Poetry

Three words

There are times when

I choke back

the words, ‘I love you’.

Not because I don’t mean them,

or I’m afraid.

 

It’s because they are

only words

and no matter how expertly spun,

they will never be able to even come close

to the sensation of having a full heart,

 

the full heart that beats in double time

when it expects you

to walk through the door.

 

The frustrating thing is

that I know your heart

is just as full

and we can feel our love radiate from each other

in everything we do,

 

yet

 

I still want to find this way

of forcing three simple words

into the shape of us

at every chance I get.

Poetry

Boundless

It seems I have mastered the art

of being in a place while not being there at all.

You see me smiling, speaking, laughing,

gesturing wildly with my hands

while regurgitating the same script

I’ve had for years,

but I’m not actually here.

 

I can be running across the ocean,

hopping from white cap to white cap

while dark shadows try to pull me under.

 

I can be strolling through the woods

listening to the chatter of trees as they lament

the loss of their families, graves marked only by asphalt.

 

I can be waiting under the stars

rearranging the constellations

to make up the lines of faces I know,

framed by wayward strands of hair.

 

Or, more often than you know,

I’m keeping my eyes open to see you,

to show you that if you need me,

no matter how far away I am,

I can always return here.

Poetry

Reoccurring

I’m still falling.

I see the ground rushing towards me even as it floats away.

My feet

no longer know what it is to stand on solid boundaries;

they pass through

and I am birthed out into a loop

of waking and sleeping

and waking again to find that I’m still sleeping,

and can’t escape.

 

My breath comes short

but also long,

empty lungs somehow full to bursting.

How can this be real?

How can I be real?

How can I stop myself

from fading away?

Poetry

Hidden Flowers

It’s time to flower now.

You’ve been waiting a long time, I know.

And it’s scary, revealing who you really are.

 

It is.

 

You don’t know how people will perceive you.

 

They’ll wonder

which you

is really you.

 

Which you

is the one they’ll like most.

 

For those who love the illusion,

your blooms may be devastating.

For those who really want to see you,

your blooms

will be breathtaking.

 

So flower,

true and strong.

Poetry

Griffin Nuggets

Imagining people as mythical creatures,

whether they’re the people

you know so well you can map out every mole on their arms

like a constellation,

or one of those people

who grind you under their boots just for fun,

can completely change

your view of reality.

So even on days

when you want nothing more than to huddle

into a ball and hide from the world,

this little nugget of imagination

never fails to offer a moment of hilarity.

And sometimes,

it can change your mood in an instant.

Poetry

Waterworks

Rinsing my emotions down the drain

is like convincing Thor to put down his hammer.

I’ll do it

reluctantly and sometimes violently,

turning the tap on fully so that water spits

at full pressure,

thunderous as a barbaric yawp;

 

it washes away everything

before I have a chance to reconsider.

 

I’m left as the soulless husk

they want me to be,

ready for the day’s reprogramming

to begin.

Poetry

The Gnawing

I don’t know when it began,

this gnawing at the back of my mouth, bloodying my tongue

with words that spoke only

of how my body, the vessel of everything that is me,

was not good enough

for the rest of the world.

 

It haunted the silence after meals,

wriggling, worming its way deeper

until it lodged a solid nest

and grew so much that it took over my brain

with thoughts of

how many calories are in a slice

of bread,

that apple,

those deliciously rich cherry tarts.

 

It spurred my limbs to work overtime,

even when my muscles screamed

that they hadn’t had enough nutrition that day

to function at just a normal level.

 

I tired, unable to keep up

with its demands,

unable to know my own self.

But of course, the sleeping me

did not go unnoticed by the faces I knew.

 

They dragged the gnawing from me,

gave me ambrosia to wake me

and told me it was okay.

Yet they didn’t exorcise it completely.

It had made its mark,

and now lingers on eternally.

Poetry

Guiding ropes

I can hold out my hands

and know that if I stumble, trip, stagger, fall,

one of you

(and let’s face it, more often than not, both of you)

will catch me and guide me back

onto the path I want to walk.

Yes, not pushing, guiding 

because you both know

that my feet will not work if my mind doesn’t want to tread.

Poetry

Platonic

Most of the time when we say

I love you

it’s directed at our spouse, our lover, our other half

but

what of all the other loves

that fill our hearts,

give us warmth, comfort, security?

What of the people

who make us feel like us,

who make us so at ease

that we couldn’t hide ourselves if we tried?

I think it’s time we

told them, too.

So here it is,

plain and simple, my friends:

I love you

 

Poetry

Glass Walls

You’re grinning at me

and I can tell it’s real because it reaches your eyes.

We’re working together so closely that we can touch,

lean against each other if we wanted.

And yet our lips have lost the ability to form words,

to speak the way we speak

freely

when we don’t have to hide,

don’t have to pretend

that the extent of our friendship

is a few words in passing.

A pane of glass would be less of a barrier,

at least it could be broken.