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26.4k · Sep 2018
morning eyes
b e mccomb Sep 2018
at 4 in the
morning the sun
is never up
but i usually am

i worry
about things
that are out of
my control
even more about
things that are

get up early
when i work
and earlier
when i don’t
the older i get the
more i learn
sometimes you
need to cry it out

alone
at night
into your pillow
the blankets
wrapped all
around you

sometimes you
need to cry
and cry
and cry

until the morning
sun falls across
the tears dried
under your lashes

and the lump
in your throat has
dissolved so you can
breathe with ease

you need to get up
let hot water
wash it away
let the steam rising
from your mug soften
any sorrow left around
your morning eyes
take a deep breath
don’t mention it
to anyone

and
just
keep
going

i will
just
keep
going
copyright 9/7/18 b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb Jul 2016
i'm not showering any
more frequently than
i typically do

but every time i step in
that bathtub i swear
a whole day goes by

the water falling
turns into soft
concrete

and the drain
stops up and
i'm standing

ankle deep in
a brand new
sidewalk

soap suds running down
my legs and pooling
upon an unwalked path

and heaven only knows
how long before it all cracks
and i'm free.
Copyright 2/6/16 by B. E. McComb
13.3k · Aug 2018
i dread the day
b e mccomb Aug 2018
i dread the day you learn
for the first time that
you can't just love all
the darkness in me away

and no matter how much
you care i will still toss
and turn at night and scars
might still appear on my skin

i dread the day you realize
that you can't cure me
and sometimes all you can do
is stand next to me and
hold my hand through fog
pouring out of my ears so black
and thick we can't even see
each other's faces

i dread the days i can't
get out of bed
the days you want to
take me out and all
i can manage is a prettified
shell of myself

i dread the day you learn
that sometimes no matter
how hard i try i still can't
pull myself together

the day you learn that
there isn't an answer
you can give that will
save me from my fears

you aren't the first person
who has tried to love the
darkness inside away
my family and friends
have given it their all
but someday you too will learn
that if love could
cure mental illness
the world would be
a much better place
copyright 8/6/18 b. e. mccomb
5.1k · Jul 2016
Solar Piano
b e mccomb Jul 2016
Gold glitter
Only stays on the ceiling
When the upholstery is gray.

Church gyms are suddenly
Piggy banks to play
Basketball upon.

I will draw a city on
The bulletin board
And owl pushpins will inhabit it.

My mind is no longer in a
Casing of gray rick-rack
And suppositions I do not feel.

It is a precarious thing to
Play a solar piano
Under the midday sky.

Have you ever heard
A pumpkin-flavored
Volkswagen van?

It happened suddenly
That everything I could possibly
See became a photography contest.
Copyright 5/10/15 by B. E. McComb
4.4k · Jul 2016
Daycation
b e mccomb Jul 2016
Remember when
We took a daycation?

Waterfalls
For days.

Milk bottle
Sepia vinyl.

Ice cream and
Truck drivers.

Ballerina buns and
Bare necks.

Waterfalls
For days.

Oblivion, the
Falling leaves.

Backseat
Views.

Gravel paths, we
Walked.

Waterfalls
For days.

Blue, blue
Skies.

Crystal
Springs.

Damp red
Leaves.

Waterfalls
For days.

Apples
Were just in season.

Photos
Wagging tails.

Honey tea
Quilted snuggles.

Waterfalls
For days.

Maybe it was
Just a dream.

Next thing
I knew.

I was throwing
A textbook at the wall.

Waterfalls
For days.

I was
Okay.

I swear, for
One day.

I was
Myself again.

Waterfalls
For days.

Remember when
We took a daycation?
Copyright 11/22/15 by B. E. McComb
4.1k · Aug 2016
underage drinking
b e mccomb Aug 2016
we had been mopping
the kitchen floor all day
and the dirt never
stopped coming back

and earlier we had sprayed
the entire front porch
down with the garden hose
and now it was still wet
which made it feel as if
it had recently rained when in fact
the grass was a crunchy
brown carpet of regrets.

the night before we had
drunk orange smoothies
laced with lime and something
aged sleek and dark

(i think it must have been
the reason we couldn't
sleep that night
lay awake in my parents bed
and i told you why i
wouldn't go swimming
until the sun rose
the dog barked
the birds screamed
their morning songs
and my body stopped its
nightly spasms of fear.)

and the next evening
we put on a miranda lambert song
(the one we drank to
in your mother's van last winter)
sat on the wet
porch swing
and cracked open
our first beers

they were
really bad
i gagged
because it tasted
like carbonated
banana bread with
too much stale
baking soda
and we poured half of them
into the flower beds

the next morning
was sunday
and we had milk and muffins
in the kitchen with
simon and garfunkel
then went back out to the porch
drank iced coffee in the
eleven o'clock sunlight
and you said
"if this were a normal sunday
i would have been up at six
at church by eight
and done teaching my first
sunday school class by ten."

(is beer as much
of an acquired taste
as coffee is?
because i can't ever
remember not liking it
i used to think it was
bitter but i always
liked it anyway.)

i didn't say anything
because i didn't want to
say what was on the tip
of my tongue
that this kind of sunday
had become my normalcy
and our variety of saturday night
no longer felt like underage
drinking and more like
the way i was meant to be.
Copyright 7/18/16 by B. E. McComb
4.1k · Jul 2016
If Airplanes Were Wishes...
b e mccomb Jul 2016
Once in a rare while
The stars align.

And next time the clouds
Part I'll remember to
Appreciate
The moment.

Once in a rare while
A star falls from the sky.

I once caught one
Wasted it on a frivolous wish
When all along I
Should have used it on you.
Copyright 8/22/14 by B. E. McComb
3.1k · Jul 2016
Church Daze -- Rachel
b e mccomb Jul 2016
She burst into our lives one summer
In an explosion of glitter and cat ears
And into the darkness of our young lives
She became a light.

She demanded my friendship
Commanded my respect
Reprimanded my bad choices
And expanded my views.

She's the one who got me writing poetry
She taught me how to worship
And how to question authority
She told me to speak up
To be myself
And I learned from her fearless example.

We shared some scars
And she was never afraid of telling me the straight-up truth.

She wasn't perfect
Sometimes she destroyed feelings
And shoplifted our hearts
But I learned from that, too.

And then one day with a toss
Of those red curls, one of those
Hugs that made everything better
And a swing of the metal heart hanging on her chest
She was gone, just like that
But I'll never forget she changed my life
And I'm still changing it through
Rachel, this one's for you.
Copyright 7/20/14 by B. E. McComb
2.8k · Jul 2016
Roommates
b e mccomb Jul 2016
Anxiety keeps Depression
Up all night and then
Depression sleeps
All day.

And every day they
Argue over the things they
Did or didn't say
Did or didn't do.

Sometimes they watch
TV together
But they never
Enjoy it.

Anxiety is in college and
Depression doesn't help her
Edit her papers when
She asks nicely.

Depression had a good job
She enjoyed but she ended up
Losing it and now Anxiety
Nags at her to find another.

Neither of them can
Find friends, so even though
They hate each other
They're all they've got.

They keep trying to date
But every time one brings
Home someone else, the
Other scares them off.

Depression is messy
With piles everywhere
But Anxiety keeps the kitchen
Spotlessly clean.

Anxiety can't stop bossing
Depression around
But Depression can't stop pulling
The covers over her head.

Anxiety and Depression
Are roommates
In a mental
Apartment building.

And I'm waiting for Anxiety
To forget to renew the lease
And Depression to be too
Tired to do it herself.
Copyright 11/21/15 by B. E. McComb
b e mccomb Jul 2016
Honestly, it's hard to find
One who's soul matches yours
One who radiates light and honesty, when
Kindergarten is a decade behind.

It's hard to find someone who's not a
Superficial saying.

A relief, it is then, to have you.

Cups of coffee in the afternoon
Our strolls down leaflined sidewalks, on
Dreamy mornings it's good to have a
Friend, when true friends are hard to find
I know that I always have
Somebody, and I hope you always know you
Have somebody, too.
Copyright 11/14/15 by B. E. McComb
Happy birthday, Anonymous Freak! I love you and I hope you have a marvelous birthday. <3
2.4k · May 2017
when did the mirror break?
b e mccomb May 2017
when did the
mirror break?

a different angle
for every mood
sharper lines
and harsher truths

jaggedly cut through the glass
same stripes up my sides
personal lightening storm
down my shoulders and thighs

when did the
mirror break?

when did fat stop
being a feeling
and more of just
a state of being?
Copyright 5/18/17 by B. E. McComb
2.3k · Feb 2017
girl in an owl city song
b e mccomb Feb 2017
it's not me
pushing you
away except
it actually is me

it's the kind of
morning that the
wind is blowing
just right so that
the open flag
flutters in front
of the window
where i can see it

the kind of morning
i don't need coffee
and i try not to
think about

it too
much

(i just wanted to
be the girl in
an owl city song)


pacing back and
forth in straight
lines and gritting
my teeth against
an onslaught of
small town gunfire

(i'll bet annmarie
never had scars
or scratches
brielle didn't cry
and shake for
hours thinking
how to end it all
it turned out
okay for anna
and vienna probably
knew how to dance
between the snowflakes
and underneath her regret)


i've never been good at
drowning out thoughts
they just get louder the
longer time rolls on

good at rolling out
cookie dough and
good at drowning
in dishwater when
the brownie batter's
baking and the bowl
needs washing when
nobody's looking

(i've had moments
here and there in golden
sneakers and navy blue
lace covered dresses
but i'm not the girl
in an owl city song
not something worth
writing dreamy poems
about not so lovestruck you
replace your words with dada)


girls like me wear flannel
khaki too much day old
eyeliner too many day old
scones have half heads of weird
colored hair and spend valentines
day alone watching tv

so maybe why i'm bitter
as the inside of a lemon is
that i'll never be able to change
to someone drenched in verbena
spinning through the sunny
skies between your fingers
Copyright 2/11/17 by B. E. McComb
2.3k · Jul 2016
eyelashes
b e mccomb Jul 2016
i see
eyelashes
that you
can't.

they lurk
in the corners
of my sleep
deprived eyes.

fuzzy blurs
that struggle to
pull my swollen
eyelids down.

they frame
the entire
periphery of
my world.

sometimes i pull
them out because
they won't stop
dragging me down.

i don't know
if your
eyelashes
look like mine.

but i have always
imagined
that we're
all the same.
Copyright 12/7/15 by B. E. McComb
2.1k · Oct 2018
home
b e mccomb Oct 2018
people build
their homes

out of the age of
their tea kettle and
which plants they keep
on the windowsill

by whether or not
the cups and plates match
if the cupboards are
minimalist or overstuffed

from the color of the walls
and state of the floor

right down to what they
hang on the fridge
the scent they choose
for their dish soap

and the way the words
come out of their mouths

i am tired of tending
to other people’s homes
using their sponges
watering their dead plants
sweeping their floors
and smelling their dish soap

tired of listening to
my words crumbling
as fast as i can
get them out


and i want a home
with fresh flowers on
the counter at all times
something delicious
simmering on the stove
with hot tea every night
and cream line cappuccinos
every morning for breakfast

the plates don’t need to match
although i’d like them to
i know i’m not that type of person
and the mugs and washcloths don’t
need to be handmade but i’m sure
most of them will be anyway

with a goldfish
and succulents
both of which will live
long healthy lives

yellow walls and maybe a
sunny breakfast nook
with a crochet lace valence
over top the window

your hand
to hold
your chest to rest
my head on at night


and when the dishes rattle
it won’t be in frustration or
anger but in peels
of citrus and laughter

*i’m ready to build
a home of my own
and i want to build it
with you by my side
copyright 10/29/18 by b. e. mccomb
2.0k · Jul 2016
paragraphs, not parachutes
b e mccomb Jul 2016
it doesn't have to be
perfect.

you're cutting demos
not diamonds.

i'm creating paragraphs
not parachutes.

she's drawing pictures
not pistols.

he's constructing bookshelves
not buildings.

we're making differences
not disasters.

we don't have to be
perfect
to be
poets.
Copyright 12/10/15 by B. E. McComb
2.0k · Jul 2016
the color of music
b e mccomb Jul 2016
i'm cold
and damply
drowning in
all these
blackish
tones and tunes.

it's hard
to find
a song to
err on the
side of
brighter hues.

especially
when i'm so
frostily
submerged
in these
tonal blues.
Copyright 12/8/15 by B. E. McComb
b e mccomb Aug 2016
a discomfort
radiating
upwards from the
***** of my feet
up my calves and
through the muscles
i try to keep
from twitching.

some nights i could
wash my hands
twenty times
and still feel
sweaty and
hopeless.

i could give up
sometimes
i know where the
blind curves are
and the tallest trees
in the woods
and i know how
much it hurts
behind my spine and
inside my rib cage.

i can't
breathe
i can't
breathe

and maybe giving up
would hurt less than
trying to hold myself
steady and trying

and

and

thoughts keep getting
cut off in the middle

i can't
breathe
i can't
breathe

i've had dark
nights and
slightly lighter
nights and
quiet damp
nights and
buzzing summer
nights and
throbbing multicolored
nights and
nights so deathly silent
i questioned my own sanity

and some nights
where i wanted
to just
give up

nights
nights
all of them were
nights.

i can't
breathe
i can't
breathe

i would run away
from my problems
if there wasn't this
discomfort
in the ***** of my feet
radiating upwards

and also
if i could breathe

*but i
can't
*******
breathe
Copyright 4/23/16 by B. E. McComb
1.9k · Sep 2022
albany ny 8/30/22
b e mccomb Sep 2022
mvp arena
s pearl st
albany, ny
8/30/22

(to summarize how
we got to this point

i was in the
darkest year of my life
and in my pragmatism
self-inconsideration
i gave myself
an out

the only way i could
survive was to
tell myself it was
going to be over soon)


i’m screaming
the words into
currents
of noise

i should be
happy
still hearing the ringing
in my ears and
seeing flashing lights
in my eyes

(9/25/16
was the day
it was going
to end for me

concurrently
i discovered
a genre designed
for kids like me

spent hours
in full blown panic
not at the disco but
twitching on the floor
trying to drown it out
with fall out boy
nights that didn’t end until
dawn picking apart
twenty one pilots theories
in razor free showers

and then
my chemical romance
was back from the dead
10th anniversary album with
new tracks
coming 9/23/16)


things have changed
i’ve changed
and yet still
traumatically
dramatically
the same

”what’s the worst that i could say?
things are better if i stay?
so long and good night
so long and good night”

(and i realized
there was something
out there to
look forward to

maybe
just maybe
i make it through
just for now)


”we’ll carry on
we’ll carry on”

i did
and i made it
all the way to here
found a way to
scrape myself through
every lonely night

but in that
moment the
crushing weight
of my own
insignificance
caught up to me

i should have been
happy
to have made it
to here

but the only thought
in my mind
was that
if i hadn't
made it to here
this moment
in this sea of
misfits and margins
in this sweaty stadium
four hours from home

if i hadn't
carried on
nobody
would
have
noticed
my absence


i'm reduced to
a face in the crowd
twenty dollar bills
in a merch line
a scream in a stranger's
snapchat story

and the world doesn't
need me
one more person
to add to the chaos


i should have cried
happy tears
but instead
i began to regret
what makes me
strong
what got me
to this point

would it be better
if i had ended it?
would it be easier?
does it even matter
either way?
because i'm
beginning to think
it really doesn't

and i know
i made it this far
i have his hand
around my back
and don't cry
alone at night anymore

but in the cosmic
scheme of significance
(which i want there
to be and i want
to be in)
i just don't
think
i don't
know
if it matters enough

what's the worst that i could say?
are things better if i stay?

"so shut your eyes
kiss me goodbye
and sleep
just sleep
the hardest part
is letting go of your dreams"
copyright 9/5/22 by b. e. mccomb
1.8k · May 2023
sunday afternoons
b e mccomb May 2023
it's four pm sunday afternoon
and in an unforeseen
turn of events
i'm awake

guess i've slept so long
i couldn't nap away
one more
afternoon

remembering how on friday
waiting at the bus stop
a library employee
walked up to me and said

"would you
like a poem?"
and handed me
a note card

and on it was printed
a poem
and a reminder that
april was national poetry month

it reminded me
what i've known for far too long

that there are words inside me
clawing tooth and nail

trying to get out
and i have to let them

so today it's
sunday afternoon
and i'm thinking about how
sunday afternooons
aren't what
they used to be

they started out in
the backseat of a
blue dodge van
crammed between my brothers
npr on the radio
i hated car talk
but loved to hear the way
my dad laughed at what
couldn’t possibly be jokes
not since it wasn’t funny

but after car talk came
prairie home companion
garrison keillor's gravel
serenade of life in
lake woebegone
static bluegrass
the drama
of guy noir
the hilarity of
tom keith and fred newman
playing ping pong with
airplanes dive bombing overhead

winding up around the lake
through the corn fields
until we got
to grandma’s house

afternoons turned into
evenings and i would fall
asleep in the backseat
on the way home
staring upside down out the
window at the incandescent
orange street lights
barely bright enough to cast more
light than the stars
treetops dissolving into the dark sky

i always thought it was
fascinating how it everything
looked different from that
angle in the dark

sunday afternoons turned into
dashing around
the church grounds
unattended
picking up deer bones in the
back lot and throwing them
into the pond
eventually removing screens
from windows and
climbing out onto the roof

we got older
turned into teenagers
lazy summer days
a memory so
soaked in sugary
pink lemonade mix
i can't help but scrape my teeth
remembering the taste of
citric acid and innocence

how we thought we were
so grown up
but i'd give anything to be
that kid again

i wish we’d gone
on more trips to the mall
before the shops were dead husks
a fallen ozymandias
to the promise of capitalism
when there were shoe stores
and book stores and a
radio shack and a gertrude hawk

we would spend ages in the
bath and body works
smelling and calculating
how much body spray
we had to buy between ourselves
to get the most out of our coupon
exchanging the bills and bottles
in the food court across from the sears
years and years
before it would become a post
apocalyptic vaccination center of
folding chairs and masked queues

before i lost them
to the split paths
adulthood takes
us all down

i wish i'd known what
i know now
that no matter how bad
it feels in my own head
it's never a death sentence
it will come and go

i wish i’d known
that none of it would last

sunday afternoons
the in-between
washing my hair
while my friends
went with my parents
to church

i don't go to church
don't think i ever will again
even though i wonder
if the sense of community would help

it's sunday afternoon
but it's not how sunday
afternoons used to be
with johnny cash on a loop
as i lost myself in
empty cardboard boxes
straight lines of
dusty wine bottles
shattered pints of
gin on gritty concrete

sunday morning
coming down
but it never felt like
coming down
it felt as close to peace
and quiet as i could get

sunday afternoons
turned to hazy piles of
navy duvet and
dr teals scented sheets
but i can’t do that anymore
i’ve wasted enough time
trying to sleep out
my own thoughts

so i'm trying to
let myself remember
let the words out
one afternoon at a time

something about this
sunday afternoon
feels like how
they used to be

an indigo country playlist
on the tv
all alone
with my herbal tea
the candle burning is
lilac and violet
i'm starting to think
i could find a way to heal

i'm not writing this poem
for it to be good
i'm writing it because if i don't
i might slip down with
the raindrops into the drainage grate
never to be seen again

i have to let my past
wrap itself into my future
or i'll lose the parts of
myself that brought me to here

there’s something about
having the window open
while it rains that tells me
it’s going to be all right
something about how the
library bells still ring
just off the hour
that reminds me

how time passes
how sunday afternoons
have changed
and i’m sure they
will change again soon
and what a relief that is
copyright 4/30/23 by b. e. mccomb
1.7k · Jul 2016
February
b e mccomb Jul 2016
February always makes me feel
Cheated.

Only twenty-eight days
Three less than
It could be.

February always makes me feel
Confused.

On the twenty-eighth you go to bed
When you wake up sometimes
It's March
And other times
It's not.

Are February's feelings
Hurt?

Who picked the second month
When the year is just beginning
Who picked February to be the one
To die young?
Why not another month, why
February?

Did they merely want to
End winter
Faster?

February always makes me feel
Cheated.
Copyright 3/1/14 by B. E. McComb
1.7k · Mar 2017
arsenic
b e mccomb Mar 2017
a random lady once told me
there's arsenic in the
town water supply so i'm
trying to drink it every day

the dishwasher is running
sandwich cooler is cooling
and i'm curled in a ball in
the dark on one of those
square cushioned wood
framed couches

and if i shut my eyes
tight enough i'm a kid
again on a lazy saturday
afternoon but i don't
want to be a kid again and
it happens to be monday

i've met a boy recently
and he's a person
unlike i who am one
part girl to one part
shaking hands to
one part arsenic

i'm screaming into
the void that i
hope this works out
hope this works out
hope this works out
but i have a feeling in
the pit of my stomach
that i might ruin it

or maybe that's
just the arsenic
Copyright 3/20/17 by B. E. McComb
b e mccomb Dec 2016
they will not always
agree with you and
they will not always say
what you want to hear

they'll hate and they'll
love right alongside
where the lines of right
and wrong don't blur

but at the end of the day
if they stick around
they'll stick around
through hell and back

and you'll know you have
an ally steering your back
with one *******
offered to those behind you

and until you've had a
judgemental friend
you will never know
how comforting that is.
Copyright 12/4/16 by B. E. McComb
1.7k · Jul 2016
i was broken once.
b e mccomb Jul 2016
i was broken
once.

i don't even know what
i was before
maybe a vase or a
common water glass
a ceramic mug or a glowing
stained glass window.

i don't know how
it happened maybe i
got dropped or cracked through
contact or the temperature
changed too quickly for
my fragile self to handle.

and i don't know who or
what cracked me like my
twelve year old cd cases
or if it was a slow stress
fracture brought on
by myself.

but the signs are
there
that i was broken
once.

yes, i was
broken
once
and i am still
shattered
in my darkest places.

but i make a
**** good mosaic.
Copyright 12/9/15 by B. E. McComb
1.7k · Aug 2016
upset
b e mccomb Aug 2016
i've had a
good day

remembered
to water my
plants
drank two cups
of coffee
didn't feel the
irrepressible need to
scream at my family
drowned in a
stranger's spaghetti

(okay so maybe
i could have lived
without the whole
swimming through pasta
it starts to wrap around
and choke you after awhile)


found out that
apparently i'm
the nicest person
at work because
i'm the only one who
doesn't want to
throw karen out
the picture window

(i mean i do
i just don't admit it
because that
would be mean.)


i kept looking up
to the bells on the door
remembering yesterday
when i saw the face
of one of the dearest
ladies i've ever known

(i don't know if
she saw me)


and then for some
reason she turned
directly around and
rushed down the
front steps and
didn't come back in

maybe it wasn't her
maybe an emergency
but the question's
eating at me.

slipping back and forth
here and there
into the mindset that maybe
i owe it to them

(i don't want to go
anywhere on monday
nights but i don't
want to tell you that)


then hitting myself
in the head because
what have i been
saying so long?

i don't owe
anybody anything.


i've had a
good day
or a day
that wasn't bad

(just tied my
spine into knots
and i tried the
downward dog
but the dog
knocked me down)


so i'm not sure
why the veins in
my arms are aching
and the muscles
in my elbows
compressing

as if
even

like i'm not
brutally aware
that my wrists are
not currently
available for
extended slitting

so i don't
know why
they're so
upset

then again
i don't
know why
i'm so
upset
either

i mean
i've had
a good day
******.
Copyright 8/5/16 by B. E. McComb
1.6k · Jul 2016
Enchanted Forest
b e mccomb Jul 2016
I live in an
Enchanted Forest.

Where woodland animals appear
In misty twilight from behind
The mineral-stained shower curtain
And dewdrops sparkle on
The toothpaste-spattered
Mascara-blotted mirror.

Tiny little elves
Rumple my sheets and
Throw my clothing on the floor
Magic fairies dance over
The dresser top and eyeliner-strewn vanity
To the mystical, elusive strains of Owl City.

Mushroom jewels spring up
In my closet while I sleep
Dreaming of princes and turning sixteen
Ruling a kingdom and graduating highschool
Christmas lights twinkle like the
Multicolored stars of a fantasy night.

I spend my days in
This little woodland cottage
My loyal mutt snoring on her rug
Notebooks lined up on
A shelf with drying herbs
Chattering mice and potions of tired hopes.

I live in an Enchanted Forest
Or maybe I just sprayed too much perfume again.
Copyright 11/29/13 by B. E. McComb
1.6k · Jan 2018
daily bread
b e mccomb Jan 2018
give us this day our daily
emotional breakdown
and forgive us our
blackout binges
as we forgive those who
starve themselves for perfection

and lead us not into
inherited obesity
deliver us from
the mental ward

FOR THERE IS SO
MUCH ******
BREAD IN THIS
HOUSE I CAN'T
TAKE IT ANYMORE


on mlk day i shut my eyes
and see scenes of
squishy white rolls and
pats of margarine

bread
leaden
deadened
feeling in my stomach

i can't eat any
more bread


but here it is
in baskets and
coolers in
toasters and
cupboards

my daily bread
made to sustain me
but turned into
the enemy

deliver me
from risen
yeast in
third degrees

a flour coated
tyranny
mind control
through sesame

swallowing
emotions
down
down
down


quietly settles
until spring
somewhere between
my hope and skin

you can see me
smile and stand
straight and tall
but what you can't see
is this shouldn't be
my body at all

*give us this day
our daily bread
and give us the strength
to chew meat instead
copyright 1/11/18 b. e. mccomb
1.5k · Jul 2016
oh what a hipster i could be
b e mccomb Jul 2016
what a
hipster
oh
what a
hipster
i could be.

i've got enough
plaid shirts and
iconic sneakers
might need a few
more pairs of
skinny jeans

my coffee
consumption's
sure high enough
and i'm about as
bitter as my brew
before the sugar.

what a
hipster
oh
what a
hipster
i could be.

if i changed my
music collection
and got thicker
glasses in an attempt
to see through my
own blindness

it would be a
simple matter
to disown my
sense of self
and buy a
flower crown.

what a
hipster
oh
what a
hipster
i could be.

for now i'll
stay myself
and acknowledge
that nonconformity
the blissful irony
that i just don't try.
Copyright 12/2/15 by B. E. McComb
b e mccomb Jul 2016
let me tell you a story
about a girl and a pie
the boy doesn't enter
until the next stanza.

she made this boy a pie one fall
suggesting the possibility of
a romance with commitment
as short lived as her flakey crust.

he took it the opposite way
that their love was as deep as her
smooth pumpkin filling
and married her on the spot.
Copyright 11/29/15 by B. E. McComb
1.5k · Aug 2016
The Butterfly Effect
b e mccomb Aug 2016
Let's say
Hypothetically
Someone was
Keeping score
And I had a
Perfect
Unsurpassed
Record.

In that case
There would be
Three hundred and twelve
Pieces of paper
Somewhere
In my house with
Five to thirteen lines of
Text on each of them.

And then suppose
Five and thirteen averaged
Out to somewhere between
Seven and eight.

Then do the math
And tell me what seven or eight
Times three hundred and twelve is
And then think about how
For each line of text on each
Sheet of paper
There is another
Sheet of paper in some
Binder somewhere
Or a pile in the righthand
Corner of my room.

And remember
I'm just one person.

And then think
About the butterfly effect.

Do you know
What happens
In the mail room
When you're not around?

Do you know
Who uses the copier
In the dead of night
Or the morning dawn?

Do you know
Where we go
When we
Die?

Or even
Why we're
All alive
To begin with?

It's sure
As hell

(Or should I say
As unsure as hell
Because no one can
Agree on anything
Even a universal a
Concept as hell)


That we're not living
To make paper
To print out our
Personal whims on.

And then think
About the butterfly effect.
Copyright 4/10/16 by B. E. McComb
a turning point written in the dark in the office under the window that leads to nowhere behind the overflow and across from the supply closet on the day that i lost my mind.
b e mccomb Apr 2018
i miss the way
coffee used to taste

i used to take the dregs
at the end of the morning
*** and pour them into a
steel tumbler

mix in handfuls of
refined white sugar
to fight the bitter
flavor i had not yet
learned to accept

then it went into a large
glass receptacle with
terminally stained
interior corners

mixed with milk until
pale and creamy
left to sit in the fridge
for a week

drunk from shimmering
crystalline glasses at
any hour of day or night
because consequences
didn't matter to me

my summer coffee tastes
different now
not so watered down
and drunk early
from plastic cups
through straws that crack

just because
it's there, not
because i took
the time to make it

and i miss something a lot deeper
than the way my coffee used to taste
but i cannot for the life of me
remember what it is
copyright 4/19/18 b. e. mccomb
1.4k · Aug 2016
42%
b e mccomb Aug 2016
42%
(i'm 42% sure
i don't exist.)

intensely greased
plastic hair
secondhand green day
coldplay in the rain

i love the sound
that waxed paper
deli sheets make
and i could choke
on a glassed reflection
of celery salts and windex.

(i'm 42% sure
i don't exist
because when i look into
my eyes i see someone else)

i'm not catholic
and do not
understand who
st. peter is

but i wonder if he won't let
us into heaven because we're
failures or if we're failures
because he won't let us into heaven

(i'm 42% sure
i don't exist
and questioning how
bad hell can really be.)

too quiet for a saturday
i wrote the word
decaf so many times i
forgot how to spell it

decaf
decaf
decaf
decaf

(does decaf
have two f's?
because i don't have
two f's to give anymore
i mean i would but
i can't even find
vowels much less
extra consonants)

when i was a child
i always counted in
mississippis
now that i'm older i
find myself counting in
cappuccinos

i dreamed my
legs were bleeding
and i remembered
that they're not

i want so badly
just to sleep in
a bag of crystallized
ginger and swim
in a mixing bowl of
tasteless tea.

(i can't tell what's
real anymore
but i'm 42%
sure that i am not.)
Copyright 8/6/16 by B. E. McComb
1.4k · Jul 2016
Ketchup and Pasta
b e mccomb Jul 2016
I've a cache of four youth leaders
In the back of my mind
But it's best to keep
Them in the dark.

My fascination with
Binder clips
Just won't leave
My desk.

I swear, I do not
Remember last summer.

I also don't remember
The last four sermons in my psyche.

I will wear this
Nose ring like a princess
But I'm afraid
Of panic attacks and frosted doughnuts.

The water vaporizer and
The narwhals
Frequently run off together
And go to Somalia for Christmas.

I'm begging you not
To remind me of the Chevy t-shirt
Because I cannot get the
Ketchup and pasta off my reasons.
Copyright 5/8/15 by B. E. McComb
1.3k · Aug 2016
june bugs out in may
b e mccomb Aug 2016
it was uncomfortably
hot out today

i put my cardboard box
down on the pavement
and squinted into
the midspring sun

grateful for the
knowledge
of the truth
the ukulele truth
and nothing but
the truth

like i could
scream every
johnny cash song
i've never learned
at every pathetic smoker
disobeying the signs

and i understood
oh but did i
understand
why they're always
pushing friday
on midweek radio shows

it's thursday
at 3pm
and guess what?
now we're free

(to roll in the grass
and soak up the sunshine
or maybe just
take a nap)


tell your winter
clothes where they
can stuff it
and your hick
christmas lights
to get lost

there's a pitcher
of unsweetened
ice tea with just a
dash of lemon juice
waiting for me when
i get home

and a cracked
front step to
nod off on once
it gets cooler

and even these
june bugs
out in may can't
bring me down.
Copyright 5/12/16 by B. E. McComb
1.3k · Aug 2016
burning aluminum pillows
b e mccomb Aug 2016
i swallowed the
bathroom mirror whole
threw an entire bag
of lemon drops
into the highway and
danced on someone else's grave
in a failed attempt at
self-acceptance.

it's hard
to shatter the
saccharine sweet
taste of personal hate
sticking to my hands
like half melted wax.

i've almost
given myself permission
to fail
but not yet.

hasn't it been
stovetop memories
a couple haircuts
and one hell of a year?

scratch the back of my
neck
in a halfhearted attempt
to forget
and i'll take up burning
aluminum pillows
like i took up
loving myself.
Copyright 3/12/16 by B. E. McComb
1.3k · Jul 2016
Chlorine (Freewrite)
b e mccomb Jul 2016
The whole thing smells like chlorine, which is extremely unsettling because chlorine always tastes green and a lot like hereditary paranoia. These pants were only two washes  removed from brand new, and now there's a slit in the knee, a slit as precise as the shape my eyes make when I'm suspicious of wanderlusting newcomers who moonlight in my former prison cell.  And I'm unsure if I should call it like I'd like it to be and say the **** things were defective or if I should investigate further as to where I placed my legs while hacking bits of plastic.

I'm TIRED of hacking at bits of plastic. I daresay if things start looking up, I could get there. I'm desperate, while this pumpkin-leaf hole grows in my chest, I'm realizing I'll never get to Lancaster at this rate. Sure, sure, I'm obsessed. I also have a blonde tail hanging from a tack on my shelf and a lot of cards tacked to my wall. They either resemble a quilt, a window or a complete mess.

I'm relying on plastic cups and the Internet to continuously foster this false sense of belonging. And I don't want to shatter it, but I'm terrified by the threat of a midterm and I feel trapped by my own sky. I mean, have you SEEN the prices for quaint bed and breakfasts? But the sad truth is, I would be haunted by insurmountable guilt at leaving her behind. The cash flow isn't flowing, either. I'm thinking I'll have to forget about it and sit at my shiny laptop on an empty desk, staring at the cottage cheese ceiling and wondering if God is looking back.
Copyright 9/12/15 by B. E. McComb
1.3k · Jul 2016
prewarmed house
b e mccomb Jul 2016
you're painting
the kitchen walls
baby duck
yellow.

you have houseplants
despite the lack of
sunlight
but i don't
think you know how
dark it really is.

you painted
my bedroom walls
dark green
i guess you covered
up the words i once
carved in the wall.

florals and snowflakes
now you get the
keyring and
i promise we won't
accidentally break in
like we did to him.

i might be an
incurable cynic
(which i know you
never know how to take)
but i sincerely hope
you're happy here.

i sincerely hope
my pessimism is not
cooling down your
prewarmed house.

i sincerely hope
you never become
jaded by who you
learn people truly are.

and i sincerely hope that
whatever darkness you may
or may not find never dims
your new living room light
or the radiance you've
always carried with you.
Copyright 12/9/15 by B. E. McComb
1.3k · Aug 2018
hustle
b e mccomb Aug 2018
my hands are covered
in scrapes and calluses
three week old blisters turned
gray with scabs and dirt

i paint my face on bravely
every morning and grind
the glitter into my skin
with a smile until i get home

and can let my cheeks begin
to droop and the hateful
thoughts i push down all day
begin to tumble out

i spend all day saying sorry
for things that aren’t my fault
and try to make
strangers laugh

and i work
and hustle
and sleep
and work

listen to the voices
tell me i’m not
trying
hard enough

and sleep
and hustle
and work
and sleep

and keep myself fighting
for something
but i don’t know yet
what that something is

sometimes at the end of
another day when my
body melts into bed
the glitter washes off
with tears

and the fear
pins me down
so i grit my teeth
shut my eyes and sleep

then i get up
pour another
cup of coffee
and just
keep
moving
copyright 8/20/18 b. e. mccomb
1.3k · Jul 2020
lakelocked
b e mccomb Jul 2020
i try not to
get my hopes up
too often
it’s never as good
as i convince myself
it will be

but i let myself
believe in this one
in the back of my mind
the beach

a week off work
ocean waves
hot sand
fresh fish
his birthday
where reality can’t find me

in 2019 it seemed like
a great plan
enter 2020
with it’s 99
problems but
a beach ain’t one

and so now another
year will go by
and i won’t get a chance
to leave this
humid lakelocked town
that will soon cool down
with drizzling rains and
thick white snow

people have lost
their jobs
their lives
and their sanity

and i’m doing
all right
untouched by
disaster and
richer from
overtime

so i should be
grateful
but i’m mostly just
over it

the long hours and
late nights and
going going going
busy bee

but i guess no
beaches for
*******
like me
copyright 7/23/20 by b. e. mccomb
1.3k · Jul 2016
Last Wednesday Night
b e mccomb Jul 2016
I didn't ever write a
Journal entry about last Wednesday night.

It was strange, the dampness
In the air and the cough in
My throat, and the whole world felt
Empty and deadened.

She didn't really want to
Go, and I guess I didn't either, now
That I think about it, after
All I could have been writing a paper.

But I had my alterior
Motives, which fell through and
I wanted to get out of the
House, to clear my stuffy head.

So we walked, like two girls who
Can survive on their own mistakes
And then after awhile
We walked back.

But we walked to the little
Playground instead of home because I guess
For nine-thirty at night we were
Both a little unsettled.

And we talked about God and I
Looked at the leaves on the
Pavement and thought about how different the
Uniform Methodist windows were from ours.
Copyright 9/12/15 by B. E. McComb
1.2k · Apr 2018
clockwork
b e mccomb Apr 2018
the day starts with shirley
who comes in just after eight
for her 20oz chai
"what kind of milk?"
"doesn't matter"
punches her own coffee card
tells me about her puppy
kayla is next her hair and
makeup always perfect
about as nice a landlady as
one can have in a town like this

from there it's a constant
stream of people
who i watch out for and
who don't know i'm doing it

janice lives alone and thinks
people are stealing her money
doesn't understand
the tests her doctors want
she can't remember
what she always orders
it's a turkey club sandwich no bacon
on toasted oatmeal regular chips no pickle
a to go box for the leftovers
and some kind of chocolate treat in a bag
because she only eats when
she comes in here

two weeks ago
i accidentally switched
barb's 12oz soy chai
with someone else's
12oz whole milk chai
it wasn't enough dairy
to give her a problem
in fact she didn't seem
to remember it
but i made her another for free

nic stopped for his afternoon coffee
didn't laugh at anything just stared
blankly into space and said he
thought he was getting sick
had too many things to finish
the day before when i was waving
to him from the parking lot
so i took my dog to the
back door of his office and
we barked until he came out
patted us both on the head
and said he felt better

we're all creatures of habit
like mckenna who arrives
like clockwork
between one thirty and two
tuesday through saturday
leans on my bake case while
i count my tips and add random
ingredients to different drinks
in a reckless attempt
to break up the monotony
and he drinks them all
like clockwork
no matter how bad they are

rita doesn't smile since she broke her hip
in fact i haven't seen her since
walt got sick and he and joan
moved upstate to be closer to their son
i worry about something happening to ray
who will take care of rita?
whose laugh used to echo off the walls
and fill the place up
pat's smoking again and it turns out
he has congenital heart failure
gail had a fall, a stroke and
suddenly died

i make the same dumb jokes
only a few people smile at
i sing to myself
and people point it out

karen sits in her motorized wheelchair
ice and snow dripping from the wheels
onto the scratched, muddy floor
and tells me i'm pretty and funny
and have a beautiful voice and
i look at karen, her head tilted to
the side and spit hanging from her
buck teeth and wonder why such a
wonderful funny girl with a heart of gold
had to have the body she's stuck in

why life is ****
and why i'm trying
i swear i'm trying
fighting
for something
i don't know what

why we fight
why we try
to make the world
a better place
when nothing can really change
any of these dismal facts
copyright 4/6/18 b. e. mccomb
1.2k · Jul 2016
blankets
b e mccomb Jul 2016
December
and anyone in the
woods could see the five
idiots on the back deck.

wrapped in blankets
and circled up like
Indians who drink cranberry
Canada Dry ginger ale.

Saturday afternoon
empty house
i wish i felt
different.

sunshine flickering
through the steam between
my fingers and over the
furry blanket.

i've always liked looking
out the back windshield
with swollen eyes at
what i'm leaving behind.

home again and
nothing is different
it's just i've
gotten worse.

and i'm crying
when it hits me
i'm finally
alone.

but i have a
blanket to wrap
myself up in
so everything's fine.
Copyright 12/5/15 by B. E. McComb
1.2k · Jul 2016
I Refuse To Be Pretty
b e mccomb Jul 2016
I'm
Done
I simply
Refuse
To be
Pretty.

Cute, maybe
Adorable, sure
I could stand a shot at
Beauty.

But I will
Not
I repeat
Not
Conform to
Pretty.

It's surely
Nice to be
Pretty
But I'd rather
Take my
Sincerity
Or hilarity.

And I won't
Sacrifice my
Dignity for
Regularity.

Pretty faces are
For sale at a
Dime a dozen on
Our magazines
But I'm looking for
More than eyeliner
And lipstick
Guillotines.

I moved past
Pretty
Lost my shot at
Perfection
When I found a
Crack
In my gritty reflection.

Not to say I'm giving up
On my beauty intention
But woman cannot survive
On wardrobe interventions.
Copyright 11/22/15 by B. E. McComb
1.2k · Aug 2016
chink in the armor
b e mccomb Aug 2016
there are five
and a half
blankets
piled on the end
of my bed
and if you're wondering
how i can have
half of a blanket

(well
it's a long story
but rest assured
it's not complete.)


in any case
i've tried all
of them
and none of them
are managing
to make me
feel
any better.

tomorrow
i will turn on
the printer and
attempt to salvage
what's left
of the collective
innocence of this
thwarted generation.

doubt i'll get
very far
but i can claim
what most can't
and that
my dear friends is
a little thing called
courage.

(scratch that
i'm still afraid.)


in fact
i could write
a long and
boring list
of all of my
typical
and irrational
fears.

(but i won't bother
because i trust
that you
have enough imagination
to cook up a few
for yourself.)


i'm trying
to tie up
every hanging thread
but i've been
trying for so long
that i might give up.

i remember this one time
a long time ago
when you yelled
you really yelled
over some stupid
frying pan
that i hadn't washed
or something.

no
it was definitely
a frying pan
i remember that
and i will die by the
fact it was a frying pan.

once in awhile
when someone's
mad
i stand there
woodenly
and feel disturbingly
unsafe
and i think about how
i didn't wash
that frying pan
and maybe
if i had washed that
frying pan
when you asked
neither one of us
would have a few
thousand pounds of
suppressed anger inside.

i know
i just know
you're mad
and i know
you know
that i'm mad
whether or not
i'm willing to admit
that i'm really mad
which i'm not.

(but i am
by the way.)


i'm hitting the
breaking away
but i'm hitting it
late
and i'm hitting it
hard.

like an
overly confident
concrete
wall.

back to the printer
and tomorrow
i would
hope

(and i would also
pray
if i happened to be
the praying type)

(but i am not
the praying type)


that you all know
that the very
stubborn
streak in me that
could turn out to be
my most valuable asset
is also the thing
that will
promptly
and rather
unceremoniously
deploy a
bomb.

*(just thought i should
remind you that
in every strength lies
the ***** in the armor.)
Copyright 4/8/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Jul 2016
sometimes
b e mccomb Jul 2016
i make my bed
four times a year
because when the blankets
are on correctly
it's not easily accessible
to wear as a cape.

and i sometimes wish that
i could get out of my
own
******
head
and open up enough
to love someone
else for once.

i sometimes spray more
perfume on my
pajamas than my
dresses it's not
aromatherapy but sometimes
i calm down.

sometimes i manage to
forget
about these
disturbing
thoughts
just
reverberating
through my mind.

and sometimes i just
fall apart
but sometimes i pull
myself together.

today is the sum
of those times.
Copyright 12/11/15 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Aug 2016
plastic box
b e mccomb Aug 2016
i miss having an old
plastic box at the
foot of my bed

i miss having
motivation
inspiration

i miss
me

(i'm sorry
okay?)


the only thing
that makes sense
at all anymore
is music

all the black and
white patterns
crawling up and
around my legs

and i lost hundreds of pieces
of transparent music
just left myself
some lead sheets
wrinkled from
artificial humidity.

it just feels
wrong
okay?

i feel wrong
okay?

i discovered
the hard way
the truth

that i like people
on an individual
basis and hate
established institutions

(i'm
sorry
okay?
i'm
actually
really
sorry
okay?)
­

i also discovered that
many people actually
like me and somehow i
misunderstood their intentions

(which were undeniably
good but you know
what i've always said
about good intentions.)


regret
regret
flashing neon
regret
guilt
guilt
strangling black
guilt


a plastic box viewed
by me is not a
plastic box viewed
by you

and i want my
plastic box back

the plastic box
i remember
the me
i remember

i want my
plastic box back


i was tripping over it
kicking it for probably
about six years

the yellowed
broken handles
dust in the bottom
it's more than just
a box and more like a coffin
of the last forty years and my past

i remember giving it up
sliding it right under our
old mailbox and handing
over the laptop that was

never mine but always
felt like it and then
walking down the
stairs and out into
the blazing parking lot
like i wasn't a new person.

today i put a laundry
basket full of blankets
where it used to sit
and every time i turn
around i think it's
there again

i'm having
flashbacks of
some stupid
plastic box

(like when somebody
dies or leaves your life and for
awhile it keeps hitting you that
they're just not around anymore)


God and mark
(probably sharons
and kate too)

only know where it is

but i know where
it is not
it's not in my kitchen
it's not in my room

**and i want my
*******
plastic box back.
Copyright 7/27/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Dec 2016
writing a roadside gospel
b e mccomb Dec 2016
i can picture it
dusty desert roads
old motels when the
sky opens up and the
holes in the tent leak
the empty rooms and
bare mattresses of a
creaky single wide

a patch of wall where
a cross once hung for
so long the wallpaper
holds its faded image

payphones and
diner booths
card games and
cold pews

(sunbeams dreamily
landing in your eyes)


i can almost taste
cola flavored slushies
cans of beans and
cigarettes and coffee

and smell burnt pancakes
egg casserole the way grace's
mom made it at home
secondhand smoke a bonfire
made from incense and an
abandoned white church

i can hear the songs
the laughter tears and
screams to heaven over
rumbling rubber tires

i know the way they
talk and theorize
argue and laugh
cry and pray

i've felt it before
somewhere here
and there in
twinges of time

but nobody ever claimed
you could wander the
world in one day or that
writing a gospel was easy.
Copyright 12/6/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Aug 2016
parking lot
b e mccomb Aug 2016
i could write about
a lot of things
like my day
or how the pavement
looks when it
rains slightly.

or how the parking lot
feels when it's full
of cars and void of people
or how i feel when i'm
surrounded and
afraid.

how i'm angry and
insecure and
i don't owe anyone
anything
not my friends
not enemies
or elders
not an apology
or a single
**** explanation.

but i think i'll just
forget about the
whole thing and
write about death
or something
nice like that
after all it would
weight less on me
then the words
on my fingertips.

i had assumed
that i was done
struggling with
all that identity crap
but now i've concluded
that everything we ever
fight is a battle for
our own lives.

and it's odd
to think that i can
have such a strong
sense of myself and yet
my personality can
be so unlike that self.

there are more layers
to a parking lot than
what you might
first expect.

i suppose at one point
there were grass
and trees and pure
unadulterated dirt
and then somebody
leveled it
maybe added a coating
of gravel and
paved over it and
put some vehicles on top.

but that doesn't mean the
layers aren't still there
under the asphalt
i mean.

and that's what i'm saying
is that i've got something
under the pavement
i just can't get the cars
to move out for long enough
to tear up the layers.

i feel other people's wheel marks
burned into my skin
and the signs and lines
that proclaim no parking
have been vandalized and
ignored for too long.

how do you tell a parking lot to stop
without looking crazy?

and there lies the
exact problem
i care
too much
what people think
i look like
and i don't mind if they
think i'm insane
but i mind if they don't
like me
there's a big
difference you know.

and there goes
another piece
falling into place
and the
puzzle not
yet completed.
Copyright 4/25/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Sep 2016
2nd law of thermodynamics
b e mccomb Sep 2016
i'm on top of the world
and waiting to crash

i'm glad summer
is over now
always had too many
false expectations
and winter is better
because everyone
sets the season's
standards low

(except for christmas
but **** christmas
except don't actually
**** christmas
because the pine needles
would probably hurt)


i just want the dishes all
washed and my bedroom
floor completely clean and swept
before i jump in front of a car

(go ahead and hang
me from the chandelier
it's not like i need
my neck in one piece)


but there's some kind of concept
stating that anything left to itself
will steadily grow worse so
if i go now it may just all decay

(flowers sprouting out
of the sink drain and the
ivy on the window taking
hold of the kitchen walls
grass meandering up
through my floorboards)


last week you promised
over cups of morning coffee
that you would do
anything to help me

but that was before
last night when i washed
the coffee *** five times
brewing out the limey residue
of all the things you've said
and this morning it tasted
slightly of vinegar and
i remembered that you
got so lost in old grocery receipts
inside plastic bags under the table
of your own colossal problems
that you just forgot.

(if i were less anxious i would
definitely be an arsonist by now)


and i don't know as
you know about that
concept the one i was
just referring to

(the one that explains
why procrastination
will **** us both
you in your femoral arteries
me in the vicelike death trap
of my ******* head)


because i don't know as
you know that behind
the mania in my eyes is
three four a.m.'s
two five a.m.'s
one six a.m.
and six months
of three a.m.'s.

every time i fry a fish i'm
mentally putting my face
against into the pan and
the lid over my eyes

(and you just want
salad for some reason)


i'm a paragon of raging
domesticity these days
and you're saying how right
you must have raised me

(really it was all your wrongs
that raised me right that way)


you keep accusing me
of being mad at you
so okay i'll just say i'm
******* mad at you

because you can't
control your house
or who lives in it
you can't even take
care of yourself which
means i could lose
you tomorrow and
you don't care that i'm
suffering and dying
just as slowly as you are

(somebody has to
take responsibility
for your actions and
i've always been handy)


you call me selfish when
i learned that from you

(hell only knows
everyone is at least
a little selfish some
just hide it better)


but the other thing you
taught me by example
is that if you want
something done
right you must
do it yourself

*(**** it all
you'll see one day
what i did for you
and **** it all
because i can't save
either of us but you
had better believe i
can clean a ******* house.)
Copyright 9/13/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Aug 2016
sour milk
b e mccomb Aug 2016
i can watch the
clock on your
dashboard
turning
backwards
the hands going
the wrong direction
it's rare to find a
analogue timepiece
in a car nowadays
even rarer to find one
that goes in retrograde.

and all i can think
about is that i'm not
happy but i'm more
settled inside

isn't it sad
to be living only
in hopes of your
expiration date?

yes
yes it is.

i'm missing last winter
just a little
how safe it felt to be
your shotgun rider
with that perfect and slightly
annoying thirty minute mashup

fifteen minutes there
fifteen minutes back
anxious to leave
anxious to get home
to get into another van
one that wasn't stifled

i was your
shotgun rider
for monday afternoons
and drives to craft fairs
the ball and our own
educational funeral.

(can we petition
to rename
graduations to
educational funerals?)


i miss the old days
when mondays were happy
not anxious
or empty

thinking back on it
we spent too much time
in the back corner booth
of the doughnut shop chain
up on the east hill outside of town
and the coffee wasn't even good

i wish we had just gone to the
grocery store and
got some of that perfect
creamline milk you never shake.

i don't remember
the day i looked
on the label of the
jug and read the date

and it very clearly
was stamped with an
expiration of next
september

but when i tasted it
it had all gone sour
and i wondered how
painful it could be
to throw milk
out early

so i'm leaving it
in the fridge
until autumn
rolls around

just thinking
about how sad
it is to be living
with the hope of dying

but don't people do
the exact same thing?
Copyright 7/1/16 by B. E. McComb
1.1k · Jul 2016
fabric sidewalks
b e mccomb Jul 2016
At nine p.m.
      they roll up
            the crooked
                  sidewalks
                        like they're
                              fabric bolts.

And every neon
      light in the diner
            window flickers
                  in commercial dim.

When winter comes
      sometimes i drive past
            the closed ice cream stand
                  and think about what i never did.

At nine p.m.
      they shut off
            their overhead
                  living room lights.

Every dog is
      in for the night
            and only the cats
                  are crossing the street.

Small town
      cozy village
            happy people
                  normal sleepers.

                  so incredibly
            law-abiding
      stability's key
Not like me.

                             at nine p.m.
                        they roll up
                  the crooked
            sidewalks
      like they're
Fabric bolts.

                              but i've always
                        felt the need to
                  walk the streets
           around ten p.m.
      pretend they're
Still concrete.
Copyright 11/26/15 by B. E. McComb
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