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Nicholas Jackson Apr 2017
My love has no limits, except for the minutes.
While my time is gold I spend most of it on the road.
I drive an hour to work every day but that doesn't even touch the countless hours I spend driving my career, driving my education, Driving her, Driving them, driving me to the edge of my adulting ability.
All the while surrounded by near misses and almost disasters.
Watching other crash and burn.

I remember that Subaru hatchback that was older than us,
magenta with a back seat that laid down.
You first said you love me before I knew what that meant.
Now you say you love me with an upward inflection and I know exactly what that means.
When that Subaru died we could have fixed it but we hadn't invested enough to make it worth our while.
Now "We" with a capital W is slowly choking to death but so much has been invested to let her, it, us go.
It started slowly with no real merit.
A scratch that wasn't even noticed, but it wasn't the scratch.
It was the infection that was introduced.
So, so, so slowly it's worked its way.
The internal battle constantly being waged but we didn't know.
We didn't support the structures keeping it at bay.
I didn't feed it so it would be strong, I gave it McDonalds because that's that made it happy.
Now My chest hurts and I can't breathe because that little infection is eating my heart from the inside out.
So do I let it finish me and go back to the star dust I was?
Do I clean out the infection knowing full well that the damage has been done and no matter what I do I'll always be missing a little piece that I didn't nurture and always have a little pain where the good stuff uses to be?
I'm not a doctor yet, I don't know. This infection has gotten so bad that maybe stardust would be better.

No, Papa taught me that our scars remind us that the past is real.
That damage is done, but now I have to remember.
I remember holding your hand for warmth as the ocean mist turned to ice before stinging our faces.
I remember my heart pounding as you walked. two words binding us like a spell.
I remember laughing, and crying, and laughing again in the same conversation.
I remember smelling wood smoke, hearing gentle streams, seeing starry skies, and feeling you pressed against me.

I have made mistakes.
I was the cut that started the infection.
I didn't nurture you, nourish you.
I wasn't careful when  you told me "careful, it's ******* fragile."
I said I love you before I knew how to or what that meant.
I drove fast and took chances.
I didn't tell you to buckle up.
I didn't, wasn't, couldn't. I chose not to.

Now we're here in purgatory, but it's already getting hot.
I don't know how to fix this, but I'll try forget-me-not's.
Nicholas Jackson Apr 2017
Grafting trees is the process of taking a piece of one tree and incorporating it into another tree so it can grow and flourish with the rest of that tree.

While this isn't natural for trees it is for me.

You can't count the rings of my trunk because that would involve ******.
You can see all the grafts from my roots to the newest buds.
Every fork as my life grows in different directions.

Strong trunks like my best friend who gave me the love of martial arts and tequila.
The woman who pushed me to grow faster and higher than I thought I could.
The career that's turned me into the everyday hero I always wanted to be.

As well as severed and dead branches.
The branch that tried to give me enough rope to hang myself.
The poisoned branch that still burns the roots.
The clean cut from the scion never meant to be.

And despite all of this the tree still grows.
As we enter spring the buds of new life, new love, new adventures are taking form.
Coffee berries to distil in intoxicating form.
Purple flowers that glitter is the evening sun and smell like pure magic.
Avocados that fuel short walks and long talks.
Even this poem is budding into a less terrible form.

While the trees grow in cycles I constantly grow.
Where this story ends nobody knows.
Nicholas Jackson Apr 2017
Chest tight, hands cold.
Darkness, my friend of old.
Again, I hear her cry, "My baby"
Again, I see death, my enemy.


Snap, crackle, pop, as the job goes.
WE NEED TO MOVE as his pulse slows.
His eyes open, blind, no one is home.
He swings, hits, ****. While in Rome.


Left, right, left, right.
It wasn't war, I didn't fight.
In my castle on the sand.
I watch the waving hand.


He fights to get off the bed.
It's the bleeding in his head.
doesn't hear me, doesn't see me.
******* does he hit me.


Long couches, long thoughts.
Life was easier, fighting over tater-tots.
"I didn't sign up for this"
One memory I wouldn't miss.


White ceiling, dripping red.
Everything seen, he should be dead.
We'll hide him from the family.
A holiday now in infamy.


3 am, the witching hour.
They're close, with power.
My idea, a warm embrace.
Fire can free me from this place.


We beat on his chest, like a Wardrum.
I demand we push on, against quorum.
Look, listen, feel. Mine fast, his slow.
Problems solved, it's time to go.


I would, but I'm full of apathy.
Love, you're lucky your not dead.


"Good job kid, you did well."
When I heard it I nearly fell.
Yet it isn't easy this cross I bare
whenever you call, I'll be there.

— The End —