Content Warning: blood, self-harm, death, suicide
My friends are characters from my favorite T.V. show.
They can be as brilliant as they want to be.
They pull punchlines from my ears like a shiny coin.
Most times I can read along from the script.
We laugh and laugh and laugh
but sometimes, I have no lines.
Those days, I hope that my onscreen presence goes unnoticed.
My want to be the Regina King of the set dissipates and I relax
into my new role as the extra that passes by the vending machine.
Not unlike the cast of a show about really good friends, my homies never leave me out.
When eyes turn towards me, probing me for the next line-
my tongue searches
for the right
is an alphabet
of my mouth
hidden deep within
sometimes the search is
get worried and my face
something rotting and
concerns but my eyes
ners of my
around my mouth
words as if there
stuck to the roof
and a dictionary
my teeth I search.
so intense that my friends
screws up like I smell
they feed me their
plead for them
even as the cor-
lips curl into
THRU THE TRENCHES
Teetering in those murky waters again
The vapors expel musings of morning
Only thoughts of the moon, never a friend
So you bear that cross, aware that fog is forming
The eels and sharks lurk the waters for meat
Drew blood by razor so they would attack
But they kept swimming, my tears met defeat
Must be a ghost to be veiled is a knack
Plead for forgiveness or wallow in stench
The water is stained red, not much time now
The air is colder, my blood loss avenged
Deeper in these waters my body will plow
Maybe this is freedom
A night cap in a Colosseum.
Seasons change on instinct
Singed winter grounds
a spring like fall
a frosty April and May.
Summer only shows up in waves
mostly from a firm grasp
on the neck of number
BITE THE BULLET. OR NOT.
The floor has broken again.
This makes for the umpteenth time this week.
debris stings my
eyes, but the film
never runs out
the trees still shake.
I never stay down too long.
I really only have two choices after all.
dust off and sing
till its all
or gather the debris,
Willing for it to be as tall as the forthcoming smoke.
I LOVE PGH
Today I wanted to drown
I wanted to succumb to the currents
And let the silent pull of the Monongahela
It’d been so long since I’ve felt something so intimate
Limp arms and legs
Swallowing dirt from the once flooded waters
A Freedom that I’ve never felt before
I wonder if my mother felt the same way when she woke back up
Like she was drowning
Reborn into a life she didn’t understand
A MOTHERS WARMTH
My entire life has been full of shattered ceilings
Fragile from each time it’s been rebuilt
My mother was the adhesive
Hardened and stuck in place
My sister and I the shards
Forced back into the same place we’d always been in
My father always broke our communal gathering
Screams loosened my mothers hold on us
And we all fell
But each night she picked us back up
And held us tight
Whispering empty affirmations
Awaiting our next tumble
FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY
When humans are balancing
on their last strand of hope,
they reach aimlessly into the air for a hand to grasp.
Reaching for someone,
anything more powerful than the average man.
As the strand begins to wear further
they begin to beg for this person to show their face,
anything to help them go on.
If they were just given a chance,
they could rebuild,
So they cower,
and sink to the ground
to kiss the feet
of a person they cannot see.
I LOVE YOU –
comprehend these words.
Digesting them was hard,
they dried my tongue, and
cut my throat like
they were tiny shards of
sat in my tummy like a pile of dirt.
The words feel like silk
dancing around me,
like an expensive nightie.
And I dance
everyday to a new song.
The one you sing,
making sure I never forget the meaning of it.