#1472

I carry your lighter in my purse, scuffed and dented silver, the one I like to think you left for me to find, but for what reason? As a sign to wait, to stay faithful despite my doubt? Or to seek you out in alleys that reek of tobacco and piss, in dark places where I am not safe, not wanted? Were you telling me I am necessary, linking me to yourselves with this single found object? Or that I am a beggar at your feet, scrabbling for your castoffs? Were you trying to show me the flame has guttered out or that I should raise my hand and set fire to… what? The world or myself? The past or the present or the future? I have never claimed to know you, specter. I only see what you want me to see. So what were you trying to show me?

#1471

Don’t blame him for his choice. I’ve seen what that place does to a man. I’ve seen the ruddy glow of life pale beneath harsh fluorescent lights and ammonia stench. I’ve watched plastic tubes siphon the will to fight back. I wouldn’t have wanted it either, had I known it would do no good; had I any warning or choice or power at all in those final days. I didn’t, though – but you do. So honor his choice. We aren’t meant for our last sight to be cold white walls, the last sound we hear shrill machinery, our last sense a thin mattress and linen washed to tissue paper. We aren’t mean to pass our last moments in a place where our loved ones can’t hold us. Don’t let that place take him from you even before death does.

#1458

If you must go away, at least leave me a trail to follow for the day my heart grows too restless to restrain; breadcrumbs, blood, tears, bullet shells, shards of glass or pieces of the moon, it doesn’t matter what; I’ll know what you have touched, so just leave me something and I will follow the day I can no longer bear to stay behind.

#1455

she says I should write about myself
what I’m feeling, maybe
(what I won’t admit I’m feeling)
but I’m no good at this
I dance around subjects like a fencer
when I should strike
onetwothree
like a boxer
beat them bloody with my fists
curb-stomp their teeth in
and I guess what I’m feeling
is anger
is fear
is helpless
and what I don’t feel is
safe

(but don’t we all?)

I guess what I’m feeling
is angry
angry at a world I can’t trust
angry at a society built to subjugate
everything I am
everything and everyone I hold dear
so angry I want to lash out somehow
brand myself with ink and metal
unleash ghosts, breathe fire
bleed and scream and sing dirges
just fuck shit up, really
and the irony is this fight’s not even the one that hurts

(the most)

because I’m still feinting my blade
see how good I am?
and the real story
the real thing I’m feeling
is as empty as the house I imagine when I look inside myself
and hear
nothing
and see
nothing
and feel
nothing, nothing, NOTHING
because I have been vacated like someone exorcised
and I wonder if they miss the demons, after
the invasive presence
the madness
the companionship

(it’d be something, at least)

(I’d take it)

#1448

If my mind is a house with countless doors down endless hallways, and those doors have always been closed and locked, or maybe just closed and waiting to be nudged open, then now it’s as if every door in every hallway on every floor stands wide. I shrink from these open doorways, fearing what I will see if I creep around their corners; empty drawers, bare windows, layers of undisturbed dust on every surface. My footsteps would echo on hard floors and blank walls with no signs of life to dampen the sound of my passing. At least when the doors were shut I might peep through the keyholes or press my ear to the wood, gleaning in fragments the mysterious lives within. At least when the doors were shut I could wonder at what their locks protected from intrusion – or barred from escape. But open wide like this they hold no wonder and I am only too aware of the vacancies, the silences all around. If my mind is a house with countless doors down endless hallways, then whomever lived in these rooms is gone, vanished, removed.