What do we call the hurt
That now exists instead of pain?
For all the woe it might have caused before
And even as we sought a way to close it like a door
The absence is a wound that we would offer blood to see it not remain

What do we call this thing
That now replaces all the tears
We shed for all the cuts that we endured
And every one we dreaded, and we fought, and we obscured
How is it their removal ushered nothing into life deserving cheers?

What do we call the grief
That died a slow and somber death?
When all it ever did was weigh us down
And sing to us an ocean made of promises to drown
We feel it missing now and seem to struggle all the more to take a breath

What do we call this want
That only ever seemed to take
And made us always wonder why we did
When following, it seemed a hell, we found ourselves amid
How is it, as the fire died
And gone were all the tears we cried
We felt like we were rushing toward a dream, so undeserved, we had to wake?



Been standing ’round a while now
And trying to replace the words
Uncertain which are yours or should have been

And everything you ever asked
I’m tying to the wings of birds
Still wondering how far they need to fall before they fly again

Or if they ever mean to try
To take away the growing woe
From lips that blossomed red above the wound

That bleeds in every way you asked
But half as much as you could know
Where here, I’m merely standing ’round, where dying birds and I are left marooned


Elixir, that you were
I took a drink
My armor, insecure
Perhaps you were
Or else you found
The weakest link

And perfect as you seem
I had to think
Perhaps you were a dream
Or the extreme
That I was bound
To hold and follow till I sink

Afflicted as you are
Upon the brink
My vision, black as tar
My world a scar
And we a sound
I heard in sync

Imperfect and impure
As blurring ink
With you, feigning demure
Seeming a cure
Beneath a crown
I held you like insomnia would hold a blink


You aren’t here
You haven’t been
You’ll never be again
And so my letters sit
With dying thoughts
And all the tears I shed just feel recycled

And some remind me why I came
And why I stay
And why I should have left
And I leave trails of bread
So sure that if you found them, then you’d follow

But some are lost
And some are found
But none by you it seems
Or if they were
You didn’t bother
Caring little to retread a path unwanted

And me, I’m out of bread and faith
And any wan belief
I’m doing more than feeding ghosts
And turning poison into poems
When like a million growing leaves they all developed from a root
I should’ve killed before it ever pierced the soil


The candles are burning
There one for her name
There’s one to remind me
The day that she came

Was a day rather normal
Until it was not
Like a candle that’s burning
But no longer hot

There’s one for her echo
And one for her voice
There’s one I keep trying
To light as if choice

Was enough to ignite it
Or choose how it burns
Or control what is missing
And, so, what returns

The candles are burning
There’s one for her lips
There’s one to remind me
How everything slips

And that everything perfect
Is perfect until
It just isn’t and then it’s
Just destined to fail

There’s one candle burning
That seems so bereft
It burns like it did
On the day that she left

And there’s one burning barely
The one for her eyes
Though the one for her heart
Never changes in size

The candles are burning
I swear that they are
There’s one for each finger
And two – every scar

More than one for her laughter
I barely recall
When I last even heard it
Or did I at all?

There’s one for tomorrow
And one for today
There’s one I would light
If I knew what to say

But there’s more and there’s many
Too many to name
But they’re dead and they’re dying
As much as I’m trying
The truth is they won’t hold a flame


Just wonder why today, a little longer
I’ll promise you the apathy
Beyond tomorrow doesn’t seem as cold
If you can trace a set of eyes
Beneath the veins that half-agree
With all the reasons why we to ourselves are never told

If we can learn to scrape the absolution
Beneath the bleeding callouses
And keep them under fingernails of wrath
Or swallowing the lost goodbyes
Like gasoline in chalices
Our leper souls don’t hurt as much when pain is half the reason that we laugh

So pause, forevermore, a little while
I swear the growing emptiness
That settles like the sun is warmer still
If you can hold it softly by
The throat as if a lover less
And merely what was meant to thus succumb and gently kill

With looks of dead affection growing feral
The creases of affinity
A coffin made for shadows of the sun
That’s sealed below the straining ties
And shackled like an enemy
We whisper in its ear, “It’s only meaningful if it can be undone…”


This is how we disappear
In slivers and in pieces
And a spine that seems to shiver
As we search for our releases
At the cost of everything we said was dear

With an exit draped in neon dreams
And paces made of worry
Holding memories of faces
Moving slowly in a hurry
With the bones of dead belief beneath the thinning of our seams

This is how we hold the night
Like pieces of perdition
Knowing well it never ceases
Holding firm to flawed conditions
Trading sleep for any bit of waning light

Piercing through the shudders that we wear
Like medals for a lost endeavor
And a crown of dying petals
That we thought would bloom forever
That’s the way we vanish, with a ribbon of attrition for the half-forgotten dream that lead us there