He is the man on the moon.
And you have moved your bed out of your apartment
And left it on a hill, hoping to be closer to him.
You stay awake at night, trying to consume his light;
But he is a liar,
And whatever light he displays is borrowed,
Like the time that you spend together.
It belongs to the sun
And so do you.
She was strong and determined
He was brittle and weak
But she moved like a dancer
Who was light on her feet
He knew he could lift her
With a song from the heart
Closed his eyes and he sang
Took that shot in the dark
With a solemn verse
He put her children to sleep
Those three fatherless girls
She was determined to keep
Named ‘em after the months
She spent drowning in booze
Goodnight April, ‘night May,
And Goodnight June
It’s been two years since I’ve seen her.
But as the train pulls into the University station,
Chance brings her into my car.
Her eyes pass over the faces that occupy it,
For that moment I am frozen.
I have cut my hair, grown out my beard.
She doesn’t recognize me.
She stares blankly out the window just beyond me.
Her body shakes as the train rips violently down the track.
It reminds me how I had a similar effect on her.
I can’t help but smile.
She recognizes me,
That damn perverted smile.
She calls out my name,
In perfect compliment to the image running through my mind.
I have no response
This is my stop.
I wish I was essential to your happiness;
But that is a selfish thought.
To truly love is to be truly selfless.
So I will let you go without regret.
And I will watch my happiness follow you away
Because you are essential to mine.
I read the story of a woman, who gave birth to a stillborn child:
When she was discharged from the hospital, she never made it to her car.
She collapsed in the parking lot,
And wept until her knees and palms were bloodied.
The pavement could not have known how to be gentle;
Nevertheless it tried, best it could, to comfort her.
On the crimson concrete, amongst the swelling of her eyes,
She found a small stone.
She held it with her fingers and studied it - stained red,
And wiped it clean.
It seemed as though her grief had subsided.
For a year, she carried that stone,
And held it so tightly that the wounds from that day were unable to heal.
When the year had passed, she found a slightly bigger stone,
And cared for it, until the ridges of her fingers were smooth.
She would tear apart the house if, for a moment, she thought that it was lost.
But it never was.
With the passing of every year, she found a larger stone.
And every one weighed more heavily upon her,
Like a mother who cannot bare to see her child grow old and leave home.
So, she bought a house with a garden, where she could watch over it,
And allow it to befriend the daffodils.
One day, she visited the quarry and saw rock being broken.
She felt a kick in her stomach and heard the sound of crying stone.
It made her nauseous, and she refused to ever return.
So every year, rocks had to be brought to her door.
And she waited for those white trucks as if they were storks.
As she grew old, she moved north to live among the Rocky Mountains.
She would look fondly over its ridges and call out to them,
My child, my child …
And in the wind, she would hear a whisper,
For nine months you carried me in your womb.
And you have carried me your entire lifetime.
You have carried my memory and my name,
Which no one but you will ever know.
It has been my pleasure to carry you in these final years,
As only a child can comfort an ailing mother.
Allow me to hold your tired hands in mine.
Crawl inside of me and I will birth you into eternity.
I ask but one thing:
She allows herself to bleed,
Because she loves the taste of wine.
Fascinated, she watches it trickle down her arm.
With her tongue, she prevents it from staining the carpet.
With her lips, she embraces her skin as it begins to weep.
But she drinks too much
And she becomes light headed.
She tears at her flesh to remind herself that she can feel something
Yet she drinks to forget her pain.
What a pretty paradox.
Still she wonders why old scars make her feel so bitter,
Like the taste of cheap wine flowing through her veins.
You left your shirt in the back of my car
And these thoughts in the back of my mind:
We ran with the moon, just to keep from the sun.
It cast light on things we were too young to face.
So, we found some shitty motel in every town,
But we made sure that we were gone before the sunrise,
You would say that I didn’t appreciate how romantic it was.
I was just too busy tracing your name in the stars.
For some time, we were content being coattails of a perfect evening.
We headed west, and the world spun in the opposite direction.
We were running in place, it only felt like we were getting somewhere.
One morning in Virginia, the years caught up to us.
I went on ahead, and you stayed to watch the sunrise.
As I looked back, I caught a glimpse of the sun
Embracing you with the warmth that I couldn’t provide.
I longed to join you, but the shadow of the moon followed another horizon.
Cold and alone, the sun finally found me on the west coast of Norway.
It illuminated every face that I saw, and I looked for you in everyone’s eyes.
There was no way of knowing who you were, I had only seen you in the dark.
To this day, I still watch the sunset and I picture you
On the other side of the world, somewhere in Virginia
Watching it rise, and allowing it to trace your smile into the sky,
A smile I had suffocated, I tried too hard to keep you from the sun.
Now this t-shirt is all that I have left of you, and I threw it away.
Please forgive me.
Suddenly, my pen has become self aware.
This morning he coughed up blood.
He has been run ragged,
With my hand squeezing harder and harder
Around his neck.
He could only put up with so much.
Looking down at the words I have written,
He shuddered to think how he was responsible,
So he bled onto my notebook,
To bloch out my words.
And, he stained my palm to remind me of him.
I remember all of the friends I have lost,
Shutting myself in and exchanging them
For a pen and some paper.
But their memory disappears,
As I wash the stains from my hands.
Now I have lost another friend.
My pen has died,
And I am responsible.
I have no way to write.
This poem is unfinished.
In someway, it feels as though I am.
One morning, a great poet is woken by a sharp beam of light that pierces his lover’s figure and casts her shadow onto his side of the bed. He slips quietly to his feet, trying not to wake her. For a moment, he stands and marvels at the sight. She lays perfectly still, allowing the morning sun to trace her body onto a canvas of white sheets. He is tempted, but only tempted, to return to his place at her side, wrapping himself in the sun’s masterwork.
Instead, the poet indulges in his own craft. He traces her figure onto sheets of white paper, using only diction and the ink he commands with his pen. He describes her beauty and how even the sun cannot resist such a temptation. His language grows more lavish, as his pen sweats feverishly trying to keep up. No natural force has the ability to hold his passion down. His words become weightless. With every line, the paper begins to lift from his desk. Soon it is impossible for him to pin it down with his hands. In a drawer, he finds an old paperweight. He climbs his chair to retrieve his work of outpoured love, which has drifted to the ceiling.
Something strange occurs, as he continues to write. Hours pass, and the shadow of the paperweight begins to lengthen across the page. He watches it attentively, loosing all focus on what he is writing. The shadow grows and grows, tormenting him as it does so. Slowly, it darkens his words and he cannot help but find them morbid.
He rises from his desk and rushes to the bedroom. She has not moved since he had left her this morning. However, the sun now casts her shadow across the entire room. He runs his hand along her cheek. It is cold. Stepping backwards, he nearly trips over his heart which has sunken to the souls of his feet. He realizes that he can hardly distinguish her body from the darkness it casts along the walls. He curses the mourning sun.
Stumbling, then crawling, he makes his way back to his desk. He must use it to climb to his feet. In a rage, he tosses the paperweight against the wall of his study. The pages of his poetry do not take to the air, though he desperately waits for them to rise. When they do not, he attempts to throw them into the air himself. They are too heavy for him to lift, and his eyes begin to swell. Through the tears, he looks over the words he has written. He sees his love turn into fear, then despair. The words fall to the ground and shatter, as he comes to the last line, reading aloud:
“All that we love will die.”
You think of life as an hourglass.
Like a fool you turn time into sand,
Watch it pass,
Wasting it as you try to slow the process.
As one who time has yet to batter.
But it has.
It weighs heavier on your mind,
With every hour.
Soon, your life becomes a figure of speech.
Quit turning emotions into metaphors.
Go feel something!