All of Us

We

Have to figure something out

Stop shrugging it off

It’s not about choices

It’s about reality

Human condition

We belong to each other

All of us

To protect

And lift up

But

We get caught up

In the direction of fingers

Saying it’d be better if they just jumped

Sometimes we believe it

If not one person

Is sitting in a chair

Next to

A broken hearted stare

Then why even be there

There are responsibilities

Accomplishments

Civic duties

But even friends walk away

Sometimes it’s hard to face another day

We must be present

For moments like this

We must be present

For people who are propped up along the edge

No matter how many times

It’s not their fault

I am screaming at you

It’s not their fault

That’s all that can be said

But when their bloated broken bodies

Wash up on shore

I don’t care how far away you are

Their now purposeless blood

Is on your hands

I’m talking to you

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All of It

I try to be strong

To hold up my own spine

The weight

Crushes me

Every time

Everything is going to be fine

How about we be honest

It’s going to be rough

Hard as hell

Nails and teeth will break

From trying

To scrape by

You’ll be standing

Slumped shoulders

You’ll be breathing

Deflated lungs

A moment

A lilac sky

A wildflower breeze

A curling sea

Life is full

Even when it breaks

We wake up

For all of it

We live

For all of it

We love

For all of it

Don’t forget

Dark Circles

I stopped waiting

Looked up

Saw a clear sky

Full of ideas

Places

With walkable streets

Poured down the horizon

Slipping under protected feet

That missed the feeling of perpetual motion

Because waiting to be noticed

Is harder than

Noticing flaws

In cracked reflections

So I spun until the light filled up

Every pore

That had given up

On its own vibrancy

Through that light

I felt seen

And loved

Then you noticed me

That was everything

For a moment

Until your darkness pulled you away

Because light can only be hid for so long

Before setting fire to an overshadowing obstacle

Smoke is a temporary screen

The sun will embrace my freedom again

As long as there is life

There is love

No matter how many times

We all get it wrong

Sunset

I fell through a crack

In the sky

It opened the stars

And showed me

A space

Connecting

Everything

In a harmonious state

Filled with light

Falling like waterfalls

Into an infinite lake

I swam to the bottom

To get to the top

And that’s where I found you

Stumbling through

Tear drops

You blamed on the rain

I

Kissed

Lips

Slowly

Until the world started spinning

Sat on a hill

And watched the sun

Collide

With the clouds

We all knew

Our fate

Still something beautiful

Was there

Contentment

It’s not unfathomable

It’s just not what you’re accustomed to

This thing where people exchange

Thoughts and feelings

Without needing pain

Accepting

And providing

Looking to bring something

To an empty expression

A hint of unavoidable laughter

Don’t fight contentment

Falling

The mountain looks so much bigger when you’re falling

Ignorantly flailing for something to hold

Something to break a fall

Instead of protecting the head

Tucking into a ball

Letting the event run its course

You can’t stop an avalanche

Not once it has begun

People are so entitled

Deciding what they can control

What they can leave behind

Sometimes parasites go undetected

Infect the brain

Cause you to see visions

Of what can never be explained

You thought the cliff extended

You thought you’d have more space

More time

Your body will decompose before your mind

Before your soul

Finally see what’s on the other side

That thing you’ve been seeking

That obsession in your gut

If you find a way

Let us know what you find

Sticks and Stones

Call me your best bet

I’ll get in line

Wait for you to come out fine

From the wreckage 

Of what was lost

Never saw it

But I felt it

Hitting the ground

I’m sorry

I’m sorry for the sounds

They haunt you at night

Carry you when you don’t want to be held 

Force you into a misshapen box

With crooked edges

Corners mismatched 

Holes let sand inside

From the time

You promised 

You’d come out fine

Why I’m waiting

None of us are fine

That is the only fact

In which I’ve never found a flaw

Fine is what would happen if the dirt suddenly floated up

Blood seeped back into broken veins

Hands smoothed over bruised cheekbones

Turning purple back to flesh

Fine is what children think life will be

If they are fortunate enough to live where love is found

Not in a living room 

With open screens

We are not fine

I need it repeated

We are not fine

One more time

We are not fine

When we find no value in a stranger’s life

We have lost our dearest gift

Sticks and stones

And all the rest

Leave bodies on the floor

Life is what You wanted when

You still felt the world had a story to tell

Not an edict to declare 

Please help me find something

Remind me 

Of the wonder I used to feel 

The faith I used to have

That this hope inside is real

A Time Before 

I can’t force meaning anymore

When words are empty

So I’ll paint you a picture

In deep forest green

The kind your mother spoke of

The kind that takes away

Before the earth began to spin

When you wanted to fall in love

People were still friends

When difficult was a challenge

We were still willing to face

Before robot animation took the place

Of the shape of your face

When cheekbones were impressive

And freckles were treasured

Scars were bragging rights

Touches from hands made us tingle

Kisses were rare 

Given only when earned

The world has been filled with nonsense

Most of us are overwhelmed

We’re sedated by roller coasters

Cartoons placed over our skin

We’re not real anymore

We are a digital version of ourselves

And our souls have been blocked by the firewall

You wanted to see me

Here I am

Disconnected

And raw

How It Feels

There is a void

Where your words should be

They are yours and no one else’s

You deserve that

But I don’t know how to express it 

Yet

How it feels to see your face each time we first meet like approaching home after a long trip

How it feels to be surprised by your grace each time it is seen without being shown

How it feels to see you looking back at me knowing I don’t deserve all of that admiration

How it feels to wait for your laugh when you think you’ve said something wrong because it gives me a place to sneak inside 

Behind that confidence that drew me in to your embrace

The way you move me where I need to be so you can kiss me at that perfect angle that makes my knees tingle

There is no urgency but its current is strong and you’re sweeping me away

I don’t want to own you just as I can not be owned 

But I will give you pieces of me to carry with you so you may remember that this feeling is real

When you are ready to return them 

I’ll write you a new song 

You can discover a new side of who I am and how we can connect 

I’ll do this for an eternity 

As long as you always return back to me

Scars

Sometimes we learn lessons driving backwards down dark alleys at night

We think it is an education

But it haunts us

Makes us relive it 

Over and over and over

Trying to figure out

Why 

Following footsteps

Why 

Pouring cement into sneakers

Why 

Hitting our heads against the wall

Move forward ten steps

Feel normal again

Then our dirt is found under the rug

Questioning eyes don’t ask 

What they see in fearful faces

Feeling the pressure on shoulders that are already heavy laden 

Paying debts for other people’s sins

But

People like to point fingers for extra work needing to be done

So innocence is labeled with a debt to pay

Taking it on

The victim becomes the criminal

I want my hands to be clean

I want to be seen for who I was

Who I am

Calculating how to get away

Couldn’t solve the equation

When I finally cracked the code

Wrapped my head around it 

All backs were turned 

They faced forward quickly  

Only to cast bitter remarks with forked tongues

When I went running back to the only barbed wire arms that were open to me 

With false hopes and broken promises

Try and take credit for this victory now that I’m on top of the hill

All the violence is in the past

But I remember being alone

In the street holding myself

In a torn dress

The only thing I owned

Your face will not be expunged

It was never in that picture

I have scars that witnessed my escape

And they speak for me