Dad (1)

My dad fell asleep

in his chair across the room from me

In his house with no tv

with nothing but music and

Old photographs to make time pass.

 

I watched his chest rise and fall until its

pattern was engraved in my brain

he breathes to the strum of a guitar

to the dancing of piano keys, to my breath

as he built me and shaped its pattern.

 

he sleeps but still his feet kick to the rhythm

of the speaker, stays in his sneakers (like all dads)

with his mouth wide open (but in his dreams,

he’s probably singin’). and Love pours from it

straight from the soul and engulfs the room

makes the fire grow bigger, turns my blood

toasty warm and melts

my hearts broken pieces

into one.

 

Asphalt

Asphalt makes me nostalgic when it’s wet from the rain, it’s weird. My heart used to

Beat to the sound of each raindrop. I could hear the

Crickets in your backyard

Dancing in the grass

Every time our conversation broke. I can almost

Feel the silence still. I remember the flickering

Gas station lights and

How

I would open my passenger seat door to talk to you while you pumped the gas

Just so I didn’t have to miss you. I hope you know I was

Kidding when I said I didn’t

Love you anymore.

Maybe I’m crazy, but even the

New songs remind me of you,

Old songs too, and empty

Pizza boxes. I still can’t

Quite figure out the

Reason you left in a

Split second but I

Try to

Understand as your

Voice replays in my head like a broken record; I don’t

Want this anymore.

Treading

the pitter patter grows quieter

the longer it rains. The bucket on the floor

creeps closer to the brim until it spills over,

becomes the lava of my feelings. I jump

from chair to chair trying not to feel

the dampness begin to cover my feet,

although it is long overdue. The droplets

turn to a whisper and I can almost hear them

saying prepare to tread but my arms

of course are numb. numbness tingles

through every synapse begging me to harken

new emotions. I take a deep breath and my

eyes become blurry; only this time I hear

start by dipping your toes.

The Final Push

the constant push and pull

and then the final push.

when the weight of the world

is settling in your chest, unwarranted,

unwanted

and the lightness of his

proximity has faded away/

 

I often thought of us

together, dangling

our feet off an old porch

in mid July. I often sat

beneath that old cherry tree

and felt what it was to be

whole / the moistened

petals sticking to my bare feet.

 

Now my throat burns

with whiskey with no tree to hold me,

but a love to stare at me

from far away,

seeing only the fragmented pieces

he shattered and took

all at once.

 

Peepers

I lost you last night,

the same night I let myself shamelessly

break down between everyone around me

and the man that raised me,

the night I put a hole through my favorite

J Cole poster, how his face had now lacked

sincerity, comfort. The wicker basket

trashcan stuck shrouds in my feet.

 

I don’t know what it is but I

need to get out of here,

away from the damage, the wall

of a voice on the end of the phone line

still glued to my ear.

 

I need to get out of here;

sink into leather seats

and my brother and sisters laughs,

find comfort in inhale

and exhale.

 

We parked in the cul-de-sac with the lights off,

music off, windows down. I listened

to the peepers keeping themselves warm.

How they understood me.

The Start of Rain

She said she liked the way the first drops

cut through the still water,

shattered the reflection,

fractured the perfection,

created glass fragments

that looked like mosaic faces-

broken but still beautiful.

 

Broken but still beautiful,

she existed in earthly shades,

compared the way her color fades

to the way the sky would change

from red to grey-

the sunset turned to rain.

 

The sunset turned to rain,

washed away her pain,

drop after drop

picturesque skies

shift her thoughts

to where melancholy lies-

bitter but sweet,

sweet sweet defeat.

 

Until her feelings were devoured

the storm turned soil to flowers

she would stand there for hours-

beautiful, insane,

in the rain.

The Starry Night insp. by the painting

The town seemed most silent in the pit of night

against the roar of the artist’s madness

swirling with the wind.

 

It whispered a question:

How could the stars be so bright

in the darkest hours of the night?

 

Oh starry starry night, I too have felt that madness.

The night has knocked at my very own window.

The stars have asked me who I want to be.

 

I want to be someone’s starry night.

I want to exist in shades of blue and mellow yellows,

bring out the color in someone’s world

the way the moon had the ability

to light up every inch of the universe

and seep into sleeper’s windows to whisper “goodnight”.

Serpents

Do not shame me

when really

it is the both of us

who are serpents,

when really

all of humanity

is a surge wave of serpents;

I just choose

not to hide

beneath an

innocent flower

and bite

when no one is looking.

Elegy For My Grandfather

This is how I will remember you:

Sweaters in summer

and a rocking chair

held together

by packing tape,

leather skin freckled

from 90 years

of thimble island summers

and Florida Key winters.

My favorite definition of you-

snow white hair

bringing out the blue

in your eyes

that held a picture of home

within them.

I think that’s why I love the ocean so much-

because I could always see it in your eyes.

 

And now I see your eyes in the ocean.

After all that’s where you are now, scattered in tiny grey specks

made out of the first time

I saw my father cry.

Salt, tears, and ashes.

The ocean and my blood become one.

Before You Were Mine

before you were even mine you reached inside of me

(in more ways than one) you pulled the sadness out of me

and all the secrets I have kept since I was old enough to know

how to keep them. you kept them for me (safe)

and before you were even mine we danced

in a room crowded with people and I got lost

in you (completely and utterly lost) like my feet were being

dragged but for the first time I felt what it was to hope.

to hope for unconditional understanding, for lust

that was drawn from more than just whispers

and a shallow late night text. before you were even mine

you held me in your arms and I felt like I was

in the palm of your hand.

 

before you were even mine I was yours already.

the first time

 

I lost you, even,

was before you were mine.

friends (best) was a word we used from the beginning

the same one we are now using after the third time I lost you.

Now I lay beside your ghost and wonder were you ever really mine

or was I (along with my secrets, my body, my heart)

was I just yours?