Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
david badgerow Jul 2021
My ex-girlfriend and I used to play this game, I guess we made it up, called Sing That For Real. So at any time, when one of us said "sing (a song) for real" the other person had to sing it. With sincerity. Whether it was playing or not. Had to put their best effort into it, without any humor or undue theatrics behind it. Any song. You had to just sing the portion of it that you knew to the best of your ability. In public, alone, didn't matter. Over the phone. We would tell each other thru text sometimes. Sure, you could get away with not doing it and the other person would never know. But I never did. I always sang.

Because it wasn't really a game. It was a trick. A ruse to get the other person to open themselves up. To be vulnerable in front of you. Honest with you. To break yourself open--if only slightly, if only for a moment--without fear of judgement or insecurity. Without hiding behind humor or parody, to sing directly into the face of the person you love. Or on their behalf. At their behest. Have a moment of tangible honesty between the two of you. Show that person that you aren't afraid of anything, at any time. Once, at a deli counter on A1A, I sang "Not Fade Away" directly into her eyes. She showed me a secret Beyonce taught her at a pet store in front of the fish tanks. We duetted on “You’re The One That I Want” on the trunk of my civic parked in a starlit cow field. It was a secret promise we made to each other. A private joke, almost.

She hung herself in her apartment 6 years ago today. She was high on *******. She was bi-polar. She was off her meds. She was scared of herself and everyone else. I picked her up. I cut the belt. I puked downstairs in her garden screaming. I loved her so much and I'll never stop singing for her.
david badgerow Jun 2021
you uncoiled my winces
with your aching summer breath
desire coursed vivid thru my veins
like the diamond sparkle of dawn-light
we intertwined & you attached yourself to my soul
& when you watched me, i felt seen
--a flower blooming in the basket
on your windowsill in the teeming light
my passion dissolved the disquietude
more simply, you set me free
you rearranged me
you dismantled me
& when i revealed myself to myself
in a swirling mirrored vertigo
i was drenched & purged on the altar

& now the emptiness is the consolation
i carry like a dream in my hands
the silence between us the only refuge
then the rains came in june
& bludgeoned the sky
it groans in despair
my chest doesn't burn anymore
it feels more like a bruise
& i linger among the futility
& wind-ripped flower petals
outside your shuttered window
like a frigid dancer on the brink
of nihilistic oblivion grasping
only for the bottom
my guilt does all of the thinking
in the wasting light
& the last note of your goodbye
barely greets me long-forgotten
from the dim shore--
one last regret--
another secret kept from me.
david badgerow Jun 2021
i caught a glimpse of her once,
just as she was leaving.
the sunlight cut her face
like a scalpel, and she flinched.
in the doorway, the dogs
barking at her feet, the day's
bags suspended from her frame.

the one with her wallet, her phone.
her purse pinched in the crook of her elbow.
the one with her lunch, also there.
the backpack with her water bottle
and planner riding high on her
trapezius muscles. the ones holding
last night's tears still hovering above her

and she isn't wearing the necklace
i gave her last year on her birthday,
i can see the pale line on her collarbone
where it lived. but why would she?
the ring i bought fits perfectly
in the kitchen junk drawer,
she is unadorned.

i tried calling out to her, but the dogs,
and she didn't have the time. the earth shakes
and the world sharpens it's blade
again. she turns toward her car in the driveway
and melts back into routine.
a piece of blue-black hair falls across
her face, and i am in love with her again.
but things change, and look how naturally
she goes.
david badgerow Feb 2021
you made my heartbeat patter
in the driveway starlight
i was waiting for you to arrive
and i felt wonderful, child-like and perfect

i felt electrified like a timber-wolf
slipping quietly thru silver winter woods
as i watched with patience as
your silhouette emerged
you drifted low to find me
you were a brightly colored kite
an angel flitting in a hanbok
delivered to me by six black horses

you slipped into the soil of my body
like a whisper
i was already halfway there
in one sense and
fully realized in another
when i took your hand
i touched it with my hand
and i saw the secret harvest
growing inside

we were on the edge
of what we wanted
as our hands folded
into each other
into newness
i promised
and you
promised too

and a wind curl
blew our souls away together
a breath-defying disappearance
into the tented sky
into oblivion
into this future
david badgerow Aug 2020
the imbecile boy found love again
walking aimlessly & self-conscious
with the year's regrets falling
behind like fat blossoms in
a summer shower out of
my longing i had invented her
it was by happy accident or
a subtle shift of scenery
in the numinous grove that
i entered that spring with an empty heart
so i wrote her all these songs
so i could live again
cue the hallelujah choir singing
'this is ours, the impossible'

my rib-cage expands
every time i think of her
like recalling a beautiful dream at breakfast
through a yawning smile
my prophetic dove lying next to me in bed
the first flicker of reanimation
with the heat of her veins
interdependent with mine
stripped to the waist
with tresses of her hair across my chest
& shoulder i'll thrive in a forest of it

i launched 'i love yous'
from a sun-lit country porch
& they traveled 300 postcard miles
over roofs & the tops of old elms
to collapse into her ear, exhausted
now i am the pen, she is the paper

she is delicate but
my love has wild-cat claws
& live pink lips above smooth
wingless shoulders & i am hypnotized
by the adoration & light reflected in her eyes
i built this cathedral of words for her
these towers like puffs of smoke
& exultation rising in our slow dream
i carved this river through the broad valley
where the fish nibble at
dazzling afternoon raindrops
while i get lost in her body awhile
this kaleidoscope is a place i could stay

repossession & co-awareness
now we're strolling across the air
together in perpetual acceptance
gliding like the first morning orioles
through six panes of clear blue sky
over the circumambient hills of the new age
toward the alabaster sea
with her bright compassion pressed tight
against my side for the journey
we laugh softly as our hands engage
never again to disengage
david badgerow Jul 2020
for my birthday
god gave me ten thousand white birds
so i wouldn't be alone
but i am alone
and for the sake of no one
i'm still awake
hot under the electric lights
deep in my own soup
so i am writing to you
dear lover
i am flying to you
over the asylum's main gate
gliding amidst horns and headlights
and i hope you are home
curled in between cool linens
i am writing to you
in every poem i've ever written
badly, but with sincerity
small-voiced and whimsical
i am trying to love you
love me
i have no shame
david badgerow Jul 2020
meanwhile it's my lunch hour --
the sun burns the cinderblocks pink
12:40 on a thursday with sawdust in my hair
and a piece of lead pinched between
forefinger and thumb fighting the
sudden onset feeling of vivid panic
i'm obliterated by the sense of being alone and
lost outside the plexus of purpose

my docile body is being stretched open
i am churning unsexed and weak
weeping on the steel edge of hysteria
half gouged and puttering beneath
this burden of butterflies in my chest
the girl is a great distance away but
maybe she'll notice my plumage rising
and receding like a brittle sail on a
dark green sea or hear
my cells test the very limits of elasticity
diverging terribly into flamboyant aqueducts
and humming on the wind like
the plow tractor trumpeting in a far-away field

she is a fawn lying on a summer picnic blanket
sprawled on the rolling meadow as if it were a beach
a genuine beauty in the white of the sun's light
wearing a pair of reflective sunglasses holding
her face puckered up expecting a kiss
and a delicate fire surges through me
my eyes are blinded by the green grass
radiant all around her
and my pulse thunders inside my ears
longing to be immersed with her in safety
ripped up by a lust to be accepted and free
and folded together softly against the hard world

i am being hollowed out into electric rivulets
by the painful consciousness of my isolation
by the broiling heatwave of july against
the longest winter of my life
my heart aches in my front shirt pocket
waiting on my phone to light up or ring
and so i fill my ***** glistening torso
with what i hope is a lethal dose
of papaya-coconut water
Next page