Back when I was brave, back when I had guts, I needed my ribcage. But now that I am coward I am carving stories on each of my rib bones. I’ll place them in bottles and cast them out to see. If you find them you will know how I got to be me.
Back when I used to love I needed a heart. Now that I don’t know how I all I need is a beat. I’ll record the way my heart sounds before giving it away to some grand fool that knows how to love better than me.
They sky is falling
We’ve forgotten our umbrellas
So when the clouds descend
Let’s cover our faces
And have a masquerade ball
I will be more handsome than you remember
And you will be good
You will be good
She is going to fall in love with you. The girl in the front row that you’ve been silently falling in love with is not going to fall in love with you. It doesn’t matter that you picked her out amongst her amongst the beer soaked men and the liquored up ladies. You haven’t done enough. You won’t stand out. Not the way your friend does. He is up front with the curly hair, and the baby blue eyes. He’s holding a guitar and he’s singing her a song. So, no, she won’t look at you. She’s not going to fall in love with you. It doesn’t matter that you can see yourself with her in the future. Her wearing the same white dress she’s wearing the night but with a small red stain on it from the wine drunk nights. You in the starched clothes that feel stiff but make you stand up like a man. Your hands aren’t as soft as they once were because you’ve been busy. You’ve been busy building a life for her. You know she cannot settle for dollhouse dreams. You have to build castles in the sky on solid foundations because even the rain falls, her heart must not.
I want to excavate your spine with these hammer and chisel fingers to prove you can still be brave. It’s going to take a lot of courage to love. Bother the bees for a bit of their wax to plug your ears. People always have too much to say. If you’re going to love me you’re going have to quiet all the voices that tell you why you shouldn’t. If you’re going to love me you should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to stand your ground. People will try to back you off of what you believe. If you’re going to love me then you’re going to have to believe that I am worth more than just your time of day.
I can feel my skin breaking loose like some human cocoon but inside is no butterfly, just a naked man of muscles, bones, and adipose tissue. I will step into the world uncovered and unprepared, sharpen the nearest stick into a spear and cry war with the world.
My heart doesn’t beat back loud enough for me to know if I am real, so I will take my arms and legs in hand, see if I can manipulate them like puppets. Am I Pinocchio or am I the real boy? I spend so much time pleasing others I don’t know anymore. Here’s a knife, cut me, see if you draw blood or splinters. Draw me the way you will. You can be the artist to tell me exactly who I am.
These are the words I’ve saved for you
I want to watch you walk across thunder clouds
To see how you handle the storm, till I
pull you down by bare ankles here,
Where brown eyes can hold you
I see you with the backs of my eyelids
I dream about you
Dull eyes making rough cuts
You’re a surgeon
Removing my legs for my own good
I won’t walk away like those other men did
I am here to stay
What’s with these late nights of loving and longing and longing to be loved. We all have gaps and it’s not enough to stay up late and try to fill them with stardust. There are only rooms that feel like prisons whether or we are at home or running empty mugs along the counters of dive bars. I’ve thought I could find my better self on the side of the street, thumb out waiting for my old self to pick me up and put me in the passenger seat to go along for the ride. I’m through asking for salvation. I just want the next day to be different from the last. I want to be stared at a little longer. I want to be loved a little stronger. I want one more person to remember me as I the person I hope I am.
When it rains, I think
This must be Seattle fish markets smell like,
But I wouldn’t know
I’m just an east coast boy
So that Pacific time catches up to me
I’ll tell you about my
While asking you to ignore
The splish and the splash
of me, trying,
to extricate my legs from thick red mud
Before tomorrow comes
And the kiln of the southern spring
Bakes the ground brick
and I have no choice
but to remain
In my all too familiar surroundings.
It doesn’t matter how many sunrises you flee
somewhere there is a cock’s crow that cannot be extinguished
So let’s be men, let’s be women, let’s be human,
Your body laying perfectly still will not hold up the skies
and keep the forecast from falling and if you remain longer
You will be stuck watching these strangers you call friends
Become stranger still,
You’re afraid to admit that they’ve become boring
And the new theme of your life is escape
It’s only up to you,
Your parents didn’t cast aside their dreams, work Christmas days, give you their last penny
For you to be unhappy,
It is time to make something of yourself