Somehow, it was understood by everyone in that room
that our expectation of happiness will never be met.
Even as we smiled and exchanged pleasantries
and got each others name right (if not each others lives),
we could see the powdered snow of truth on each others shoulder.
We looked at each other stumbling through the halls,
stubbing our toes and losing our limbs
to something as simple as a heartache,
to something as trivial as a phone call not made.
We would drink each other’s suggestion
and make visits to tables where greatness lived
yet all the time barely holding ourselves back
from asking the obvious – “do you know it too?”
or sometimes from even asking the absurd – “can you love away
this realization, exorcise this pain from me? look at me
so that I stop breaking. look at me and make me feel true.
look at me, so my hands can stop clawing at your throat for attention.
I hate being reduced to this, don’t you”
Too tired to pretend, too dejected to accept,
stupidly, recklessly we hoped, even as we tried not to.
On this street of misfortune,
we shall dance our goodbyes
with our last light.
Me – with my shoulders swollen red
under the weight of futile hope
and you – with your throat sore from
all the songs that never reached anywhere.
Together we shall do our last bit.
I will promise to make something
lovable out of your songs
and you shall knead the hopelessness
out of my burning muscles.
With nothing great to offer,
we shall approach each other.
We with our burnt tongues
and with our melting teeth
will take a huge bite
from this last human hour.
This is how we shall correct
the trajectory of our awkward dark flight.
You’ll cry at the beautiful never-blue sky
as I sing for the dry lost ground
marked with only horrors
for it will never know
the motion of roots within itself.
It will never know the feeling of
a monster, a darling, a story
growing out of it cracks. But we shall know it-
what being earth, being air,
being the last calm means,
and that shall be enough.
Even if we never get to know
the other beautiful things
a skin and the will of human can be.
Knowing this will be enough.
The bruising purple song,
the decay of dear flowers,
the gifts given as settlements
in nasty goodbyes- this morning
you tie these new shadows
on your neck- your neck now hidden,
your neck otherwise always growing
new bones in new odd ways,
your neck otherwise a monster
like the rest of you.
You – otherwise a beautiful
heroic animal of rage,
today you look normal
with your clever violence.
Today you look like the portrait
that you colored red last summer
because it made you sick
to look at a sadness so proud.
You tell me about graphite and fire,
how you could relate a bit more to graphite
if it knew to bleed better, leaving not crumbs
but organs made of earth’s belly. If only fire down there
knew of this surface filled only with examples
and exhibits of mortality,
then we could all cry together, you say.
Your hands softly tosses away
something crucial of you in the melting pool
of men now made more of sun and less of snow.
You dip your cold hand in the furnace of spring
and ask me if I can see it as well. I do.
I see life changing the molecules of my loves
to something neat, something that soon will outgrow me,
something I will now fear tainting.
I see my love,
but I am sure we are not seeing the same thing.
The hand that writes on the board of sky
erases everything in a haste again.
She, the deity of hope, stands flustered
offering her pink cheeks and silent lips
to our cold eyes. She looks at the swamp,
the dirt, the knees
dancing with the flow of earth
and waits for us to write a flower
on the lines of our fate.
She wanted to tell us
about something beautiful,
about the world
that waits to be worshipped.
It was supposed to be a class
about the skin of baby
that would come to our surface
when we let ourselves feel something.
But she knows all correct words
will first do us harm.
She has suffered that harm
before she found the softer light of life.
She fumbles with her love, her offering
for she knows
not all of us will make it through like her.
She wanted to make a list of her loves
to write us a path that is only made of light
but ended up writing the names of all those
who drowned because they felt too much for too long.
She can’t stop her tears, can’t stop apologizing.
She wonders if she has broken us permanently
while we look at her own broken form and silly love
and wonder if this is where worship, where light starts.
Light drips from the edges of the window
where you once stood, where you now hide,
where now you lie buried without a body.
That light from the past frames my cold figure,
it takes my withered dream and writes your name
on my budding hopes again.
Again I am left wanting you.
On the streets where young blood builds new worlds
my hands want only to build you back as you were.
My ungrateful hands tries to sculpt you
on every skin it is granted.
My cruel cold words of love-not-meant
decorate coffee tables and dark beds.
I have become so hateful that I fail to grasp
how you could have loved me.
It is now impossible to imagine
that once something in me
knew something of love.
Some part of her
has taken root here.
In this forsaken place,
she flowers and spills
the soft resilient petals of sun
on the dissolving roads,
on the floods of blue.
She lays her soft claim
on the wings of unnamed birds,
on the broken shrines,
on the leaking instrument of word,
on this throat
that knows her name
to be the only god
capable of a love so tender
that she becomes the holy wind
in this sail of a skin,
this skin that heals and breaks
and blooms with blood, only to
become, only to remain
as the last trace of an impossible embrace.
In the moonlit park plagued with roses,
the chain, the heart of metal
creaked under my weight.
My growing body, my faltering mind cried
holding the body of its sorrow for reasons
that don’t make sense in any language.
The words stitched on my tongue
hate to see light, hate to find ears,
hate to lie in clean lines of ink.
But the dead night breathes
another reassurance in my chest, so I cry.
Our breaking would be our new secret.
This will be our new short friendship.
Tomorrow I shall grow up for real.
Tomorrow you shall hold someone
whose innocence shall float effortlessly
in these waters that welcome only the untainted.
After these few hours of indulgence,
I shall no more pray for my old heart,
no longer ask for things
that everyone has been forced to lose.
The bodies that were burning
on soft stakes of light last night,
are now moving again.
though unfamiliar with the lightness of cheerless air,
though stranger to the tune of fire in this new land
they move with their heavy hands,
with the spoils of life spilling out of their mouths
with a spectacle hidden under their ribs
They move across the silent narrow fields of blooming coal,
under the gray aging bones of the the fruitless godly plants,
their ears ever aware, ever desperate
for the ringing of a spark,
for the burning, for life to begin.
The sharp edge on your voice
brings back the glowing face of my father
talking about the descent of world
with an bright animated hatred,
his hands folding around the hilt
of an absent necessary knife,
as he ignored my own hands
tearing away at the dictionary,
gouging out some weak heart
from another chest of mine.
I wrote a song about his presence,
his looming beautiful voice,
about the ceilings of the world
that bent down to touch his blessed head.
“He will be soon gone”,
I repeated that line again and again
not knowing where to lead that feeling to.
I repeated the same pathetic show
to soothe his nerves, the same growing
of small violent flowers in his ashtrays,
as his drink swirled in the glass,
as it all devoured him slowly,
as I wrote again “soon he will be gone,
and I’ll be left behind to take his place.”
I told her I wanted someone new to blame,
nothing in his old rage-filled brain
has enough flesh to house all this hate.
I told her to leave me
like she has done thousand times before
but this time maybe it she could do it for me.
And maybe this would be the first time
I could really believe her deceit
and learn to hate her for it.
This time she can really mean it
when she says that we’ll be better by this.
And maybe we will finally finally heal
and learn something gentle from ends like these.