The nights are long
Once the sun sets, the thoughts come back
Something about the absence of light drawing my mind back
To the darkest of times
The gun in my mouth, blood stained sheets
A handful of pills in my lap, so easy to swallow them all
Tying nooses for practice, just in case I ever need them
All those things?
They really happened
And they feel like so long ago
But in reality, it was just
8 months ago
That I decided to fuck it all
Roll the dice, end my life
It was the only failure in my life that ever made anyone proud
Which is sad
But most things in life are sad
Just like me
A broken boy, age 16
So young, to be so damaged
Released from the hospital because i was "fixed," whatever the hell that means
Struggling everyday now just to wake up, move past those nightmares
Over caffeinated, lacking sleep
Splitting headaches, fear of anyone I meet
Anxiety so constant a bother
It never lets me be free
So any and all interactions are tinged with more dark thoughts
Like, "i'm messing this up, she must hate me"
All day is like this
Forcing laughter, always tinged with hysteria
I don't know if anyone notices
I highly doubt it; nobody ever notices me
But even if they do, they say nothing
But I suppose there is nothing right to say
To some lost soul, losing his sanity
Adam kicked the soccer ball to the front of the house. Sam watched him chase after it, while she sipped her sweet tea. The sound of his feet stopped and was replaced with car tires driving through the gravel road. She stood up and walked down the steps to see who had come. Adam cut her off before she made it around the corner of the house.
Panting and out of breath, he gasped, “Mommy…Daddy’s home.”
Sam stared at Adam, letting those two words sink in. Adam turned around and started running back. She stood there for a moment and then took after her son. Thoughts were flooding her mind. When she hugged him one last time before he left, him walking towards the plane, the letters coming home every week, his arms wrapped around her, and the sounds of him and Adam playing football in the afternoon.
Her pace slowed when she arrived to the front of the house. Cameron’s grey truck turned off followed by another black car tuning its engine off. Cameron hopped out of the truck and looked over at her with sorrowed filled eyes. Adam ran up and gave him hug, but Cameron’s eyes never left hers.
A Marines officer walked up to Sam with letters in his hands. Her heart started beating faster and could feel a hole beginning to form in her stomach. Please…Please, don’t tell me he’s gone. Please be a mistake, she closed her eyes and thought.
Ma’am, are you Sam Chesterfield?” the officer asked.
She opened her eyes and forced a whisper, “Yes.”
“Mrs. Chesterfield, I am sorry to inform you that your husband has died in combat. He gave me this letter to give to you. Here is another letter from the Department of
Defense about the funeral if you have any questions. You have my deepest condolences, Daniel was an honorable man,” he placed his hand on her shoulder and walked away.
As he climbed into his car, Sam broke down. She feel to her knees, letting her vision get blurry. Cameron ran over and wrapped his arms around her, trying to calm her down. Adam walked over and took his mother’s hand.
“Mommy…is Daddy coming home?”
Sam looked up at him. She saw so much of Daniel in him. Before she could answer, Cameron responded, “Your dad…well he went somewhere where he can get better.”
Adam just nodded. “Sweetie, why don’t you and Cameron go inside. I need to take care of some things,” she sputtered out.
As they went inside, she stared at the white envelope with her name scribbled on the front of it. She slowly opened it and began to read,
My Dearest Samantha,
If you are reading this, you already know that I am not coming home. I could not know or describe the pain that you are going through right. When Adam has asked what has become of me, tell him the truth. Let him know that his father died a hero and that I loved him very much. I already asked Cameron to look after you and Adam, and he has promised.
Sam, please do not grieve my death for the rest of your life. Smile and remember the good times. Our wedding day, the first day we met, how we fell in love. Remember all of that; watch the tapes to see my face again. I will always love you and be with you, no matter what. I know that it may be hard at first on your own, but you are a strong woman and can do it. You and Adam are my life’s love and happiness. I will always be with you two in heart.
There is another letter in here for Adam to read. I want you to give it to him when you think he is ready to read it.
I love you with all of my heart.
So, what they call you man!
and you feel you could execute me;
with your lies and selfishness!
Not because your masculinity gets ah hold of you,
you could exploit me!
I cry at nights,
while I hold my thighs,
as you molest me!
My memory is frozen cause you contort me!
You're like a pick pocket!
picking my womanhood.
You torment my me
So, what I am a woman,
Don't frustrate me!
Trying to turn me into Jezebel,
with your sexual calamity.
I'm fed up with this exorcist!
Going to start a Genesis!
A new beginning!
I'm like Daniel,
in the lion's Den;
Not afraid of creatures like you!
So the next time you move,
Cut you mentally!
Cut the frustration!
Liberating myself with my voice!
Don't you understand?
All the time, i am miserable
Never feeling love or joy
Instead, trapped in a world of loneliness and self hatred
Everyday is a battle, and the more time passes, the more I am losing
Life full of hardships, too much for me to bear
Kings bear the weight of their crowns with grace
Even when the challenges they face are insurmountable
Not once do they express doubt
Not once do they waver in their strength
Every man can not be king though
That much has been proven with my life
Hope long gone, death in its place, a young soul now departed
What if we lived
Way out there on the moon,
Where the fireflies never
Sneak out after June.
Where we can't go catfishing
Or climb a tall tree.
And where we'll never, not ever,
Get stung by a bee.
What if we lived
Way out there on the moon.
In a big and round something
That looks like a balloon.
Where Grandma cannot grow
Her blue roses outside.
And there is never a place
Worth seeking to hide.
Where our breakfasts and dinners
All come in a pouch.
And everyone has
An inflatable couch.
What if we lived
Way out there on the moon.
Just like ol' Davy Crockett
And old Daniel Boone?
All their adventure and daring,
All the challenge and thrill
Of discovering wonders
Nobody else will.
And what a breathtaking vision
To see the earth rise
Over our dismal and dusty,
Dark and grim lunar skies.
What if we lived
Way out there on the moon?
Where there isn't a single
Apricot tree to prune...
Where we can't go out swimming,
Or chase butterflies,
Not even after a one
And a million tries.
Oh, I would miss all the trees,
Every bee, every bird,
I would miss every hello
That I've ever heard.
And I would miss our blue sky,
And Mom's Pickled Root Beer.
No, I think I would much
Rather stick around here.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
"We could never have loved the earth so well
if we had had no childhood in it."
-George Eliot, (The Mill on the Floss, 1860)
I flood the world
While water fills my eyes
But you survive
Because you've built an ark of lies
You've gathered two of every kind
For forty days and forty nights
The rain fell
The plan was divine in back of your mind
The walls around me
Have me drowning in a well
You forced the storm to come and
I wish I was Jonah
In a whale in the sea
Tucked away underneath everything
In a deep dark empty belly
Hungering for anything
I've tried to fight like David
Tackle my towering demons
Grab my Goliath guilt and
Get over my greedy jealous feelings
But instead I'm Daniel
Lost in a den of lions
The threat surrounds me
But nothing ever happens
i wanted to tell you,
i started keeping a dream journal. it was pretty mundane at first (well, mundane for dreams). flying through buildings, rooms melting into other rooms, people giving speeches in their underwear. i wrote it all down in my shaky, scribbly, half-awake catscratch haptic handwriting and gleamed when i filled the lines with dots and scribbles that only my mind could translate back to english, radio waves making music from garbled slush. scribbles flooded into my mind in the days and months after, though everything was unfailingly crystal clear like diamonds pressed in forms and tucked away to giggle and fawn over later.
but recently i haven't been able to write some of it down
you started making appearances.
at first the cameos were confusing; i ignored them and assumed your roles in my nonsensical night visions were coincidences (metaphorical you couldn't possibly hold more meaning than metaphorical math teacher or metaphorical adam from class the previous day). and the scribbles were as detailed as before, every moment jotted down with unending diligence.
(but one night you were right
next to me.
as close as the last time i saw you,
your hip against mine.
i could feel you.
i couldn't see your face but i knew it was you.
i knew with the
of my stomach.
i felt it in every part of me and it
and then the cameos came more frequently.
and then the scribbles came out a little slower.
a little more calculated.
i wondered if i wanted to remember everything i saw in those dreams,
if it was all going to be as fun as jumping from mountain to mountain.
why were you sitting next to me in the theater seat when i got called on to recite lines
that i never learned?
why were you smiling next to me like you did on those days i could do no wrong?
next to me when my stomach turned into a pit of rotten, nervous train wreck?
the curtains closed and the lights shattered and dimmed,
the pit became heavier than the buildings (now wrecked) that i used to leap with no fear
sucking in everything i could conceive in those slumbering hours,
swallowing the world and turning to caked ebony the world i built up as my playground.
(daniel awakes to find his playground is a sandbox no more;
he awakes with a heavier pit than he's ever known before.
today, when by passing glance his former lover he beholds,
the pit of dreams in life now endlessly unfolds.)
[ENTER PIT, SWALLOWING HIS THOUGHTS IN MURKY BLUE,
A MUFFLED SCREAM FROM BEHIND THE CURTAINS RINGS TRUE!]
f i n a l l y
i t r e c e d e s.
but even when i see your name (with my eyes or in my mind's eye),
it explodes into being, shifting the balance of the universe onto the pit of my stomach. i can FEEL it, pounding through every inch of me until i'm physically reeling, elbows on knees, hands on face.
and. . .
i'd carve my stomach open in between staggered, screaming heartbeats faster than the concentrated swill could spill out if i thought for a second that i could purge this pit that's plagued me for longer than
i'd ever admit.
the pit has been emptied for now
if it's any consolation
There's a man in my mirror
he seems familiar.
but also a complete stranger.
Perhaps in the past
I knew him
and we were the best of friends
but I cannot recall.
I fear this man
for he has grown thin
and worn raw from prolonged exposure
to the elements of emotion.
There is no reflection of me in him.
I should avert my eyes from his
but I know he will still be there.
On the other side,
he is still waiting.
Yet I'm drawn by his gaze into mine
as if he is asking me "Well, what now, Daniel?"
What he means? That I have no clue.
magnified from the
look back into mine.
Right into me...
"It's just you and me now.
Nobody sees you
like I do.
Nor you do I.
Each time you leave me
know I'm still inside.
We were apart for a while.
We've grown from one into two.
Now that you see me again,
remember that I love you."
His words are simple.
His conviction is true.
This man I fear,
is just a poor soul
wanting to be pain-free.
So, I love this man in return
for that man in my mirror,
I’m in love
Spunky purple hair flowing like crashing waves
but it doesn't define you
Only by the melody in your voice am I alive
with the smooth depths of your existence
Pale face radiating like the glowing moon
shining its light upon mine
Blue orbs whispering sacred words
Words spoken for me