I have (modal confusion)

I have
a secret infatuation
with the pictures I paint the world
of who I wish
I was.

It’s a subtle transformation
of moments into snapshots,
laughter into glittering proof
of something, no one knows
quite what – I wish it were happiness,
that would be so much simpler,
wouldn’t it?

It’s a silent conversion
of memories into commodities
like books with bejeweled spines
I’d put on my shelf
but only if they’d make me
seem better
than they make me feel.

It’s a graceless transmutation
of a peace blind to time into a losing battle
against the very impermanence
that allows its existence,
a crusade to solidify
it so it can’t die, as if nothing
is real that is not tangible, that cannot be
poked and prodded,
envied and objectified.

It’s a desperate reconstruction
of life into a story I wouldn’t
be ashamed to tell but should
be ashamed to live, and live it? Oh,
I have.



Closed System

Time passes differently
I’m sure
when you’re the one
who doesn’t give a shit
when you’re the one

for whom this is just
a passing curiosity
idle chatter
to what makes you happy
to what gives you
when your theory
of mind doesn’t extend
across the distances
that grow between us
when you simply can’t
be bothered
to remember that I care
the way you used to.
You are a closed system
of thought and deed
and I am sometimes
sucked in, dragged along
in parallel
but the rest of me
just gets in the way.

Oblivious, you
pat yourself on the back
and I join in when you let me
from where I stand


You never will

You know
It’s not the end of the world
just the end
of my life in your world,

the reality wherein your whims
constitute truth; your senseless threats,
life history tradeoffs,
natural as fucking or entropy;

your feelings, the weather –
the gusts
to which I trim my sail
even if it swamps me,

the swells I alter my course to ride
through fog so thick
you cannot see me,
you know?


Centripetal Motion

For years
and years, I have seen
myself in terms of my negative
space, from the gap
my thighs to the endless
potential of what I might one day learn,
regardless of whether or not I have the confidence
to get there intact or even whole
enough to hold myself
For years and
years I have measured
myself in outlines I want to fill but can’t. I’ve
wondered why my spirits soar and crash with all the amplitude
of a mighty ocean tide but none of its regularity,
even as I let the lofty magnitude
of these mirages
catch me
as they catch the light
and leave me lost and bleary come night.
These are the dreams I’ve imagined in such vivid detail
I know them better than I know whether I’ll find the will to wake
up one more morning and stumble through one more step
on a route I plotted when I had no concept
of the horizon’s blurry
I painted these contours
to give me something to breathe, to fight
for, but I never knew the weight of their emptiness
could make it this hard. Maybe I wanted
something to give
me direction,
but I never knew
I’d accelerate towards
my hopes not directly, but centripetally.
I circle my goal, drawn ever towards it, but our radius
remains a constant and every day I cover
the same worn ground