Only





If only you knew...
what I'd do if you just... asked.

You'd have to go to church
every Sunday,
for the rest of your life;
to appeal for forgiveness
for the gift God gave you
from birth
like a scarlet letter.

If only you knew...
the full range
of the spell you cast;
you'd own every piece of land
on earth..
and never
apologize for anything again
like royalty raised in a bassinet.

If only you knew...
how bad
I want to put my hands on you
like a sculpture in a museum;
you'd never ask a mirror
for permission
to leave the house.

If only you knew...
how blindly I hate your girlfriend;
we may have never been allowed to speak.
I would have been
swallowed
by depression
like a trailer in a tornado...
And you would have just taken
a job at Target
like a pamphlet
from a homeless entrepreneur.

If only you knew...
that you
brought me back to life;
like an electric pulse in an operating room...
Would that be enough for you to leave her?
Oh God...
if only my soul
had resale value
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I counted a hundred medications at work last Saturday
But, I still saw your face more times than I can number
in between the blister packs and bottles.

I need something harder.

I watched a fucked up movie about men that became obsessed with fucking a box...
And still I found time to think about kissing you
a thousand times
over ninety-four minutes.

I need something longer...

I drove 15 miles home,
breaking for lights and searching for cops like Waldo in a crowd...

And yet,

every time a song played about love;
my mind traveled to the only place that you and I may ever exist together.

I need something louder.

I stuffed my face with pizza and burgers
But, despite what people say, feelings can't literally be eaten, only pacified.

I need something more filling.

I slammed a medicine ball on concrete in the garage fifteen times thinking about the person that gets to gaze into your eyes like a kaleidoscope of greens and blues.

I need something to break.

I got so high today that I forgot to feed the cats.
But, I remembered how devilish your smile appears when traced in red...
And I wish that everything I have was stained with it.

I need something more beautiful to imagine.

I miss hearing about your day,
like a bedtime story read
in a soft voice,
next to a night light.
I can sleep without it
But, not as well.

I need something else.

I need something equal to or greater than

You.

3-18-21


"So, I don't think we should talk anymore,"
she typed.
I felt my heart and stomach drop
without landing.
I felt like a rodeo bull back kicked me 500 feet
across my 10 foot bedroom.
I saw the sun eclipse
but, only in my mind.
I wanted to beg,
"Please don't do this."
But, then I thought I should have more respect for myself.
Be strong, Be silent,
I ordered my heart...
like a tree that falls when nobody is around.

Normally, this is exactly where I would run to the liquor store
like a man on fire would drop and roll.
But, I'm 60 days sober today;
and that's a pretty solid number that I don't wanna soil.
Like, I have days marked off on a calendar and everything...

"So, I don't think we should talk anymore,"
replays in my head like a cruel echo in an empty space.
I felt my face fall to the floor like a full glass spilled.
Like a messy spill...
that can't be covered up before anyone sees;
with pieces so small they can only be found in the dark with your feet.

"I will miss talking to you but, I'm doing this for you," she said.
I felt the world end, but nobody else seems to have noticed.
The next morning I got up and went to work
like a programmed machine.
I got dressed but, felt naked.
I ate breakfast but, didn't taste it.

This will probably be the last poem that I write for some time.
So, I'm gonna try to make it good.
Nobody likes an unhappy ending
so, instead I'll reference that expression
about loving and letting go
because it's a beautiful delusion
to believe that some people do return
after "going out for cigarettes."

She doesn’t think we should talk anymore.
So, if you see her,
tell her that I'm doing just fine.
And if she ever wants me,
I'll just be sitting here
in the lost and found
fidgeting with disposable cameras,
chained reading glasses and faded wallets
waiting to be reclaimed.




Her

 
 
 

 Living in a dream state
 with imaginary her,
 I never want to return to real life.
 It’s just a jail without steel bars
 and three government meals a day.
 I won’t stay there for long,
 I have the prettiest girl waiting for me on the other side
 with open arms.
 
 So, if we are talking
 and I suddenly appear to drift away…
 If I stop replying 
 or don’t seem to be paying attention,
 it’s because I’m not.
 I hit play on the remote
 and don’t pause for bathroom breaks.
 I take her with me everywhere that I go.
 
 Anything happening around me in person
 has just become a series of unwelcome interruption.
 I want to tell everyone to fuck off;
 to leave me alone with her
 but, it'd probably raise some flags...
 So, I sit quietly feeding small talk
 head nods and wide eyes
 as if perfectly engaged
 but, I am much too far away
 to be reached.
 
 If you catch me staring off into space,
 if I seem unusually preoccupied
 by an invisible task
 It’s because I’m busy making her laugh
 or bringing her breakfast in bed.
 Please don’t take it personal,
 you just can’t compete with that.
 
 So, when I’m distant and you feel ignored,
 it's not necessarily because you're boring.
 At any other time in my life 
 I might have been present,
 even shared my sense of humor like a social being
 but, not now.
 I have checked into this dream
 like a rehabilitation center
 I don’t want to leave,
 knowing I will fail outside.
  
 Maybe I won’t recover but, who cares?
 I have the sweetest thing
 I can imagine
 waiting for me to come home
 and fill the tub with hot water,
 lather a soft cloth with soap,
 light some candles
 and untie her bathrobe…
 
 If you're thinking that I'm kinda cute and mysterious,
 and want to get to know me better…
 don't waste your time.
 I won't pick up on advances or return any interest.
 I don't mean to be rude
 and I know it’s not fair
 but, if you aren’t her,
 you’ll have to excuse my absence everywhere.

Fester

 

 

 I need a new distraction,
 I’ve exhausted the ones I have
 like a pencil shaved down to the eraser.
 I gotta be vigilant about my feelings
 like a dog left on a leash too long
 that everybody wants to pet.
 I don't want them to go dark
 and fuck up my head
 like black ink dipped in water
 or a scab
 that’s turned into a scar
 by incessant picking.
  
 Left unattended, 
 my mind twists and turns on itself
 like a boomerang.
 Too much quiet, too little regulation
 and suddenly I can't stop seeing her hands 
 all over you like shadows on sidewalk.
 I gotta get up and move around
 just to shift focus,
 like a magician making
 fools of the audience.
 
 Exercise is good, healthy…
 Maybe I'll go pace around the garage 
 or bike in the living room.
 Endorphins offer a natural high like a condolence prize
 but, I can't do this all day,
 my butt hurts.
 
 My jealousy is childish
 and cliché.
 It is primitive and outdated.
 Part of me wants to own you.
 I know, I know....
 It's despicable
 and I'm ashamed of myself.
 Part of me feels owned
 when you call and I jump,
 when you smile in that new picture posted
 and my heart feels choked.
 I wonder what it feels like to be on the other side of that hand.
 Does it make you feel powerful...or scared?
 
 Best not to wonder about such matters,
 I have chores to do anyway.
 Dishes to clean, floors to sweep and swiffer;
 Idle hands and all that...
 
  Having a job that allows me to overwork 
 is the only reason my mind hasn't entirely collapsed.
 Without a task to perform
 I begin to overthink,
 make assumptions and build narratives 
 of you and her
 like torture porn
 I’m forced to watch 
 but, can’t get off on.
 
 Shit, I let myself get bored.
 Here it comes… 
 Let’s cut to you both smoking and fucking
 through the weekend like minors in heat.
 You share takeout on the floor, 
 cuddle on the couch watching shows.
 I love you’s exchanged like a greeting 
 in bed;
 where I want to be with you most.
 Your bodies joined in silence, like hands in prayer,
 becoming more glued every time you sleep together.
 Monday nears like a depressant,
 You set separate alarms 
 and return to work like civilized lovers
 that can stand to be apart.
  
 I may never know what that's like.
 
 Meanwhile here I am,
 hating again....
 The vehicle of petty thoughts
 doing donuts in the lobby of my frontal lobe,
 making the whole place smell like burned rubber and bruised ego.
 "How did she get you?"
 "What does she have that I’m missing?"
 There's a new show on Netflix I'm going to binge watch.
 
 Busy, busy, busy
 I gotta stay for fuck’s sake…
 
 I can't allow this train of thought to continue.
 I have an eighth of Marijuana on my desk,
 and a lighter I’m twirling between my fingers
 like a new compulsion.
 You said you have the same one 
 when I sent you a picture of my bowl.
 Now I can't throw it away when it's empty.
 
 I could refill it with butane
 but, it'll probably just sit in a drawer 
 with that joint we never got to smoke
 because I got too drunk 
 and sent you a poem the night before
 we were supposed to hang.
 
 We are both prone to impulse and addiction,
 and I worry that I may have taken advantage.
 It wasn't planned 
 and you must have been in shock
 but, also a little...excited?
 "I probably should not say this…but, send more"
 you texted...but, I gotta leave that alone.
 So, instead I’ll replay that sobering message 
 two weeks later that said
 you love your girl and just want to be friends.