from a stool, i observed a stream and kept seeing the same thing

how does it end?

who really wants to know?

it’ll only destroy pathways where we push, pull, and grow

flip to the last page?

no idea why

purpose, a repeated ritual sky

what do we seek while meandering our way to a maintained middle

there is no finale, finally

no diner scenes

no loved characters dying in back alleys

no dimming of lights

saying goodbye

choppers heading east, there’s more pain waiting at home

seems hopeless

nothing to achieve

deal again

more cards up my sleeve

milestones, markers, bar mitzvah, nuts dropping, transformative moments to those who notice

those partaking

those affected

i write without guard rails

i write to tell our tales

i write to disguise us as one another

i write to separate pain in the egg where we developed and begged, to begin again

without an end

this can’t be it

i’m still here

holding onto a number

waiting in line

from bed, fulfilling promises

the glass almost broke but bounced

i wasn’t sloppy, clumsy

never quite knowing where my hands flip as thoughts distance me from physical realities

i’m in a chair, living through concocted histories of humans i’ve never met

nevertheless, i bumped into you, a weak grip threw, the last bits of your beer in his face

he was innocent

as much as the rest of us

making sense of collective company

i picked it up

flushed face from the sound

and regained my composure

until the next story is found

from a couch, you don’t own the alphabet or our fabric

chanting three letters

draped-cloth racism

a lot like our flag

not the one i wave

hijacked mud-flaps

which one?

bars or stripes?

nuts or calvin?

your choices, representative past

you elected to pass, on education

teachers, waited

still do

perspectives lost to echos bouncing from khaki rubbed legs, mythic walls, holy grills, torches, and white skin

freedom, runs contrary to every dim-lit corner of your mind where excuses cast shadows

everyone else?

that’s your defense?

fingers fly out of your hands

“Party of four for Responsibility. Responsibility? Party of four?”

you didn’t come to eat with us, you sat outside, glass-pressed-flat faced

taking a knee

pointing up

it’s a big difference

to you

when someone else looks down

from the same position

winter precipitation falling, you can’t handle the cold, individual geometric beauty scares you to your car

safely wrapped in AM dial voices

inside, we discuss frost, and mending walls, a question befalls us all, how tall?

never mind

it’s already built, metaphorics

you’re keeping yourself out

pounding your head to the resounding, rebounding of three letters you said

strapped to a bed, feeding the thread you used to weave a fabric of lies

disguised

as something we all share

it’s not yours

or mine

zeroes and ones hide you, from me, and me, from you

this isn’t us, a three letter chant, we can all join in, if those three letters, are understood, and i realize

you could have written this about me

from a porch, the answer my friend…

your job is to ask tough questions

we’ve been taught not to answer

someone from the other side

breathing in and out cancer

cells multiplying rapidly, empathy paralyzed

perspectives dizzy when i turn my head

stay forward

horse parades

don’t spook the hatred

hoof beats pound forgotten dirt, demanding attention

it’s used up

passion poured out to disposes the drifters who were led without knowing

another path exists

home life excuses

tempting nooses

hanging tree galleries

branches bending, we’re all grafted

one seed

breaking, with the slightest breeze brought across seas, caught in wind pouring from your inquiries, we forgot how to address, critical diseases

critical, we need them

complete your task

i’ll formulate a response, they’ll never know

i tried

from a porch, get in, again

i leaned with one leg up against wooden nail-riddled boards resting on a metal pole-shed, no one within miles, we just crossed the kansas line, i lit a cigarette and handed one to you

you were crouched, distant, without mind

pulling your hair back

one side at a time

squinted eyes

releasing with a puff, you rise

our song came on

we sang along

“stand here, (k)nowhere we’ve been

wrestling with sorrow that begs us to begin

again

running, finally a purpose

driven, beginnings always alter us

i won’t ever drift this far away again

i won’t tell you it’s you

it’s always me, again

pushing you away

hoping that you’ll stay, again”

we inhaled, looked down, and back up, averting eyes

“caverns of this sorrow i can’t escape

i see you up there…i can’t relate

come rescue me from this ruined fate

creaaaaaaaate

my morning stars…”

our eyes glaze

“…a moon that guides, it’s never near or far, a spiral destined to show us where we are

souls

crashing cars

that intertwine

reasons

we can’t decline

just stand here

let you be mine

again

again

and again”

your face turns to the car

“who’s drivin’?”

from a porch, senses found beneath shadows cast by desires

recognize

every

desire

don’t deny the side-eye

straight on

no mystery

curiosity

what comes next

i’ll save you the time

and vanish

drifting down settled-ground pathways stopping at the next town, making friends, gathering questions

i’ll leave lingering-lapsing stares with my good byes as i feign surprise it’s my time to supervise the situations that leave my droopy-mouth eyes resting on shadows cast on passer-byes who can’t make out the contours imprinting, lastingly, the lines where smiles used to glide without tension confusing my life, the beauty in simple motions guiding me from here to you, never noticing the differences, we nod, lazy minds prevail, the mind-numbing day’s spent wondering where we’d go after they discovered it’s a rehearsed show, every punchline stuck on repeat, rising on feet never meant to greet the fallen crest of fantasies we soared to when childhood dances didn’t know the difference in the way we looked at one another

read

every

denial

from a porch, fingers felt for the first time

her fingers felt funny for the first time

sometimes they’d make me laugh

mostly with one extended behind my father’s back

he always thought you were sweet

his word

not mine

i knew how that would twist and be redefined, years of college classes exercised

more so, listening when people speak

this “funny”, a newly-felt-defensive word, unease, an end near

prior, there were long strokes, wrist to unattended biceps, chin to cheek bone, i’d wince, you’re the only one who could invade my space, alone, trying to concentrate on the intention, not the sensation, a grown up tone, not teenage moans

those would come

i’d have to make sure it was you

cat-scratch back, i pretended to nap

you know i never could

this isn’t a longing poem

i’ve written enough of those

what could have been

what will be

will be

your movie ending reminded me of that

que sera

sera

sera

que?

they felt funny because i finally understood, you were connecting without a finality goal, prolonging the pull of unseen forces, no remorses

they felt funny, because i finally felt, how you feel