degrees of magnitude

You say when you think of me
it’s with nostalgia
a surreptitious smile
spreads across your flushing face

When I think of you
frustration, despair, shame and desire
fuse into a howl of longing
I grimace and cringe

with teeth clenched
waiting for each wave of pain
to finish pounding me
into the dirt by degrees

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all you were

So few details
starkly told
with a prose so bold
I thought you were trying to be opaque
denying some truth
you feared more than the ache
to be with me
I rubbed my eyes
hard and dry
to see past imagined
silent lies
But my vision was fine
there was nothing to hide

That was all you were

tripped

I’d like to say I fell for you
but really I just tripped
To say you tore apart my heart
but it was only grazed a bit
Rain is just wet
and winter just cold
and neither can hurt me
like this feeling
I can’t
hold onto

I’d like to say you gave me more
than the means to make much of less
but I’d only be putting
dumb words to the test
making rhymes of nothing at best
The world just turns
and sunshine burns
but neither will hurt
if I lie
still
in the dark

I’d like to say we part as friends
but the truth is something else
Friends aren’t ashamed
by time wasted pretending
And you’re now as far
as that sole star
that blinks as the fog rolls in
vanishing before
I can make a wish

snagged again

smiling in pictures
(you said, as if to console me)
doesn’t mean you love your life
so now I sit
sifting through all
it could mean instead

blue

When the colours in your eyes
are done bouncing around
And the contours of your smile’s
but an abstraction
of a bygone distraction
That’s when blue is all I see
the only colour that is real
When all else has been removed
I play the game to lose
just to feel those blues
washing over me

midsummer night strut

I stand in a place
where I’ll never again be
I’m looking at you
as I’ll never again see you

Boisterous and swaggering
in your natural habitat
A menu of quick standards
by a filled-in ditch of a lake

You’re bellowing clichés
serving up platitudes
with a side order of smirks
Breaking no ice, nor sweat
Playing the role as expected
to everyone’s content

You own this moment
You own this place
You let in those you choose
A feigned sly smile
punctuated with a wink
seals the unspoken deal
I’ve been here before
And then too I tripped
on your flimsy sincerity
slipped on your strewn lines

Finding footing in doorways
I wait between lies
for you to fumble
humbly to my side
gasping as the narrative fails

And you’ll be gone when I wake
just like yesterday
and again I’ll have made
all the same old mistakes
And I will still miss you

snack

timeline

Filtering for key frames
in this time-lapsed life
trying to find shifts
and misdirections
to account for where I stand
lost in the void between
an unrevealed truth
and an unspoken lie
one longing for the telling
the other for an end
when an end to longing
would do just as well

last chance

Had I known that would be
the last chance to see you
I would have shrieked,
honked and howled,
waved, jumped and raved
instead of spying
through my rear view mirror
while slowly driving by

Had I known it would be
the last chance to touch you
I would have been much gentler, rougher, harder and more tender
instead of watching
with one eye on you
and the other on my reflection

Had I known it would be
the last chance to talk with you
I would have told you this

afternoon

Those were the best years
There was time ahead
And the past had been laid to rest
Everything was growing up and richer
Making filled the hours and days
That ended in a swirl of warm blankets of pillow talk
to make the moment last
And now it’s just a story
I tell sitting around tables
to show my gratitude
Or hold up in contrast
to the years of decline ahead

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