Friend

where there is darkness, you seek hope

where there is division, you spark unity

where there is pain, you share strength

you may be an inspiration to others

but that doesn’t neon blaze from your forehead

it’s not a badge you can flash merrily

or a “get out of jail free” card to chase away demons

sometimes you can’t look your reflection in the eyes

sometimes you despair of ever being a whole self,

of ever being more than a fragmented series of shatter shard moments

sometimes, it feels like you’re drowning in a riot of unsteady emotions

so when you forget

when you’ve lost sight of

your many splendored shades + shadows

radiating through with each blink

i will walk alongside

and remind you

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Beautiful

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He told me i was ugly

so I knew myself beautiful

i wish that applied to only one man in my life

used to think the only way

to ever be whole again

was to set fire to their legacy

burn to charred crust

their tiny, petty cruelties

their thoughts tattooed inside my eyelids

their grimaces of approval

& sharpened malice vowels 

it has taken me far too many 

heartless heartbeats

to realize

i can only erase their fingerprints

inside my pores

if i don’t give them the power

to define me

Storm

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when did

drifting

become so beautiful?

ever before, life’s unseen ringmaster

trained me to run between

unpredictable clouds,

dodging

striating sharp-stricken lightning

dogging at my footsteps & futures

barking, screaming,

ravenous.

but.

since

i decided

to own my skin, my soul,

myself

in all colors, errors + weathers

the tempest has changed tempo

now i ride alongside,

no longer swallowed.

i know, now

how to reach into

the howling drumbeats of chaos

and grab new-hatched rainbows,

storm-forge my own tarnished silver linings,

even if broken, abused fingers

are too numb to feel them

they unspool from

somewhere

half-forgotten inside me

i seize hold of my wonder

and cast it out into the world

Pills

Unbroken Bones

a candied misnomer

laden with false saturated sweetness

they are paintraders

merchants of malady

swapping out the boulder crushing you

with an easy smile

displaying relief with an open palm

so you

don’t realize the other fist

is closed and hidden

until the next day

when the shoe drops

+ the pain returns, ecstatic

wearing a different face, a different mask, a different cloak

knocking at different doors

but not gone, never gone

how can you kill something that is immortal?

all you can do is endure

ignore the grin gleaming promises of

chemical cash-soaked gurus

+ decide how much you will let

it define you

Unveil

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the inaugural unfurling

of cloud-wrung fancy

breathes fresh air into

stale crevices

pockets new askew

add unexpected edges

where before were only curves

dogeared shames + satisfactions

formerly core buried beneath

a socially acceptable surface

now updug + exposed

is it for you

the primal glint of gold

or the lush musk of sex

the clipped courtesy of separation

the romantic savagery of wildfire

the stealthy intimacy of influence

the puissant demand for more

if i were to plunge

into a cave of wild abandon

populated only by your dreams

what would i find?

Reverie

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what dreams live inside your skin

i wonder

are they twin or perhaps cousin to mine

do they giggle + slink murmur into

the middle of a sunsoaked algebra class

dancing around decimals to bestow upon you

the vibrant violet chimera of crush fantasy

do they rise + surge darkly overhead

red raw viscerally surreal

until all you can do is howl + sprint

searingly across bare blistering fields

are they born from haughty, haphazard Chance

primly sifting through the Sandman’s file cabinet

maybe they are all part of the standard

subliminal messaging from your resident guardian angel

or even the prolonged patchwork evolution

of a sunken shipwrecked spirit set adrift

whatever they are, without them

there’d be less wonder

in a wonder-starved world

Diagnosis

Sometimes
i feel like me

Sometimes
i feel like an alien

has taken root
inside my hide

planted itself deep
beyond the understanding
of doctors +
scientists

+ left me
this
question mark
cripple

one who
seems whole
on the outside

so the world scorns
+ dismisses
instead of heals

while the
alien
flourishes inside
my skin

+ measures
its growth
with pain

dedicated to all those who suffer in silence

Low

i always assumed
rock bottom
was a solid tangible thump
a granite ground zero
glacier looming underwater
lurking in the darkest depths
of the human spirit
/an immovable object
that met and demolished
an unstoppable force/
but i’ve come
to realize
it’s more of an
endless earthquake
a colossal catch-22
programmed to
rebuild after every
self-destruct
a patternless neon
infinity staircase
unbowed
unchained
unfathomable
the reality is
there is no such
thing as
rock bottom.
there is no one
single
fixed point of worst
in our lives
only a
darkly luminous life grid of
occasional meteoric highs +
increasingly devastating lows
absorbing and compounding
multiplying and swelling
expanding and constricting
until your soul
cries out, overwhelmed
and life goes on

Fuse

tender, unbroken mind

tries & fails

to compress the stress

of a blown fuse

 

hardwired to survive

even with too much damage

and too many scars

blue bruised

but not yet vanquished

 

despite Pain

that hooks & flays all paths

shark-swimming crossroads of

the bare brain

leaving it explosively exposed

 

the endless screech

of a broken violin string

crusted iron edged tendrils

fear screaming a whiplash web

through overworked vessels

begging for respite

 

no help comes

but with each blow

struck by each enemy

eroding my body

my soul grows stronger.

Forces

Oh those fickle
Quicksilver butterflies of fate
fluttering in fixed orbit
around future steps i take

doing battle with the
earthgrounded giants of choice
bellowing as they stagger stamp
footprints in opposite directions

both ignoring the chaos chameleons
darting underfoot and idly unweaving
any patterns or prints they can reach

booming bass bellows of
the battlegrounds of life
erupting explosively from my core
threatening to drown out all else

so i make my soul
into a divine dreamcatcher

filtering out the buzz
and tumult of noisy forces
pulsing through the earth’s heartbeat

until I can only hear
my own
and walk free

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