You know the lengths that we’ve taken just to disappear
Like static left swimming behind all our halogen words
We iterate and then nod along as if it’s clear
With letters in quotes and italics left running in herds

And we dream of the depths that we were never shown
Where cold fingers itch in the blackness of waters removed
Left scattering crumbs to feed birds that were not our own
With heads angled down for the prayer that we just never proved

You know how much we would tilt just to comprehend
Like notes on the window from questions we don’t plan to ask
Half-peeling away like the faces that we oft pretend
Are there like a shadow, but know that they won’t bear the task

But we drink in the edges of a paper lie
Like discoloration on parchment from where we erased
Wearing stains on our thumbs, letting moments die
And layering light to pretend we can change what we’ve faced

You know the means that we’ve taken to create the end
Where words, like a liquid, are rivulets on paling skin
Through the blur, do we squint to perceive a friend
As we listen with string over miles connected to tin

If you find yourself going, “Lines one and three feel a bit wibbly-wobbly. Like…they’re not a nice clickity-clackity metronome count.”  You are correct. The odd lines are rhythmically distended and are meant to have a more prosaic delivery while each even line is iambic pentameter. And there…see? Now you know.



My skin is made of iron
And my doubt a giant shield
My vision seems
A klaxon’s scream
For all I see is danger that has yet to be revealed

My fingertips are granite
And my palms are filled with sand
My world, a hunt
For deadly want
And life is but an answer to the question, “How much pain can you withstand?”

My tears are made of questions
And your answers, made of lies
My hope a ruse
And you, a fuse
And we a road that leads to where my optimism dies

Your face is made of secrets
And your lips are filled with need
Your light, a torch
That seems to scorch
That still I use to cauterize the wounds that by your hand were left to bleed


The vanishing focus of these empty places deceives
And indeed, there are secrets I know and that have never been told
Like phantoms or locusts that eat on the unwanted leaves
The field of redemption that smolder
The weight like a stone on my shoulder
When harvesting flies from a field that was promising gold

And carrying on without caring what could be revealed
For losses are set like a sole, leaving prints of lament
That all but admonish the echoing fate that I sealed
With chains that have tarnished in blessing
And veins that have hardened in guessing
At values to come while forgetting the coins that I spent

The banishing moment of these written letters decry
That cadence of violins screaming for silence to bring
Some nightly component to stiffle the plague made of I
And so, with insects am I sleeping
And clutching the question I’m keeping
Like potions to help me recall that the memories sting

And veering into a dimension I’m loathe to admit
I wish to embrace like a morning that’s bled of its hope
Where crafted in blue are the half-written reasons we get
For why we descend as we travel
And roads that were paved turn to gravel
To know it’s a plummet we’re measuring mostly in rope


Let’s wish away the sun and all the light
The curtains and reflection
Of the words that need correction
For a world where each rejection
Is a sound with the inflection of a dream devoid of flight

And place our fragile hands into the void
Where myths are all converging
Like a hunger, or an urging,
Or a hunter set to purging
All the days we set to merging to a song we’ve now destroyed

Let’s snuff out all the candles bearing flames
Til in their isolation
They forget their own creation
And, beset by devastation,
Do they greet the desolation of an unremembered name

And cast the ache of memories aside
Like ashes when they scatter,
A veneer that’s left in tatters,
Like a mirror that’s set to shatter
When it’s clear it doesn’t matter like a castle made of sand beneath the tide


Tell me, did you wander into lands where islands fly?
To forests deep
Where eons sleep
Where resting on the mantle
Of a den forever laden
With the flicker of your candle
Tell me, this, my fairest maiden
Did you dream me into being or did I, within a dream, need to awaken to a world that needs to die?

Tell me, did you travel to the deserts of despair?
To rivers wide
And oceans dried
Where hiding in the spaces
Of the hills and cursive labels
Are the measure of the paces
That reside between the fable
Of the chalice that you were and all the synonyms of her that I have written while imagining my fingers running through your pixie hair

Tell me, did you wonder if I’d settle like the sun?
Between the hills
And daffodils
And leaving my reflection
On the waters rushing by us
Like an echo of affection
Through the memories of bias
Do I still recall the way you often ended thoughts and queries with the pursing of your lips and with a “hm?”

Tell me, did you go to all the places that you planned?
To places new
Where visions flew
And there, beyond the canyons
And the deserts and the rivers
Tell me this, my dear companion
Did it set your spine to shiver
Seeing there, within the emptiness, the nothingness that spans or did you find yourself adrift upon a never-ending ocean where I waited for you with an empty hand?


She tries to hide her smile, but I see it still
And to my life she’s poison, but I put my hand out for another pill
She puts a veil across her face
A curtain over panes of glass
And still my will is but a vase
Beholden to a world that’s made of brass

She’s looking to the west, but all I see is her
And to my heart she’s cancer, but I put her in my veins like she’s the cure
She rushes toward the setting sun
Into a land I’ve barely glanced
And still my heartstrings come undone
When thinking we were more than merely chance

She tries to close her eyes, but I won’t look away
And though my world she ravages, I tell myself she keeps the wolves at bay
She puts a finger to her lips
A broken lock upon a door
My heart a scale that always tips
When thinking, for me soon, she’ll have a word or more

She’s looking far away, but I’m uncertain where
And though she left me long ago, I try to make believe she’s always there
She puts her name upon the wind
A fading cloud of gentle rain
And still I spiral and descend
Into the dying dream of, “Til we meet again.”


I offered you a bandage
And you chose another bruise
I offered you an answer
But, apparently, you’d rather dig for clues
I offered you a rainbow
But you only want the blues
I offered you an easy win
But all you seem to focus on is how you always lose

I offered us a pardon
But you only saw a ruse
I told you there was gravel
And you blamed me when you didn’t bring your shoes
I offered resolution
But you chose to light a fuse
I offered you an easy out
I still don’t understand why you’re so eager to refuse

I tried to say I’m sorry
And I asked to be excused
I gave you explanations
But your actions tell me that you’re still confused
I offered you exemption
But you wouldn’t be recused
I never tried to hurt you
But it feels like you’re implying, by my deeds, you felt abused

I tried to give a reason
But you chose to just accuse
I offered you a window
But you only ever saw your narrow views
I thought I’d find an answer
And I thought you were a muse
Of all the things I offered
I don’t understand the reason why it’s silence you perpetually choose

Bonus points if you can guess the song (or, more importantly, the line and the song) that inspired this poem.