words

desire piles onto desire

the waves and folds of need unspoken

words collect in corners

spilling under doors

and over the edges of windowsills

longing expression

but bitten back

tucked away untidily

with socks and monsters and dustbunnies

nightmares put to rest

for a season

to wake up when it’s time

some ghosts turn out to be friends

losing power as time renders

all things weaker

their grip loosens

i walk forward or

in circles, i can never tell

until i see the landmarks

a familiar rock, initials carved into

a fallen tree

that no one heard as it went down

no one laments but me

who climbed in its branches when it was tall

reaching for dreams

i caress cobwebs

as i reorder the attic i’ve neglected too long

and the pages cry

they have missed my scratched out words

my badly rhymed poems

altars to feelings i drank in madly

gravestones marking relationships i walked out on

a thousand paper bullets

aimed at you, piercing me

falling is so easy

maybe my addiction is loving you

and the way you don’t

smile at me

open the windows

but close your eyes when you look out

lean into loving

even when it breaks

a thin spiderweb vein of weakness

and fears slip through

shivering over my skin as i sleep

wishing i was kissing you under the pine tree

desire is pushed back

trained into a wild hungry thing

claw marks scrabble at the door

i open my mouth to ask

but hear the whispered rejection in your eyes

and keep my quiet bitter dignity

words never given voice

cannot echo into the future

mocking the child you were then

the younger version of an inocent dream

that you still cradle in the dark

crooning hope you know is lies

but it helps her survive

[maybe it would be better

if she died

but her heart

pumps so red

and the knife

in these gnarled hnads

is dull]

teach my words their own rhythm

to be myself is a lesson fraught with falsity

the stack of expectations

towers over me, threatening

to topple

but like most dreams

doesn’t feel real until you wake up crying

your shackles i walk into freely

forgetting i hate dress-up

my own, though, are made of real iron

biting into wrists bruised with 21 years

of uphill climbing

and my head says

save the tears for later

the way you save the best things till last

the biggest box at Christmas tucked furthest back

the way you let words collect

an avalanche of stale emotions

a whole summer on a single page

a week like sleepwalking

don’t wake me yet

i’m still smiling

may as well wait

till the thing is broken before

i walk away

to watch it burn from a distance

blinking in detached pleasure

as it warms my chilled fingertips

clinging to my pen

dripping bloody

honoring past selves slain

buried in notebooks i still read over

wanting to reach back

touch the hand of the girl i was then

i’ve been saving my soul for this

welcome to the beginning

2 thoughts on “words”

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