if your heart is a votive, mine is a structure fire
how i yearn for that sweet incineration that burns
away all memory, blackening out all the dark hours
of loneliness until they turn to ash and blow away.
when we lose everything we are free, i am told,
but i am unable to cut these tendrils of feelings
attached to the cigarette embers that were there
for me when no one else was, or could be.
help me forget. i have experienced madness, love,
rage, and sorrow, and it is only late afternoon.
feels like another failure–
a boy who is unable to love runs his fingers through a girl’s hair–
it feels forced and they both know it, the touch that is a little too
deliberate, a little too rushed–bodies that should be opened up like
gifts are instead shook until what’s inside breaks. but he is already
broken. and she is too tired to explain. they lie like empty wrappers
on the floor, already passed over for newer, shinier objects.
where were you when the light finally faded:
i was an afterimage of a firework in the sky
a string of bokeh lights, which are beautiful
because of the very fact that they are out of focus
and i teeter on the edge of a blurred curve,
a blue and white city skyline seen through
a glass of water. these filaments of loneliness
thread through the air where the light never hits,
and when i speak of these things that wake me
too early in the pre-dawn, my words are orbs of
light, fuzzy-edged, describing the intangible,
things that balk at illumination and leave me
flattened to the earth as a shadow that is still
inextricably linked to the light, that cannot exist
without the light. and i would meet you in these
dark places with hands full of ash, just to wake
with you and cup the sunrise over your sleeping
body till you ignite, so that i might exist as
nothing more than an outline on the wall.
at some point during the night someone will wake you and tell you
that you are alone. they have waited until you have fallen into
the vulnerability of sleep, for the line of your mouth to go slack,
for your eyelashes to flutter as you dream. when you dream you
dream of everyday things. at least to you they are everyday,
because you never seem to realize you are dreaming. this person
who has disturbed you, they have a face that looks like a thousand
faces, of all hues and all variations of your one and only face.
you are the one who wakes yourself at night, only you. you wake
yourself in a cold sweat, bedsheets gathered in your trembling
hands. you are alone. you are surrounded by millions of people
but no one sees you as you gasp in the dry air of wakefulness,
and you don’t know now whether you are awake or asleep. these
everyday things (you think) you dream of, they are dreams of being
all alone in the middle of a vast sea, each face of your loneliness
floating with gaping mouth around the rotted boat you cling to.
asleep. awake. you’ll drown either way.