“Heartlines”

Red whispers,

clocks tied together with old arteries.

He wasn’t using them anymore.

Tick,

goes the clip,

caught under his silver tongue.

They were familiar with his work.

Tock,

a mother’s love,

tested with bullets and rage.

They never made it.

Tick,

a way to measure loyalty

to the bush outside his window,

and to the olive tree,

with its branches,

stroking the back of her neck.

“Let Me Have”

She was inside of him,

clutching his ribs for support.

He didn’t want her there.

She made him a machine,

a creature of habit.

This sad discord,

shifting to a loud quartet.

He dragged her to the bonfire

and the flames were screaming,

lonely and strange.

Her hair caught first,

then her rosebud mouth.

He fell to his knees.

The devil was watching.

“Afflicted”

Crossing the abyss,

where my heart sits,

waiting.

She’s weeping,

ugly,

her thick legs stretched in front of her.

Stabbed with pins,

arms behind her back.

She’s surrounded.

No beauty, just a beast.

Her eyes won’t leave my face.

She won’t give up.

I know that, because she’s mine.

What should I do?

Her eyes implore me.

Now I’m the one crying

diseased tears,

ruining,

running.

She doesn’t understand:

I can’t.

I can’t free her.

I’m not enough,

I never will be.

Can I learn to love,

the way I see?

A tightrope walk of shame,

to be vulnerable.

Her ugliness is a feat of pure strength.

I wish I was that sharp.

“Combat of Trust”

My ear was pressed,

against your chest.

I heard a war,

not of hearts,

but of the great and terrible blade,

pain.

You,

scar-bearer,

my only price.

I saw your strength,

waning.

So I gave you some of mine.

My favorite sword,

in the palm of your hand.

Did I turn into a monster?

Are you my knight,

here to slay?

What would happen,

I wonder,

if I was already gone?