fragments from the year part ivMature

i

lately the highs have been fading fast,
dwindling to a muted quiet still sloshing around
in the fishbowl of my skull.  i’ve got to be so careful
not to rub the rosy tint from my eyes.

ii

I am sorry that I’m this broken,
that I keep chipped seashells and
scotch-taped paperbacks like treasure.
I am sorry we keep pushing quarters into this
coin-operated carousel only to make ourselves sick.

iii

I was always a little ahead of the crowd,
always hungry for what was next -
tethered down by my mama’s voice
always calling me back.

iv

There are graves dug into my collarbones,
and sometimes the things I tried to bury there
try to claw their way out.

v

I bring myself home in baggies -
all restless fingers and empty palms,
itching to fill myself up again.

vi

I still think about you and I hate the way you creep into my head
like roaches, making your little home somewhere dark and quiet.
Mostly, I think about you when I follow ambulances in traffic.
Mostly, I think about you self-destructing.
Mostly, that’s because that’s all you ever taught me to expect.

vii

Yesterday, I woke up and I knew that all this hollowness inside of me had to come from somewhere. That something inside of me had to be eating away at everything else because this kind of decay cannot come from nothing, it cannot take and take and take and turn everything else to absence while being nothing itself.

Loss is a bitter word but sorrow has never scared me the same way, though they are intertwined tighter than rope threads and most of the time they come hand in hand.

viii

I’ve made friends with darkness;
I grow it in a box under my bed,
let it take root in the soil,
I water it and do not let myself shy away.

ix

before you left, i was always freezing to death - 
you keep an arctic tundra in your bones 
and you tried to make me call it home 
but in the winter, I always go dark;
there’s only radio silence left in this frigid heart.

x

Your name is a splinter in my heart
that I’ll never get out.  You’ll be buried with me,
like all the other things I couldn’t face
and all the things we should have said.

xi

I don’t know why I ever let you in.  
You’re a stray cat half mad with the wild,
half dead from the trip you took to get here.  
You come to me for scraps and offer me nothing 
but fleas.  I’ll have to treat my entire life to wash you out.

xii

My mother used to make these cookies every year for the holidays
and I had a terrible love for them; I’d eat myself sick on them
and keep going back for more.  The truth is, I never learned. 
I think of those cookies every time I think of you and
there is this pit inside of me that cries out for both.  I wonder
if I am destined to love like an addiction for the rest of my life
or if it’s just you.  The truth is, I’ll never stop fiending for you.

xiii

I hate queues.
I hate lines, I hate waiting.
I was born early and my mother says
I’ve never been a patient heart.
But this electricity under my skin
has been burning since I first fit your name
in my mouth - fit it there behind my teeth,
learned it and relearned it - 
finally, I can see the same glow
burning inside you.

xiv

I dream about you - you, in all your light
and all your music screaming like lullabies -
but I wake up with blood on my hands,
clawing at my own body like I’m still digging
knuckle deep into your chest.  I get close enough
and I just want to destroy something beautiful
with my own two hands.

 

 

The End

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