Statuary


What if I could stand as still as stone
As pale as bone
Here all alone
Would you then see me as I am
Or would I stand
Forever in a land where light had never shone?

What if I could be your quiet guard
Your singing bard
With knuckles scarred
Would you then choose to finally see
And offer me
The you I always see in dreams that you have starred?

What if I could hold a single pose
Any you chose
Forever froze
Would I become worthy to hold
Be seen as bold
Or merely seen as cold, a perch for dying crows?

What if I could speak and you’d reply
Or even try
A simple “hi”
Would I then find the thing I seek
Or, standing meek,
Continue feeling weak and asking, “What if you were breath, and I was but a sigh?”

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Coin


This coin has, long ago, been stripped of pride
Left circling above for days
In orbit of a wishing well
The face upon the front – a kneeling man who seeks to pray
The back – a finger pressed to lips with words that say, “I’ll never tell”
And all the while, still I hoped to see it land upon its side

Or else behold it taken by a bird
Who either came to steal my luck
Or else to save me from its sting
To doom me with the feeling I’d remain forever stuck
Or else to give me cause to hope a better coin it meant to bring
And all the while, yes and no were both same – forbidden words

Eventually, the coin, it met the ground
It struck and then it ricocheted
It bounced and then began to roll
I chased it from a distance out of fear for what it’d say
But followed all the same because in truth, it was the final toll
Of passage and of mourning bells I knew, one day, would have to sound

And there I saw it slow and finally stop
Beside a painting faded gray
That not a soul would ever sell
The image of a kneeling man who knew not what to say
His eyes afraid to open as he tossed a coin into a well
And both of us, together, waited silently for both our coins to drop

Apprehension


I dreamt again last night, and there we were
Alone, yet not alone, within a room
Unlike the dreams before, this one was awkward and unsure
Or maybe darkness lay in wait, but morning came and I awoke too soon

You spoke to me, but heard, I, not a word
For how has it been since last we talked?
How long since you became the song, and I the wounded bird
How long since “could have been” was set upon the floor and lined in chalk?

Another passed and offered a remark
To which we met with looks I can’t recall
Did I, embarrassed, seem to blush, or was my visage stark?
And did you laugh or look away, or did you choose to not react at all?

It passed the same, and there again I rose
Within an empty room and silent home
Still wondering when, for you, dreams and words I’ll not compose
And fearing when that day arrives, I’ll honestly and truly be alone


First Dream, Second Dream

Redemption


I’d steal the sun to let you live a while
And lose the will to move to let you have another mile
But woes upon my shoulders
They cannot repair your smile
So the sun, it merely smolders
And we, motionless, remain in hushed denial

I’d burn the world to keep your heart from chilling
And brave the hurricanes in life to fix the pain you’re feeling
But seeking out tornadoes
Cannot stop your heart from stilling
Or repair your broken halo
So we watch the winter come, however willing

I’d break a million vows to save your promise
And wage a war of eons if it leads you where the calm is
But wounds of my endeavor
They cannot make you admonish
What was never mine to sever
So you slip away and still I act astonished

I’d die if just to know that you were living
And drown within our sins, however dark and unforgiving
But what I’d lose to save you
It cannot replace what’s missing
From the heart I never gave you
But I look into the sky, and all the same, continue wishing

 

Snowglobe


Snow fell in sheets and columns. Flew through the sky like an army of frozen gnats that fell and spiraled. They whipped through the wind, patrolling all the land. A blanket of ever-growing white upon the already hard landscape.

He flexed his fingers with tips numb. A stinging sensation shot from tip to knuckle to palm to wrist. He looked at the sun in the distance that stood with the promise of warmth and light and barely made good on half.

Already, he could see the steps he’d taken before washed away. Gone beneath freshly delivered ice. Tears of a frozen angels left falling upon a world that wore weary with so much sin.

Far in the distance, he saw fleeting images of a desolate peak. Fading in and out like the scattered worries of a half-broken dream upon waking. Like those dreams, sometimes it filled him with little more than the feeling that settled in hard and cold but refused to give a name to the sensation.

Other times…other times, it gave him the promise of a destination. The belief in something that made his tired legs, and frozen hands worth it. Some final prize that told him that his days were not wasted. His heart still beat for a reason that mattered.

His heart still beat…if only just.

For long and longer, many had searched and many had found. But like comets in the night, like a whisper on the wind…they could be found, but always they were lost. They did not nest upon the earth. They did not leave traces that spoke to the machinations of compasses and globes. They did not speak of electricity that they could be found with computers or science.

They simply were…and were not.

Those who had found them had always said the same. Always said that they disappear once you speak your words. Once you offer what your heart whispers…

He met new days with old convictions and saw those very elements that were once his consolation slip as the sweat from his brow beneath the heavy layers that barely kept him warm. His body at war with itself – hot and worn from exertion – frozen and shaking from the cold.

At nights, he could look out over the haze of white that looked like a veil of lace held up against the world. A cold aurora that made all the world a small television screen that was half-concealed by a station in poor reception – with a sheen of static rising to the forefront.

He saw the lights of old cities that were filled with the dreams of new hearts. Saw them as they dimmed when days grew too dark, and rekindle again as the sun frowned its way out of heaven like some angry father who trudged off to bed with little more than discontentment and last night’s poison pumping through his calloused veins.

Where sharpened crags gave way to ice so sharp and so clear that it looked like crystal, he climbed and slipped. He clawed his way up and forward, a battle of miles to gain inches. A war of days and nights to gain minutes. His body a slow-moving snake in the tundra that he was ill-equipped to endure.

He remembered nights when fires raged and streets were filled with great commotion. He remembered how odd it was that the riots had sounded so much like the great parades and celebrations. He remembered the way the sun burned when it used to stay for too long, and the way that nights had grown darker than dark when it had finally decided to leave them at the behest of some cold and spiteful intent.

When nights had all but burned through the tiny embers that barely flickered in his own soul, he came to where it now rested. There within a little hollow. Small and frail with a glow like a halo that ringed around it.

He could barely feel it in his hands when at last he held it. It promised him light and warmth, but he knew that so often…far too often…such promises are barely even half-given.

He made out the warped reflection of himself within the curvature. He looked for a tired face and sunken eyes. He looked for pale skin that was tinged with blue, for a chin that was filled with gray hair and frost. He looked for some last memory of who he was…or who he had once been. Whatever that once was…or was now…it was gone – maybe it always had been.

He held it there. Such a small thing. So frail. Little more than the size a tiny snowglobe. He held it to his chest and wept as he heard what felt like a voice of anything other than himself. A voice that asked him, “What is it that your heart desires?”

He remembered what he’d wanted as a child. He remembered all that he’d lost, all that he’d desired. Those stolen moments. Those “ones that got away”. He remembered the last time he cried and could not remember the last time he smiled.

He thought of the people he lost…and all the people he probably would.

When he woke in the morning, it was still there in his hands, glowing like a star from heaven. Like an angelic firefly in the jar of his possession.

When he rose to meet the morning with ears so cold they ached and the tip of his nose numb from the unforgiving world around him, he looked out upon the world from the peaks where, even now, the wind raged and snow swept through like empty wishes in the world’s biggest fountain.

He thought it would sound like glass, but rather, it sounded more like rain…or maybe that’s just what he told himself.

As it came crashing to the ground, shards and fragments flying up and away like sleet caught in rewind, he watched the glow fade and fade some more.

He thought of how long he’d spent his life, like so many others, asking what he might do if he found it. He thought of all those years that others had spent and lost in search of little embers in the cold remains of city-wide pyres. He remembered when last he cried.

The snow was already stopping when he looked down to see that nothing but ice and emptiness remained.

Maybe he just wanted to hear himself say the words that his heart had already given. Maybe he just wanted to hear his own voice…just one last time…since it was unlikely anyone ever would again.

He whispered, “I want it to stop…”

Importune


Tell me how to let you go
Just don’t ask me to do it
Tell me where the exit lies
But know I’m terrified of walking through it
So I beg you, please don’t ask me to pursue it

Tell me how I shouldn’t feel
Just know I can’t agree to
Tell me how you’re gone for good
But know that in my heart I’ve yet to leave you
So I beg you, please don’t tell me that I need to

Tell me you’re not coming back
It won’t mean that I’m leaving
Tell me that I’m dead to you
But know that I’ll just wait for you while grieving
So I beg you, please don’t make me stop believing

Tell me that you never cared
Or wish I’d never met you
Tell me there was nothing there
But know that, till the end, I don’t regret you
So I beg you, please don’t ask me to forget you

Hubris


I dug into the snow with cracking skin
And fingers red
I wouldn’t listen
They insisted
You were gone or you were dead

And pulling nothing forth of any worth
Or any dread
I’ve chosen you
And chosen to
See evidence in every shred

In tiny grains of sand and little stones
And frozen flakes
They told me, “No…
Just let it go…”
But you’re the dream I won’t forsake

I dug into the earth until it bled
And I beheld
A shred of truth
Idyllic proof
That in my arms you would be held

And pulling everything of any price
And any worth
I’ve chosen you
My chosen view
For any life bereft of you would be a curse