Scratch

Living here among the callousness

and all the conditions faced,

I have a need to become nameless,

blameless

once more.

If I let go of all that I am

could I somehow be given,

mercifully,

the chance to start clean and new again,

and be entirely unaccountable

for my former misdeeds?

Could my past be wiped away

with the flick of a wrist

or the promise that I

have learned my infernal lesson?

Could I be allowed peace of mind at last?

To have the past washed away like footprints on a shore

not to be seen in this world anymore?

I could start from scratch,

but knowing what I know now

and at least having half a chance

at happiness, which always

seems to just escape my grasp.

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Analysis

I am tired of writing pretty words

and making pretty pictures to pass the time.

I think I must create these things

to forget myself and that I mind

that I can’t feel like others do,

and only to forget for a moment.

Things will never be as they once were.

The time for it is lost to me and can’t be found again.

I think I finally understand

actions I could not comprehend before.

To be loved is not enough,

a person needs to feel it .

My heart refuses to understand.

And friendship isn’t going to fix it

and I long for someone to hold my hand

without having to believe it’s pity,

without having to believe it’s a lie.

But that never comes.

So I keep writing lines

and I keep making marks on blank pages

to pass the precious time.

I wish he hadn’t said what he did

because he ruined my words

and he ruined my pictures

by telling me the truth:

that I wish I didn’t have to write

and I wish I didn’t have to make marks

but that’s all I have

even though that’s not a life.

That’s all I have.

I fell in love in pieces

I fell in love in pieces,

not the lie of ‘love at first sight’.

Who can know what another soul has hidden?

It takes more than a minute to bring it to light.

No, I fell in love in pieces,

with many grains of the sands of time.

When I thought I figured out what I wanted,

my heart went and changed my mind.

I fell in love in pieces,

that struck me with their truth:

By watching the person he had to be,

not by lust in the throws of youth.

I fell in love in little ways

and not just on a whim,

my mind taught me to care less for self

and learn to care for him.

I fell in love with words he’d said,

but more that actions followed.

I thought I could not love him more

but then learned there was tomorrow.

I fell in love with small things

that no one ever sees.

Others can’t tell how important he is,

they don’t know how much he means.

I fell in love in pieces,

I didn’t know for quite a while.

One day I caught myself thinking of him

and realized it made me smile.

 I fell in love with invisible things,

things that have no measure.

The way he does the things he does

is something that I treasure.

I fell in love from the inside out,

then desire, it came too.

I didn’t notice a handsome face,

but eyes can be untrue.

Eyes can be such shallow things,

but I happened to be blind

and got to know how true love feels:

falling for someone’s mind.

At last I find I want to touch him

and have him touch my skin

and show in movements, soft and sweet,

that I love what he holds within.

I fell in love in pieces,

but fell too late in love.

I hold him dear to my heart each day

and that will have to be enough.

I fell in love in pieces,

but I can never let him know it.

I value him so highly

that I’m afraid to show it.

I fell in love in pieces,

in many little ways.

But I’d rather have a friend for life,

than a chance at a lover any day.

I fell in love in pieces,

in one part at a time.

But I’d rather have him as a constant in life

than risk it to call him only mine.

I fall apart in pieces,

each day another crack.

He’s always very kind to me,

but I know what I lack.

I lost my life so sudden,

I hardly remember how.

Only that what once mattered

doesn’t really matter now.

I fall in love in pieces

everyday and more and more.

There’s nothing I can do about it,

I don’t know what I tease my sad heart for.

I fall in love with parts of him

I didn’t see yesterday.

But he’ll never know the way I feel,

never hear the words I want to say.

I fell in love in pieces,

and I am falling still.

I wish that I could change it,

but that’s the way I feel.

I fell in love in pieces,

and I am falling still.

But he doesn’t know I love him,

never has and never will.

Stolen clockwork

It is not mine to give this curse.

It does not belong to me to decide who to put this burden upon.

I cannot lay my hands on any particular man

and transfer this precious sickness

with a thought or even awareness.

No, it escapes me while I speak,

in the presence of those

whom I have no desire to please.

It sends its rotten roots shooting out

into any crevice it finds,

digging deep inside,

widening the fissures it finds

till it rends in two the thing

it had once fought to be a part of.

The blood in my heart is brown now,

due to the length of time.

The blood rust,

more machine than human,

yet still so delicate,

still flesh like a human thing.

And he creeps in silently

to take what doesn’t belong to him.

He quietly steals away my heart.

My hands are tied.

A little piece today,

a little more tomorrow,

soon enough he’ll possess it all

and I am utterly helpless to do anything

but stare in amazement

at the fact that someone could desire,

so strongly,

to own this broken clockwork inside of me.

Amazed and thankful, too,

for his will to try and take it.

Progressing

Keep your head down.

Keep your chin up.

And smile;

it’s what she does.

Always look on the bright side

even through dark skies

and clouds and tears.

And she remembers a time

when she felt so alive,

but it isn’t now

and it isn’t here.

And she wonders what changed her

and made her be sorry

and constantly worry

about things no one could ever change.

And how does she feel now?

And why does she want more?

She used to be smarter.

She used to know better.

She always thought it would be that way.

She took them for granted,

the things she was handed,

and now they have left this place.

And her good parts, they followed,

and left her alone here

in this apathetic world.

Now all that she’s left with

are opaque memories

and hazy outlines

of better times.

So bittersweet.

Ugly and glorious

in the same sentence.

Hated and loved in a singular breath.

And she thought she should change back

and be more than she is now, but she is scared to death.

The tides, they have turned;

all bridges have burned.

She’s stranded in this melancholy place

with nothing but time,

inconsistent rhymes,

and that odd look upon her face.

Lay down the pen

Say a word, sing a line:

something about a stitch in time.

Fix it now, before it gets worse.

Lay down the pen on another verse.

You don’t say aloud what you put in ink,

and he needs to know what you really think.

Make him smile or give him strife,

but hand over words he’ll have for the rest of his life.

It’s not yours to make him act today,

or even if he’ll choose to hear the words you say,

but you’ll be to blame if you hold them in.

If you don’t reach out, then that’s your sin.

Say a word, don’t write it down

on paper to get lost or blown around.

Say a word, put love into it.

If he wants to change, then help him through it.

Speak your mind, let the words flow.

If he keeps it up, you’ll have to let him go.

If you need to speak,  don’t stop and question why.

You’ve learned it hard: there’s nothing worse than unsaid goodbye.

Poor players

Let’s just call it what it is:

small talk and a symbiotic relationship.

You play the part of a friend,

a part once played by a better actor.

At a desperate time, you came along

and you were so like him, it seemed at first,

that I had hope once more for this little production.

And you are like him,

his shadow almost,

a shade changing more with every day

short and long and not at all.

And you are not him,

but what choice do I have?

You talk to me, twisting a knife into my skin,

piercing flesh and bone and marrow

till the tip pricks my heart

and I remember what life is.

And I pay for your services,

feeding your habits.

And I had always thought

I would never buy a drunk a drink.

And yet here I stand, stricken with realization,

while you drown yourself to death

in debauchery.

I think I’m starting to understand:

I don’t have to watch you do this.

I can say my peace and go on my way.

You’re a man.  It’s up to you to choose to follow.

But, no, I don’t have to be an audience,

for the second time,

to a slow, painful demise of another player

on this imperfect stage.

I don’t have to watch you fail to live up to

tasks asked of every actor.

I don’t have to be here when the curtain falls

and instead of applause, there is only pain

for an actor on whom the curtain shall never rise again.

Still trapped

There was only night now.

As far as the eye could see,

only black and stars

and a moon holding its place

against the whirling fields of space.

There were only thoughts now.

Quiet, nagging thoughts in her lonely mind:

lies screaming, formed by desperation,

and truth quietly eating away at her.

Why this was the case, she wasn’t sure.

No, that was a lie; truth poked her wounded mind:

she brought this on herself.  She always did.

But why she had to keep the cycle going,

that was the mystery to her crowded brain.

She questioned her judgement and whether she was sane.

There was only night now, stars and moon,

facts and fictions, questions and theories,

and soon enough dreamless sleep.

She looked at the the clock: 5-10, when she woke it would be 5-10 still.

She was trapped.  He left her much against her will.

Turning on the lights

I drove past your door.

The lights were on; it made me smile.

I was so happy for such a small thing;

a thing that shouldn’t really matter like it does.

How can I even think to deny the feelings

that you evoke when you are in my mind?

Do you think of me?

Do you know who I am and what I really mean

when I say all of the nervous things I say?

I know who you head home to at night:

a pretty girl who I hope loves you half as much as I do.

Because you deserve all of the things you think you want.

But I wonder if when you touch this beautiful girl,

who encapsulates all the things that I am not,

do you ever, have you ever even once,

when your fingers met her skin,

wondered what it would be like if that were me?

What would it be like to lay

your pretty heart upon your sleeve,

forgetting judgments rendered

by those who don’t know what we might be

and the consequences of actions such as these?

What would it be like to clear the doubt and worry from your mind,

forget the weighty troubles that bind us up

and hold us back,

and to do one thing quite unplanned and act?

To try me out if only for your curiosity’s sake?

In a brief moment of passing joy,

or perhaps foolishness,

we were laughing so hard

and you forgot yourself

and grabbed my arm,

perhaps the way that lovers do.

I think I will spend many long hours caring for you

secretly, but not insincerely,

quietly, but with enough power

to light the whole house

that you call home

bright enough for the whole world to see.

The sweetest tangerine

I saw you with her.

God, she’s beautiful.

That is something I can never be, not really.

Sure, there might be flickers of it,

traces from time to time.

An observant person might see,

underneath all the mess

and layers that worry has added,

that I might have been pretty once.

But that was many years and many miles ago…

So far away, I doubt I can ever get back there again.

I’m not like that goddess sitting in your car,

who’s never known what it’s like to feel awkward,

who fate has never had the audacity to scar up.

That perfect angel has never known hard times

or trouble

or struggle.

I’m not bitter,

only jealous a little

that life did not deem me worthy enough

to treat kindly.

For your sake, I hope she’s half as kind as she is pretty.

You’re a good man and you deserve, at the very least, that much.

Tonight, rain is falling and I’m feeling blue.

I really didn’t need the burden of seeing her with you.

I think you must have seen that in my face.

Some things I can’t hide with a smile,

even though I’ve had years of practice.

You try to be a good man, even if you don’t know it:

You offer me pity,

which anybody else would take.

I don’t want your pity.

I’d rather keep my dignity.

I’d rather be able to look at myself in the mirror

without feeling more pathetic than I already do.

Instead of taking your pity, there are

words that I must give to you, words you have to hear:

Keep your pity for yourself.

She might be a good girl

and she’s damn sure beautiful,

but there’s no one who will love you more than I do.

There’s no one who would treat you better than I could.

If you could see the truth, you’d know there’s no one

 you’d rather grow old with.

But you don’t see that now.

You see flawless beauty.

I’m the sweetest tangerine in the world,

but you can’t get past the blemished peel.