a heart, betrayed, seeks normalcy

water ripples
on the underside of my skin
as it retreats
leaving behind flesh
that is malleable and soft
awkward
suddenly too large
it is conscious of its wrongness
it seeks a normalcy that it scant remembers

i
hear
my
heart
beat

for the first time in forever
slowly
it thrums
rhythm
seeking a memory
that for so long
lived just outside its grasp

daughters of poverty

A monster lingers inside of me
Living in the dappled shade of my destiny

A tapestry stitched together from all my yesterdays
Woven through with unfulfilled promises and broken dreams

Some days I think it will be my only masterpiece

Stomping around my psyche
Broken and flailing
It destroys the good with the bad

It exists on a diet of self-doubt mated with misery

Doubt crowds
Demanding attention

The middle of the night looms while I wonder about how things might have been

Ought to have been

Instead of the ground up mess they currently are

I wonder how much potential was lost; how much energy consumed

Do we disrupt the balance of the universes’ kinetic energy

By living life in lethargy

unfinished thoughts

(author’s note: a stream of conscious rambling written at least a year ago that I thought I would clean up and finish but it doesn’t want polish, it wants this. Who am I to argue with the muse?)

I am a wash with sorrow and weariness
As a spectator I don’t know how you abide

I want to burn it down
And they’re not even killing mine

I am ashamed and tormented

Men reduced to hashtags
Protestors flood the street

Thoughts and prayers are offered
But nothing really changes

Hashtag nation

We drag out platitudes dull with use and wonder why they seem trite and overused. We place the burden of perfection on average people and seek ways to dismiss their loss and pain. We demand of them excellence and are quick to dismiss an entire existence because they fail to live to an unattainable standard of perfection.

We excuse the powerful and talk about safety as an excuse to abuse.

I am not offering solutions I am working out my feelings in a stream of consciousness that may appear or actually be contradictory and confusing. It is what has kept me mostly silent this week but the silence is damaging and my mind is weak.

Pray if you must but that’s not my style. I like Papa Francisco’s admonishment of praying to end hunger then working to feed people. Thoughts and payers not followed by actionable deeds are useless and condescending to the grief we are feeling collectively and a slap in the face to those grieving individually. To those who have had their lives torn asunder.

You can’t simultaneously arm a citizenry and then be surprised when they use them. If your only tool is a hammer pretty soon every problem looks like a nail.

And the issue of extra judicial killings of blacks isn’t that these men are necessarily innocent but rather their summary executions and the states unwillingness to protect their rights to due process posthumously by prosecuting their killers in the best case or even looking into the mirror society is holding up to them and realizing that there is a disconnect between those they are entrusted to protect and serve and their actions. And acting on their short falls in a proactive and thoughtful way.

post truth society

the pale blue of december
wraps its icy fingers around my heart

freezing
squeezing
mistreating

the world gone mad
a power hungry freak
rejects
diplomacy and dignity

while whole families worry about what it means to be american

verified
terrified
objectified

the future

vast
and
unforgiving

looms
menacingly

the ides of me

the scent of a memory entwines my mind
fleeting and fine
gossamer threads lost in time
ghosts slide sideways onto my path
whispering regret
as i
sip cheap wine
and dine
on bitterness
reunited with youthful afflictions
wondering how i got to this place
missing those gone
repenting words not spoken
contrition my companion
as usual
a day too late
a dollar short

we, resumed

Your hand brushes my hip as you resettle yourself in sleep.

It reminds me of a million tiny things. Dancing in the kitchen and restless wakeful nights. Passion and pajama parties and sharing our bed with toddlers who couldn’t sleep. Wondering if we’d ever be alone again.

They’re going now. Into the wider world and I have you to myself once more.

I nestle closer and close my eyes again in quiet slumber.

I am content and we resume. 

dawn’s early light

The stillness of the morning surprises me. I expected more. More what, I don’t know: Fanfare, joy, heft. Something, anything, to set the day apart from all the other days. The air should be humming with excitement; instead, I find myself slightly annoyed at the chill in the air. I know it’s from the moisture collected overnight but it feels like a personal affront by nature to mar my mood. The smell of summer’s warmth trapped within the evaporating dew fills me and I feel my memories shift to earlier, bygone days when the years stretched out before me and the world held so much promise and hope.

Less sorrow.

Sparkles dance across the meadow as dawn’s light begins its journey through the world. I watch as a bird along the tree line ventures forth in search of food, it ruffles, slowly at first and then with more vigor, its feathers as the morning moisture is trapped within them. I wonder if there is, secreted away in the trees, a nest filled with babies patiently waiting its return. Babies that demand devotion and sacrifice until the day they realize they exist independent of it and they eagerly fly away.

I stand, perfectly still, so not to disturb the earnestness in which it toils. It turns sharply as it senses my thoughts. We hold each other’s gaze and realize, at least momentarily, we are the same creature, with the same mission. The sun, meanwhile, has almost reached me and I turn in to it, instinctively. Seeking the warmth upon my face knowing that summer’s grace is almost finished for this year and the sun will retreat. Cease to be a golden orb of warmth and pleasure instead replaced with the miserly light of winter.

The bird consumes my thoughts. It’s easier to think on it rather than my responsibilities. I dread the coming fall. The change of seasons are passages. I am less tolerant of passages as I age. I’m sure there’s a fear of death or some other post-Freudian reason for why I tolerate them less. The reason is less important to me than the actual passage of time.

The bird is gone.

Another thing I have lost while looking away. One day, I promise myself, I’ll pay more attention. Better attention. Attention of some sort. Yet even as I think it, I know it’s unsustainable. Something to assuage my guilt in the moment and will be turned into another tool in the arsenal I use to defeat myself.

And today becomes a day just like all the others that litter my past.