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N Schlegel Mar 21
Look left and pick me up off the floor.

Cause I slipped, just now
and thought maybe you'd catch me.
But it's fine you weren’t looking my way

What’s not is you still aren’t.

I’m the one who said let’s go to the place,
with the stuff,
where the people all tend to do things
and you said yes, well, "ok,"
"maybe," "you’d let me know later."

But you came, it’s been great
and it still would be

if you’d caught me.

I thought
“OK, this is fine, clearly I’m not the only thing on your mind.”
But when you still didn’t offer a hand,
It was only then did I understand,

We won’t be.

Which, *****,
cause I like you
and I like when you laugh, that you’re strong
and that you do this thing with your mouth when you smile,
like you think that you smile too wide,
and don’t want to.
Well, maybe, that’s only at me,

But it’s still cute.

So here I am on the ground,
while you still haven’t even looked ‘round.
I don’t think you’re trying to be cruel
I even get, you still can’t see
that I’ve been trying hard not to act like a fool
but I have been.
N Schlegel Dec 2018
Can you hear the howl caught in the hollow of my heart?
Don’t think because I’m not screaming anymore I like it here.
This perpetual half-formed shout is always one missed exhale away from breaking free.
Anger roils in my chest,
crashing and breaking against the cage built to contain my emotions.
I didn’t want one there,
but I needed it.
It’s bars are build from the ruins of burned bridges and broken friendships.
Look at all the pain I’ve caused because I raged over the smallest sins.
Look at all the people I’ve hurt because I let frustration form fists of my words.
I still don’t like it here.
I don’t think I ever will.
But you’ll never know it.
Because I’ve trapped the howl, and caught it in my heart
N Schlegel Jun 2018
End
I died.
Mommy, I died and I can’t tell you I did.
I can’t tell you that I’m sitting on the other side crying
because I’ve hurt you more than I ever knew I possibly could
I couldn’t sleep before,
knowing my heartbeats were numbered
so I counted them.

Sixty beats a minute, fourteen-hundred something minutes a day, thirty days for six months
60 times 1400 times 30 times 6.
I did the arithmetic so I could have one more math test to cheat on.
I ran laps and hyperventilated and did every upbeat thing I could think of to upend my pulse so
I could lie to myself.
140 times 1400 times 30 times 6.  
It’s twice as big.

I don’t know if I can sleep now, and I didn’t tell you, mommy.
cause I didn’t want you to lose sleep then,
and I hate you’re losing sleep now.
N Schlegel Jun 2018
Go run like lost souls do:
up any path that looks safer than the last,
stumbling towards the next clearing, any hint of sanctuary.
Always to find that the forest isn’t ending,
it's cresting the edge of a mountain,
and on the other side are more forests,
and rivers,
and meadows to cross.

But for a brief moment, on this peak,
when every path is downhill,
each way is easier than before.
So go run like lost souls do:
In any direction you choose.
N Schlegel May 2018
Heartbroken, I want to sip Bourbon outside in the thunderstorms.
N Schlegel May 2018
There was dancing at the funeral;
wild, wind-swept and whirling.
A testament to a life spent unfurling sails and fighting for a better future.
"She was a doctor, your mama" as if I didn't know. "One of the first to say,
'Man, stop calling me a girl,
I'm a professional
and hell, I'll swear like one too.'"

She started her family in this city,
and made every borough within arms reach.
Patients were closer than cousins,
and my aunts spent less time here than the women's wing of the ACLU.

Black is not a way to mourn, but to warn.
A message shouting "Stand clear, this soul is moving on."
Best prepare afterlife, cause this one made a difference here,
and she'll sure-as-**** start something over there.
A good friend's  mom died, and this was for her. Hell of a great woman.
N Schlegel Jan 2018
Once, in a long while,
I go somewhere new in my mind,
shapes take form where voice can’t affect
and my words become hieroglyphs.
It’s when pictures seem more natural than inky squiggles.
because, what’s more natural than shape?
What’s more poetic than an image words don’t capture,
can’t capture, never will—capture?

Despite the decades,
I still have not heard the perfect words
to describe summer skies on clear nights,
God knows I’ve tried,
he’s heard me whispering,
chanting phrase after phrase upwards
as they crash against the stars,
floating, fixed in open defiance of my calls,
immune to my attempts to trap them on paper.
But you can only try to define the infinite in so many ways,
before losing yourself to what is, ultimately,
indescribable.
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