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Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I have always believed that it is possible to see through the defenses of those who keep secrets tucked into their back pockets like wallets with a little more cash than they are comfortable with, if one is willing to look closely enough. It is apparent in their heavy eyelids, as though the weight of what they are carrying is resting on their eyelashes. It is apparent in the curve of their lips, and the way they are not able to smile to their fullest potential. It is apparent in their hands, and the way they are not able to hold anything, as though their fingers are already full. However, I never realized that it was also possible to notice leaves clutching secrets to their chests like keepsake necklaces passed down by their great-grandmothers until one afternoon when I was walking between two bushes. My feet were carrying me lackadaisically down the sidewalk toward my dormitory when something to my right caught my eye. Among a congregation of green leaves, I noticed one blushing sinner. She sat in the center, as though she was attempting to blend in, but her pink cheeks made her stand out from the rest. When everyone stood in unison, she followed a few seconds behind. When everyone clutched hymns and bibles in their hands, she tied her fingers in knots to appear busy. When everyone partook in communion, she bit her lip quietly. But there was something about the way she held her hands in her lap, with her palms pressed together and her fingers interlocked, and the way she wore her hair behind her shoulders in curls that made me want to get to know her and every secret she kept tucked beneath the belt of her summer dress. But we don’t always get the pleasure of conversing with sinners, and we often are not even willing to have those conversations with ourselves.
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
Leave the light on for me.
I know it's late,
And I'm out wandering the streets
But when I promised I'd come home tonight
Whether I was belligerently drunk
Or mind-numbingly high,
I meant it.
And now I'm wandering the streets
And the streetlights are all blending together
As though they are strung out
On the christmas trees
Of the apartment buildings
On our street,
Except I'm not sure if it's our street
Because I have stood on every step
Of every porch with the light on
But no one seems to be home
And I can't help but wonder,
Did you forget to leave the light on?
Or do you not feel like coming to the door?
I'm trying not to over-think this
But the police officer across the street
Is beginning to stare at me
With beady eyes
That remind me of the rats
That I passed in the subway
Just twenty minutes ago,
Or was it thirty?
I can't read the numbers
Engraved on the buildings
Aligned like tombstones
As though even they know
Our love is going to die here.
Or is it already dead?
I guess I'll know
In the next thirty seconds
Because I have one more porch to go
And I can't help but wonder,
Did you leave the light on?
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
Your hands are not sandpaper
You can't round my sharp edges,
Or scratch away the good parts of me.
Your fingers are not cages
Capable of capturing my hopes and dreams
And tucking them into a dark corner
To be forgotten about
Until a rainy day
When I go searching for them
In every cardboard box stacked in the attic.
Your eyes are not black holes
That will **** me in
And spit me back out
In outer space untethered to anything
So that I may float around
Devoid of gravity
And responsibility.
Your hair is not a net
Which will tangle my limbs
And refuse to release me
Until I submit to your commands.
You are not a strong current
Beating me endlessly
Before sweeping me out to sea
Because I am capable of standing
On my own two feet
And walking up the bank
To dry land
And safety.
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I never suspected I had OCD
Until I replayed your voicemail
On the answering machine
A total of twelve times
Every evening
Just to hear your voice again
Or until I opened your dresser drawer
Thirty times
Before I went to bed
Just so I could smell
Your leftover scent
Wafting into the air
Or until I rearranged my shoes
In the closet four times
Before I left the house
Because you hated tripping over them
On your way out
But I knew I didn't have OCD
When I finally locked the door
And turned off the light
And made the bed on your side
For the very last time.
Inspired by the OCD poem performed by Neil Hilborn.
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I don't know why I like the floor so much,
Maybe it's because you taught me that
This is where I belonged,
And where I was the most productive,
As though pleasuring you from my knees
Was any indicator of my worth.
But I have discovered many things
From this vantage point.
I have noticed a crack in the floorboard
Beneath which I hid every love letter
You ever tucked into my mailbox,
I have discovered a locked box
Hidden beneath my bed
And I don't know what's inside it
But it shakes and rattles and screams
Every night around two am,
So I'm afraid to open it,
I have found a marble under my dresser,
One of those clear ones
With something colorful inside,
But it looks more like blood and tissue
Than anything, in my opinion,
I have also came upon a spot
In which the floor does not creak,
And it always seems to be cold,
A perfect place to rest my cheek.
But the last thing I uncovered
Was a skeleton in my closet,
Folded and tucked into the corner,
As though it didn't want to be found,
So I found the strength,
To lift myself to my knees
(It was always a powerful position)
And I pulled the skeleton out,
And despite its efforts to clamp its bony fingers
To my wrist and never let me go
I threw it in the dumpster,
And rediscovered home.
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
The ocean has a salinity of about 3.5%
And contains mostly sodium chloride
Which is the same salt that streaks
Down my cheeks whenever I cry
But I didn't notice a difference
The evening I wandered into high tide
Despite the warnings offered by lifeguards
"The current is rough and the sand is steep"
But I was determined to wash
Every ounce of you off of me
But it seemed that no matter how many waves
Crashed against me and knocked me off my feet
No amount of water would cleanse me.
So the next best thing I could think of
Was to exhale every vapor of you
And fill my lungs with saltwater
And it reminded me of falling in love
And I drowned just as effortlessly.
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
If sidewalks could talk,
They'd tell stories
Of hurried footsteps
As I chased you down the street
And you carried me back inside again.
If hinges could talk,
They'd tell tales
Of every evening
That ended in slamming doors
And gut-wrenching sobs.
If bed springs could talk,
They'd whisper the secrets
Of the nights we laid too close
And I allowed you to stay
Until I fell asleep.
If mailboxes could talk,
They would repeat
Every handwritten letter they held
That you once poured
Your feelings into
But don't anymore.
And if windows could talk,
They'd tell you
About every night
I gazed outside
Hoping you'd come back to me
But you never did.
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