Remember turning and churning and roiling like water the night before.
Recall the moist palmed, thick tongued, planned conversations in mirrors.
My god, the hair cuts, the clothes, the damnably dramatic second guessing.
"Just the right moment." As if such a thing existed.
I remember sitting on the table in your work area, because I wanted you to see me breaking school rules and thinking I was so ******* cool.
I would tell you jokes until the wrinkles on your nose scrunched up and your eyes glimmered.
Jokes, but not ***** jokes. I wanted you to think I was pure.
So ******* pure.
Truth is I was just ready for you. Thought I was.
Did you know I waited by the baseball diamond for you to run by? I did. Did I ever.
I didn't have club but I was always at school late, hoping you'd talk to me. Knowing if I could make you laugh the right amount of times in the right kind of way...maybe, just maybe, then you would love me.
I could see it. Crowded school hallways would part like seas before us and we would move to one another as magnets do. Drawn. And finally in the middle, met and smiling, we would kiss like consumation. The applause would fall and the strings would swell and the percussion would announce the emotive lyrics sung by the pop musician with the widest range available for the budget we have.
I loved you like reckless, feckless children do. With all the passion and none of the wit.
But wait! There's just this last bit:
I love you now. With ALL the passion and what wits I can muster.
Decades later and the smell of you on the pillow or the smile your genes have given our son and I'm that silly young man again. Weak in the knees and hoping...maybe, just maybe, then you would love me.
I can feel his words
carve themselves into my skin.
Twisting in me always,
over and over
and one final time, again.
So tell me, baby, what're
we headed for?
You and me
and the old crimson door.
Several cycles of sun
and then moon,
I had fresh knees,
a strong breeze,
a straight back and more.
I had miles and miles of history,
headfuls of lore.
That was years ago, now.
More ghosts than memory
And even without
I'm still haunted,
by specters of fear and
shadows of doubt.
Right ******* now, I've got a fever boiling away at one 'o four.
I got salt and moisture bleeding from, it feels like, every last pore,
but I can't sweat you out
I can't leave you behind me.
And I've tried.
I've burned the heart outta myself,
Buried me alive.
But this heartbeat, this cold sweat,
sweet memories and alchemies
All of these...
Now there is the sweet smell of love and the warmth of our home.
Now there is you and me and him.
However, long ago, in another lifetime, in my youth.
In the city.
Long, long way down the road.
Years ago now I met her.
Older than me, a few years.
Friend of a friend's cousin.
Tall, lean, smarter than me.
I was hurt on the day she brought me into her room.
It was noisome with the smell of ***
and I was just old enough to recognize the odor.
I remember now the strange sinking tug in my stomach.
This is what it feels like to have your opinion of someone change drastically.
My head was still filled with puritanical Catholic nonsense.
Dogmatic ******* held with firm resolve.
I limped into that room broken
and left much the same,
except everything about me was different.
Years and traveled roads later I found myself changed by another room.
Another stop along a road that would eventually lead me home.
We are roadmaps for each other.
Charting routes over troubled seas and loyal earth.
Finding ourselves along the way and again when we arrive.
Once, years ago, I misjudged a girl because I was unfinished and young and her experience scared me.
I was cleaner, less road dust.
I wish I could tell her I was sorry, but honestly she may not even know.
May not even care.
I was wrong but I was still many miles from home.
Many miles from you.
I am seventy pounds of coffee and salt
trying my best to be good or at least understood.
You are promise and blueberries served chilled while in bed.
Dappled sunlight and smiles.
And what a bent and twisted world you'll come of age in.
Will you grow crooked among all the other imperfect reeds?
If there was time left to fix it...
Can I paint a perfect world over this canvas of broken promises?
I hope so.
I doubt it.
If possible I would leave you a perfect world.
But all I have is this.
I'm doing my best.
I am cracked leather features and water damaged paper.
I get the job done, I guess.
You are the lingering taste of sweet fruit and cream.
Pleasant travels and a good dream.
But we are moments from disaster.
You and I and this.
I don't know how to apologise.
Never got the hang of it.
Don't know how to be human around humans.
I'm worst when it matters.
I've a lifetime of dropped ***** surrounding me.
McDonald's removed it's ball pits for that reason, I think.
(Do I ever?)
Here are the ten thousand examples of my absence!
Here the times it mattered when I couldn't live up to the set bar.
Dig deeper with me, oh archeologists, and find my failure after failure.
How did I measure up?
Did I even?
I'm forever enigmatic, barely in the pictures.
I wonder if they'll know I was here?
You probably didn't find me out in the field, under dusty rocks.
Future historians may puzzle over our ancient customs but I doubt any evidence of me will survive.
For the best really.
I suppose so. Do I even matter?
(Do I ever?)
For what it's worth, I am sorry.
He fell on a bit of errant tile
in a hall made of echoing footfalls.
He felt his face break through to Neverland.
He ripped his head out and threw it back and with great peels of laughter announced he was at long last a Pan.
"Crow all you like." Say the old white men, "No one cares."
And they didn't.
We are the oppressed screaming obstructed behind dynamically lit monochrome Utopias.
We are the forgotten imperfect.
We stand in the cast shadows of those with great power and shoulder all of their discarded great responsibility.
Washed up heroes in this digital millennium.
Great Caesar's Ghost licks the blood from his chops and curls into a ball to watch the passing storm with lazy impassivity.
If this too passes, they thought, what becomes of us?
There stands a sun bleached flag on our satellite. It is bent to give the impression that it is waving.
Once it had so much meaning.
Once it had a pattern, in color.
All of that was washed away in a cosmic bath of radiation.
One of them played golf up there.
I wonder if they brought all the golf ***** back?
I don't know.
I never asked.
We are three years and six thousand miles
from sunburned kisses at midnight.
We're exploding somewhere out there
in the great somewhen.
***** of fire. Great is a coin flip.
I am sixteen hours worth of coffee
and who gives a ****.
I drag broken skin across dried Earth and scream at gods, old and new, that I miss them half as much as I miss you.
I've become an engine running on what could've been and what might still be.
Somewhen we're joining like atoms,
our collision giving startling birth to universes of maybes and an entire cosmos of prizes at rainbows end.
Crumbling into disinterested sentence fragments trying their best to contain sentiments of truth. My truth.
What are happy endings in all this ******* nonsense?
What matters anymore if nothing ever mattered at all?
Why does absence breed such boring ******* nihilist sentiment in me?
I'm fighting for better.
Cracked knuckles and sweat and blood given freely at the alter of hopefully.
Make me better.
Make me whole.
Somewhen we are a fire, burning together through the whole of time and space.
We were then.
We are now.