Who is there
when the lights go out
and the cold knocks on your window
to hold you?
Who lets you know
you’re safe when your own lungs
are afraid to open
for fear of letting in a draft?
Who is there when they are so busy
and your life is so stagnant
and you don’t know how to say:
Who can pry open your mouth
when you have tied it with
black lace so pretty, so hurtful
and it looks like you’re smiling?
Who can reach down with their hands
to help you from the grave you’re digging
when all you manage to do
is flinch at the thought?
You can leave me in the cold and like a loyal dog, I’ll stay. The dark can creep up on me and shroud me in its claws, but I’ll picture you and feel at home.
They shake their heads at me like I should know better, and I should.
But my heart beats for you and I can’t change the source of heat in my blood. So I’ll make friends with the shadows and tell them your name.
When you come back (and you will come back) don’t be afraid of the devils on my shoulders. Don’t be afraid of the cold in my skin or the damage in my eyes.
Your name will be forever on my lips and I have signed over my soul for you. The ink left bruises on my heart, is this love?
I will call it love as long as there is air in my lungs, even if it leaves me with smoke between my lips. I can learn to love the taste of toxins – just as I have learned to love the bruises on my heart. Just as I have learned to love you.
His legs hang over the side of the railing and his eyes stare straight ahead. Between his fingers is burning death and he takes every drag slow and meticulously, willing it’s magic to work faster.
Bright lights shine from down below and he contemplates his options. Guiltless chance or a surefire suicide. Maybe it could look like an accident.
Smoke gushes from between parted lips and he’s grown to like the taste.
He wonders how many flowers have grown in his graveyard chest but thinks maybe he’s barren. It feels like he’s barren. It feels like all he is, is death waiting to happen. Eyelids shut tightly and he wonders why it has yet to happen.
One foot slips behind the other and a shoe dangles precariously above the rushing traffic. He thinks of this as picking petals off of roses; to, or to not.
Instead of letting chance make it’s mind up, he takes both shoes off and lays them beside him. Knowing they’re safely next to him gives him a false comfort and an unsettling ache.
His mind wanders into the crevices of his thoughts that he blocks off in the daylight, the caution tape torn off. There are dark bags beneath his eyes and he can barely remember the last time he slept. The ache never wanes and the tired never gets comforted by sleep.
Burned to the end, he flicks his cigarette to the ground and slowly, so slowly, he lets himself rise to the challenge of not actually jumping when he can. Instead he turns and grabs his shoes, stepping down from the metal railing and letting himself enter into a more sturdy ground.
Not tonight, he thinks.
We tear our skin off so that our souls are bare and when they touch it feels electric. I feel the pulse of my heart and I wonder if you feel it too; I swear it takes up the whole room.
Your hands are on me and I try my damnedest not to think of him. My eyes fight to stay locked onto yours so I don’t lose myself in dreams of the past I can’t seem to shake off. I don’t think you see it that way.
You tell me things so sweet it make my eyes water and I try so hard not to hear his voice. I know I can’t say them back. I know you know it, too.
I haven’t been able to understand why you accept so little.
We dance like lovers do and I breathe you in to the best of my ability. In, out. In a little deeper. Hold. Exhale. I pray this silent wish is granted.
Side by side we lay, our limbs intertwined and mixed like they were meant to be that way. We look like an art piece and I think it looks a little sad. I wonder if you see it, too. But I don’t ask.
I could never pry my lips open wide enough to make anything in my mind a reality. I ignore the beat of my heart and try to get lost in yours.
I sink into you and I’m so glad you pull me closer. I empty my lungs in a desperate attempt to let myself be pulled so far in I melt into your skin, into your bones, into your life. I want to let you breathe for me because I can only seem to find toxicity every time I open my mouth.
When your eyes close and your breathing evens out, I whisper my love for you until my throat runs dry. Maybe if I say it enough it’ll find it’s way into reality. Maybe if I wish hard enough, it’ll come true.
I love you I love you I love you.
Sometimes it feel likes a stone arch, one that you would find in the ruins of some old place. There’s something so beautiful and yet so sad about it. You press your hand to it and try to breathe in the life that used to be there.
I’m sure that when others say they have an old soul they don’t mean one that was born into the world already in ruins. Or so easily able to be crumbled. Like it has already weathered from time that had yet to even touch it. Yet sometimes it feels like an ancient stone arch. Or maybe pieces of one.
I’m not a landmark that everyone wants to see, to wish they had been apart of or had seen in it’s glory. In the midst of everything, a few wandering glances might catch sight of me and see beauty from the wreckage, but mostly I’m an overlooked, rundown, nothing-great.
The stories found here aren’t so wondrous. They aren’t magical and they don’t take you to some far-off place.
The stories found here are as plain as stone and maybe just as cold. Don’t forget to wear your jacket and tread carefully. Don’t slip on any cracks.
We pull at our tightly strewn stitches
Trying to desperately break free
The strings got mixed up, though
I had yours and you mine,
Only tighter were we squeezed
Into our pretty packaged facades
Unable to breathe, unable to scream for help
The cloth of lies too tightly like a second skin
And those smiles took over, hiding anything
That could have possibly been underneath