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Alex Higgins May 2015
Were I a schoolboy,
summer'd pass me by.
All day I'd sleep,
content without the Sun.
But I am grown, and
must live until I die.

I shall name the birds
crossing through the sky.
I shall not rest until
the deed is done.
Were I a schoolboy,
summer'd pass me by.

There's work to do,
and little time, I sigh.
My hands are sore,
I've only just begun.
But I am grown, and
must live until I die.

My lover waits, and
to her arms I'll fly.
Though not just yet,
I cannot cut and run.
Were I a schoolboy,
summer'd pass me by.

So she calls my name,
her smile is not shy.
If I could, I would
sprint, like I'd heard the gun.
But I am grown, and
must live until I die.

I lament my youth,
lived in vain, I cry.
But I'm awake,
I'll rejoice in work and fun.
Were I a schoolboy,
summer'd pass me by.
But I am grown, and
must live until I die.
Alex Higgins Mar 2015
You frighten me.
Plain and simple, I am frightened.
I have a briefcase full of fear,
that I have packed so tight,
that I could not possibly fit one more worry inside.
I think,
that if I tried,
it would burst open and spill all over the ground.
Exposing me again, in ways I've long ignored.

I am afraid you will be fickle,
that you will grow bored with me,
and resign me to a shelf of fond, forgettable, memories.
I am not suited to being a suitor.
I am afraid I will frighten you,
that a certain look or a touch,
will send me screaming and cowering,
and having seen that part of me,
you will turn away.
I am not without such insanity.
I am afraid you will move too quickly,
burn me for warmth,
before finding new kindling,
and leaving me thin and grey like smoke.
I am not a cigarette, nor a burning filter.
I am afraid I will drive you away,
when my heart is heavy,
and my fortunes fall,
and I cannot see the sun for the clouds.
I am not without such storms.

I am not afraid that you will hurt me.
There is no need to fear certainty.
So let me be clear,
you will hurt me.
I am prepared to hurt.
I am a hand that feels the first warmth of spring,
after being clasped in prayer,
after a long winter spent on my knees.
When feeling returns, it hurts.
Always and inevitably.
The hurt is needed to get blood flowing again.
So forgive me, should I call you pins and needles.
However, I am one well acquainted with hurt.

I do not break easily.
But, please, do not take this as an invitation
to bend, spindle, or mutilate.
While my flesh may cover for me,
I carry many scars,
and do not forget them easily.
I do, however, have a profound capacity for forgiveness.
And patience.
And passion.
Even if I forget it at times.
Like I forgot that my heart is made of fire.
Like I forgot that my eyes are full of stars.
Like I forgot that my mind contains multitudes.
Like I forgot that I know how to speak
     with my fingers
              my hips
              my lips
              my tongue
      and my toes.

But you have an art about you.
You are drawing me (closer).
I am drawn.
You are a mystery,
that I promise I will not try to solve,
although I may dismantle the etymology of our conversations.
You are snowflakes on my tongue,
that I want to melt on your inner thigh.
You are delight and delirium,
decadence drizzled down with dew.
You are the roots entwined
in the gaps between your fingers
You are the ocean echoing
inside of your ribcage
(thanks for that one e.e.cummings)
You are my gut screaming at my brain
in gibberish sounds I barely comprehend.
You are a word that almost sounds like home,
a forest, a clear view of the city, a flower, wreathed in flame,
a cat with a story for each life, a joke forgotten, a sigh remembered,
warm hands, milk chocolate, three dances, one just made up,
laughter under teary eyes, *** under starry skies, hamburgers with eggs,
four weeks and three days, or was it nine weeks and five days,
and more and more and more and so much more.

I want you to see that I am full of scripture,
that I burn so God has something to read at night.
I want you to kiss me when the lights go out,
and not stop until the candles burn blue.
I want you to look in my eyes, and see
the world as it must look from heaven.
I want you to pull open my ribcage,
and start my heart beating again.
I want you to breathe fire into my lungs,
so I have no choice but to dance, and spit, and shout.
I want you to show me my hands are not for eating ash,
nor my mouth for vomiting ink onto the page.
I want you to see a constellation in my skin,
that you trace until it is tattooed to my bones.
I want you to sing me lullabies at dawn,
after I've been up all night painting the wind.
But I am not one for glorifying forever,
and you are not one for begging promises.
Thus, I am frightened.
             and I am alive.
So please,
stay.
Alex Higgins Mar 2015
MY DEAR HEART. STOP. IT HAS BEEN TOO LONG. STOP. YOU HAVE GROWN COLD WITH HURT. STOP. YOUR DRUM IS OFFBEAT. STOP. BUT REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG. STOP. YOU BURNED AND PUMPED MOLTEN GOLD AND WERE UNAFRAID. STOP. REMEMBER THOSE DAYS SO THEY MAY COME AGAIN. STOP. THIS PAIN IS NOTHING NEW. STOP. WE NEED IT TO FIND THE JOY WE LOST. STOP. YOU WERE MADE FOR LIVING. STOP. NEVER FORGET THIS. STOP. THE TIME HAS COME TO OPEN SHOP AGAIN. STOP. WE MUST DUST OFF OUR WARES AND RESTOCK THE SHELVES. STOP. I KNOW IT HURTS. STOP. IT IS MEANT TO HURT. STOP. THE HURT REMINDS US THAT WE ARE ALIVE. STOP. AND WE ARE ALIVE. STOP. COME AND FEEL THE SUN AGAIN. STOP. COME FIND ME. STOP. I WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU. STOP.

GIVE MY REGARDS TO THE LUNGS.
Alex Higgins Mar 2015
Since you have already plucked my heart strings,
let us make music together.
Whisper to me at night,
in syllable serenades that I
will only half remember on waking.
Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me,
until my tongue can stand it no more
and I must speak in symphonies.
Touch me delicately,
tickle my ribs until they become piano keys,
and play them until they cry out
chords that spell your name.
Let your laughter be trills in our cadenzas.
Let the pop of your knee drive a march to my bed.
Let me run my fingers up your spine,
jumping vertebrae like octaves,
from your tip to your toes.
Let my every shuddered breath be but syncopation
to the bass drum of your heart.
Be quiet with me,
let us play in piano,
soft as silence or sleep.
Stay there, linger for as long as the fermata holds.
And then, let us raise our voices together,
glorious crescendos upon crescendos,
until at last we can build no longer, and
return together to the tonic.
Run your hands across my hips,
play my longing in liquid legato strokes,
effortless in your endeavors.
Touch me again.
Let our gasps play counterpoint
to the melodies of our moans.
Take what you will of me,
fill me with song,
write sheet music in my lungs,
so that every breath I draw
sings on its way out.
Purse your lips and kiss me like embouchure.
Give me every quaver, every semitone, every holy harmony.
Leave me buzzing vibrato,
kiss me con brio.
Let me caress your delicate curves,
as though you were a violin made flesh.
If my temperament be just, then play on.
And let us be of one form, sonata-allegro,
until we must be jazz.
And then we shall burn the world with passion,
with chords no one knows but us.
So, for the sake of recapitulation,
I must ask again:
let us make music together.
Alex Higgins Dec 2014
Quietly, she said
                    (you don’t know
                             how beautiful
                             you are
            I laughed,
                    because I was frightened.)
as she led me,
           through a part of town,
                    I only knew
                    in name.

Quietly, she said
                    (and we sneaked,
                             passed her mother, and
                             a dog that
                                         did
                                               not care.)
as I told her
                    there was
               n  o  w  h  e  r  e
                  I’d rather be.

Quietly, she said
                    (while washing my hair,
                                in a sink,
                                        in a restaurant,
                    I did not eat at.)
and I said,
          “they call this a
                     ***** bath”
and
          she just smiled.

Quietly, she said
                    (I’ll be here,
                           always,
                    should you need me.)
and my tongue
               weighed heavy, so
                              I just kept nodding.
Alex Higgins Dec 2014
Relax.
I know your instincts are screaming to fight.
This is a mistake.
You will only hurt yourself.
Just relax.

You are frightened, confused, and angry.
This is only natural.
You will tell yourself to not feel these things.
This is a mistake.
Feel them, own them.
They are yours.
It is only natural.
You are being dragged backwards through a hedge.

You say,"Stop it!
The branches are tearing my shirt!
This is my favorite shirt!"
This is a mistake.
**** your shirt.
Tear it into bandanas,
sell them on Etsy.
Just buy more shirts.
Pack of four. $9.99. Wal-Mart.
Tell a stranger a story
about the scars the hedge gave you.
Maybe he'll trade you
a shirt for a good story.

But you say,"My pants!
The hedge is covering my favorite pants in grass stains!"
Stop that.
This is a mistake.
Cover your pants in new and interesting stains.
Paint in them.
Spill food on them.
Comfort a dying animal,
let it bleed on them.
Do too much *******,
**** yourself.
Get bored, cut them into daisy dukes.
Try wearing a skirt, a sarong, a loincloth, the wind.
Calm down,
they're just pants.

"But what if I break the hedge!
The Homeowner's Association will **** me!"
This is also a mistake.
**** the Homeowner's Association.
You did not choose the hedge.
The hedge did not choose you.
And once you're on the other side,
you won't to answer to them.
No one will find you, and
you don't have to come back.
Unless you want to.
But that is your decision.
Yours and the hedge's,
no one else.
Remember that.

"But who is dragging me through this hedge?
What kind of hedge is it?
Why is this happening to me?"
These are the wrong questions.
You are being dragged backwards to through a hedge.
That is all that matters.
Concern yourself only with what matters.
Making it through.
Landing on your feet, or
barring that, getting back up.
Seeing what's on the other side.

So you ask,"what is on the other side?
What if I hate it?
What if it's a parking lot?
What if it's all sticky?
What if everything's on fire?
What if it's just more hedges?"
Relax.
You're looking at it all wrong.
Maybe your friends are all there.
Maybe it is all sticky.
Maybe it's a combination liquor store,
ice-creamery,
minigolf course,
and you can pour whiskey on your face,
and eat Rocky Road,
and finally get a hole-in-one on that ******* windmill.?
Maybe it's the way home.
You're still looking at it wrong.
This, too, is a mistake.

You were dragged backwards through a hedge.
Dragged.
Backwards.
And you made it.
While you were worrying
you didn't notice you already made it through.
So now you're here,
on the other side.
Now it's your call.
You can do as you wish.
Watch the sunset.
Or dive into a new hedge, maybe
headfirst this time.
Or walk home.
Or make a new home.
It's your choice.

And really, who's going to stop you?
Some puny ******* bush?
Alex Higgins Dec 2014
You've told me you want my words.
Then take them, please.
I don't want them anymore.
The way they stick
in my throat
like razorblades.
They way they scream at me
from behind closed eyes.
I can't stand it.
I don't want this.
They keep talking
talking
talking.
But no one's listening.
They keep knocking,
but no one's home.
So pull my tongue out
at the root.
Leave me dumb,
leave me mute.
I will speak with
my fingers and toes.
Sharing secrets that
no one hears.
I will tattoo your name
upon my tongue,
and then
and then I'll just hum.
Let me speak again
nevermore.
So take my words, and
do with them what you will.
I've no need for them anymore.
Take the nouns,
the verbs,
and all them adjectives too.
Take them.
Take them all.
Take them please.
And give me peace.
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