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She hits the bottle
like she’s playing blackjack
Always wanting more
And inevitably losing it all

She stands in the remains
Of the destruction she’s caused
Filled with regret
Finding salvation
At the bottom of a glass

Coming home jubilant
To speak of all her successes
And all I hear is a buzz
The slurs in her speech
And lose sight of all else

Hearing loosely threaded stories
From that point on
Trying to find the holes
Where the honesty shines through
Knowing she’s far too happy
To be telling the truth

Filled with self loathing
Reeking of liquid courage
Losing her grip on what lies
She’s told before

She loops
And falters
At which point
I close my ears and walk away
Not wishing to waste my time
On tall tales and a tossup
No matter which side the coin lands
I’ve lost myself
In this battle with your illness
left my phone unlocked
on the taxi’s back seat,
won't be the last time

called it a few times
finally, the driver picked up

he had a fare immediately after mine,
and was now headed way downtown,
and would call later
when fate returned him nearer my office

and so it came to pass,
very shortly thereafter,

we met on the street,
he rolled down  the window
and with the greatest smile of pleasure,
as if he had won the lottery
handed me my phone

I had two $20's to cover any expense he might have incurred,
neatly folded in my hand  
and offered it right up, right away;
but the driver repeatedly pushed my hand away
as I insisted,

"No sir, no no, not necessary!

Allah sent me a fare
that took me soon back close to you, so,
  no loss of time did I suffer,
so your offer is kindly unnecessary!"

to which I replied,

Allah sent you to me
so I could reward you!"

and with an equally, beaming smile continued,

"our ride and meeting today,
together was pre-ordained it was

Inshallah!" ^

something he could not dispute...
or his amazement, disguise...

  we parted ways
   each believing,
   each receiving
a heavenly check plus,
each, credited with a mitzvah^^
on our
respective trip logs,
our humanly divine balance sheets,
kept by the
supreme taxi dispatcher
Arabic for ^"God/Allah willing" or "if God/Allah wills," frequently spoken by a Muslim

^^a meritorious or charitable act in the Jewish tradition

NYC taxi cab drivers are suffering economically by the explosion of ride hailing app cars, many unable to pay their bills, earn a living, have committed suicide over the past few months

true story, poetry is there for the taking
                                                       ­                         my
                                     ­ brain
                                                       ­     work

                                                ­                               and



     ­                                         scatter

               ­                                                    like

                                                              ­                 tile

The truth is I have no idea how to begin this
because I don’t even remember
how or when exactly you began to invade my consciousness.
you were an uninvited guest, a gatecrasher, an intruder
filling my mind with paranoia and endless dilemma —
how I contemplate about going out or not
because I get overwhelmed with crowded places
like public transports, and malls, and fast food chains,
how I s-stutter whenever placing an order,
or how I could not finish one sentence without repeating
repeating a word or or two.

It might sound funny how I find a sea of people terrifying,
how I feel a dagger or a gun pointed at me every time I step
outside my comfort zone,
how I would replay failed scenarios inside my head like a broken tape,
how I would apologize for actions that demanded no apology.
I often get nightmares about being asleep and not being able to wake up
and sometimes I dream about waking up in a strange bed in a foreign room
filled with people with the strangest faces talking in tones barely audible
but when the voices would all stir together
I would run out of air and pass out,
but I still wake up though, screaming, trembling
signaling another episode of survival.

If I could drive, I would take you away with me and bring you to a sunset beach
tell you that everything’s gonna be alright
that it’s okay to knock me down sometimes
but not too hard to break me
just enough to remind me that I am, after all, human
Or maybe I would drown you or maybe not
because I get too overwhelmed with the waves
I struggle against the current,
and I am the one who gets drowned instead.

I hate you, no, I mean I love you. I should love you
because they said those we love are meant to leave
So I will love you, I will love you until you get tired of me,
until you no longer find me appealing
I will love you obsessively, until you get sick of me,
until you run out of places to run to, until you run out of air
I will love you until I run out of words and metaphors
and rhyme or reason,
I will love you with the hopes that one day I could finally say:
“My anxieties have died beautifully, with dignity,
in their sleep.”
I look at him with adoring eyes, but my mind is stuck on you.
When I kiss him, I think it’s you.
When I make love to him, I imagine it’s you.
When I say the words, “I love you” to him, I wish it was you.
I’m in love with you but I’m loving him.
The sort of home you want to be in,
When all you can focus on are the buttons of his suit,
Tightly woven into the fabric, brand new

Is not the same house you were in when he was alive

Its 3 AM staring at the floor, begging for the sleep to take you,
Even nightmares are better than this, nothing.

The solemn stares churn my stomach,
Somersaults with acid, my body lurches
Doubling over in the pain that is grief.

When the eyes in a room all fixate on you,
It's difficult to hide in a box inside your own head,
Because they tear the walls from your fragile shelter,

And their rain is a burning flame,
You are the match that refuses to be put out,
But wants desperately to feel nothing.

The sort of home I want to be in is
Roses, the thorns cut clean from the stem,
Green tea, just the right temperature
And an old console with his favorite game loaded up

But that house is abandoned,
Left like last week's sawdust,
Swept under the rug in a pile of books,
And i am the can of kerosene in the corner of the room,

Waiting to be used in the most vile of ways.

I am an unlit candle in the midst of a hurricane,
The shadow of the night sky blotted out by the moon
I am the fading smile of remorse,
The pang of guilt,
The sorrow of loss

I am the broken inside of you,
The one that eats away at you until the shell is broken apart
And you are all that's left
In the dictionary, i look up sad and expect a picture of me,
Depressed is myself in my room, alone
Suicidal is the knife i once picked up,

Daring to question if my own beating heart was worth the blood

My House is boarded windows and jail cells,
The crawlspace of cobwebs and creaking stairs,
The leaky roof and patchy ceilings

I am all but a finished mess,
And my foundation is cracked and split.

There is always vacancy,
Because who wants to stay in a house like that?

I’d rent out the rooms, but i'm paying for their rent
if they choose to live inside these decrepit walls

I only wish someone would see the shambles
As a start, and not the leftover parts from a failure,

If these 4 walls housed opportunity,
Instead of destruction.

My house, is a home that i long since enjoyed.
 Sep 2017 Ink Syndicate Poetry
I do not know whose eyes perceive
my finite movement toward light.

Each letting go, a small cry,
each forward move my life's
migratory assurance of what
none of us can ever know.

The genetic certainty of cells
propels the forebrain
with its stumbling feet,
while a heartache of hope
wins each moment even
as it is lost to the next.

And we must accept
the impermanent flow
that is like air, necessary
and sacred; tears are not
the only salt of sorrow.
I don't like that picture framed,
Looking from my shelf;
You're no longer like that,
No longer you're yourself.
I don't like your smiling eyes,
I don't like your hair,
I don't like the way you look,
I don't like you there.
I had plenty,
I was twenty,
A life ahead of me;
I don't like your picture there,
Looking down on me.

I'll place a new shot on the shelf,
A recent picture of one's self,
Mirroring pangs of time,
The heartaches that are mine.
A picture of an aged-worn man,
A head that droops,
Shoulders stooped,
A face laced with worry lines,
A wry smile covering crimes;
A still life and a pantomime.
I don't like that picture there,
When I was in my prime.
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