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Patrick Sutphin Oct 2014
Come to me love, come to me.
Only for a little while that
We may hold in a warm embrace
and remember that the world
is not as bad as the bitter
Taste left lurking on our tongues.

Come to me love, come to me.
Only for a little while that
I may shelter you from the
Scorn of lovers looking to make
your face mirror that of the
Torn egos they fail to hide.

Come to me love, come to me.
Only for a little while that
We may share this blessed day.
Loved ones gather to hear me
Say the thoughts and feelings
I once kept locked away.

Come to me love, come to me.
Only for a little while that
I may see your face, for only in
Dreaming are we not apart, but
Lonely years have rejuvenated my
Heart and renewed my steadfast grace.

Come to me love, come to me.
Only for eternity. My
Reflection aged and withered, I
See you standing by my side, still
as strong and soothing as the day
You left this world behind.
Patrick Sutphin Dec 2012
laced with lovers lonely thoughts,
We prowl.

a handful of shadowed sinners
veiled by the illusions of sainthood,
We lie.

etiquette adapts to enchant.
laugh to lure, touch to trap,
We ******.

clothes clutter the carpet.
with the courtship climaxing,
We ****.

before the sun can show your shame,
We leave.
Patrick Sutphin Jun 2012
She lies
on white sheets against a white wall,                  
strawberry lips stealing
the minds of all who see her.
That color, delicately smeared across her skin,
brings you back to a moment as a child,
when you first glanced down the rows of red
orbs dangling in sun touched fields of green.

You sat,
eagerly, beneath the arms of an old opalescent,
waiting as the sun stretched higher in the sky.
Others roam around, touching and tasting
as they steal a sample of sweetness,
discarding each after its filled its use,
but not you. You will wait for the one
you want to give in to temptation, and drop
into your unwavering arms.

It falls,
and you watch as your coveted ruby
plummets towards you. All you can do
is think about is how beautiful it looks,
momentarily suspended in the sky, shining
like a lunar eclipse on a cloudless night.
You reach for it, praying you can soften the
bruising blow it would otherwise
receive from the harsh ground.
And you do.

Its skin
smooth to the touch. Its surface, shiny.
With squinting eyes you can see
your own smile in its reflection.
Tongue tingling, mouth watering, you yearn
for a taste. You’ve seen excitement
before, but for some reason, this moment
makes your heart beat faster than the flap
of a hummingbird’s wings. Your lips
meet its skin, slowly, shaking,
nervous of what may come.

You bite.
Firm, yet supple. Sweet nectars drip down
your chin and fall to the ground, showering
the ants below with tiny drops of heaven.
Its core sits uncorrupted, not spoiled or
stained but soft and succulent. You see her
lips, touch them, taste them, and once again
you are a child in an apple field, waiting
for the right one to fall into your arms.
Patrick Sutphin Jun 2012
I hold you in my arms, your frail
frame twitching and turning in pain.
Open cuts consume your body,
like a can of paint thrown against
an empty canvas. The once smooth
surface of your form is now torn
and bloodied. Tears roll from your eyes,
shimmering as the salt burns deeper into your flesh.
All I can do is take your tiny paw in my hand,
and wait for the pain to pass.

I remember when I got you. My first
day on my own, I stopped by Sam’s
house before I left. He brought you out,
wrapped in a little red and white blanket,
and handed you to me. Young and scared,
you mirrored all of my insecurities. He
told me to take you, so neither of us
would have to be alone.

Do you remember our time in the mountains,
when night would come and the
temperature dropped like an over-ripened
apple from a macintosh tree?
On those autumn nights,
when the sky was set ablaze by lonely
atoms clinging to one another, you
were the only thing that kept the chilled
wind from stealing my toes.

No matter how horrible things seemed
to get, you always found a way to
make me smile. You were like a chameleon
of attitudes, able to alter my mood,
almost instinctively, at the slightest
inclination of sorrow. Now you are nothing
more than a skink, smashed on the side
of the road by an idiot running by, and
I am the fool that didn’t look before he stepped.
I remember the fight, the insult,
your eagerness to defend me.
Swift slashes, cuts and scratches,
growls, bites, body slams. His agility,
your confusion, a flash of pain. You lick
your wounds, trying to recover, and I can
see his rage. He attacks quickly,
you try to reflect, but he thrashes forward,
taking you down as your tail whips helplessly.
I see his teeth clench down on you like a vice grip,
and the gusts from the vultures above
stomp out any embers of hope.

Your body lies on a casket of cold coals,
smoldering as your flame flickers slowly
in the gentle wind. I ****** your head, softly
scratching the back of your neck like you
always liked, and watch as your eyes
start to shut, sleep taking over. Soon
this will be over, and you’ll be safe again,
your body no longer bruised and beaten,
****** and broken. I try to catch my breath
as tears attempt to escape, but I won’t
let them. If this is the last moment
we have, I will not spend it crying.

The fire dies, snuffed out
by the cooling breath of dusk.
Eventually, the rain comes, covering
my cheeks with salt and sorrow.
Through misty eyes, I watch as the
sun sets, amazed that such beauty can
come in the midst of unimaginable despair.
The yellows and oranges fade to red, then
purple, and the sky fills slowly with darkness.
Although there’s been many miles since,
I feel as if I’m back in the mountains,
shivering in the frigid wind, but this time,
you’re not here to keep me warm.
Patrick Sutphin Jun 2012
It’s been six years since
I killed her, but I still stir in the night
to the screams of searing flesh, still see
her teeth, gnarled from gnawing
on girl’s bones, bent and broken
from devouring boy’s flesh. Even now,
I smell the blood on her breath,
taste the ash of the oven.

The moon brings memories
I wish I never made. Mother’s lies
as she abandoned us in the woods,
tear drop stains on callused hands
as father said his goodbyes. Brother
was lost, too busy during the walk
trying to make a compass of crumbs
as bread-filled birds circled above.
I never told him I knew the way home.

I wish I could forget, but night
after night I am haunted by the
sights of sugar-soaked window panes,
gingerbread shingles, and taffy apple
doorknobs. When darkness creeps
into my room, after the sun has gone
to sleep, it brings with it the scent of warm
****** snaps, cooling near the candied fern.
If only I could forfeit these thoughts
that torment me each evening.

It isn’t images of the witch that wakes me
from my dreams, but the other one that rouses
me before dawn. Despite the jewels
we brought with us, mother never was
too pleased to see us at her door. She blamed
me for our return. When father and brother
were asleep in their beds, she took me to the yard.
The snap of the stick striking my bare back
still echoes through my mind. The next day,
I asked her to show me how to
bake ****** snaps one last time.

I never could remember how to check the oven.
Patrick Sutphin Jun 2012
I come from a town with no identity.                          
It had one, once, but I think it was                              
uprooted with Shales forest                                            
to make way for outlet malls                                  
and housing complexes.  
Every street, every tree, and every person
was like a wrinkle on an otherwise
unblemished face, marking our
individuality with age and experience.
It’s amazing how fast cosmetic surgery
can destroy the past.
I hail from the smallest                                                  
large suburban town of our area.                                  
Growing up, we used to know everybody
that lived on our block, and no one was
in short supply of a handshake or hello.
Now, social courtesy ends at the foot
of your door, before you step into the world.
When I was a child, every person had a sense
of purpose, a contribution to the street.

Mrs. Henderson made the best
chocolate chip cookies around, and
all summer long her house was filled
with the smell of melting chocolate
over warm cookie dough, a scent
that would sneak out of her window
in the late afternoons, when you
could still see the sun setting in the sky,
and find its way over to mine. Now,
apartments block the view.

Nick Potts had a key to the private pool,
which was members only,
but every weekend he’d find
a new way to sneak us in.
John Probst owned the pool,
and would sit in the same yellow
and blue striped lawn chair by
the concession stand next to the
diving board, laughing at each
new scheme we conjured up to
help save a few bucks on a
humid summer’s day.

Kyle had a trampoline, that
despite the stupidity of all
nine-year-olds, never saw a
broken bone. Carl had his garden,
bursting with shades of colors
that could only be mirrored by
the burning dusk light.
Duncan had a tree fort,
the Richards, a tire swing.

I never knew how fast the changes
would come. It started small, a simple
lift here, some aging creme there,
but this was just preliminary measures
for botox and nose jobs. As a town,
we soon became an obsession of trends.
Individuality was outdated.
Every driveway had a minivan, every home,
a schitzu and a soccer ball.

A skin graph covered the sun spot
that was Mrs. Henderson.
A face lift cured the sagging skin
of Nick Potts. The pierce
of a needle and flowing
injection of toxins smoothed
the wrinkles that were
Kyle, Carl, and Duncan. In what
seemed like a few hours time, the
town that taught me integrity, respect,
and the value of a hard day’s work,
altered to the point of being unrecognizable.

Manufactured and fake, we’re nothing more
than a shinning porcelain doll straight off
the assembly line, distinctively similar
to all the others that follow. Every layer
of cosmetics cover another part
of our character, another aspect
of our history. We became lost
in the crowd, and in our own way,
Patrick Sutphin Jun 2012
Where am I going?
A concoction of darkness and fog
clouds the road ahead. My map
sits somewhere in the back seat,
buried beneath the mounds of
fast food trash and travel essentials.
I wish I could find it now.

A month ago I passed a city. Back then
it was clear skies and bright signs.
Welcome to Big City, where all
your dreams come true. And it felt
like they did. Everything was fast, exciting.
I lived my life by the flashing neon and chrome.
24-hour liquor,
Girls, Girls, Girls,
Do Not Enter.
Thank God I got out of there. In
a city with no stop signs, you’re bound
to eventually have a wreck.

A week ago I found a country town.
The familiarity of skyscrapers was replaced
with silos and rotten barns.
Welcome to Small Town,
Population: You. In the unknown world
of small society, everything became bigger.
All You Can Eat
What once was a race became a conflict
of common courtesy. You go. No, you go.
I had to leave, or I’d still be sitting
at a four way stop, waiting to move.

An hour ago I passed a church.
I wish I had stopped and knocked
on the door. Maybe they would have
let me stay the night, or at least
given me some directions. Since then,
the fog has thickened, making my
fading headlights as effective as a
butter knife on a steak. I want to get out
of this, to find a place to rest, but if I speed
up I’ll most surely crash, and if I stop I
might never find my way again.

Solace comes from a broken sign laying
in a dirt ditch next to a four way stop.
Proceed with caution.
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