I feel rejected in every way
I guess I'm not good enough
but I did nothing wrong
I only did right.
I did what was asked of me
The gnawing in my
stomach and throat
feels like an animal
digging and scratching
desperate for who knows what
it is trying to escape?
that's not the point
I guess what I'm trying to say
is that I'm feeling
This one time, in biology, we learned how to take samples of fish in water, I don't like fish
And I don't like this feeling of churning up old stuff
You had to scrape the bottom ten times and then take a step and repeat
Going back over the things that happened between me and you is the very same
My stomach churns like the water in that lake
And I'm a little fish getting lost in the chaos, finally to be trapped in the net
And all the dirt, the mess and the muck, that's
Those days, after you left, where everything was dark again
Like that one time, not in biology, I felt that I was stuck down a well, and I was clawing at the mud but I couldn't get out
And in Chemistry, I got some acid on my skin
And I let it burn
Because it was nice to feel something else
Other than the murky, brown mess
And now, I'm that little fish, churned up and confused, waiting for the water to settle so I can swim away
They say you can't swim in the same river twice because every second it's changing
And reliving this and reliving us is a little different each time as it gets further, more distant from the first time
I hope that the little fish keeps swimming til she finds the ocean, I don't think the little fish could cope being churned up and caught just one more time
Being in love is like having stomach flu.
You swallow again and again until your throat is wet,
Slick as a children’s slide,
And you swallow over and over to stop yourself
From throwing up over the person you love,
From causing them to be utterly disgusted with you,
Then the medicinal cart of self-medication, mutilation arrives,
That blooms in your head and causes nightmares
Because you’d rather die of this flu
Than have the one you love look at as you die;
Except instead of throwing up, it’s the words
That bubble up your throat, a chemical test tube,
From the core of the evil inside of you,
And you can’t do anything, because sooner or later,
You’re going to get so sick that you can’t keep anything down
And eventually they’ll get covered because they’re standing too close,
Trying to hold your hair, not expecting the slew of stupidity-
what’s going to come out eventually.
and for a moment there our hands almost touched
but I didn't know what to say
it was late and we were both drunk
the sky had been dark for hours
and everyone inside the house was loud and
I could barely hear myself think
and I wanted to tell you
so much it hurt my chest
and the ice unfolded in my stomach
and killed all the butterflies
but I knew you'd never think of me
that way and so we just sat
on the railing outside some kid's house
and I swallowed all the love I felt for you
bitter and writhing and alive in my throat
and stayed silent as the sun came up
Laying under the stars you grab my hand.
The butterflies in my stomach start to dance.
Could this be the start of something new?
A generation ago in the hope of redemption
I would look into the mirror, and shave through the steam
Reflected in dim disapproval I'd see
Half the face of my father, the contempt that is me
Looking back in the hope of connection.
He's now younger than I am, since he died before time
And I no longer feel cowed at the tone in his voice
But this morning reach up to the root of the deed
Expressed in a context, and now finally succeed
To move through past the bones of dejection.
I straighten my shoulders and grin to the past
Suck in my stomach, raise my hands to my face
Breathe deeply and uncouple a loud cry to the air
A little in sorrow, really not in despair
And draw back from the arms of the boatman
I think the hardest thing to remember is that everything ends.
When times are great and I'm lying in your arms its so easy to remember
That you're going to leave.
I count down the minutes until you'll have to get out of my bed, pull on your shorts, pack up your bag,
Its easy to look at it in terms of time
And know exactly how many seconds I have
Until you leave.
But when the insides of my stomach are clenching and aching,
When there's nothing in the world that can make this pain stop,
It's hard to remember that this too will end.
This time there aren't a set number of minutes to count down,
But it will pass.
My friends tell me, "He wasn't good enough for you"
My roommate says, "There's only so many times he can make you cry before I write him off."
My mom says "You've been down lately honey. Is everything okay?"
I start to perk up and think, You're right. I'm glad he's leaving.
Only a few more minutes.
I follow up with telling them that my psychic says I haven't met the love of my life yet.
I don't yet know the man I'll marry,
Which makes me feel better.
And then she says, "Have you seen her recently? How do you know?"
And I'm back to tallying the minutes left in my misery.
Its hard to remember that this pain will subside
That it will stop hurting so badly.
That I will stop thinking about you every moment of every day.
But then take me back to the flip side where things were perfect.
When we spent our first night together-
The build up,
To when we were finally in your bed, locked in each others arms
And you said to me, "This isn't going to be a one time thing."
Even then, I knew our time was limited.
I know eventually I will leave your bed permanently in the morning
To go back to my place.
And I know eventually my life will continue on without you in it.
Without our fingertips locked around each others.
But its hard to remember that
Its hard to want that.
And now you're leaving
And I so badly want to say the things
That you're not supposed to say to the guy you're fucking.
Will you ever talk to me again?
Can I still text you 24 hours a day?
Can I have your address?
Can I call you?
Do you want to call me?
Can we talk about doing more?
Can we talk about visiting?
I don't want to get a drink or coffee when I happen to be in town.
I want to visit for you.
But I'm afraid those are going to end things even quicker.
I know its going to end. That's not the question.
I just want to hold out for as long as possible
With my fingers caught in your hair,
With your arm grasping my waist,
With our texts stretching late into the nights when we can't be together.
Maybe someday we'll meet in some city
And get that drink or coffee I want more than
And rekindle this flame (5 years?).
Maybe I'll text you one too many times
And you'll stop responding (6 months?).
Or maybe we'll meet other people
And forget about our short moment of bliss (1 year?).
Until then I will continue to tally how many minutes have passed
And I have left to suffer
Until something, someone, fills this aching hole
Until there is a happier ending.
A deep breath, at least an attempt
Drawing air into my lungs; painful to say the least
Short shallow breaths relieving the horrible pain
That last kick, missing the block, threw myself off balance
My own damn fault
Deserving of the next kick, left side of my open rib cage
Stupidity is always punished
A sickening crack, an intense pain
Constant reminder to keep my guard up
Fight the urge to vomit
Left arm numb from pain
If I stopped, stayed down too long; he would end it
“Told you to watch that kick Johnny Johnny”
Shook myself hard, working up the urge to keep going
Hell, I’d done this many times before
Eyes swollen shut and ringed with dried blood
His nose, broken; the unnatural angle it tilted, granted mine was too.
My left arm hung limp by my side
I swung again, hard right, for the widening cut above his eye
But so did he
Same hard right, sent me back into the dirt
He fell too.
Blur in my left eye, mere pooling blood
One person among the crowd
My age, dark hair
It was brown or black?
A tank top and jean shorts
Stood watching the fight shaking her head
Her coy smile
“Boys will be boys”
Only to muster a smile back
A toothy stupid grin
My mouth and teeth rather bloody and red
I wanted to just look at her
But time would not allow
Staggering forward again
Wanted this to end
Wanted to wash my face
Fix the pain that was tearing my ribs,
I wanted to know who she was.
Both fists back up
Swung slow, left hook
Left my ribs wide open
Brought his leg around again
Harder than the first
Grunting in pain and barring my teeth
Anger kept me on my feet
Left arm down fast a
Trapping his leg against my side
My right fist onto his knee
A satisfying crack
A blood curdling yell
Gasping for breath
Through tears he put his fists back up
My shoulder then planted hard into his stomach
Slammed into hard concrete below
He grasped my back until his met concrete
Only good fist ready to finish the fight
Last punch down I stopped.
Anything more would have been cruel
“Damn John you look like hell!”
“Hey man,” I stopped him grabbing his arm, “who was that girl in the tank top, behind you earlier?”
He started to laugh. “Don’t concern yourself with that my friend, she’s too high class company for a guy like you.”
The hallway seemed to sway with the motion of the tears filling my eyes. I tried to keep going to get to the door, but I collapsed there in the hall. The weight crashing down on me. She was dead. My only love was dead. I’d been with her for six years and we’d been waiting to get married. That was all over now. They had killed her. I laid my head in my hands and let it all go. I fell spiraling down into the darkness at the edge of my consciousness. My very last thoughts echoing in my head as I slipped into this grief coma, they would all pay, they would pay.
The clock on the wall ticked loudly as I made my way to Mr. Jefferson’s office. The hallways were empty, an unusual thing for a Monday morning in a business firm. I tried not to let it get in my head. I had a job to fulfill. If I didn't get this one right the boss would surely wring my neck. She wasn't the most understanding person, and tolerated no mistakes. A dark cherry wood door lay at the end of the long hallway with a silver plate spelling out Mr. Jefferson’s office. All the other doors I had passed had, had similar ones.
I knocked on the door quietly waiting for an invitation inside. I took a deep breath and steady myself. Telling myself I had to do this. There was still no beckoning to come in so I knocked louder, but was only greeted by silence. I opened the door quickly and peered in. Mr. Jefferson laid slumped over his paper work in the messy piles on his desk.
A bullet through his head. Well this was just great now the boss had another reason to chew me out. I closed the door quietly and made my way to the body. Blood spilled from the back of his head and off his shoulders dripping into the puddle on the floor. I took my phone from my pants pocket and called Leo.
“Hey, Leo we got a problem, Jefferson’s already dead. They’re a step ahead of us. What’s my next move?” the line was silent for a minute until he replied, “what was the cause of death?” I looked at the back of Jefferson’s head one more time to make sure that was no other abrasions. “Bullet wound in the back of his head, no sign of struggle either.”
“Alright, I’ll inform the boss. You should probably make your way back to the headquarters. I can tell you now the boss isn't going to be happy.” I sighed I already new that. The bitch had been riding my ass all month now. It wouldn't hurt her to give us all a break once in a while. I closed my phone. I made my way out the door. No doubt someone else would find Jefferson and would immediately go for the video tapes.
Luckily I didn't come here alone, I brought my computer genius along, that could erase us from every tape and cover his tracks. I gave a polite smile to each person I passed and had to fight to walk calm and smoothly out the front doors. Brain already waited inside the car looking anxious. We were both fairly new to the working in the field. Usually the boss assigned me on small assignments. I got inside the drivers side and pulled out right away. “Jefferson was already dead when I got there, bullet wound to the back of the head, what I don’t understand is how no one heard it, or why he didn't struggle,” I told Brian. “Maybe a silencer on the gun? And perhaps his lack of struggle was because there was a gun pointed at his head?” I thought it over. It was possible but that was different from all the others. “They usually cover their tracks better than that though,” I looked over at Brain whose face was crinkled by his deep thoughts. “Maybe they were in a rush?” The wound had looked freshly made. “Perhaps,” I said still mulling it over. “I suppose we’ll just have to wait for the police reports.”
As I had figured Liana was furious. “How is it that four out of seven of the people I've told you to get information from then take out have ended up already dead when you got there?” She spit angrily in my face. Liana was a scary lady but she didn't scare me.
“I don’t know you tell me,” I said and smiled at her. I could feel the audience behind me stop what they were doing and cringe. “Do you think this is funny?” Liana said quietly.
Her face had gone rigid and her fist clenched so tightly at her sides, the knuckles had turned a ghostly white.
I knew which battles to fight and which to surrender. “No, nothing is funny,” I spat out clenching my jaw. I really hated this stupid job. If it wasn't for Liana keeping my brother alive I wouldn't be here. And just as I thought it Liana cheerfully reminded me, “do remember darling, your brothers life lies in my hands. One wrong move and it’s bye bye brother, understood?” Her dark eye’s drilling into mine. The feeling of hatred seeped from my body as it was overflowing inside me now. “Understood,” I growled.
“Good, now get out. I’ll call you when I have your next assignment.” She turned but stopped to look back,
“ and next time do not mess up,” then walked back into her office slamming the door.
I let the breath I had been holding out and left quickly before they all burned holes into me with their heavy glares. I made my way to Kyle’s room. The walls were painted dark blue with small silver stars painted all over. I had painted it for him, he loved the stars. “Kyle?” I said shakily looking down at the boy. His tiny body shaking in pain. He wouldn't eat. The vomiting broke his bones sometimes. His bones stuck through his skin like his skin had only been draped over his frail bones. The tears flowed from my eye’s and down my face. He was only fifteen.
He was so sick, I just wanted him to be okay. Healthy again. The reason I’d signed up to join this place was because they promised to save him. They said as soon as I finished the biggest assignment they would heal him. But I grew more and more doubtful.
Kyle had been infected, by the scientist. A super parasite they’d created. It caused brain disorders, like anorexia. Kyle’s brain was being attacked making him suicidal and making him believe he was anorexic. Making him believe he had to do these things. When it first started he was only depressed. He began cutting himself. When I saw the deep cuts in his arms and on his stomach I asked him about it and his answer had been, “I didn't want to do I just had to“ . At the time I’d misunderstood him.
Now I knew. He literally had been forced by the parasites inside his brain.
His eye’s were closed and I could see the struggle it took for him to intake each breath. His arms, thin ropes, laid at his side. It took a massive amount of energy and strength for him to even turn his head. “I will fix this Kyle, believe in me when I tell you that, I love you.” I kissed his cold forehead and left shutting the door slowly.
My thoughts scare me
I understand me barely
And in my stomach you pain me
My deep interest in you is vaguely
you pass my mind daily
You run laps in my thoughts
Your so chill
I wanna explore you
The idea of you I have fought
The wrestling got me ill
I wanna explore you
The weird feeling in my stomach
Am scared to call it butterflies
And am scared to look in your eyes
Cause you give my body electrics
I wanna explore you
I'd do anything for you
I wanna explore you
Just stay near you
I wanna explore you
Why are you such a mystery
Exploring you is the only way to me out of misery