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 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, walk by

i stepped aside to let you pass

an insecure tempo-flow

too fast, you laugh at my gait

scurried-chop steps

too slow, annoyed, making you late

wandering uneven

an insecure state, where i live

the city, a constant drone of self-doubt

my home, decorated with draining desires to be like everyone else, at ease

or so it seems

on this path from here-to-there, the intersection of opened-eyed nights and self-talk lips, replaying the tone of my voice when i said ‘really’ in surprise to your recent trip, did it drip with the disconnected insincerity i’m afraid it did?

i didn’t mean it that way

i really, meant really, an affirmation of wonder at the way you walk through life without blunder, until the thunder, then you scurry, upended ego, hiding

i emerge to dance in the rain, develop friendship with pain, the grime caught underneath squeaky shopping cart handles makes me sane, knowing i can hurt again

and again

and again

the clouds lift

and you pass by

i shuffle along, after counting to five, a self-aware fuck up, pulling my shirt, chewing sleeves, smoking endlessly, everything to repel you away so i can confirm how shitty of a companion i would be without knowledge of how to simply be, immersed in weather conversations, where you work, my god, pictures of your grandma, a dead dog

i can’t walk beside you

please

don’t look back

from a porch, processed in a dream

misty rain pockets, snatched and swirled across mid-afternoon sunbursts, wind welcoming westward expansion with sustenance

refreshment

a reason to pause long enough

observing your half-painted nails nervously being bitten through lips i disguise in daydream-dodges of reality, dropping now to dig through earth-colored spears held up with fertile mixed soil and mud

standing erect around you, bendable gripped by you

able to be destroyed

by you

they’re not pursed, your lips that is, during these moments of momentary mindlessness only i know exist

like they are now

they rest, slightly ajar, an invitation to drop winter’s armor

and take a chance

if only i didn’t have to ask

for you to join me here

refreshed by summer’s surprise

softening our eyes

i now realize

i’m not alone

from a porch, rain is coming

grafted personalities with wind-blown hairdos did the desert dance in sand filled bedrooms while clutching arid histories against milk depleted breasts

hope crumbled as swirling dirt devils divided what happened

with

what was wished for

we can’t taste the innocence of a sour dairy kiss anymore, without wondering which farm you wandered away from

developing a future, progeny

will cease

birds will fly

dogs will bark

worms will weasel through holes, no longer visiting the sea

we came together, for destruction

brought together, so they could continue on

from an airport, excuse me

tongue tied

i lost my footing and tripped into a torture chamber

landing, wide-eyed, squinting about unable to find a way out

strained wrinkles messing my face, a rearranged place that mind-shadows cast years ago in half-lit rooms, i ran in circles, a single cloud followed my gloom

after days trapped alone i started building my tomb, until i heard whispers from above, something about a dove and desert blooms

faint glimpses of hope under half moons

happiness kept at bay, waiting out the storm

i missed my chance

contrasts, duality blasts, me and you

one morning, by my best estimation, i found my words

i screamed through echo chamber hallways that led me to fluorescent buzzing, illuminating everything, obnoxiously

i can’t hide!

how do i know when i’m good enough?

without the ability to fall again

through the floor

how much lower?

this is the end?

i can’t trip again, into your hole

free to die

speaking my mind

from a midwestern bed, sleep deprived and still acting

you have an audience

take a bow

glide through the curtains

a trail of movement as the lights go up

applause only lasts as long as the illusion that you’ll give more

it doesn’t follow, fate fades

dimensions, one sided

apprehension we confide in

i stood before a crowd once, lost my voice and fell from the cloud composed of possibilities that you’d accept me

i couldn’t compare myself

you were worried, self aware, self-centered, bathing in the echo hitting hands

forgetting i need you

rather, i become you, destroy me

i won’t last

let’s get off this stage

that was the final act