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I said
I just don't believe in words like '*****'
You said
*see that's just the problem with our world
No one seems to believe in themselves anymore
Doors slam like Satan himself is
in a fit of rage below us, even if he is
in the deepest level of Hell, I feel the floor
shaking like a 6.0 has just swept us but it
is only a consequence of wood slamming
against wood and fists fighting doorknobs.

Voices rise like the temperature in Arizona
in the summer, abruptly, hot and heavy, so
quickly stifling any chance of relief—
anger is an emotion I am far too familiar with.

Some people live quiet family lives, are never
interrupted in their sleep by screams from a
father who dreams of death and a mother who
carries a scythe of shame as if she is the Reaper,
some people wake up in the morning knowing
there is breakfast waiting on the table, fresh eggs
hot off the stove and orange juice with pulp, but
others wake up and make coffee for themselves,
knowing parents sleep past noon and
we are the ones who are doomed to repeat the
history of abuse and psychological suffering but:
we are the ones who will help to stifle the shouts,
to put a stop to slamming doors and shrill screams,
dysfunctional daily routines and waiting for hope
that never arrives, we have had lives consisting
of always having to act stronger than we feel
when the floorboards seem to be breaking just
beneath the force of our feet, because our
bodies are not just our bodies, we are carrying
burdens that weigh more than our bones and
blood cells combined, so when we step on the
scale the number we're reading is really how
much hurt we have been holding, not how
much food we've been hoarding inside of us.

We are the children of complex family situations,
we are spend-more-time-in-psychologist-offices-than
we-do-in-our-own-roo­ms, we are no-parent-to-tuck
We are daydreams of escaping like Rapunzel,
we are how do I save myself from a nightmare when
I am already awake?
We are years of reading self-help
books in Barnes and Noble until we finally understood
that the only thing to do is to help the world help us:
we are strong. And we understand that family exists,
but for us it is different. We are the children who find
comfort in books and coffee and anything outside
of a house so filled with tension and hatred, and we
have been waiting to fix ourselves for too long.
I'm so incredibly tired, I can barely keep my eyes open.  The clock reads 4:30, I've been up for twelve hours already, and only slept for four hours the night before.  I sip on my Monster as I call her; Her voice can wake me up, surely.  No answer, so I keep driving till she calls back.  Immediately I hear laughing, and she tells me she's with her best friend, he has been forever.  "Hey baby! How was your day?" I explain how I'm tired and I hoped she'd be able to wake me up.  I'm interrupted with more deep laughing.  "Man, I wish I could make you laugh like that!"  She doesn't hear me, she's laughing too hard.  I wish I were that funny...  I push past that thought as she asks "Are you driving?!" I lie and say no, but she replies "Text me when you get home! Bye! ....Love you!"  She hangs up, still laughing.  Alright Tony, don't fret it.  She's having a good time with her friend, no big deal.  Be happy for her.  

I look back to the road, but soon get lost in my thoughts.  She's in the center of the spotlight; God, how I miss her.  All I want to do is see her again, hold her hand and feel her head pressed into my chest.  But soon, ugly thoughts push themselves into my head.  She's out with him right now, while I'm here driving home from work and trying not to fall asleep in the middle of the road.  She's laughing at his jokes; that deep, happy laugh that I've rarely heard before.  A car passes in front of me and I hit my breaks slightly.  Knock it off Tony, they're just friends.  You're the one with her, not him.  But once again, the road starts to slip by and I go on cruise control.  I replay the conversation in my mind.  He just came to pick her up, he's making her laugh.  An ice cold pang of guilt flashes through my gut; I wish I lived close to her like that.  Being able to see her every few days would be wonderful, but instead I might be able to see her every few weeks.  Suddenly, a car cuts in front of me.  I hit my breaks and swerve a bit, close to the median.  *******!  Get the hell out of my way.  My mind starts to race in a different direction; what if I hit the median back there?  Would I have slammed into it, then gotten crushed by the pickup truck who was tailgating me?  Or would I have flipped over it right into the path of a truck?  I could have died back there, but I still can't focus.  But wait...if I had died, would she cry?  We haven't even been together for that long, but yet we both feel such an immense love for each other.  Or so I think.  

A white hot flash of anger.  Tony stop it; this is ridiculous.  I can hear her voice in my head, scolding me, "I've told you before, there is no one else.  He is just my friend, he knows he has no chance with me".  But still, he's there right now with her in his car.  He's there for her and I'm not.  What kind of boyfriend am I?

I look down to the speedometer; 90.  Check the rear-view, no cops.  Good, keep going.  I'm speeding past other people, not even noticing them as they slide past.  I finally get off the highway, almost home.  I notice that the radio is loud, too loud.  The speakers are blown.  I realize I couldn't even hear it over the rush of wind in my ears as I flew home from work.  I blink, and once again notice the road and the traffic in front of me.  Ok Tony, time to cool down.  They're friends, that's all.  You're doing your best with what you can.  I get home and text her, "Home babe, I'll talk to you later.  Have fun".  She replies that she wants to text!  Maybe I was wrong the whole way home.  Why do I even let my mind make me believe such stupid things?  But she sends me another.  They're getting food, and then he's taking her to the movies.  New scary movie, she tells me she's refusing.  "We're not going" she texts me.  Last message I get from her, "Yes we are."

So I'm stuck here in this big empty white house upon a hill, writing this story, and wondering where she is and if she's having fun.  I'm in love with her, and we're together...but I still feel alone.
This is quite an unorthodox "poem" that I thought up on my way home today from work.  It's more just a description of my thoughts and feelings at the time, hopefully portrayed in a way that the reader can understand my detached state of being.  This is my first writing (of any sort) that I've done in a long time, so don't judge.
Since I could remember
My heart has balanced
Along such a thin line
Of right and wrong
Love and hate.
The line already stretched
To the extremes.
Taught with fear and uncertainty.

Tension reached its maximum
When that day came 'round.
Ever since that day
When I learned the truth.
The day my eyes were forcefully
Peeled open by dull razors.
That day the line faded
And the tight rope snapped.

With no line to follow
My heart fell.
Now concussed,
Delirious and confused.
My heart wanders between worlds.
Never certain of who it is
Where it was or
How it should be.

-Kevin Robert Rose
She shows up near the end of winter,
in the bathroom of my elementary school.
Please, darling, don't be sad
she says, putting her cold little hands against my cheek.
Her round porcelain face looks like a
china doll compared to mine.
I look like a drowning ******.
Why? I whisper to the little girl. You were.
She blinks at me, wavering lucently.
But It wasn't supposed to last.
You were supposed to wipe away my tears.

Great, another person I've failed.
I'm sorry, I tell her, but she just half smiles and turns away.
Remember this? I watch her drift into the first orange stall.
She crouches over the toilet and presses her face into her hands.
Remember this? She digs her nails into her palms
until beads of red escape from her flesh.
Remember this? She devours her fist so that it
stifles the sobs.
I realize, then, that despite my new face,
improved body, plethora of experiences
and thoughts and dreams made and broken,
despite the long eight years that shriek between us
like a gale,
nothing has changed.
For my "Big Brother".*
Love Always, *****.

You said it was adorable
The way my hair curled
around the hollows of my neck
Brushing across my skin
like a
n o o s e

You said my looks could shatter glass,
that my repugnant features
would SURELY guarantee a life of solitude
You loved to point out my flaws
And how my laugh was too late
breathing too loud
walking too fast

The shallow scars on my wrists
were alluring to you
you encouraged me to make more
and I loved the kiss of cold metal just a little too much

You said you understood me
my thoughts were dark and scattered
I wasn't always able to share them with you
But I didn't need to
you already
"u n d e r s t o o d"

my dark companion
the only one I ever trusted
We fought our demons together
Dragging the other to hell as well

You wasted no time in telling me
what a waste I was
of skin
of space
and I wasted no time in  b e l i e v i n g  you

You would hold me in your arms
and whisper bittersweet nothings
compliments with a hard slap attached
convincing me I was far more flawed than I am.

We fought like rabid wolves
nipping at my ankles,
you'd force me to f a l l.

tearing and ripping apart flesh
with words
and my feeble palms
left angry red marks on your chest and face
but my struggle only made you more eager

Every tear that fell from my face
gave you life
every sob that came from my throat
gave you a voice
you could not stand alone
you said
y o u  c o u l d   n o t   l i v e   w i t h o u t   m e

You said I didn't understand you
that I could never comprehend the torment YOU
were experiencing
I was FAR too dull to see.

It wasn't until I realized
I didn't need to play your childish games
I didn't need you
or your "passionate, intense" heart.

Once I stopped hitting back
your blows became harder

Not worthy of love.

Not worthy of life.

Not worthy of existence.

And I believed you.
I trusted you.

E n d   i t,
you said.
Peering down at the street far below us

You said to.

The height was dizzying

Y o u   s a i d
Note: I'm still alive and healthy, and I'm a lot more happy than I was at the time this writing takes place. The person that inspired this is someone I am no longer in contact with, this poem is my way of letting go and moving on. Thank you all so much for your kind words and support!
I found your flaws first:
your thin, wispy hair,
the arch in your back,
that slightly crooked nose.

And you found mine:
following a girl who took my heart
and the air right from my lungs.
She'd wring me dry
till my veins were scarred purple,
caked with pale red dust.

While you and I laid on the floor
in the dark, planning
our escape to California
as we had always done,
I realized the mistake I made
by not loving you first.
I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you
To a sleep without dreams
Were it not for your songs.
I am not alone here, these words accompany
Always close at hand, sitting right next to me
Ringing in the silence of the room behind closed doors
Bouncing off the walls and off of the hardwood floor

Tenderly caressing what is left of my heart
Nudging my hand to the pencil, telling me to start
Wiping tears from my eyes and connecting the drops
Presenting the painter poet with a vision of art

Not today, oh not today, the sore is much too deep
The artist in me cries that the fall is much too steep
But inspiration beckons me this grim and lonely night
Inclining me, between the tears, are the words which I must write

Goodnight, Goodnight

Each and every etching is a tearing truth to me
Falling again and again into a tragedy
But on I go as pain does grow and ease at the same time
Escaping my mind and etching on my heart with every line

This is not depression, this is a cleansing thing
See how the words choose to echo love to me
A losing game, a crying shame, a message wrapped in tears
A courageous allegation surrounded by constant fear

I will be done wih my sitting with my words soon
As they float in the midnight sky up to the moon
I will never see you again inside the tears I cry
Only in the words on paper that you left behind

Goodnight, Goodnight
Never fall in love with a poet
for their words are sometimes lies
on occasions they're a shield
on occasions a disguise

They will take you on a journey
upon which they bare their soul
in a bid to ease your burdens
in a bid to make you whole

But in every word they choose
for the stories that they tell
lies a little piece of heaven
and a little piece of hell

Tormented souls we poets are
sometimes quite broken and despaired
in search of lost expressions
missed by others who once cared

Never fall in love with a poet
unless you're prepared to share their pain
to hold them close on the darkest nights
over and again
Follow me on Twitter @athomashawkins
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