying, “better this than rain”
…The payoff, we’re awaiting
From a deal, deprecating
…To say that it was worth it for the chance to see a sun that never came

See

It’s strange or else it’s sad
How much I seem to dream
Only of the faces that have gone so far away
I fear they couldn’t even hear me if I scream

While others who are near
I barely give a thought
Fireflies that flicker in peripheral decay
While I go mourning butterflies I never caught

How many dreams have died
With words upon my lips
Names no longer said because they’re ones who never speak
And so instead they rest upon my fingertips

It’s strange how very sad
My dreams would have me be
Resurrecting those who wouldn’t care that I’m alive
So I can wake up and remember just how much of them I’ll never get to see