As blinds of darkness fell before our eyes,
the heat of San Diego glittered pink
and yellow while I soaked in all your lies;
I never even stopped myself to think.
The smoke strung holy veils of offerings burnt
from lusty lips, a stupid habit you
had taught my flesh; the craves I, faithful, learnt
but, unlike you, matured and then outgrew.
Those chlorine summers sting my body still
like cigarettes that ate my blackened throat
and vodka making me intensely ill:
the youth I lost in cities far remote.
If only I could wash the salt from tears,
so I could see beyond the broken years.
As blinds of darkness fell before our eyes,
My stomach seethes and reaches up my throat
with spiny fingers. Nothing can be done
but stand here—Cannot vomit, cannot scream.
My hands are twisting at my shirt as now
my voice repeats, “But are you sure?” as if
they cannot truly know and merely guess.
The walls are hissing slow and measured breaths
that thrum against my eyes and if I close
my lids and peer into the black, your voice
reverberates and beats with broken wings.
The barren door is telling me the truth
so I no longer comprehend their words
which feign the hollow understanding shell,
their eyes translucent so I can see inside;
electric currents pulsing over grey
and gnarled roots. Their pity swells but I
don’t want it—pity means that you’re not here
but lost; no more. And hearts no longer need
to beat and earth no longer needs to turn
and velvet petals, withered dry as I,
no longer need to drink the summer rain.
I read once that the rich odor of old books,
with spines cracked and pages yellowed and torn,
is a mixture of pungent volatiles
emitted from the paper and the glue.
The perfume of fingerprints lies deep,
text heavy with the sweet fragrance
of classrooms, dimly lit bus stops, rocking trains,
nightstand drawers, coffee spills, sweat, and grass stains.
The only time I killed an animal
was driving West through timeless desert sands,
alone; the darkened cactus silhouettes
appeared to be my only friends that night.
Pale, the glowing cones before me melted
together, but the high lactescent moon
was so bright, artificial light seemed dim.
Ahead, something was in the unbent road,
so tiny as it hunched between the lines
and gazed upon the swollen moon, entranced.
I realized it was a young hare too late—
and had no time to think to stop or swerve.
I screamed to God and felt the obscene bump
of its small body underneath my tires;
then it was gone. Nothing could have been done,
but I breathed deeply through my nose and cried.
When eyesight decays, and glass is forever between us?
I won’t ever be able to hear you,
I’ll always ache—back, knees, hip—and a thousand
prescriptions will crowd the bathroom cabinet.
Will you still love me then?
When my hair loses its shine and brilliance,
color diluted like paint steeped in water.
I’ll have to cut it to the boyish style that grannies wear,
arthritis denying me from keeping the long hair of my youth.
Remember when I dyed it pink and threatened to
cut it short?
You told me it’d break your heart,
and I never changed the look of my hair again
but grew it long, long, long,
just in case I should ever be locked in a tower
and you should have to come rescue me.
The question still stands:
Will you or will you not still love me when I’m old?
When my skin like paper hangs off porcelain bones
so that you can see through me, past the failing organs
to the spritely girl I once was?
When wrinkles distort my face where smiles were worn,
an overcoat that has since been grown out of?
There are a million and one things more
interesting in this dull world than you,
so I wish I could just walk out the door
because I have much better things to do.
Never has someone talked more of nothing
and I wish I could say I’m bored to death,
but you just keep yapping without stopping
and without drawing a single breath
you continue to the next string of thought.
I don’t care about what you have to say,
my patience ran out and that’s quite a lot.
That’s it—I’m gone—have a marvelous day.
I don’t hate you, I just hate when you speak
so shut the hell up and close your fat beak.
Expanse of stars above, tangled around
Her darkness; fibers of infinity
Interlocked to be eternally bound
And condemned by perfect divinity.
Her fingers grasp at endless waves of light,
Delicately weaving constellations
Within the brackish leagues beyond our sight;
A silvery veil concealing nations.
The icy black pull of that timeless hum,
Prayerful promises dissipate like foam.
The sting on cracked lips when bodies grow numb
And hands clasp that luminous ancient dome.
Beryl brilliance—her unexplored shrine
Of weedy planets secluded by time.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” I lied.
I lied, to you, I lied.
I didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to have to explain it to you either.
I didn’t want to explain that when I’m depressed I think out scenarios in my head.
I think about running away.
I think about not speaking to anyone for a year.
I think about becoming anorexic.
I think about smoking an entire pack of cloves.
I think about doing cocaine.
I think about taking a million pills to make me sleep, sleep, sleep.
What if fills my mind and I can’t stop the possibilities from pouring in until I’m bloated.
Bloated like a corpse floating downstream.
My eyes lock upon the grate on your ceiling and I stare at the checkered pattern until my vision is filled with tiny squares.
I can feel you watching me, quiet as you wonder what I’m thinking about.
You don’t want to know.
I don’t want you to know.
I don’t want you to dwell on the fact that I’m a broken person.
I’m not wonderful like you think I am.
I don’t think I’m wonderful.
I think I’m pathetic.
My tongue works at my dry lips, trying to smooth out the dry cracks.
It’s no use.
Can’t breathe out of my nose anyway.
I can’t handle your stare so I turn my head away, gathering myself into my arms.
You’re already holding me, but for some reason I don’t want to retreat into your gentle touch.
I didn’t want to tell you, but I did.
I didn’t want to put it on your shoulders.
I didn’t want you to share in my burden because I love you.
I love you, I love you, I’m sorry, I love you, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
I begin thinking in colors and shapes.
A humming sound drums against my head, drowning out the music as sensuous curves and vibrant colors fade in and out.
I stop thinking like that when a dark figure pervades through the delirious angles and hues, reaching out for me menacingly.
This isn’t like last time.
Last time I didn’t want to live anymore, but this time I just want blank.
That doesn’t make any sense, but then it does.
I want to lie in my bed and stare at the popcorn ceiling until it swirls into infinity and I fall asleep.
I don’t want the daylight.
I don’t want alarms.
I don’t want conversation.
I just want quiet and nothingness.
I breathe in shakily and you hold me close.
Have I mentioned that I love you?
I don’t know why you’re saying sorry because none of this is your fault.
It’s my dumb mind, screwing with everything.
I should be happy.
I don’t want to go to my classes in the morning.
I don’t want to continue pretending.
It’s so easy to smile when I don’t mean it.
I start drawing in quiet, shallow breaths, trying to see how long I can go without breathing.
This quiet between us feels like millions of lives passing.
Sometimes I watch you and see your eyes are closed.
There’s a slight twitch at your lips.
You aren’t happy.
I’m not happy, but I want to be happy for you.
I inhale deeply, giving up on holding my breath.
Scared, I tightly hold you and kiss you deeply, drinking you in to momentarily forget.
“I should go.”
“Think you’ll be okay?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah,” I lie again.
I stare at the door handle.
One day, I’ll be one of those old women surrounded by shining white walls and white floors, lying in bed as I stare off into the distance, lost in my own thoughts.
When you walk me to my car, I look up at the stars but don’t give them more than a passing glance.
Usually my breath catches and I’m enthralled by the great expanse, each star piercing my chest like needles as I watch with wonder.
Tonight I don’t want to look at the stars.
I don’t want to acknowledge the fact that I feel so lonely.
Driving away I feel numb.
I hardly notice the road as I’m driving and quickly park, suddenly bursting into tears.
Sitting in my dark car, I sob uncontrollably, unable to stop once I’ve started.
It’s difficult to breathe like this.
I calm myself enough to get out and walk up to my room where I stand in the middle for a few minutes, staring at the pictures on my wall.
Smiles, smiles, smiles.
Like the smile I wear every day.
Lies, lies, lies.
My throat is sore from so much crying, that I begin to cough.
I can’t stop coughing now.
Coughing, crying, coughing, crying, crying.
I’m sorry, I love you, I love you.