Walk away

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Maybe he was conditioned to walk away

Perhaps he sensed its coming

Lowering himself into the blocks

When she said it was over

That was the starter pistol’s report

Off he went

 

Maybe he witnessed the maternal bond

Who was he to try and fuck with that?

As much as he could give

He felt he’d be a little short

It was something he couldn’t deny us

Arms limp at his sides, he walked away

 

I like to imagine that he argued

That he cried in attempts to stay whole

That he held us in his arms

Tears streaking down his face

The look of a broken man

His face a setting sun melting into the ocean

 

I like to imagine that he called constantly

Trying to make amends to bridge the distance

That we were at the forefront of his mind

That he showed up uninvited

Diapers under one arm

A teddy bear under the other

 

I have a half-sister I’ve never met

That he walked away from first

Maybe she was the hardest

When my mom pointed at the door

It was like Pavlov ringing a bell

Without thought he found himself alone

 

I was left with a gaping hole in my chest

A severed, invisible umbilical

Trailing out behind me

The weight of a logging chain

Leaving a trail of black bile

For most of my life

 

My father reentered my life a few years later

Reaffirming a bond I always knew I needed

A puzzle piece fitting my chest hole perfectly

I no longer dragged that logging chain

Though I no longer envied other children

I had gained a friend in him more than a father

 

I think he felt that he gave up that right

That it would be a waste of time anyway

When so much joy was had just being friends

And when life was a storm he was a safe port

Two years ago a storm washed away that port

I’m often come undone at the thought of this

 

Looking at my two-year-old son

I imagine the hole in his chest

That I can only fill with stories

Of his quirky, loving grandfather

That he’ll have no memory of

And have to trust my recollection of him

 

At the same time I long for that lost period

The early years I didn’t have my father

I look at my son

And I couldn’t imagine walking away

I would level a city, sell my soul to the devil

To be by his side

 

As a child, brought up catholic

I believed in a heaven and hell

I’ve since stepped away from faith

And I put my belief in Socratic method

Which relies on student-teacher dialogue

I’ve lost my teacher but gained a student

 

Thinking of the loss of my father

My fading youth

My son’s long journey ahead

I hope I’m wrong about heaven

I hope I’m wrong

When I have no choice but to…walk away

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The lease of my worries

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You’re rent has come due

A yearly reminder

It’s not much money but

The weight is immeasurable

I’m crushed beneath it

(Un)luckily the cost of your rent

Is shared by her and I

Now I know that we don’t visit

Even if we did you’d never know

Your cold, dark prison

You’re lucky

The cold keeps you young

The dark keeps you ignorant

What came first?

Me…the chicken?

You…the egg?

I’m a gunslinger with hoplophobia

Chambers filled with blanks

I shove splinters under my nails

For every missed opportunity

For unrealized potentials

You are potentiality incarnate

We tried to give you a Home

We thought of taking you in

But your brother broke her

She…the strongest woman I know

Broken and torn

I can’t even bring myself to ask

As I witnessed her succumbing

They said we could donate you

For research (the fuck does that even mean?)

I’m too afraid to ask

If only there were a half dozen of you

Then we could allow anonymous adoption

One isn’t enough

One is everything

The day is coming

When I will sign my name

On your release

I fear that as you thaw

Having finally escaped your cryogenic tomb

That I’ll turn forever cold

Fortunately I have your brother

Now three

To keep me warm

But a frostbite fingerprint will remain

On my heart

Although I’m pro choice

I feel like an amateur

$100 dollars to add another semicolon

Delaying the inevitable

Dryad

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I’m thinking of trees

The rough on the fingertips

The cool darkness beneath

The others that look like winter

Looking at me

Pointing at their flat rock

Scratching, scratching, scratching

Pointing their driftwood fingers

To their snow white scratches

Their mouths open

The sounds that come out

The crunch and snap of the forest floor

The growl and yip yip of wild dogs

It affronts the ears until the cooing begins

Then it’s all sad eyes and cooing

I miss the smell of decay

The feel of wet moss underfoot

I try to tell them, the winter people

Let me go home

Let me go home

I rustle, I chirp, I warble, I ribbit, I buzz

The stupid winter people do not understand

I begin squealing, shrieking and screeching

Until my voice cuts out

I cough a small drip drop

Of inside water, the color of dying trees

Into the palm of my hand

I curl up on the floor

Running my fingers across dead wood

Imagining the softness of grass and moss

A parallel me

On another earth

Critical period hypothesis

Missed window for language acquisition

I am a dryad

An anomaly

I am closer to the truth

Than the winter people will ever be

Inured

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Remember when coffee felt like it was boiled in the depths of hell. When a broken promise brought real physical pain. When vegetables raised bile to the back of your throat and you made yourself sick, just to get out of having to eat more. The taste of artificial sweeteners…what fucking devilry IS this?!? Spicy food. Shots at the doctor’s. Using a public restroom. When the sound of adults arguing made me hide under the bed and I cried myself to sleep. The way a loved one’s look of disappointment hurt your heart. Asthma taught me, as a little boy, that even drowning on dry land will pass. Jesus, even with asthma, I hacked my fucking brains out on the first few cigarettes, only to become a pack-a-day smoker. The steady weight gain of middle age, until you find yourself buying shoes that slip on easily. The boss’ condescending tone, from a guy you wouldn’t even bother holding a decent conversation with. Watching my little boy in the window, as I drive off to my 9 to 5. Some of the deepest transgressions end up changing us but become just phantasms we try not to remember. I’ve been here before, so just rip the goddamn bandage off. No I don’t need to look the other way…just try and get it in the vein the first time around. I have become inured. But, but…sometimes I wish I felt every bit of it. Because I’m starting to wonder if I’m putting up with more bullshit than I should, and, most of all, I think I should still be crying everyday from your passing. I miss you, our conversations, and my biggest fan. This world/growing old/time has made me numb, has made me a monster, and I’m not even sure if I feel bad about it.

Happy New Year

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I shed my scaly skin

Cheese grater scrubbing

The crust must go

Air must reach the fresh

Pink skin beneath

A freshly plucked fowl

My need to howl out in pain

Is attenuated by your indifference

This patina of malaise

An antibiotic resistant bacteria

Caught from stagnant, aimless days

Dallying in the doldrums

A broad spectrum tincture

The deepest, loneliest blues

To the brightest, livid reds

Mustn’t bring your old broom

To your new house

Now lemon juice and salt

Need to shine

Like a bright, new penny

I’m a new car…not brand new, just new to me

My reflexive modulation of inflection

Is inflicted by reflecting on my reflection

Goodbye to the old fear

Mourn loss with a single tear

Now is the time to be freer

Ring in the new year

‘TIS THE NIGHT OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE by Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner. This should be the mantra for the coming year!

‘Tis three nights before Christmas, the day after Hanukkah, eight from St. Lucia, and five ’til Kwanzaa. ‘Tis two months since Diwali, India’s festival of light, as Sun settles into our world’s longest night. A breeze hugs the mountain, nudging daytime to eve, while an unkindness of ravens and a hawk take their leave. Observing […]

via ‘TIS THE NIGHT OF WINTER SOLSTICE — Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

Figments of a Mania – Henna Sjöblom. If art is supposed to make you feel uneasy…Henna is a true artist. Another spectacular poem found at Sudden Denouement!

I saw her in the dark of my eye stretched out on a polyester blanket, puffed-up cheeks and threads of pink bubblegum stuck to her hair the /maggot-eaten/ stockings barely covering up the /cigarette burns/ along her legs riffles trough the pages of the /holy/ bible, decides she doesn’t have time patient may sometimes […]

via Figments of a Mania – Henna Sjöblom — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

A Sliver of Silver – Nicole Lyons. This poem by Nicole at Sudden Denouement made me understand why wolves howl at the moon.

I always made sure our house was clean even though we never were. And I always made sure the moon had a sliver to peer into, a little slat between the pavement and my pillow where she would feel welcomed to lay her silver smile upon our sleepless nights and find us charmed enough to […]

via A Sliver of Silver – Nicole Lyons — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Aakriti Kuntal: This is the end. This poem at Sudden Denouement makes you almost long for heartache.

We want to reach out. But baby here, now, this is the end. We know, we know ‘ the end ’. We’ve lived inside it. Slept. Slept. Inhaled. Creatures of absence. Your eye is an alien being. It alone sings. A rotating rim. Continuously revolving in the hemisphere’s strange music. I look down. My feet […]

via This is the End — A Global Divergent Literary Collective