1990 -    
Life is a journey.
Life is a journey.

Easy to say,
that I was just young.

It was back in the day,
make it back to us

I had a problem
with cheating,
couldn't meet you at your point of need,
had to take a breath

had to step out the house,
with a half-bottle in my hand
had to take a breath,
had to give it a second
to sink in,
what you'd said about me,
how i'd grown worse,
gotten the worst of you,
and you,
the worst of me.

Fighting going on,
in the house we called home,
so far from,
more like a prison
we called our own.

Spent nights sipping
a bottle
at the dinner table,
no blessings made,
no prayers said,
no good graces,
just bitterness over spaghetti
and that white girl
you thought i'd laid.

We Sitting down
to take a sec with the Triple-Sec,
you said to me,
"can't believe you fucked
that white bitch"

"Baby, i'm flawed,
just like anybody else"
couldn't say with the last breath
of the dying relationship,
that this conversation
signaled death.

Couldn't say,
that white bitch was much more than that
to me.

That a year's worth of lying
and go-betweens
was the last gush of fresh air
to an evergreen
whose air
no longer made its leaves turn green.

We'd left that precious place
a long time ago.
Adam and Eve sucking the juices
out of a rotten apple.

My Adam's apple stuck in my throat,
my belly filled
with an emptiness
that made it bloat.

Said, I was sorry so many times,
it burned my tongue
to say it before bed,
every night.

Still laid you down,
but the sex was getting so lifeless,
I looked into your eyes,
you looked into mine,
the anger was so tireless.

So much hate,
spread in a two-bedroom
a playhouse in the backyard,
where your kids played,
and we fought inside,
while the sun cast shade.

Fighting about the dishes,
how the bills were never paid,
the lights turned off,
we slept in the dark for days.

In the mornings you'd go to work
before i awoke,
so easy to go
it was easy to say,
easier to go,
than easier to say,
that it was done
we were just hanging on
because we had so much going on,
taking up the responsibilities
of a full family and home
when really
we were cradling a dead child,
the newest baby between
you and I.

Still don't know
how you faced it,
so gracious,
with my ungratefulness.

Couldn't face ourselves
to face ourselves,
couldn't say well enough
that we were left to hell.

you pulled a gun.

Remember that day
in the Thursday sun?

Right after work,
caught me pulling a chick
on facebook,
and somehow it came to you to reach under
the sofa, that's all it took.

Grab the piece,
and shake it against my temple,
"can't believe i fell in love with a nigga
so simple, simple, simple."

And me,
through gitted teeth,
"Baby, put the gun down,
you gone crazy?"

i don't know where you're at now,
know you got shit going on,
i'm going on,
you going on,
got a lotta shit going on,
'cause we held on
way too long.

I've grown.
I Know my past
made me better
yes, you were the last,
but yes,
you were the last,
the last time that i had to cast the dice
and throw it in with the worst of me,
way back then,
not too far back,
cause every now and then
i go back
to way-back-then
wishing i'd been a better man.

Wishing that baby had made it.

Wishing your kids still knew my name.

Wishing i'd pulled less bullshit.

Wishing i'd pulled less of my bullshit game.

Younger back then,
no longer still the same,
but every now-and-then
the back-in-the-days
come back with their hapless passion,
make me think of my old ways,
how you pulled a gun,
how we fought through the night
just for fun
until the kids cried quietly
their tears lit by nightlight,
and we still loudly fighting.

letting out our anger
cause we couldn't do it during the day
the only way:
drinking at night,
burying the days
just to burn the stars,
and violet sky.

Love is growing
From within.
From the bottom of my insecurity,
Taking the worst of me,
Building it into eternity.

Eternally, we sit on broken thrones
Built up, on the past.

Feels too much like home
Our pain, can’t see how far
We’ve come.

Obscured, because we’re too wrapped up
In ourselves.
Fucked up
How we treat ourselves.
Tells us,
That we can’t be
A you and me,
Won’t make it through a year,
Much less eternity.
Don’t you worry,
I understand what’s happened,
I know the past is hard
To understand.
I don’t demand,
I just try to revitalize,
Both myself,
And I.

Can’t heal nobody,
It’s hell to try,
But this is my story:

In a city like Raleigh
I rumbled down streets,
With a couple beers and a few shots in me,
The New Year’s coming,
But I just couldn’t see,
had to get out,
just for me.

Hit the big city for a couple days
Driving down avenues
Littered by Christmas lights and Christmas trees,
Christmas in New York,
Spent drinking and stumbling,
Spent away from you
Broken and mumbling,
My pain dripping into the sewers,
As I pissed away the anger and anguish,
And I fucked a pretty little Ms.
Who never could love me,
and I could never love she.

In the spring, I spent,
A lot of time,
With a pretty dime,
she wanting my child,
But in the end it wasn’t meant to be,
The choice of life,
Ain’t up to you and me,
I said to she.

In the midst of fall,
When it all falls apart,
I met a woman,
Twice my age,
Willing to have sex for days,
But she couldn’t handle her own pain,
Demanding all the love,
But her, I just couldn’t save,
Fights and fights and fights
Until calls to the cops were made.
No hands put on,
No hands displayed,
No hands up,
No call from the soul to say,
"Let’s let it go,
It’ll be best for you and me,"
No, we hung on,
Hanging onto the precipice
Until the love in us died.

Winter comes,
More Hennessey shots taken,
Taken for days,
For you I don’t know if it’s easy to say,
But I was lost,
So lost in those days.

Spent cold nights
In a car,
Cold mornings in a Mcdonald’s
Biting bad meat,
Tainted with an unloving scar,
Couldn’t even love myself,
Felt that would take too much time,
So I found help
Drowning, drinking, soaking
Thinking that would help.

But in time,
At the right,
I found you driving down the parkway,
Down the right line.

An accident brings us together,
Love, ain’t no beautiful story,
At least not then,
Kind of fucked up, a horror, sorry,
Ours littered with skeletons,
But from the ashes and bones
Gardens grow,
And now, roses petal
Where once the earth was dead,
Dead as death,
Heavier than metal,
Now lifted as a breath,
Warm as the kiss of a petal.

Far away, across the emptiness
and unbrokeness of the desert
a thousand
pebbles are strewn,
each one begging to be picked up.

In some eastern city,
a girl and her friends
wander, and laugh, and joke,
and jump, drunk. She looks
so good tonight. Her hair
wavy and long, her eyes
a thousand different wavelengths
of blue, green, amber.

In a room,
there's a bed,
a desk,
a dresser,
a bedside table.

The girl and her friends,
wandering darkening streets,
drunk, looking for the next kill,
next bottle to suck dry.

Outside his window,
the setting sun reaches out
for it's last burning grasp
of skin. Scorching all day,
now it relents, but it always leaves a mark.

There's a guy in the club,
all up on her,
and she isn't trying to push him away,
even as his lips brush her neck.

In the room, in the dark,
he goes subterranean,
spending hours staring at her feed,
at her notifications,
where she's been,
and who she's with.

The brushed lips are the first warm thing
in forever,
it seems.

Going even more subterannean,
he runs through and through
all the scenarios.

He goes back and forth
in his room,
looking for something,
looking for nothing at all.

And tonight the most harrowing thing,
is those lips and the strength
of pain and sorrow.

He saw,
He saw the snapchats.

Emptied him whole,
right there,
filleted his stomach
and dropped some rocks
for his way down to the bottom.

All the rights he has now:
the right to the joy of betrayal.
the joy of being right,
and its incumbent wrongs all at the same time,
the comfort of madness.

The sun beat down
the earth today.
Beat it down, beat down
the cats stretching and yawning
in the horrible heat,
plopping in the shade lazily.

Fatigue rolled through the desert
a horde laying waste to motivation,
and replacing it with depression.

We shut out all light,
shuttered the windows,
locked ourselves away,
turned off everything real,
delved deep into our laptop
submarines. venturing deep
into nothingness, away from emotion,
away from the beating, burning heat,
away from sunlight and UVs,
away from all that which,
though it beats us down,
strengthens us,
and yet we despise the heat.

No more long, slow days
of pushing through
fatigue and boredom,
we've stagnated long enough
they say.

Now the wind kicks up a renewed warmth
that greets us in the morning over the white-capped mountains.
Now the sun sets and shrouds a cloudless sky in gold.

We hear voices, whispers
saying someday soon we'll go out
to kill
or be killed.

And it's scary how much it excites us
to fantasize about death;
about our role in catastrophe
and the empty glory.

Sometimes death hurtles through the beautiful
high, azure sky. And leaves
not a mark, not even a cool shadow on the ground
as it flutters harmlessly to the earth
bemusing us. underwhelming us.

Some weeks are so quiet
that we touch the nuts and bolts
of true nothing
too much.
feel too little and lose sight
of our purpose. Lose sight
of the need
for one. Lose sight
of memories of fucking by the fire.
Lose sight of what there is
to guard inside of us, to keep
whole and untouched
Lose sight
of why we're
guarding it, why
we're trying to, need to. Lose sight
of what the air tasted like back home.
We just lose.

Sandstorms kick up giant tornados
of dust, pebbles and sand
cutting silently across the burning concrete.

We stand
in their way,

To keep busy
we tell
the same stories
so many times.

Now they dive out
of our mouths dropping weightlessly,
not even the strength to carry a wingbeat.

We barely believe ourselves anymore,
that's what we say.

The graying home.

The graying home,
night to dawn, dawn to hazed day,
back to dusk, to murky night.

The air is rife with the stench
of burning trash, pungent as a just-opened orange,
just as spicy, heavy as cigar smoke,
but dim, imperceptible.

The world turning, while we notice,
from our thrones in the shacks
where our discontentment brews.

Backyard brawls
and sunflower gardens.

Bezzled nights,
twinkling jeweled fireflies,
musky, humid air,
the tickle of rain on your cheeks.

Washed away,
gone and can't be recaptured.

in high school hallways,
tumbling in stairwells
with the beasts of our fear,
and the rolling thunder
of adulthood smashing
against our minds
like tropical waves against
arctic icebergs.

Youth, again;
mother's warm body
cuddling together
in the morning replenishment
on a spring mattress
that is continually sinking down abyssally
where boy and mother
cope with the aftermath
of the brokenness
shrouding their home.

Weed drifting up to the ceiling
as we drank our full
of Everclear,
bought by fathers
who's lives had been beaten
down to a depressed mattress
in the corner
a garage
speckled by oil slicks
and draped by fiberglass
falling in curtains from the ceiling.

The absent smell of crack in the air.

Sunday breakfasts,
grandma in the kitchen,
mom in the basement,
kids farting around in their rooms.

Mom's curdling yells ripping the house to shreds,
as she sought peace,
in a quiet, and moldy sarcogophous.

There is a place where bombs
and mortars fly,
where a smile is as hard to find
as a mosquito in a desert,
and self-hatred is easy to come by
when regret blankets your mind
with every sand-choked breath.
And in this place, time crawls
by only springing to life when happiness
blooms, and idling when emotions
are sautered, and the search for feeling
is like waiting to get bitten.

But in this place,
there is a garden,
where youth and adulthood
collide, where the sunflowers bloom
once more, and the blood spilt
before the war began, gives life
to the seedlings,
and the soil is not so rotten
as it has grown older and tired.

The mind, finally centered
among the chaos, finding
its concrete horizon in the oasis
of a centered self,
centered finally,
in the midst of this brutal
and beautiful disaster.

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