from bed, wrapped in a towel waiting

cancer crushed the cornerstore front where i was soft selling my wares to those who would stop long enough to understand the value of worlds that would emerge from words they heard dripping with hyped to high-heaven hyperbolic terms, a pitch to catch every dime store dip-shit who couldn’t discern between integrity and the incessant need to flatter ourselves in the dark imagining that she would actually come home with us

or him home with me

you home with he

we don’t come home

i wasn’t so disillusioned

understanding fever pitch i walked away before the switch would kill the last necessary need to continue to feed the balancing half of this distraction

it was destruction

disappointed that you kept defending their right to feed at the same trough as the ones who gave you this cloth, stained with the way you trained them to listen when nobody else would come

a disease

innocuously took the heat for you

the lie for him

the life from them

why did you tell me you were born in July

I was at that store

when your mom, on your birthday, left you in the falling snow

from a bench, late and unfinished – but here

catch me slipping through the cantankerous nights when i stray too far from the regulations we regard

senses slip off our tongues and join in a magnetic hum of where we can drift in times of torture tangled webs and butcher knife forgetfulness

i remember the way you taste

the echo of your heels hitting the hardwood floor we toiled to step upon when heralding a different saint would have been easier

i can’t escape the memory of how your breath, with the day’s work, walked into my space and brought comfort

your choice of dressing dancing before your lips had time to meet mine

a candlelit denial of moments we couldn’t be anywhere else.

from bed, clouds are clearing

catapult yourself over the wall

now duck down

close your eyes

caution will slip away

look up

the peak is covered in displays of light-hearted remorse drifting by as another scene unfolds

did we forget our lines

i hope so

let’s improvise interactions that have fallen to rehearsed reactions captured by a narrator who taunts us with mundane fractions of our day lost in painfully predictable and particular fashion causing greater factions in the mental boxes we open and close with emotional roles defined by effect and cause poles that leave us both

lonely

gasping for breath

i could do anything

i can

i can stand where i once sat and forget what i once thought while dancing where my feet grew firmly to the floor

we have chances to break free once more through a sliver in the door

a sliver in my pore, stuck painfully deep no tweezers long reach can free me from carrying this piece of trying

we must

breach the gates where chain links now lock us away

push

now, push

push

stop

locks need to be opened not forced to disclose the truth of our course that lives on this side of the wall

open your eyes

we’re there

from the same fold out bed, heading home

step inside

where a swirling mass of geniuses once resided

where conversations began and our hearts continued

blink

now we’re trained by whistles in times of dismissal, we forgot to notice the sun was setting hours earlier as buildings got taller and bridges crumbled

there’s no way out

hurried remarks cast aspersions on the page where once consideration had a role to play we belly up and hit send threatened to upend the way we look at another weekend

where’s pollyanna when you need her

my glasses are frosty and fogged if she could take the wheel and begin to peel the reform of repeal replace my meal reseal the deal of this slimy feel to get a meal without the ordeal of carry and conceal

i know what’s in your pocket and i’m never happy to see you

let’s refine this conversation to include condensation that forms in layers above us and brings down life

Bob would ask if you could deny it*

try to untie it

the riddle

i’m waiting for the fiddle while buildings spontaneously combust and ashes fly filling coffins with dust

no one is there to carry them

just piles of us

on top of us

on top of more us

finally getting along in the breeze

*Bob Dylan song “Visions of Johanna” reference

from a fold out bed, loud breathing

your lies kept us together

disorganized thoughts ordered into chaos as i wonder, while the answer waits

i’ve basked in synonymous questions for a dense decade decorated in more dancing than dread

but

they keep coming up

the questions

a mark

i emphasize key words hoping to bend your ears into your heart for a reality to create a fresh start

your bafflement and approach are beyond reproach as a new spin catches up to my doubt within this empire of frustration that you love

minute to minute

facts left through the back door, carrying the means in a worn out brief case

i see an end

it’s because of the means and they don’t justify a thing

relationships don’t have a blue finish line ribbon to rip

nothing to cross

just the one over my shoulder

and i don’t believe it’s there

i do know what’s in that box stored deep in the recess of her minds mind minding your business which is carrying suitcases with starched men who drink double scotches and order them like every asshole orders a double scotch

on the rocks

i’m getting lost as you’re forgetting you tossed two mop heads and loyalty to a cost benefit that’s your analysis

did you win?

i can’t say it was anything more than a tie as this goodbye suffers in with a favorite lie

the one we told when i played with the fold of white hand sweat paper

i didn’t need to look

i remembered and rehearsed those words

not needing to bow, it wasn’t a show

maybe i’m tethered to a web of my past masking itself in the way you bask in everyone’s sunlight while guiding relationships by moonlight

maybe it’s your patience that keeps us together

maybe

from a fold out bed, be careful of pronouns

i zipped it shut and walked away

innocence trapped in a bag with my initials on it, an ode to a forgotten time when gifts were working to define how i’d view the world

it sits on the top shelf in my closet now

holding letters to mysterious creatures and old candy bar wrappers

i peak inside from time to time

inspiration for a way home

stuck inside, curiosities roam from peak to valley in midnight walks around a room built for two, or three, maybe four. there are enough doors, pick one you want to exit through

or, we could take them all off in fits of honesty and clear out the pretension that sits with knowing we’re somewhere they can’t be

they’ll always run free

because they get to treat the sounds that clatter from our room as little more than the raising of little ones to do our bidding when the mice shriek down the stairs they’ll be crushed by side-eyed stares and who cares if one of you light the flare it’ll only alert hyper-egos and selfish sun soaked children to look away while their loved ones are feasted on and carried to a place of infinite corners and steam shop loaners wandering into one another wondering if there is a way to grab that bag out of your closet

unzip it

and let the dreams of children fly through fanciful forgotten scenes of innocence

those are my initials though

it’s mine

that’s what they were trying to tell me

close that thing

from bed, she reached for my arm

sniffling through thursday i realized i might desecrate the real estate if my markers don’t keep their caps on

i’m impulsive

they’re responsible (the caps)

i kept wondering, who’s afraid of losing everyone if the time is right for me to move on and continue this plastic emotion piling up for future generations left with charlie brown sippy cups and forgotten glass jars that used to hold our consciousness

you said it was a reminder

it was your best gift

that empty jar

you told me to stare at it when you were away

it held us

i can’t remember if i threw it down or accidentally knocked it over it was mid december and the people were practicing how’d they’d greet later sunsets and cancer walking tombs

televangelists came to our door

it’s not jesus they want it’s your little girls mind to refine this garbage pail philosophy that subservience is the key

leather whips hang in the closet waiting to zipper my mouth shut and cross our eyes for something more tame this friday night