The Shady Lady
Hey, you're not here and I'm immobile.
There are entangled roots growing underneath the soles of my feet.
I shy away from the sun, standing firm in the shadows of
The branches of some other tree.
You cultivated me when buoyant, but left me without my
Half-opened rosettes, tucking the biggest one in your breast pocket.
I blossomed for you, my love, for you, but you couldn't wait for fruition,
And I couldn't promise you forever; but know there are entangled roots
Growing underneath the soles of my feet and I'll always be around for you,
Standing firm in the shadows of the branches of some other tree,
One that could distort in the spheres of warping falsities.
Know that I feel you raining over me, my sweet love, but why cry
For an oak so unmoveable, so fixed, and undeterred even in the face of love?
Hey, you're not here and I'm sitting at my cubicle watching the clock, but you don't know about 9-to-5s. I don't know why I even think of you. It's been a while, and there wasn't much to think of to begin with.
Hey, you're not here, and I'm at the tequila bar on 6th street doing shots. I haven't made it home before three this whole week. I'll probably end tonight hunched over a toilet expelling half-digested tortilla chips and guacamole. If you were still here, I'd probably be throwing up anyways.
Hey, you're not here and I'm in my cubicle again, and thinking of when you were. You weren't in the city for a long time, but you got to see Brooklyn. We left work early, and took the Q from Union Square and got off at DeKalb. Subways make me sick. I'm sensitive to motion. I wonder if you were too. I wonder how much like me you would have been.
Did you know when we walked into the clinic? What were you thinking? Did you hate me? All this time–did you hate me more than you loved me? Did you have enough time to form those emotions?
"It's done," the doctor said, and I thought, hey, then stopped. He held a Petri dish out to me. "Do you want to take a look?"
I swallowed, shook my head, look away. I heard the plastic clatter into one of his many wastebaskets.
You can't hate me anymore. I made sure of that. But I'll do it for you.
I can't fall asleep anymore. I'm scared if I close my eyes, I'll never wake up. That itself would be okay. I'm scared because I'll have to face you if I die. When I die, I mean. Because we're all gonna die. And I can't face you.
Hey, you're not here, and it was my choice. Hey, you're not here, and you can't come back.
Hey, you're not here and I said I wouldn't care, but I'm sitting at my cubicle watching the clock and thinking of you even though there's nothing to think about. You weren't anything. You had no time. I gave you no time–no, not quite. I took away all your time except a few short weeks.
Hey, you're not here and it's my fault.
Hey, you're not here, and I wish you were.
Where is Your Sun?
Hey, you’re not here
and I’m beginning
of my tomorrows
inside my yearning heart.
I step into bleak darkness
of pregnant clouds,
as I strain to reach
your absent hand.
My tears congeal
in stagnant rivers, as
ribbons tying us together
and tattered shreds.
The sky ignites,
your flickering image
in volcanoes of
gray lava, leaving
a trail down the tracks
we have trod.
Although it was time
for you to leave,
as I try
to copy and paste
the kisses I have saved.
But where is your sun?
A LETTER TO MY FATHER
You're not here & I'm wondering... well, I'm starting to wonder if I wish you were.
I can't remember when it was that you decided you didn't want to see me anymore, that you didn't want to be in my life anymore. It's probably around a decade.
Ten years without a father.
At the time, I admit I was glad to see you go. I was sick of your angry silence; sick of only being spoken to when I'd done wrong & you needed to yell.
I was sick of the way you treated mum. She did everything for you! She fucking stood by you for almost twenty fucking years! She gave you her all! & still you demanded more.
But... she also gave you children that you didn't want & you resented her for that.
Yeh, I know. I heard you say it.
For years I called you every vulgar name under the sun. For years, I hated you. I hated you so much I couldn't even think about you without getting mad.
I wished so hard that things had been different, that you had been the perfect father.
I made up stories in my head of fake hugs, fake picnics, fake bedtime stories; things I knew a father should do, but mine never did.
You know you abused us, right? Maybe not physically but verbally, mentally... emotionally.
Maybe you didn't know. Your childhood wasn't perfect, far from it. I know you got demons slung across your back. So do I.
There's no excuse for what you did. You left us high & dry, took all the money & drove away.
But... maybe you didn't know.
Maybe anger was all you knew because that was all you were taught as a kid.
So now I find myself not condoning, no, never condoning, but perhaps understanding, or at least, wanting to understand.
I find myself wanting a father.
So, you're not here & I'm wondering if I wish you were. Ten years without a father is a long time. Still, I don't know if I'm ready & I can't help but wonder, are you?
The Kiss of Compassion
She is beautiful,
But it's an eerie beauty,
Haunting in a romantic type of way.
She lurks in the shadows,
Calling to me softly like doves on an Autumn morning.
Her skin is as smooth and pale as fine china,
Glistening gently under the iridescent silver moonlight.
Long, coal black strands fall loosely around her chiseled features.
She glances at me through ice blue eyes,
Taunting me from across the room.
She preys upon me, knowing that I am weak.
I want to leave with her so badly.
I long to press my tired lips on her plush, inviting ones.
I ache for the comfort of her company.
She is desirable like no other.
She knows just how badly I angst for her touch.
Oh, how easily I could slip into her grasp,
Yet still she keeps her distance.
She understands that, once I am ready,
I will come running to her cold embrace.
I am consumed by pain.
I cannot wait a moment longer.
My heart throbs for the black haired beauty.
Through toilsome breaths,
I beckon her,
And with light steps,
She silently saunters towards me.
No words need to be exchanged.
We both know what is coming.
We both know what we want.
Her firm grip is asserted upon my shoulder.
With a swift movement, her lips suddenly rest on mine.
Slowly, I feel my body become numb.
My soul is no longer devoured by anguish.
Towering black wings burst from her back, exposing her true form.
She encases me in her warm plumage.
I feel a snap.
Death releases our lip lock,
My fading corpse no longer embraced by rich feathery darkness.
I did it.
At last, I have crossed over to the other side.
Letting feelings out
We had been friends since elementary school. And like the fool I would become, love struck me at an early age, or what I thought was love...
But as the rock music of the 70's gave way to the punk music of the 80's,
I came into my own in high school, we were still friends.
We were friends that just talked on the phone. We saw each other in school, but we only waved. We had to watch our reputations as she was in with the "in" crowd and I was a poor kid who made it into the college prep classes.
When she got pregnant at 16, I was at the hospital and saw her face, that she didn't want me there because other friends were there. So I took the clue, I stopped calling her, but then when she saw me two months later she asked why had I stopped calling.
It was the hope of the hopeless that made me call her again, pick up our phone calls that would last for hours. What I remember most about her, in those days was that when she walked into a room, she had this glow about her. That's what I remember about her. I think for her, she got used to me calling because at this stage it was five years.
At graduation, we hugged but then she went to the parties of the night and I went to my friend's house where we played D&D because we were free. I wanted to be with friends where I was king of the nerds and hold my own court.
We kept in touch, not calling daily like I used to, but every few weeks if not once a month. She was there when I did my tour of the state colleges and when I finally graduated.
I was there when she found love at 21 and when he proposed. I was there when she sent an invitation that I sent back with zero attending at age 23. It was the same year my dad gave me another lesson, "Don't go there thinking you can change her mind, she's made her choice..."
I didn't hear from her again till I was 31, when it just so happened that I worked at the same place she did. I didn't know it till the second month on the job when she returned from maternity leave. I was answering phones when she turned the corner and I swear to God, her glow never faded. We talked every now and then, catching up between two old acquaintances because, really, that's what we were.
But, two months after coming back she left without a word, the job was too much for her. She came in over a weekend and cleared out her desk, not leaving a note or message that she was going. She was just gone. That was the last time I saw her...that was the last time I let those feelings out...
Hey, you're not here and I'm pretty sure you never planned to be. It's been 26 years since we said, “I do” and 26 days since you cheated on me. I thought we could reconcile our differences, talk it out. But here I am, sitting alone, again, on this lumpy sofa across from Dr. Bevelle.
“He's just running late.” I lie, after she checks her watch for the second time. “He'll be here.” The words felt as hollow and empty as your promise to love me forever.
My phone vibrates. I look down expecting to see a text from you. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.
You’re Not Here Anymore
Hey, you're not here, and I'm sorry
I miss you
Your mother misses you
Your sisters miss you
Every day I wake up and think
"This is my fault"
There was so much left for you in life
You were only 15
It's my fault you are gone
If I had just been awake when you asked
If I had just thought it through
If I had just paid more attention to you
You would still be here
You're not here, and I'm sorry
All you wanted to do was skate with your sisters
I knew you were new at it
I should have said no
But I was tired
And let you go
You're not here, and it's my fault
I was sleeping when your sister called
When I answered
She was crying
Screaming in pain
All I heard was
"Sarah was hit"
When I got there
The ambulance had already gotten you
You're not here, and it is my fault
We got to the hospital with your sisters
Your mother was still at work
And didn't know we were at the hospital
I watched them take you out of the ambulance
You were wearing your pink hoodie
You weren't moving
I ran down the hospital following you
I watched as they gave you CPR
I screamed your name
"Sarah, baby, daddy is here"
You're not here, and I'm sorry
I watched as the doctors stopped giving you CPR
I fell to my knees
You were gone
I visit your grave every day
I sing your favorite song
I don't let anyone in your room
Your phone is still active
Part of me is waiting for you to come home
But I already know you are gone
You're not here, and I'm sorry Sarah
I'm sorry baby
Cherubic beast of mine, I was so so drunk on you that I couldn't
See the effluvium of a perfumed dread we both share.
You exhaled and I inhaled, exchanging the rounds of our
Fantasies, like the sand shared between the beach and the shore,
Or perhaps, like the wind between a clear sky and the city ground,
Each giving to get, oh please darling, let us love like they do.
I gape like the oxygen leaving my lungs was fastened to the glass bottle
Clenched by my hand like a lover I refused to lose,
A lover beguiled by my tear-glossed lips;
Only my mosaic of glass bottles guide me, guide me, guide me,
And they're guiding me like the North Star to drunkenness.
I drank covetously, thirsty and hungry, but it was you who devoured me.
Pretty, pretty lover of mine, you must have loved me
Because you devoured me and left no residue behind.
Cherubic beast of mine, I can only stare into your eyes,
A kaleidescope of the ocean I never learned how to swim in.
You, with the glass eyes, enticing me with the taste of liquor,
You, with the wet lips, imposing a plight to drink together,
You promised something bigger than I could understand.
It was your breath, your eyes, your lips that housed me in your flesh,
Leaving an opaque yearning of mine, and suddenly I couldn't breathe.
I threw my head back; the world had already started spinning.
Cheers Darlin’! and I raised my glass into the air, but you didn't drink.
I was left to lick every drop; destined to start a war inside myself like a
Naked person skidding down a razor blade into a bottle of vodka.
Drunk on you, drunk off you, drunk off liquor mixed with what was.
The last time I saw him
in the mist of his oblivion
his footprints whispered goodbye
harsh rain soaked into my soul
I clung to him with tears of no return
the heavy weight of water pulled him
away from me into his vague future
I wish I could swallow more time
keep it safely tucked into my belly
before he floated away from me
stagnant air festers in my head
as my haunting words linger in air
pleading for one more chance
but I only hear the echo of my voice
reverberating in the empty night
“Please stay, oh please stay with me.”
I am left with little piles of memories
encapsulated deep within my heart
as he vanishes forever from my view.