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Michael Apr 2017
It's exhausting
All this heat
It rises like the balloons
Full of *******
That promise satisfaction
Like a heavy meal
In your belly

The mercury is boiling over
Fumes that make the hatter
Mad and frustrated
Sad and depressed
Searching for a better tomorrow
But we know it's in jest

The court is full of sparks
Flashes in the pan
That leave you blinking
Unable to focus
Palms pressed to your eyes
Calling forth so many stars
Were struck dumb

Like fireflies in the summer air
They flicker in and out
And maybe if we cross our eyes
Just right, they can focus
Take away our doubt
And fill the glass half full

But this heat is relentless
A fever pitch that's begging for an end
No matter how full we want
Our glass to be, the drops will rise
Condensation clinging to the sides
A mist that relents and moves into the air
A collective sigh of defeat.
Michael Apr 2015
For my brother, it meant everything
to stretch out and press
his face against the pane
of candy stretched crystalline.

To take the path away from father
for me one step away from
baking our dreams into
crumbs we left on the floor.

We’ll trace them back
to the place between
lost and found,
once we’ve fulfilled
our parts,
he’d always tell me.

But he doesn’t understand,
and honestly when does he,
that we’ve been doomed
from the start.

There is no Gretel,
to stoke the logs,
close the grate and latch
no heroine to fit the story’s need
there's only me

So when the witch comes back
she’ll ask
has Hansel truly grown fat?
a little pinch of the skin
an inadvertent test to see
which one of us should win?

It’s always an offering
always a suffering
always a surrender
of what makes me, she
and Hansel truly him

But I don’t mind
filling this role
I know it’s what I was made for
half baked like the crumbs
in a crummy oven
the real Gretel’s long gone
so her understudy will do.
If Mother could bake one daughter
why not try to bake two?

The witch will say it’s time
and ask me to reach back far
to find a warmth she can't see
it’s really not that odd
to hear the words escape me:
"why don't you try,
it's utterly exhausting
always having to hide"
and besides
I always desperately wanted
someone to show me

And I’ll even smile
as the crackle burns for just awhile
Hansel holding my hand
my pigtails askew.

The crumbs, our true
eaten in the leaves.
Michael Apr 2015
I sometimes wonder why it is we’re forced
to close our eyes right after *******

to fall into bed with the cease
of all that has just occurred

your kiss put me here
instead of waking

and heavy lidded I struggled
with the snare of all these sheets

but I really shouldn’t be surprised
at the moment I closed my eyes I knew

you were a walking contradiction
Michael Feb 2017
Your voice rises up like worms from the earth.

No matter how deep I bury it, it claws back out,
To think of its tenor brings me nothing but hurt.

Your voice rises up like worms from the earth;

To see its gaunt face, a fresh mound of doubt,
The day you left me you had no room for air.

Now it's me, who can't breathe, lungs filled with despair.
Michael Apr 2017
It's like the reality of falling leaves:

In autumn, people seek them out
Their perfected performance of death
A leap from ten stories in a party dress
The taffeta catching the up draft

No one gathers to see the aftermath

Of carnage covered by dirt and water
Taking beauty and churning it out
Brown sledge grunted up by the earth
Spit out, mangled, the marrow exposed

It's always the same
The crowds bottleneck, shove, push
To see the start, but at the end
Everyone is looking for an out

Such happiness for what follows hello, for
Everything that comes just before goodbye
Michael Apr 2015
This always happens by mistake.
I put my faith in rust
and act surprised when it burns
straight through
leaving me with jagged edges
and an *** on the curb,
by the beach of broken glass
and chipped asphalt.

I can’t really say it’s my fault.
This is the effect caused
by the scarlet faced trust of
a stranger.
Too bad I never listened
in grade school
about the dangers of faces unknown,
at least I didn’t
and roll straight into traffic.

A word of advice: never
put your trust where people
put their money;
the pockets are always too small
and sometimes
sewn shut, so it’s like
they’re there, but
not really.
Michael Jan 2017
I may be underwater but
Maybe I'll adapt and sprout some gills.
It seems that natural selection
Has been pretty selective,
The stacks we dug long ago
Are spewing out their ash:
Burnt flesh built off the backs
Of those who can't blend in against
The chalk white trees.
Everyone knows prey comes so easily
For those whose camouflage
So seamlessly.
Michael Apr 2015
Uttered wishes don’t come true.
There’s a breach of contract
in the act of saying what you want.

It’s the reason we’ve never reached world peace.
Every pageant queen sliding it out
between clenched white teeth, ruining the
surprise before she blows out the candle.

We’ve mined out wishes from the earth
and put them out on display;
dioramas marked
“a wish for a better tomorrow”
Mason jars full of eyelashes
just longing to be blown
to the wind, dandelion free.

How can we ever expect anything
but the decay of our future?

It’s all boiled down to this singular wish –
a sideways stare at this candlestick,
and no matter how nimble,
no matter how quick,
whatever we think before the blow,
won’t change what we know about tomorrow.

Once we make a wish,
There’s no more room for light.
Michael Mar 2018
how each face you turn
is another cheek for me
to meekly reach toward

an attraction to
rate of change

the first one was coy
it held me in its gaze
and built a house of straw
for me to crawl in

the second, more familiar
a me in you for me to see
and dive into head first
familiarity scratching at the scalp

the third, half smile and half frown
the kind of face that martyrs itself
on a crown of need, a list of to dos
that cause a summersault inside me

the fourth, set in glass
fixed, permanent, fragile
one misstep and it's bad luck
seven years of wandering

away from you
Michael Feb 2019
It's the feeling of the edge against the ***** of your feet,
Your center of gravity swinging, pendulum light
To and fro, causing quite the commotion

It's the idea of the fall that's most frightening;
The mental picture of anguish we conjure
So clearly it could be stamped on celluloid.

A sinking, really
The steep angle of a roller coaster;
The proverbial rug pulled out from under our feet
The architect of gift and curse
Michael Dec 2016
The dawn is breaking
Bones on its back,
The opposite of odes,
A reversal of a truth
We thought we once knew,
Which we were taught was true.

We cannot feed this whole army.
Not on a diet of skin and bone,
Of ash clinging to the bronchioles
And bullets plucked like
Pomegranate seeds from our skin.
The perimeter insecure.

We **** Papa, maim Mama,
When we strike out the son,
And not so much
As a thank you m’am,
A tip of the hat towards
The floor where we
Kicked our own faces in.

We’re turning this wheel in a frenzy,
So much fury at the sound
Of a full revolution,
Whirling dervish
With time sewn in the hem
So we’re right back
where we started again.

And for what?
To pay a debt
So in the black
We bleed red to cover the ink,
And whitewash over the stain?

The cost is just too costly,
We've penny pinched the flesh
To make it count.

Our holocaust is never ending:

So many tears,
Yet still a drought.
Michael Apr 2015
The CD in the tray
and the sun on my skin
hot vinyl beneath me
and an unstoppable wind.

This is one of the few days
I try to remember.

I cling to it like the Newports
between your fingers,
ashes settling on the dashboard.

But after all that happened
with the roof off
the memory is hard to hold.
Yet, I wrap myself up in it.

Tie myself inside
the days when I felt your
hair hit me in the face and
I’d see the ocean stretch
on one side,
past the endless median
on the other

When I knew
that love rolled on wheels.
Michael Apr 2017
When I left you
There was nothing left
For me to give

A slap on the ***
Feet firm on the ground
And that's all I had

No moon over Manhattan
No Bambi eyes on the prize
Just two hands, two feet

Ten fingers, ten toes

You'd think I'd at least
Have wrapped you
Bandana blue

Tied you to a post
And slung you over shoulder
See saw of gravitas

Instead I had empty pockets
Hole sewn into the hem
So that when money went in

It just fell out again

I think you're better off
Busking on the street
Earning pennies for thoughts

People will take pity
A gift that's more than
What I was given

But then again
What do I really know
I left my dignity behind

So long ago
Michael Apr 2015
We only fear monsters in the dark;
it’s the surprise that really gets us.
When it’s light out,
it’s easier to accept them.
After all, they’re just reflection
of the wild hunters we once knew
who we’ve tamed into regression,
who now just feel neglected.
early draft, I thought of the line "wild hunters we once knew" and tried to build something around that idea
Michael Apr 2015
She said the Guatemalan women
had a trick for situations just like this.
A variation on a familiar tune of
slow and steady wins the race:
Just take small-calculated steps,
don’t exert too much force,
and when you finally reach the end
it’s like the journey was a godsend –

but I rise helium heavy, each step
an angular insult to my weight.
This modern pilgrimage of bottled water
and Doritos, clothes marred by tide and decay.
Otis, I pray that you’ll hold me once again
I’m not made of hearty peasant stock
My hills are made of concrete and
I order Seamless ‘round the clock.
Michael Jul 2017
Sometimes you’d softly sing me to sleep
Songs that tend to make women weep
No nursery rhymes for this little boy
Just tales of women robbed of joy

No wonder I'm the same today
Morality tales of heart’s decay
The imprint on my earliest thoughts:

Love isn’t love, unless you feel caught
Michael Apr 2015
When I burst forth,
you held your breath,
and ever since
there’s been nothing left
but unmoving air.

A stale uneasiness.
Michael Apr 2015
Everyday we're tested.
It seems the world just
has a vested interest in
what we know and
what we don't.

In what we can handle,
and what we can't
or maybe won't.

It's hard, this testing.
To take everything
we've had a thought
to think, and cut it out,
spread them onto paper,
our worth bled out in ink.
early draft
Michael Apr 2015
It’s just made to look like one,
to follow your preconceived notions
of what a poem should be and do

This isn’t a poem and I’m not a poet,
I wish I could **** with a stanza
flashes of lexicon that burn right through

If this were truly a poem, and not pretend,
not even your marrow would survive
but these are just a few words I spewed

Waiting for the Mexican lady to finish
folding my shirts and boxers into neat piles
while I scroll past titles in my Netflix queue

— The End —