Pain

111.

You step out in my attentive suit

Pillows, pills and bills block your way

I find tear-stained sheets

Who were you at 3AM?

 

There you go in the evenfall

Lined artwork bleeding

Kitchen glass breaking

Bright eyes seeking

The sound of a throat constricting

Suspire and oxygen melting

Someone who is no longer here.

 

Many people do you meet:

The boy keeping a stash

The girl laughing too hard

The man feeding his meal to the cat

The woman sharpening the knife

In the library, the bridge under, the computer screen

Each knowing the smiles meant goodbye.

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105.

You say, that for a person so magical surely shooting stars would work their wishes for me.

I deny this a hundred times, yet I will embrace it as a truth if it will bring you back to me. This is what you do: without waiting to test the truth of my apparent character, you vanish into smokeless vapour.

Time drifts. I have taken dozens of dandelions by its roots and lain awake for 11:11s but you remain obscure to me. The sound of my breathing is too claustrophobic in this quiet.

Before you took to your leaving, I have expressed my affections: that to me you are a glowing ember, that I drew ever so closely to your brilliant being. You only smile and hope to be so, but tell me over and over to be realistic lest I am disappointed. I wonder now if I have piled upon your shoulders a burden overwhelming, that my feelings a net tangling the feet.

A lighthouse, this is what I will build as I wait for you. If I am to you a light, I will make this stand on a ground where the oceans of many meet. Day by day will I see myself on the edge, writing letters and throwing bottles of hope into the gulf.

If I am to wish a wish come true, let it be that one will come by your line of sight. Small as it is, may it rock your boat and set a wind in your sail to the shore where I stay.

You are a sailor, lost in your distant wandering and let my pieces be the north star that guides you home.

87.

Darkness of the mind, just an inkblot of poison fills the jar.

Undo the blinds, can you still see the faint sunshine that filters through.

Light and dark, unmatched playmates in shadowy playgrounds.

Run your hand along this length of rope or the metallic cool of a gun.

Will it be tonight, that the fingers will curl into the familiar hollow and pick up.

Will it be tonight, that the phone will be switched off and eyes shut tight.

Will it be tonight, that there will be a note left behind.

Please don’t let it be tonight, or any other night.

I’m here praying that you’ll live through these terrifying times.

Please hold on.

Don’t let your starlight eyes lose their glimmer in the dark.

70.

To be physical is not my demand, yet I will reach in myself a desire to reach out to you, if doing so will keep you safe. I will wrap my arms around in fierce affection, complete the space between fingers and pray my hardest to never let go.

There is a different pain, slow and terrifying, in watching the people you care suffer.

It has always been about you, is what you claim, that the wrongness of things persist. Never do you consider yourself a smile or a pocketful of bright, nor the velvet cool of a nocturnal’s shadow. Both have their strengths and beauty, but in yourself you are a stone drowning in a hidden pool.

The constant picking on sleeves and the hemline, how deep is the ache to tear them away. So many threads pulled taut, adjusted every moment or two. Strings weaved in order to purport a clever disguise. Patches of irrelevant cloth, threaded onto your back as temporary salves to save a facade failing.

You think, you truly think that you are pulling yourself together but I recognise that you are a sweater unravelling, and in time even my trembling figure can no longer support your breaking frame.

I am standing in front of you, in the same room with a heart screaming — yet all I can do in the end is watch your lungs choke on wool and inconsolable sorrow, and I am left behind with the mess of you.

64.

He is found in the midst of chaos and split silver. Cracked mirrors and loose shrapnel.

I can’t take it anymore, he mumbles brokenly.

Do you know, do you truly know what it’s like to be unseen? Alone in a crowd, or to face a reflection that will not see you in the eyes?

I am in a mental museum, full of the dead and the past, and I’m here beyond opening hours, trapped in a space that won’t let me go. Even if there are others here, they exist past the velvet rope that I cannot cross.

And in spite of it all, I am the joke, for I find myself like air — I’m afraid that I may disappear if someone does touch me.

If no one thinks of you at all, he painfully asks, do you truly exist?

The shadows breathe across the ruined floor.

People don’t remember the moon until it hides behind the clouds, she whispers softly. But I’ll have you know, that I always have been looking for the moon. You do to me what the moon does to the tide;

You draw me in.

(And even on days when I don’t see you, I know you’re there.)

59.

I know the rugged edge, what it means to stand and feel the last rocks on the worn sole. It’s with this in mind that I can see that not everyone is right in the head.

While imperfect, let me run my hands over your cracked skull and hold you until the monsters go away for a little while. Don’t be afraid of my tears, they weep to find a way to water the hope that still lives on in the darkest of places.

Don’t melt away like snow in the afternoon, dissolve in the rain like ephemeral sugar. In my weakness I remain because I care, and still do.

When the light in your eyes start to fade don’t forget the words I’ve prayed into your broken spirit. I will sing you the song of the loved and I will love you until you are nothing less than whole.

Love will find a way.

50.

Boy, you already know that you are a work of art.

Even with eyes blanketed in darkness, I can draw the contours of your face.

You are given to indecision, the way you would redo the smallest details over and over again. Some days it’s the hue, some days it’s the bold streaks you can’t seem to perfect.

There’s no start over, and so you make do. Every day a little fidget, a spot and blob. Until both the beginning and the end gets lost in the arms of each other.

I could see it then, your hesitancy, even with the arm outstretched as you said hello on our first day.

Boy, I hope that one day you’ll decide for yourself that it’s finally okay to let this canvas be, no need for any more vertical knife cuts into your papery skin.

It’s about time that you let this painting dry for a little while.

42.

I did not want to see. Sight has a way of painting pictures prettier than what they are supposed to be. It has a way of making people fall both in and out of love. A way used to judge, consider and destroy.

Day in and day out, I am clouded in darkness. In a space cold and narrow, there is no difference between the floor and the ceiling. These walls of marble are smooth and impossible to the touch. With eyes closed there were some things I could no longer understand.

Reach out, you said. To whom? Who can I reach while I’m asphyxiating in this pit, an endless tunnel of despair? In my desperation I am a flower on the wall, stuck paper-thin and immobile. Though I try, no one will hear these screams.

I am a piece of coal, indistinct, burning, burning burning burning

And gone.

I reach out at last for someone, anyone, to prove that I’m not alone. But the scariest thing isn’t taking the first step. It’s taking it and confirming your biggest fears: that there is no one, only void and this is how I will go. How do I move on from here, to know that all that remains is empty?

This is what you made me do.

Just like a dandelion in the wind, my mind’s been blown into a thousand pieces.