if time could travel backwards part 6

I would knock you over
before your new soft skin
ever touched the fire

I would let you slide
when you needed to
even if I hated it

Instead of snapping back
or head-butting
I would take more hits
more stoically,
I would take your lashing
with much more grace

But later when your skin was tough
I’d let you take your scrapes head-on
without an unsolicited word,
with all the fury of a desert storm

Fury there would be

And I would hope and wish and dream
that when a cold-front came in
you would thrash beyond it’s milding

You would burn bright forever

and sometimes I would light my torch with yours

If I could make time travel backwards
and make you whole and even
I’d give you everything I could.

Everything.

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Summer Cold

It’s the cough that kills me.

‘Too warm for this.’ I think
to myself out loud as the shiver
sets deep in to my bones
– just for a moment –
as the crickets chirp
just outside my window.

This old blanket serves
just as good as new
for to swaddle me up
and keep me warm in this
65-degree-Fahrenheit night

And I lay awake wheezing
and wiping clear snot
on to the back of my hand
until it’s saturated enough
to flail to find my kerchief
– an old cotton T-shirt
that I’d already worn.

The chirping seems to swell
with the unconscious chatter
of my arms and guts – and
everything, as far as I
can tell – and it would
fade again, I’m sure,
if not for this headache.

‘Ain’t it just the way?’
I yell to the uncaring crickets,
‘Sore throat in the middle
of Goddamn June!’

It’s the cough, though,
the stupid fucking cough,
that gets me every time.

fuck you, go to hell

i’m watching coachella
on youtube from kansas
wondering what God’s plan was
for all those dead middle
eastern babies
and what the fuck kendrick means
in his new album about God this
and this is what God feels like
and God chose the brown skinned
that are the true Israelites
and i can’t wait for the day that
He comes back down
oh my God i can’t wait for the day
He come back down
our male biblical salt pillar great flood
myth
i will take the full brunt of His might
like walking to a bunker in the hot, arabic
peninsula
American bombs raining down atop me
enough lava to wipe clean the soil
a plague of insects growing out of
my dead body
and i will know of hell, then
and the purgatory before it

Maggie

You are riding
on the top level
of a two-story bus
traveling late at night
somewhere
in South America

You are sick
to your stomach
at 4am and
through the wonders
of modern technology
I know

I wish that you
were cured
of whatever it is
making you feel awful
on a Tuesday morning
in Peru

I wish that you
were cured
of all the other
bad things,
too

A Thursday Night in March

I descend the steps from my front porch
into the softest of cold rains,
My only protection from the elements
a thinning button-down,
worn-out cowboy hat,
ruined pair of sneakers
– Foundry and Boot Hill and New Balance.

I am not concerned with time or
temperatures or saturation points.
The moon and stars are hidden but
I am sure that they persist.
A car speeds by every so often,
reminding of my frailties
in comparison to their metal might

Lightning whites the sky now
and now, threatening thunder
that never comes. For instants it
is as if the world is blackness
floating in a nothing more profound
than the depths of space could ever be

Two days ago the air was hardly
warm enough to breathe. Now
it whispers with impatience as it
chastises falling specks of chill wet.
If I glance past the street lamps just right,
the road looks like it’s dancing.

i reckon this is a reckoning

today there will be a reckoning and one of
us will not make it out

this is our baby, but it’s their’s as well and who are we to deny them their baby just because we love it too?

if one of must go, i selfishly hope it will be you.
perhaps your toxic attitude
was the reason for my fear
perhaps your concern was
perfectly well founded and you were only speaking truth

today more than we imagined possible will take place
change is coming

and one of us is about to be voted out.

Infinity Has No Corners

I.

On a day like today

when i am nothing

like i wished i’d be

though i am better for it 

i can’t help but wonder if

it’s enough to be alive

despite life’s confusion, hurt and

hurdles

something within remains true

loyal unchanging

even when

at times

mind body get lost

addicted to a mood

hung upon

shiny alluring things  

clinking chains 

An abuse of the present

On a day like Today

when I feel so open

not enough space in my body to expand into

overflowing into the universe

i know

for a time

life can be fused with so much magic

it can overwhelm and silence 

all those things i gave meaning to

Yet, it is the memory of those moments

that unravel me from somewhere within

as i free fall back into a vast universe

trying to make sense of a crazy experience

time after time

it becomes a struggle to remain open

to smile and feel enough

in a push-and-pull relationship 

when i am never the one in control

II.

But truly,

I think the time has come

to acknowledge:

Darkness has come

it fuels my shadow

it hovers over my dreams

it clouds my judgment 

inertia has sealed all openings

but decay 

yet, it’s amidst darkness that

the brightest purest Light shines

near it, my fears one by one

burn and disappear 

the Light beckons

my shadow resists

it holds onto me 

by my flesh, desires, worries and insecurities 

and drags me back into darkness

On a day like today

I know the time has come

to leap wholly into the Light

and let the old man perish

Retching

By three AM the skeletons shuffling
have left us with our ghosts
out in the chill night air
to stretch our legs, and make merry
our spirits, until we settle
at a point, and set
electric alarms to remind us
what we owe
the next short morning

It is in this space
that I think that I will find you,
writing your own lullabies
and sorting your own mail
and looking for something, too,
among these retching ghosts
and sleeping, lying corpses

I thought I found you once, but
it was just a trick of the eyes

when it works out

when things go the way i really did anticipate
and someone is helped out by the words
proceeding from my mouth rather than destroyed
by them

i feel a certain amount of pride
though the pride is misplaced
and instead there should be thankful humility

that somehow my asinine nature wasn’t able to leak out and slowly spread all over the floor filling books and crannies with that stuff that is sweet for the sole purpose of molding and attracting ants

but yet, pride is what rears its ugly head

inadequacy

i’m fairly certain…
no i definitely say it with certainty—

i’m failing at this on some scale i don’t yet understand

there are details here which i simply must be missing
and others out there who do it better than me

they understand the grind
they get the details
they are capable of sorting through all the bullshit
and what am i?

good at these other things i suppose
the wrong things?

i’m definitely fearful i can say it with certainty.

Cold Patches

I am a considerate sort,
I promise myself.

Shuffle papers quietly
ignore shouting next door

We’ve all got to be mindful
while the tough parts get sorted

I don’t want to do any sorting.

The wind blows through the old sill
near where I lay my head most nights

sometimes my nose is cold
when I wake up to use the restroom

When I come back, I just tuck deeper
in to the blanket that I keep
in spite of differences of opinion.

The rest of my home is warm, I guess,
except for 5AMs with eyes wide open

ceiling fan spinning above
a recently interrupted dream

It isn’t a very bad one
but it always makes me feel bad
anyway

it feels like forever

since i carefully sat and wrote something
out with more than a thought
or a passing care for producing
words on a page
full of ideas and “word pictures”
the kind that make me gag
because what the hell is a word picture

instead i spend most days barely scraping
by with a written word intended to last
more than a few moments after which it
will literally be consumed and erased from
the record.

press on they say
as though i’m not busy pressing on elsewhere
as though i am just overwhelmed with time
to play with my word output

bullshit i say.

in remembrance of times i took my anger out on you

warmth from the winter sun hitting fifty eight degrees
in this dry land where the warmth is exacerbated by the lack of humidity
and our chairs don’t fold up
our feelings don’t dry when
they’re exposed to the sun even if we wish they would,
instead they’re like my shorts on a long run, long long after my shirt is soaked with sweat
and the moisture leaks in to my pants and causes outrageous chaffage in the midst of the simmerish-winter weather.
never a problem in the warm
when my nipples don’t chafe in the cold-sweat of my wool wrapped body

it’s not summer and dammit, it’s time I let you know by screaming of my frustrations to you

feeling wormy and living even when cut in half

you can’t love
a fuck-stick
you love fucking
not the stick
like getting high

it is difficult
to love
a non-fuck-stick-human
their value
is more complex

as complicated as you are
and reliant
symbiotic
it’s a different game
in that it’s not a game

or not at least supposed to be
yet is one, to but laughter
at an unshared thought
such as yourself
bouncing off cement walls

you can’t love but the
sound of your own breath
or feel of chemicals
oozing through your
narrow veins

not corporeal but a laugh
entropic and singular
molesting the
air in
desperation

i don’t know i don’t know i don’t know

i don’t know i don’t know i don’t know
if the words to the songs wear away
if the thoughts escape and never come back
if the feelings are trains off their tracks
if it might be better
to strip off my clothes
and run naked through the streets
making a mess, not pretending
that i don’t want to make the mess
anymore
i don’t know i don’t know i don’t know
if i can build a clock
big enough
to make the seconds matter
i know they did in the past
but i still don’t give a shit now
i look into your eyes and cry
if only i knew how you felt about me
if only the whirlwind of words in every
dictionary were writing a story that i
could fucking understand
i don’t know i don’t know i don’t know
if that means that i’m failing
or winning
or if i care either way
or if i love life
or if i hate life
or if i love you
or if i hate you
i don’t know
i don’t know
i don’t know

what i do know?
is that just because you threw it away
does not mean it ceases to exist

Datestamp

I think I think the world of you.

Unpaid parking tickets resting
in a drift of melting snow.

I think I want you to get
what you think you want.

Every moment lined up
in a digital calendar
in someone else’s database.

I think I think I love you.

Analog clocks
clicking every second
overhead.

I want you to get
what you think you want.

‘Art is never completed;
only abandoned.’

I love you.

The sun comes up
six hours sooner
than it seems that it ought.

Worlds are visible
from orbit.

how the hell

how the hell
do I reconcile the foolishness of my day to day
with the reality of the world?

how do I fight for what I care about
when the world just laughs, cries.
ignores me

when everything else seems hopeless
at least I’m pushing forward
pressing on
and chasing hard after other cliches
I desperately hope are cliches for good reason

Mrs. Brodhead

i’m sure you’d hate me
like i hate me mrs.
brodhead
because you were always
better than me
and i was a step behind
and probably am
and all i can think
the moment i almost
touched you
among the dead
and the dying
grass of the cemetary
where i came
so close to being
better, like you
are
in radiance
mrs. brodhead
when you used to
have a different name
fresh like the fallen
snow

i’m sure you’d hate
me for my shitty
tendancies and give
more than just a nod
as i do —
mrs. brodhead
doesn’t think of that
trudging up the
mountain with
beauty all around
and inside,
too
a place where i once
dreamt of being
warm and opposite
your intellect
ever devouring

the law

a fearful hush is felt
as a blanketed pressure
of extra gravity falls
upon the suburbs
as everyone tries to hold
the same looks on their faces
whenever the law sulks
around

but count yourself lucky
if you have forgotten about this creature
the law

who started innocently
as homework, chores
but has grown with you

now with eyes that pierce the night
like spotlights in the sky
like magic
walls can materialize around you
cold and thick
thrashing you around
the law will grab you by the neck
sudden and deadly

the law exists to traumatize
those who do not fit the mold
whose faces cannot hold long enough
when the spotlight is upon them

light is warm

i must confess i still see you often
well, parts of you
that is
in other women
whom i dare not talk to
selfish
embarrassed
i feel
that i wish those parts were whole
and backwards in time
always backwards in time
like out of a cannon we would go
on fire, too

i think
if you could see me now
able to lift both feet to walk now
and quickly,
even
you would smile that
hungry smile
for a cut of meat deeply within
and i’d have no choice but to smile back
i never had that choice