this is what happens when you age:
you start to know.
it's called learning, the avarice of knowledge.
it's called strife.
my tears are floating upward,
dribbling into the ceiling.
they're sizzling against the
flaking, cracking paint.
i don't know what to do.
i've got cotton in my ears
in a house full of people;
i'm blocking out the sound
but there's nobody around
and everything's too
it is dripping
into syrup again,
a bird with
no wings and
with which to cry
it has only talons
to bend bone
but there are none
so syrup sticks to feathers
and syrup drowns
and a bird is drunken
it bears only a coat
of fledgeling's down
and wants to be nothing
it wants to be nothing
in my sweaty palm, melting
is medical-pink candy coating.
the pieces click, clack, roll around,
and the generic sugar tastes sweeter
than ever, sweet like a fever, sweet
like smiles under the concrete bridge.
tastes like sweet'n'low piled high in one-
dollar coffee drained in two seconds,
like buttercream frosting smeared
across your arm. tastes of the indoors,
of doors shut, of stale snicker-doodles.
it is sugar that tastes like promises gone far.
when i swallow (that is three, four, twenty more)
i can taste it in the pit of my stomach:
sweet, sweet candy coating masking
the poison, the anodyne, the analgesic—
candy coating to cover all the little scars.
i was an idiot.
i'd like to fill a shooting star
with paint drops and stir it all
together with the back of a
teaspoon anti-clockwise, and
watch the fragrant fumes lick
the corners and coalesce here;
and when the colors rendezvous like
coffee grinds at the bottom of
my burdened little cup so bitter
i'll sigh and say, "it's done, love,"
it's done and we can drink now,
this liquor of ours made from the clouds.
drinks and skies, they're all the same to me
and the pain unfurls on the ink page like a shuddering scream, a flower so small you can see it only on the tip of a finger held to the sky as if to view a drop of dew. and in the end it grows to such proportions that it begins to stab into the side and just a bit under, and pulls from the very depths of one's chest what once may have been living. and it begins to ache there, see; for this pain here now can only be that which suffocates and feeds on need, on greed, on every smallest insecurity. it binds at the slightest touch of the wind, on the faintest of breaths, and feels love for the first time in the beating of another heart. and it is at this point that the pain which had bloomed so sluggishly, so tenderly, can stand on its own and plunge into its own depths.
and so it is like this that one may wish, perhaps, to end a life of such suffering.
my first paragraph poem, written when i grieved the fact that i loved and continue to love
there's a lot to feel looking over this sight.
you're so high up and so far down that
here, the sky is a formality and the concrete
might be invisible to your eyes.
like this, something seems to hover in the air.
what it might be and what it would be—
i wonder perhaps if i should care.
as i peer over the edge of the world's bed sheet,
i can see it, yes, the depth i would fall:
six feet under ground, sublimating like alcohol.
you know, i've never actually drunk champagne before.