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Mar 2019
Thirty-nine and single
and its been this way four years.
A few flings on the side,
a little skin to skin win,
jumbled kind words in passing,
bubbled emoji smiles,
a morsel from your crumbling heart,
a giant bite of your sin.

I've never been the cheater.
Had my fun when things were undefined,
kept my exes as friendships,
but never crossed the invisible fence line.
Never broke that kind of promise,
never ate the fruit from that Tree of Knowledge

Never been the cheated as far as I know,
I wasn't born to play that cuckold role.
I am just the grateful accomplice,
a secret man-shaped hole in your life,
you speak of only with that man.
We bump and rub our egos,
while you make more sensible plans.

I am a gift that knows nothing or generosity,
humility that swings with fists for fences,
salvation with a price tag,
water for the hungry,
sunshine on a frigid Universe,
the morality of a well meaning fool.

"I can get by on little or nothing."
And I quit my job without reason.
I've got no paper in my pocket,
and not much working for me,
on the street.

I'm not a vegetarian,
I like the smell,
the flesh and soul,
of sizzling meat.

I am "woke" in a way that is not yours,
Woke to the true and endless fight against injustice.
Woke to pragmatic workable solution,
But I expect people to laugh off
or confront a microaggression.
Your complaints mean little to me.
I was born with an incurable disease.
And "if I was half the man I used to be,
I'd take a flamethrower" to your safe spaces,
to your shout downs,
when they threaten free speech.

My hands and arms are strong,
but my legs are weak.
My life is weak.
My car is scraped, dented,
and full of paint and ash.
I quit my last job without a reason.
The next one will be worse.
I owe more than I earn,
preach more than I learn.

My jacket is torn.
My sweater is fifty years old.
My feet are rough beach rocks.
My jeans sag below an alcoholic's gut.
My teeth are yellow nicotine.
My knees crack.
My *** bleeds.
My hands shake.
My **** quakes.

My back aches,
threatening violent mutiny.
My beard is just beginning
its unstoppable transition to gray.
My sweatshirt reeks of ****.
Nights sweats flood my sheets every night,
whether we are together or alone.

My eyes are above it all,
window to my soul,
so much more apt and able,
to produce tears.
In that one way,
I have grown.

This Soul is the unforgiving ice
of a small pond
in a giant winter meadow.
The yellow grass is dead,
but keeps its head above the snow.
The evergreens sway solemn in brutal wind.
The pond is safe to skate on,
If you don't fall too hard.

As we move towards the work of Love
the internet makes a shrewd habit,
of taunting our loneliness.
It supports an army of strippers,
sending stock requests to be "friends,"
with the hope a man might feel loved,
just enough to surrender Visa digits.
Lost girls courting lost boys,
twelve dozen at a time.

My heart wails for affection,
As all hearts must do.
But the wail is just another song now,
passed by painted fingernails
on the local radio dial,
sung only to myself,
like an organist practicing hymns,
in an empty church at midnight.
Gregory K Nelson
Written by
Gregory K Nelson  39/M/Connecticut
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