“To Clean Up 8:32 p.m.”

One of                                                               One of

those nights                                                     those moments

it’s only 8:30                                                    it’s been five

when it’s just                                                   hours since I

me and I-don’t-know                                     last saw you

what to play                                                    and I still

or how to be                                                   don’t know

i wasn’t okay                                                  what to play

earlier and now                                             I kind of want

i’m just numb empty                                    you to check on me

that’s unfortunate                                         like you did earlier / sometimes that isn’t enough

numb is a really good word                        but I don’t think I told you that.

“Able-Bodied”

Where my feet

should be

can’t begin to step

to step

to step

takes energy

I do not have

to walk

I’d rather fly

to step

to glide

past the brick

and mortar

down a set of stone

steps going down

going down

that building is so

white it hurts

my eyes

can’t look

now to step

to step

a familiar

what path

is this?

A bird

am I

just a limping thing

or can I

fly

to glide my

arms open wide

for some semblance

a taste of home

“Not a Second”

There was Shakespeare on his tongue,

and a butterfly in his lungs.

Both made his dangerous.

Both rendered him unloved.

He was afraid

of what to say,

of what to feel.

It all got stuck in his throat,

a clump of paper and honey.

Nothing was easier to swallow.

Innocence was one thing,

but courage was another.

To pick up the sword,

to shout into the abyss.

He was new to living,

but he didn’t want to waste it.

The hilt was supple in his palm,

so were the words to that song.

The one in the back of his beautiful mind.

“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?

“Manifesto”

She crumbling in places,

too modest to lower her collar.

Not a nun,

named after a dead relative.

Paint-splattered and weeping instead.

In the downstairs bathroom,

she’s Roxanne.

Roxy,

to the bartender,

and Rox to the milkman.

In Disaster,

she’s just another pretty face.

She can’t afford a canvas,

so she uses herself.

Waste not,

want not.

She refuses to turn the light off.

There are goblins downstairs,

and bottles under the bed.

Life’s never like that,

her real name is Mary.