Vanilla

I don’t need to ask questions to know who you are

I pay attention to every move

Every breath

Every movement of the eyes

I listen to vowels and how they overlap

I knew I was being judged from the moment I arrived

You had made up your mind

Before I opened my mouth

Maybe that’s why I let it all spill out

No repercussions

Just a stranger

Who would become stranger still

You acted like the missed connection was because of a lack of intimacy

In reality

It was your need to jump into a closeness that naturally requires steps

Without any preparation

No rewards or take-backs

Sorry to disappoint

Like you said, “they” don’t like me

Your friends whom I’ve never met and never will

Yet you came in with their prejudice

Their stagnant ill will

This is how we function

And compartmentalize

We meet people with no purpose

Other than to see how far we can sneak inside

How deeply we can get under their skin

Suddenly pulling away

Like a ghost that was never really there

Never really felt or heard or seen

I’ll be a phantom

You’ll see a glimpse of

Randomly

When your mind is empty

Looking for possibility

That one you never really wanted

That one you just wanted to see

That creature behind glass

Free admission for a limited time

How curious real people are

Who love beyond self fulfillment

Who struggle

In order to thrive

What must that be like

To not be completely enthralled with self-satisfaction

To not dissolve when it gets difficult

To not walk away when you want to

I didn’t ask any questions

Your unsolicited statements

Spoke for themselves

Ten years is nothing

When you live all alone

On an island of Self

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Down the Drain

I heard the water go down the drain

I knew you left

I could pound my chest

Scream at the sky

I remembered how you smiled

When I laughed

Like you were annoyed

I counted the pauses between my breaths

Sure to not sound panicked

You never even looked back

To see my faked composure

How I made those salty tears sing

Because I wouldn’t let you win

Funny thing is

I now know I’m still king

Because I don’t feel any incision

Made by you

In my chest cavity

All of those experiments on feelings

Come and gone

I left them all behind

With the bloodied gauze

The faux righteous cause

I didn’t know to have a disclaimer

My god

All of this hurt

Helped me rise

In the past

I would have apologized

For being too cold

For not crying enough

But now

I simply walk on

This world isn’t made for the strong

It’s made for the weak

Who pull themselves up

Watch out baby

I’ve been practicing my dead man planks

I’ve got my chin above the bar

Ain’t no room for you

Just me

My life

You silly boy

I’ll never be anybodies wife

Note To Self

So stop looking

Disappointment will cease

Scolding fleeting thoughts

For carrying false hope

In an idea

Never promised

Or even advertised

What can be harder to shake

Than your own concept

Of what destiny will be

When used car salesman

Offer you the deal of your life

You’re a big girl now

You know what a lemon looks like

But god damn

Do you miss the taste of that

Sweet

Sweet

Authentic country fair lemonade

The kind you saved up for

When you were a kid

And naive

And didn’t think about sugar

And how it rotted your teeth

And disassembled the inner workings

Of a body

Not yet solidified

From the staleness of disappointment

And defeat

No

You didn’t lose

Not yet

So don’t let them

Put a funnel in your mouth

You decide how many additives

And preservatives you’ll let be consumed

Before you finally see people

For who they are

And what they plan to take

Before leaving the love you gave

Ransacked

For whatever they lacked

It’s not you’re heart that’s to blame

Just your over eager imagination

Making up for their indifference

Life has been moving

While your heart has been breaking

It’s time to stop recording your mistakes

And start experiencing the freedom

To walk away

Resolution

The mind is a dirty bastard

Working against itself

It seems

Picking up pebbles of doubt

Planted by self assured narcissists

Blindly running off cliffs

Claiming the high dive is what they were trying to achieve

My voice is muffled

Until it bleeds

Crying out for acknowledgment

From a society busy posting selfies

#trueself #betterself #bewhoyouwanttobe

With thigh gaps

And balancing knee caps

Superficiality is king

I want to solve problems

Make my cardboard world better

But it feels

Like

I’ve never been seen

Maybe that’s how it starts

A disappearance of self

An acknowledgment of a flawed whole

This year is for improvement

And confidence

Not in appearance

But in power

In actions

In measurable goals

Being achieved

Weakness

I’ve been hemorrhaging

Faking color in my cheeks

Told it was uncomely to be so weak

Ironic because I’ve also been climbing up the summit

At a grueling pace

On my own

Two children clinging to my back

Yet weakness is seen in not always being happy

Experiencing all emotions

Even despair

You gasp at the thought

If being around such depression disgusts you

You don’t deserve my joy

Because when I see the sun

I magnify it’s glow

Knocked off my wooden ladder

I’m piecing it together rung by rung

When I get to the top

These mountains will sing

I’m not waiting for a hand to pull me up

Or ears to hear me cry

I see my downfalls

I feel my victories

I’m just trying to understand how I can feel so separated from ever human being

Not understanding how you could be so unabashedly mean

So unapologetically unfeeling

So callously cold

We have given our emotions to machines

Looking for instant gratification

Effort is a dirty word used for pathetic attachment

I refuse to buy into these lies

To lessen myself to only just comply

My worth has been shaken

But my will shall not break

I will love like the ocean

Receding when the tides pull me back

But always returning with an abundance of life

All I’ve ever wanted is someone to dance with me after the day has run out

I’ll be here each night in the dark

Dancing on my own

Campfire to keep me warm

Maybe one day you will look up

Come out of your self absorbed trance

Join me for a song

I’ll show you how to keep rhythm

You can tell me how to stay in step

Sad Song

I fell in love with an idea before I knew what it meant

When I caught a glimpse of it

It nearly destroyed me

I think of rain

On cracked asphalt

That smells like the sea

On newly trimmed grass

I taste the oysters dissolving on my tongue

I was there

With a ghost of you

My own death flashing before my eyes

Justice can never be served

To what was

In the curves of drenched eyelashes

I aged a decade in a week

In a city filled with Golden history

Sometimes I hear that song

I played while mourning for you

I feel myself come alive

Because losing you

Forced me to welcome back a piece of me that had died

A piece of me I left in the basement

Drawn on the drywall

Before being textured then painted

Never to be known

Until I stopped relying on curved shoulders

To carry me home

I’ve loved so many times

But only a few

Come to mind

You are one of the three

And my tongue sings with a taste of you now

Bitter in places

But I’ve let you go

The remnants of what was

Will be a white scar

On the lining of my rib cage

Pulsing to all of the sad songs

You told me to leave behind

I love remembering you when I cross a bridge

It reminds me how close I was

And that I’m still alive

Perfectly

Life was perfect

You completed your mediocre education at a not quite Ivy League

Married your semi-sweet half-hearted sweetheart

Had two perfectly spaced children

One adrenaline rich boy and one meek and mild girl

Lived a perfect Instagram framed life

In a perfect white washed house

You felt like something was missing

This is what you missed

The brokenness that inspires everything human

Heavenly or not

Nothing comes out of a “perfect” plan

Perfectly followed

Out of obligation

To a preordained way of life

That’s why they want to smother us out

The enlightened

The beaten

The comeback kids

The trailblazers exploring new ways

Making the earth change shapes

As we disturb the flow of time and space

Knowing the person we are proud to be

Came from being pushed around by all the people who did it “right”

Don’t plan on disaster

But realize tsunamis give little warning

Don’t build on broken pieces

But be aware that bridges built don’t last forever

Don’t refuse to ever feel again

Because the love you’ll find after being broken

Is mightier than all of the hurt you’ve ever known

If you let it be

Christmas Vice

Bitersweet

Memories

And

Ghosts

Following the edict

To be filled with nothing but

Joy

Some rules have good intentions

Still lacking practicality

It’s not all lost

Twinkling in the dark night

I’ve laughed and loved

Still time for cocoa and rum

So many ties

Cut at the seams

Throwing loose cloth

Into the sea

I remember love

Lost and found

Nothing sticks like blood

Until it’s diluted by a 12 pack

Harmless lack of prohibition

I’ve got my own family now

It won’t be me who walks away

One thing not out of my control

One thing worth working for

With

And

Towards

I’ll light up the runway

Every single year

Forgiveness is my vice

Forgetting to not care

Any warm heart is welcome

But you can keep your vindictive gifts

Wrapped with deceptive sheets of self sacrifice

I don’t accept collect calls

But I hear footsteps approaching my door

Love Economics

At a certain point

All value is lost

Maybe not internally

But when it comes to trade

To an exchange

To commitment

When running into violent arms was a way to cover up oozing scabs on the heart of a childhood self

When all backs were inexplicably turned

That’s all that will be seen

No matter how much silk is draped over the flawed exhibit

Lost men will be interested in the unique realness of a broken soul

Only until they are reminded of how the economics of love works

A mother is a mother to any lost child

But a father is only nurturing to blood

Even that isn’t guaranteed

Sexist

Politically incorrect

Experience

Prove me wrong

I dare you to look at me without trying to see past what’s in front of your face

I’ve felt love that was resented as it was given

I’ve felt when no one was returning that labor intensive effort

Too many times

Too many secret meetings

Too many faked guarantees

Too many hidden longings for the promised land

That has yet to be touched

That has yet to bear your promised fruit

That will be just as flawed as your plastic love

For a plastic person

In a plastic two story home

I hope you find it

I hope you eat it

I hope it tears out your insides

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal

Crooked Spine

I’ve lost all of my faith

What should be a suicide note has turned into a Declaration of Independence

From your opinion

Of my approach

To a meaningless life

That I feel determined

To fill up

With as many broken fragments

From experiences had

Enjoyed and survived

As will fit in my hollowed our pockets

Life is not a gift because of following some plotted out lines

It is a gift because of the determination of chaos to ensure that destination is never reached

That serendipitous torture

Of falling in and out of love

Finally the only person you look for

Is yourself

With your broken spine

You pin together

Without mentioning the hellacious pain

Because you know what people hear

Exactly what makes them feel good

A mother alone is nothing

Desired by kings

So the desert buried my sins

Carries my dreams

In a convertible leaving

Like I planned

Like dreamed

Like I did

You weren’t there

As I straighten my spine