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 Sep 2019
Anonymous Freak
Flipping through men
Like a deck of elaborately
Playing cards.

Blowing cotton seeds
Of “I love you”
Into the wind.

I’m not ready.

I keep saying that,
And it keeps getting disregarded
Because I’m a woman.
All women are waiting to be loved,
After all.

But I’m waiting for my own love
To wrap around my imperfect body,
Grow into my trauma fueled mind
And give me the chance
To build myself around it.
To cling to it
As if I am a vine,
And it a supporting tree.

But still,
“I care for you.”
“I want you to be mine.”
“We have a connection.”
“You’re special to me.”
“We’re together.”

And no one listens
To my protests.
My discouragement
Makes them believe they can change me.
Makes them believe
The reward will be so much better.

But I’m not ready.
 Apr 2019
the distance is a weight on my shoulders i'm proud to carry
it takes great strength to survive like this
to be apart from the one you love
but still stay by their side

 Apr 2019
There are dreamers
in the sunlight,
away from
beds of warmth.
Images and wonders,
a theater
of possibility,
performing behind
the eyelids
of modern

Poets in
but actors
by day,
of color
in an age
 Apr 2019
Noting changes.
Nothing grows.

Empty highs.
Empty lows.

I can't feel the warm,
And I can't feel the cold.

You try to make me happy,
And I try just for you.
But other than our trying,
Nothing else is new.

I worry I'll upset you,
If I can't make a change.
It's not fair of me,
To make you stay the same.
Don't let me drag you down with me.
 Apr 2019
b e mccomb
a word so bad
it didn’t even need
four letters

they told us
to wait for
our future husbands
to treat the boys we
dated as if they
belonged to someone else

that if we wouldn’t do it
with our parents in the room
it wasn’t okay
to do at all

that there was
some kind of higher
spirituality achieved
by celibates and singles
but of course that
couldn’t be for everyone
(as if needing human
companionship made you weak)

******* would send
you to hell and
of course the gays were
already there

that our virginity was the most
important part of ourselves
and losing it before due time
was the worst thing we could do
but all would be better
if we said we were sorry
swore never
to do it again

there were contracts
pledges, oaths
and jewelry
if you didn’t have
a ring you weren’t
doing it right

words thrown around like
hand grenades into foxholes
as insurance policy against
pregnancy and stds

a barrage against the
onslaught of our culture
morality reduced to making
guys and girls sit on
different sides of the room
and debates in the mirror
over the length of skirts
and scoop of necklines

for something we weren’t
supposed to do
they sure made us think
about it an awful lot

back home in our own
bedrooms all the songs
on our radios and
the movies on our tvs
told us a very different story

somewhere along the line
i got so confused i
convinced myself i never
wanted *** at all
when i finally felt
desire stirring
in the pit of my stomach
it was terrifying

i thought since i
had never felt it
that made me immune
but it really just made me
in deep
deep denial

a denial that persisted
through late evenings
of exploring another
person’s body
learning to trust someone
with my own

they told us until we said
i do
there was no reason
to believe anything would last

and some nights i can’t sleep
with worrying about
some inevitable burning and
collapse of the building called us

i feel my parents’ gazes boring
right through my chest and
hope they never find out
what i’ve been doing

turtlenecks to cover the stain
of love notes on my neck
having something on
my body to hide
takes me back to being fifteen
and the judgement of strangers
a dead weight in my stomach
and sweaters past my palms

but the feeling of your lips
and hands and breath
in my ear and for a few minutes
i don’t care that tomorrow
i’ll be trying to forget
that i’m not as pure
as they once told me
i would stay

but i am no longer
in denial
only suffocating
in guilt
copyright 2/7/19 by b. e. mccomb
 Apr 2019
If there was one word
One word, isolated by itself
That I cannot stand above all others
It would have to be "Okay"
I despise "Okay"
Is how your millionth day at work went
Is off-brand raisin bran
Is how you say life is going
When you don't want to admit you spend
Every second of it
Wanting to die

Is packed to the brim with
Hidden implications
Like a treasure chest
Filled with bottles
With little subliminal hatreds
Written on tiny slips of paper
Passively aggressively pushed inside
To discover later
As I pull out a treasure map
And try to decipher
Where I went wrong

Is a one word dismissal
That feels like an essay a thousand pages long
Is a poison dripping with disinterest
When I dared to share with you
Something I thought might make you smile
Is like trying to talk to a wall
While watching the paint on it dry
Takes two seconds to write
Yet I waited days
For that dreaded word
To grace my notifications
Should be used sparingly
As if each time you send it
You **** the receiver just a little bit
Should not be said so often that
I know what you're about to say
Like I saw it in a crystal ball
Is not looking up from your phone
When I tell you about my day
Is not the proper response
To "I love you"

They say that the opposite of love isn't hatred
It's indifference
And I can't think of a response
More indifferent to pouring out
My heart into your hands
Than "Okay"
At least the last thing you said to me
Before we parted ways
Showed that you cared
At least a little bit
"I hate you"
Stung less
Than the thousands of times
Over our countless conversations
You responded
 Apr 2019
if you asked me what i regret the most, i would say nothing. all my choices led me to you and i would go through all the pain a million times to keep ending up with you.
 Apr 2019
Mighty palette
in the sky.
Feast of pastel colours
of sundown.

Nestbound birds
sang up a cry.
Alone I sat,
grass-crested mound.

Inhale a breath,
exhale a sigh...
Pocket of bliss,
peace on earthly ground.

 Apr 2019
b e mccomb
they write poems about
boys who are flowers and
sunlight or oceans and salt spray
boys who are soft and lovely

when they write poems about
men they are all whiskey and
loud voices or sneers and fists
men who are angry and violent

i’ve yet to read a poem
about someone like you
because they don’t write poems
about people who just are
who they are with no
exceptions or exclamations

i call you my boy
because you’re soft
but you’re really a man
(the clunky boots prove that)

but now that i’m writing this
poem i hesitate to call you
a man because heaven forbid
anyone think you
are made of sharp angles
and muddy truck beds

and i was scared
because they say men
carry guns and threats
and aspartame compliments
and condoms
in their wallets

but you just carry
a coffee cup
a smart phone
with stickers on the case
and a tiny spatula hanging
on your keys

so i handed you my heart
not ripped out but
scored and carefully
torn around the edges
slightly warm and still
faintly bearing

and you took it
held it in your hand
smiled at it
smiled at me

and placed it in one
of your pockets
under the phone
and the keys and
the wallet and
the coffee mug where
it couldn’t possibly
fall out

and let it warm for awhile
waited for the beat to
grow back stronger
until you held it fully
circulating and rejuvenated
but you didn’t hold on

you handed it back
set it gently in the
hole i had left
in my chest

and i felt the blood
start pouring through
my veins like i never believed
was possible for me

and i swear that even though
you said i could keep my
heart if i wanted to
i swear that i would
give it back to you
again and again
for the rest
of my life

along with the rest of me
my body and soul
you can have me
no guarantees
just me

cracked open and sometimes
still the blood seeps out
but i am healing and learning
to trust that you will
hold me while i continue
to learn to trust myself

growing is painful
and messy and sometimes
people grow a little
bit crooked

but it’s okay for me
to cry on your shoulder
instead of alone
where the darkness
chokes and claws
through my throat

it’s okay for me
to grow
it’s okay for me
to love you

to love my boy
whose eyes are the sky
to love my man
whose hands are the earth

my boy who still watches cartoons
and plays video games til late
and my man who answers my questions
even if he has to look them up

my boy who leaves love bites
on my neck like we’re in junior high
and my man who will go downtown at
midnight to get concealer for them

my boy who buys me nugs
my man who cooks me dinner
my boy with his single dimple
my man with his scruffy beard

my man with his sturdy
strong hands
my boy who makes up silly
names for things

my boy who teases me mercilessly
and my man who hugs me tight until
the panic passes and stands
beside me when i’m afraid

i still get butterflies in
my stomach when you
walk in unexpectedly
and on days when the
sun doesn’t shine you
still make me smile

so here is a poem about
a boy made of orange september
sunlight and april afternoons
kisses on cheeks
rosemary and lemon zest

a poem about a man made
of electric july nights
a crunch on january snow
fluffy white smoke clinging to the ceiling
shimmering glass swirls of orange peel

i am fiercely
inadequate at expressing
concrete emotions

but the emotion you evoke
in me is a tidal wave of
calm and chaos all at once
and if the world were burning
i’d like to go down with your
mouth still on mine

it’s yours
everything i’ve got
you can have
anything for you

my boy
my man
my whole world
copyright 1/18/19 by b. e. mccomb
 Oct 2018
Pagan Paul
Like a watermark through crisp white vellum
a face appears through the veil of dreams,
to colour wash away a montage of image
and decorate a mosaic of sleep dust seams.

As halcyon lakes waterfall into prism nebulae
and the courtesan face evades its emotions,
inevitably slipping between the chasms of space
like golden dolphins through plasmic oceans.

© Pagan Paul (01/09/17)
Old poem, rewrite. PPx
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