…so often we look towards the Heavens
to ask for fulfillment of our egotistical desires
and solutions for our smallest problems
before we turn to look at ourselves…
ring truth in the ears of
those once incapable of understanding,
now unable to stand.
applause as his opponent’s
limp body hits sweat stained mat
but all he hears are police sirens,
echos of a life long forgotten–
voices over a radio requesting dispatch units
to 200 Block of South End
because John had too much and
Mom had finally had enough
so she tried to leave.
he prayed every day–
prayed she’d come to her senses
and walk out that battered front door.
if only she’d found the courage sooner.
if only he’d found the courage sooner!
blood on his busted knuckles,
on his busted face–
he tried wiping it away after each fight
yet still he felt it staining his body.
now to center ring they walk him,
hoisting his arms overhead,
outstretched towards the Heavens
praising a savior who’d never answered before
nor seemingly ever would–
a savior who’d never stepped up and into the ring
to fight for a boy who fought for a world
that never seemed to fight for him.
under these lights nothing can hide,
no scars or bruises left unseen
by the prying eyes of those
who’d never truly comprehend
the Testament he wrote with each blow to the chest.
his verses written in blood,
he speaks to a different congregation–
a different kind of church.
hard liquor fitting for paint remover
substitutes Communion wine
for a man who’d never know the difference.
he’s walked from the building
surrounded by bodyguards and training staff,
through throngs of people touching him,
blindly groping at his body
and singing the gospels of wanting and desire.
over screams, cries, and chants,
he answers his crowd of disciples–
shouting to the thronging masses,
all of them worshippers
at his Saturday night ringside sermon.
look into my eyes and reveal your imperfections.
do not turn away,
but instead meet my gaze halfway
and cast away your troubled thoughts
as i force myself to do the same.
feel fear fall away feebly at your feet
and let your inhibitions wane like the moon upon solstice-
for i am solace in the waning moonlight
as your heart becomes eclipsed by the dark.
strike the chains from your back
and remove the coiled barbs from your ankles and wrists.
you do not deserve them.
allow me to show the way-
how to leap into the flames
and remain unscathed.
i have been burnt and lost before,
let me save you.
i can show you how to dance among raindrops
while remaining dry-
how to soak in the sunlight,
growing like autumn’s first fruits
and the trees that supply them.
all i ask is you hold me-
anchor me to your side with a loving embrace
and hold me there with your gentle touch.
keep me captive in your eyes.
leave me enthralled,
because in this moment i see the beauty
of everything that lies beneath them.
your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
and i pray my heart is the key.
these empty halls,
these creaking floors,
these flickering lights,
these deadbolted doors-
with varnished knobs
and tarnished wood,
these silent guards
after what happened,
none dare go.
what Night saw-
we’ll never know.
meant to be spent sitting around the fire with friends,
drinking beers and staring up at the stars as we quietly
wonder to ourselves how long we really have left-
how many nights like this.
the air is crisp and carries the smell of
burnt leaves mixed with singed marshmallows.
there’s a pop! from the fire and
a small burst of sparks jumps high into the night sky,
amidst the smoke and slowly descending ash.
people sit on tree stumps, battered coolers, and in
tattered lawn chairs desperately needing repair–
talking and laughing together,
poking at the fire with twisted branches.
beside me, she pulls herself closer to my chest
and wraps my jacket around her gentle shoulders.
someone’s got a guitar,
and before we know it,
our words are filling the wooded clearing-
traveling far past this moment, deep into the night.
life is good.
life is beautiful.
in these sacred seconds
how long we have left
much less of a concern.
I haven’t written in a while.
No, that’s not true.
I haven’t posted in a while.
I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t had anything I wanted to say.
Liar! Why aren’t you telling the truth?
I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t had anything interesting to say.
Come on now, really?
I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t had anything I thought other people would find interesting.
Ok, but people read your work for a reason. They read because they find you and your words interesting. So why not?
Life got so stressful and busy all of a sudden that there wasn’t really any time for me to formulate my thoughts into words, and to put those words on the page.
I’m hearing excuses for daily life.
I’ve been putting a lot of time into school work and adjusting college life.
So did a lot of people. I bet they kept writing.
Know what? Fine! I give! What do you think I should do?
Share what you’ve been working on.
It’s not ready.
It’s not even interesting!
Nobody will read it!
Can I start tomorrow?
When the lights dim on that empty football field,
and the night swallows the stands,
I’ll pull my sweatshirt over your shoulders
and press you closer to my chest.
For the first time tonight we’re alone,
no stray friends interrupting us in search of a seat.
In the silence,
I can hear you–
really hear you–
and you have me hanging onto each word,
like a drowning man set adrift in the sea
clings to a life preserver or a piece of driftwood.
The worst part is,
I didn’t realize I was drowning
until this very moment.
I hope you can’t hear the fear,
the kind that only a desperate man truly knows,
wavering in my shaky voice.
I’m just trying to push words out,
to make conversation with your smile.
You have several blond strands out of place,
and my fingers visibly tremor
as you let me reach across your delicate face
and slowly brush them away.
We walk to the car,
slowly enjoying these fleeting moments–
just me and my home town girl.
*Image: “Football Season” via Deviantart by tcday1994
I hope you catch me staring–
it wasn’t a coincidence that I was checking you out.
I hope you notice because I’ve been trying to think
of something clever to say to you all week,
but I’ve struggled to even get out a “hi!”
I hope you don’t think I’m weird because I was staring–
and that you instead find it flattering–
but the other way is perfectly understandable.
I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you
(that I love you and all),
but it probably will,
seeing as I can’t say what I want to say–
I can’t tell you all the things I’ve been dying to
since the day you walked into my life.
I hope you’re reading my mind right now,
and that you’re somehow picking up this internal dialogue–
this colossal struggle of the head and the heart,
fought in the battlegrounds that are my body.
I hope you’re smiling at me now because of something I did–
I don’t know what it might have been–
I hope that you’re single and interested but first–
I hope I can muster the courage to find out.
Image: “Because I Love You” by LOVEshannanegins via Deviantart