Do you feel what everybody feels?
Or are you alone, your soul wandering,
A mended body
Something inside, like a heart
(Or a fist)
Signalling a life
(Or a suffering)
Yet you step forward each moment
Into the forgiving future
That allows you to be whole
If you wish
If you try
If you dare
You see two friends reunite at a stoplight
With their windows down
Having forgotten to remember
I am here,
I reunite myself.
Have I fallen apart?
I wonder alone, out loud
When I see a reflection
Like a hero,
Like overcooked meat.)
Too much heat
Too many thoughts
Too many people
(I haven’t checked in
I am a squatter
In my own life
Remaining without rent
Me but hardly me
I have filled myself with others’ stories.
Stories to avoid my own.
Stories to carry,
to listen to on repeat in my own head late at night,
when I am forgetting to be writing my own.
Stories of pain
and difficulty and happiness and
memories, felt or lost or forgotten
until they are told out loud.
I have been overflowing with other selves
I absorbed, mistakenly
trying to fit them into my own concave interior,
a container to be filled and shipped
somewhere far. I yearn to lock
and steal these stories inside of me,
take them to a new place where I might bury them,
and as I dig their grave, in the soil I find
myself, waiting to be lifted out and taken home.
Like carrying a preventative umbrella on a sunny day
I tell you my flaws before you kiss me
Because you never know
If they’ll want to know you
are they flaws?
are they flawed?)
What is it that you despise within?
Privately in your solitude
You look for comfort in the ancient pages
Of the books made from the tree of life.
Found on your shelf
Of all shelves,
To help you
Of all selves.
I evade myself
To find someone better.
Perhaps in another,
Perhaps in a lie.
I dance into another
Heavily trying to be light.
But he laughs at everything I say
Forgiving of – or oblivious to –
The me inside of me, hiding.
Does it help
To be read by poems?
To be understood only through words
With no direct structure or argumentation.
A point made, muddled by your mouth,
As your lips form the words to comfort
The summer both Mama and our dog
Had a herniated disk in their lower backs
Both cried in pain and in sympathy.
We talked about death and quality of life
Which didn’t feel so different
There on our kitchen floor.
I sat with my coffee and a book
In the early morning
The dog already in pain
(Not early enough)
My hand resting on his panting head
Not comforting enough.
It is not easy to look into a dog’s eyes
As he is waiting to end.
He aged within three days
The cat stopped by to smell his legs
And for a second I thought they might work again.
We read him stories to let him imagine that they would.
I brought a mattress into the living room
To sleep beside the dog
With our heads resting close
Each breathing in our own animal way.