Red Death

It’s a cold place

That remembers everything

In all of her evil glory

Walls painted red

No masque to hide death

It is etched into her skin

Behind curtains of tissue 

Find your name

A tally mark for each time you died

Each time you let meaning become life

The empty abyss opened up

Swallowed you whole

You silly pretty thing

You misunderstood creature 

You misconception of a man

I will walk those halls with you

Wait on the other side

But only we

Can look

Our own death

Right in its

Bloodshot eyes

Upside Down

I’ve been spelling words

Upside down

It’s easier to write about meaningless things 

It’s easier to write about love lost and gained

It’s the gravel stuck under the skin

That takes time to bring back to the surface

The insecurities

The times locked in the closet 

The let downs

By sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers

Those are the unspeakable things

The things that keep us from loving strangers

I was brought up in the dark

Hiding inside oversized tires

I was an isolated dreamer

Gradients of green

In a world traveling under a shadow

I saw life leave their eyes 

I felt the numbness in my chest

Many people felt it was okay 

To wrap their fingers around my neck

Then in wonder they watched 

As I was romanced 

By the devil

“How could this be?”

I’m exactly who you wanted 

When you wrote novels in your sleep

Night terrors surviving

Never better than who you are 

Stop pretending

I simply abide by the parameters set

And I never run indoors 

Calcification

You misunderstand me

Assuming who you met

Is the same person I am

Forgetting growth

And calcification of bones

I let my heart pump freely

Back then

An education was had

From February to February 

I learned not to swoon

Not to feel 

Not to look into eyes

Not to count on hands and fingers

Not to open up

Inside

You accuse me of trying to make you feel

That’s not a war I’ve waged

Sometimes your heart feels like a stranger 

And sometimes it wants what you don’t

But I won’t nuzzle into bed sheets

That carry someone else’s name

And I won’t force kisses in the crook of my neck that aren’t placed there out of a desire for my name

Sometimes you whisper the shape of my face 

When I stand far away

My nose begins to twitch 

Sensing your curiosity about what could possibly be

You’ll cast me away

Maybe call in a month

But as much as we try 

Some of us leave prints 

We have to live with the fact

It 

Could have 

Been more

More like the movies

With mom and dad

Sleeping inside

Rounded edges

Lace curtains behind the blinds

Combed back hair 

Bacon and eggs

We dice up

And fold up 

And forget what’s inside

I’ve learned 

Dreaming in America

Is random firings of an already deceased mind

Our path has been forged

Following preset paths on an assembly line

My father’s a drunk

My mother is paranoid

I’m the best I’ll ever be

It will never be what diamonds seek to find

Your thoughts are unfounded

I don’t ask for the sky

Just don’t look through me 

When I’m sitting by your side

Inner Peace

I don’t enjoy

Scratching a hollow surface 

Downward dog

Into

Bullshit inner peace

So many empty

Faces

Find tranquility by walking 

Away

From anything real

Anything 

Fragile

Anything 

Combustible

They tame their temper 

By avoiding 

Unpleasantries 

Focusing on muscles 

That artificially extend 

And contract

I’ll break your bones 

If you give me a chance 

Run 

Boy

Run

Some of Us

I don’t want it anymore

The pictures

The perfection

The what ifs

The could have beens

The open smiles

The coordination 

Flexibility

Cooperation

Not one

Not a single one

All gone

All dust

To dust

Staring over railing

Nails against cement 

To remember

Feel smooth

Against

Coarse 

Slip away

From my wish book

Locked up

Set it ablaze

Some of us aren’t made for photo albums

We smile only out of sight

Split

Unfortunately you seem to have split

Apart

But the nice thing about losing your mind

Is you don’t know to care anymore

When the boy leaves you to cry

When the money all floats away

When the butcher

The baker

The candlestick maker

All send your business the other way

When the people you lit lamps for out of sight 

Out of range

Left you stranded amongst planets and stars

Where messages can not reach

And your diamond colored envelope with all your hopes and dreams

Was carelessly slipped into the wrong mailbox 

And will never again be seen

You simply open your sad eyes

Stare out over the sea

Of empty bodies 

With powdered heads

Open that red mouth wide

And laugh 

My dear

Just laugh

You 

crazy 

lovely

Thing

Let Me Down

You let me down

I’m not supposed to say

Soft spots in muscles show
You let me down

I walked away

Forced to turn nice and slow
We pull 

And tear

And claw 

At each other’s face

Pretending we 

Want more

But really we want less 

Of who they are

Because we feel something when it’s too hard

And we don’t want to stand next to them

Hair blowing away

You loved

And then it went away

When the walls began to shake

But that wasn’t your burden to take

That’s the excuse you gave

Because love has insurance

No liability

Once the premium is paid

You were polite

As you dipped out of sight

So what more could I say

No bruises in daylight

This was a success

You wanted me

All of me

The splinters of me

Softly pressed into your tongue

Until life made it clear

That my path was a battle

You loved to run

But only for fun

You let me down

As a person

To another person

You watched me crawl 

“It’s just over” you said

Loving when it’s easy isn’t love at all

It’s a parasite 

Draining resources

Until the shell is empty

Moving on

To find the next host

I’ll love again

And look into their eyes

As I sit back 

Wait

To let fangs sink deep inside

Peace

I see the way you look at me

With dust on my feet

You were told at a young age you were at a disadvantage

In response

Your family tilted your chin up

You don’t understand having been pummeled into the clay by the fingers that shaped your face

You see weakness in my defeat

You don’t see the wound that broke open just under the hairline

Because I keep it combed out of sight 

Despite the agonizing pain it takes to do so

Every morning 

Sifting hair from dangling stitches clinging to dried up blood

You talk to me with with venomous abhorrence and as if to a child 

You taste your own salty weakness on your tongue and it causes you to revisit caves 

Where your mother taught you how to be strong

It wasn’t an option 

Like becoming a vengeful chieftain is

Is it tiring 

Treading water 

In a sea of empty meaning 

That distances you from a genuine search for knowledge instead of a display of self-righteous public humiliation of anyone who gives you the chance to devour them as they slither into a trap of inquiry where your logic is replaced by a carnivorous appetite of superiority 

Don’t worry princess

You win

This battle we never fought

I never wanted to be in

Enjoy your exhibition of my head upon your spear

My repugnant weakness on full display

But it wasn’t you who won the battle

This war was fought and won

The day I held my broken future in my adult arms 

In the desert

A decade ago

When I gave up

Because no one believed

Or cared to notice 

The soul that was so desperately trying to connect with a single atom 

Only to be catapulted back into the stars 

With hands around necks

And fists against walls

A father calmly saying it was my own fault

As he barely even let the thought 

About what would be lost

Flee across his calloused brain

Because women are no longer little girls

And men remind us every day

Women prop up this thinking in order to stay in their serene estate with newly laminated portraits and calligraphy on the wall

We should have been great comrades 

I guess you never saw the ceiling with the base of your skull on the cement 

I don’t hate you for not considering

I don’t hate him for not resisting

I don’t hate them for not intervening

I don’t hate any of you for abandoning in order to avoid contamination by proximity

Truth is I don’t hate

Or love

Or feel 

Or 

Anymore

Go in peace 

It doesn’t make any difference to me

Intrepid Intruder

I still see you

Intrepid intruder

But

Lips will stay 

Firmly pressed

Avoid 

Sudden moves

You fade into the static

Left on a television

We never turned on

Or intended to watch

We fell off the edge 

Of a sphere shaped world

Moments of hesitation

Inhibition 

Hot and cold

Rapturously mixing

Isolated

In the dark

I know

In another dimension

I’m resting in contoured arms

Climbing Mountains

I am choosing

To walk straight ahead

Neck above shoulders

Chin raised

Noticing nothing

Of the blemishes on my face

I have fought 

And lost

Another battle ahead

Your eyes are narrow

Like your heart

And your head

That filled your mouth

With all of those lies

You chewed up at night

Believed they were true

I believe in the mountains 

They don’t move

Or disappear when it rains

Noble character is hard to find

Maybe impossible

So we look to the sky

Believe our voice is heard

As we mourn for our inspiration

To live a life 

Full of hope

When all we have found 

Are fists full of sand

Aimed for the eyes

I cry from the pain

I cry from the letdown

I cry for the lost opportunity 

Of what could have been

What I saw 

In bits and pieces 

Of torn apart outings

That were perfect in hindsight

Not understanding 

Not seeing the tear that caused the gaping hole

This is what bruised my internal organs 

That bleed into the night

As I lay alone

Awake

From the glow of the solemn moon

To the shine of the gregarious sun

I will leave you there

At the bewitching hour

When ghosts have their time

And remind us of what is no longer there