Abnegation

I’ll drink myself to sleep
And then I’ll drink myself awake
And drink until you’re not the reason why my fingers seem to shake

Whene’er, by jagged lines,
I spiral through this blotted ink
And try to say that I’m okay, but I just need another drink

To try to find the words
Or lack thereof, so I can take
Another drink and try to numb the heart that can’t endure the ache

And so I turn away
And by the ounce, the hours shrink
And so I drink myself awake and then I drink myself to sleep
So I don’t see how low I sink
And I can say that when you left I didn’t blink, I didn’t weep
And I don’t care
I never did
And I’m okay, but I just need another drink

Singing

Eyes set like a needle
On the grooves of hesitation
With a clicking, like a beetle
While the tone and timbre twist around the trait of intonation
And in melancholy, melodies will bend

Lyrics wrapping lonely
As if echoes could redeem us
If the chosen words could only
Be as strong as all the bridges burned that used to stand between us
But I can’t divide the real from the pretend

Rivulets to rivers
Down the mountain made of madness
Are the notes that come in slivers
Where the song of long ago was made into a thing of sadness
By the ruin that a ruined heart can rend

Staggers and staccatos
Where the notes are sirens singing
Like a claxon in vibrato
And the words, I keep repeating them until my lungs are stinging
I just wish that I could change the way the song we’re singing ends

Compliance

I’ll never turn my back and leave you lost in scenes of red
After all, I made the cut that left me walking dead
Where my feet were anchors in the sludge of what I said
With answers made of daggers
Watching logic as it staggers
And my heart removed by miles from my head

I’ll never leave you wandering in fields of failing green
After all, I made the map that lead me from the dream
Where your words of silence, I accepted as a scream
And meaning, growing narrow,
Did I clutch as if an arrow
In my heart to write in blood how much you mean

I’ll never wander farther from the tether of your sight
After all, I made the wound or else I made the slight
That kept your feet from moving on the path I knew was right
But held the consolation
Of your warmth in conservation
Like a firefly where life was never bright

You’d never turn your back on me, or so I always thought
After all, we made the effort. Was it all for naught?
Now within the swamp of trepidation am I caught
With little more than questions
In a world of dead suggestions
And I wonder if I merely paid the toll for all the bridges that you sought

Image

I sketched your face from memory
With colors from a palette that I stole
From errant clouds
And distant lands
The many hues of desert sand,
From mountains gray, and forests green
And shadows black from coal

And from what I recalled of you
My fingers worked to silently reclaim
Your vivid eyes
And wild soul
That, even full, was never whole
The subtle softness of your skin
And tresses left untamed

And from what I had longed to keep
I tried to draw the things I missed the most
Your witty words
Of repartee
And how, the world, you chose to see
The solace that seemed always near
When neither we were close

But paints have failed and fingers ache
And canvases, they crack, and time has waned
The picture fades
And you, it seems,
Live only now in distant dreams
On quiet shores where centuries
Divide you from the image that I never seemed to capture in a frame

Step

“Is the road between us wide enough?”
I asked and asked again
And took another step
Another step
Another step and then

“Is the space between us far enough?”
I asked, but couldn’t hear
You give an answer so
With every step
I watched you disappear

“Is the gap between us deep enough?
I hope as I descend
It’s just another step
And maybe just
Another step and then

You’ll finally say, “That’s far enough,”
But far too far from here
For me to hear and so
I take a step
Another step
And ask, “If I go far enough, can someday far be traded out for near?”

Fine

The way I check for words of you with every message chime
The way I hold your memory like candles in a shrine
The words, “For just a part of you, I’d trade all that was mine.”
The way my vision blurs when hopes and truths cannot align

The sigh that’s like an elegy when light is in decline
The pretense of a smile when, in sorrow, I resign
The way the letters stutter when I pen the name of thine
You ask me how I am, my lips betray my weary eyes and say, “I’m fine…”

Land

The bucket in the well
I cast it down and down again
And pulled it up and up and up
And saw it held there, like an antidote
A prayer pressed through dying lips
That couldn’t say, “Amen”

While drinking down in gulps
The worried sentences I wove
That moved around and ’round and ’round
And like a needle on a record does
I echoed your departing steps
Through this, an empty grove

And tracing, like a filament
That never found its place
There in between the in-between
The interstices that I fled
As if your soul was made of flight
And I was never keeping pace

But searching now with fingers worn
In tides of weeping sand
That echo further now and further now
Where tracks you never left
I focus on the light you radiate
And float upon the surface of an ocean made of you
And wonder if I’ll ever end up finding land