like to be
like to be
same old cycles
like nothing changed
but everything did—
like a magnanimous
nothing, all this
nervous illusion built
by someone who
could do nothing but
i’m back again
anxiety seeping in
the crevices of my
and devouring me
inside out again
though there’s already
panic and dark stains
look at the mess
why don’t you?
fix the damage
and change chaos
soaked shirt and beige
just look at the
mess you are…
why don’t you?
save all the saints
and give ’em hell.
i’m sorry if i ruined your saturday night
your weekly vigil on unsafe city streets—
but my apologies are so vague now,
almost as vague as your vintage excuses;
though not quite. not just quite.
i won’t be another reason, another blur,
on your photo album faux perfection.
so for now, my pretence will be pretend
and i’ll keep my tired eyes open just enough
for you to blind me with a second-late camera flash.
midnight air, unsettled
mingling against red beanies
caramel and salt, lost to
frothy aftertastes, tingling teeth,
and dying inkstains—
them, me, lifeless
small talk and smaller affinities
a drowsy pill for a drowsier mind.
a freckle on your nose
u n c e r t a i n t y ;
and a delicate acceptance
of what they thought they know…
what you thought you knew.
rub it off, impulsively,
staring down the cold sun—
it’s lower than this afternoon
like the sky sank around it instead
of the other way around…
silk curtains fresh with dust
and an alarm clock that acts like
a hatchet clean down your
confused head, splicing
your migraine in half like a
raging hydra having a bad day.
melanin is lost to sunburn;
quietly-peeling skin picked on
like trying to remove the memory
of a bad vacation, and
u n c e r t a i n t y g r o w s —
the toaster flies off into eternity.
it’s been a lovely holiday
and i don’t regret staying
just a little bit longer for it—
but at the end of the day,
it’s just that: a holiday.
a couple weeks of phantasm
before the veil is unlifted
again to reveal a worse hell…
it’s been a fun holiday, it has.
but it changes nothing.
sad, tinted vision
a kind of tiredness that
violates the soul itself
tense bodies twisted in shapes
their spinal columns bent
almost to a fractal fracture
cold sighs, half-meant
an almost corpse-like shiver
instinctive, twitchy, mere impulse
tender bruises, counted;
stitches, pulled out again
me, your modern marionette.
it’s all coming back to me now…
that laugh, half-remembered.
vicious dreams, buried under deep
in an attempt to submerge
my own brain in a vat of denial.
your charm; reckless, relentless—
so fucking interesting to me.
i thought i’d already let you out of
my system, but sometimes i still
get a little sick of myself and the way
you swim under my tangled veins
so that i can’t bleed you out.
oh, we did have some good times,
before my distractions tumbled down
the stairs and it shattered along
with the fragile illusion of you.
it never mattered much, but i tried
to hide it away until then, and before
now—shameful, pathetic, deluded.
but i try, h. i don’t know why i do,
and i don’t know why you’re returning
to the shallow depths of my mentality
when i least expected it—it’s been
three years now, i have counted.
and still; when the countdown ended,
when the ball dropped and everyone
kissed their friends and bubby glasses
and cheered at deafening fireworks,
i still found my midnight sky to be lit up
with your most distant memories.
it’s all slowly coming back to me now—
that youthful smile, half-forgotten.
violent dreams, making me scream
in an attempt to capture my attention.
the doubt and insanity of it all…
i don’t know if i mind having it back again.