Sean Flaherty Oct 2017
Through another storm
I worried,
but your mother is fine, and
you're still not coming back.
It's a drive I can't make, by morning.

Dogs bark, you disappear.
I annoy you with the
same two low notes.
One stinks, the other screams.
And I can't play piano.

Are you there Nate?
It's the wagon driver.
You left the back open,
or I forgot to close it.
Either way you're on your own.

Were you ***, Nate?
Or just some gorgeous ****-head?
If they don't have a bed yet,
tell them you'll take the couch.
Tell them I'll take the floor.

My blood pays by the heartbeat,
with my veins in rebellion.
Bleached is my skin and I'm
sold in pieces,
to the dust, to the dark, to the smoke.

Nate, I cry about it, every single
ride to work. I beg the cars in
front of me for your life. I beg you,
for mine.
I met Nate on Xbox Live. I hope he's alright.
Sean Flaherty Sep 2017
Still lanky dude with the long hair
Still can't tell you when, but I'm getting there.
Still the best poet you ever read.
Still don't think you'll read it till I'm dead.
Still gassing up past 3 AM
Still saying "Won't fall in love again."
Still waking up from the same dreams
Still getting air when I try and scream
Still wanna **** up a KMart
Still wanna skip to the next part
Still got a problem with some folks
Still tryna swallow and just choke
Still poor, still *****, and still tired
Still last resort if you need a ride
Still driving off of the Hairpin
Still hope the car lands in heaven

Still the one that loved you despite all of the pain
Still pulling the heart together, next is still the brain
Still the beating of it, stop it dead, leave it there to rot
Still wonder if you ever gave it a second thought

Still fighting toys in the playroom
Still saying "we're gonna move soon"
Still getting kicked out in August.
"Still this isn't breaking my promise."
Still smoking out in the same seats
Still hiding under the bedsheets
Still hit a home run in most cases
Still gotta touch all four bases
Still don't have the words for this feeling
Still tryna peel me off of the ceiling
Still chew my teeth instead of food
Still try to learn like I'm in school
Still hate the face in the mirror
Still my vision only gets clearer.
Still wanna ruin a Wal-Mart.
Still gonna race with the shopping carts.
Still scaling the shelving in home decor
Still can't go back, still banned from the store

Still gassing up past 4 AM
Still city streets, devoid of men
Still have to make wrong a few rights
Still, like a deer in headlights.
Sean Flaherty Sep 2017
"I wish I was happier," she
confessed, to me, in-between
puffs and awkward silent
pauses.

"I'm not disappointed," was
all I could say, forcing
back down my throat, the "me too."

We stood there, in quiet,
surrounded by loudness. The other
few, ate, and drinking inside.

Goes back in, she kisses him.
What does he know?
Answer?
More than he's liable to make known.

I can't look at her. If I do,
I'm caught-in-love, and
stuck on the possibilities.
If my eyes can avoid you, my
dreams can stay fantasy,
not just unfulfilled.

She's tired of hearing she's perfect.
She'd rather be told the truth.
but no one that loves her lets honesty in earshot.
And I'm sick of love, lying, and
truth-telling, too.

I wish you were happier.
I wish the path of least resistance laid itself out,
before you.
I wish you'd hold my hand while we walk it, together.

I wish I could make happy,
like some folks brew beer.
I'd pour you a growler,
(On the house, of course)
and laugh at everyone else, while you drink it.

This poem is the list of
things I never thought could
make a difference.
This poem is the litany of reasons why
I think I deserve one
last chance.
This poem is the one I'd
read to you every night, if
it would change your
mind.
It wouldn't. It won't.
This poem bites, the last dying
hope of a beached shark, spying
the wave that could save it.
This poem is the black pods
we once foolishly believed were
shark eggs.
This poem knows I hate the beach,
and brought me along,
anyway.
I started this poem months ago.
It'll never really be finished.
Sean Flaherty Feb 2017
The last time I wore a suit was
    my high school prom. A
grateful world has left me,
    without funerals to attend.

The last time I wore a jonny,
    I danced the wind in dad's room.
Machines that beeped and whirred
    were somehow keeping him alive.

When I finally picked the phone up,
    we'd already talked, two hours.
The person, your disease has curtained,
    read my poems for the camera.

The last time we got high, I wanted you
    to hear that Strokes song, and
listen to you list objections, to our
    sharing a kiss.

I'll take a dare, and tell the truth
    to you, over phenomenal music and
exhaust. I'll be desperate if you promise
    to stay as vulnerable as you know how to be.

The last time we took the car together,
    I remember you weren't so afraid.
The next time you try being alone with me
    I'll insist I shouldn't be driving.

The last few times I'd felt brave enough,
    but courage never serves me. If the
Queen's decided not-to, it's as
    sure as our demise is.

And all-Earth smells like a lake town,
    hurts, just like a headache, can't get
all the ink-out, blinking
    at the sky.

The last time I felt so alive we
    were driving some way, that you
realized, halfway-there, you're
    sick-of.

On a runaway ride out from trouble
    the passenger seat always
seems to be
    empty.
No notes really. Just life.
Sean Flaherty Dec 2016
There's a better version of me,
    up, ahead. And
        he loves you in ways,
        I can't figure ways,
how-to. Yeah,
you cried when he
left you.

And lonely,
    you screamed.
"But if he'd come back, then,"
you think,
you'd believe it? The
            roads don't just sparkle, every
            time that you need it.

            In the poem I write next,
    we're both losing games.
I press up then, catch on,
turning to flames.
                In a grand winning gesture
you burst
into diamonds,
                before I can remind you
                about asking Simon.

    In the distance, outside the door to your
    basement, a crowd la-las the
    Star-Spangled Banner.
From the bulkhead and foundation,
from "the Hobbit door," but,
behind me,
the Anthem goes silent.
                            "Not home. Headed home. Stopped
here. On-my-way."

"Where would you rather be,
                                            than right here, right now?"
Ralph Wilson died a rich man,
with a football stadium
by which to remember him.
            "Well then trace your
depression to its sources."
                        I'm afraid I'll never own the franchise.

There's a father, presiding
over a service,
                for both of us. It's the
same priest, at every
                    front of the room.
                        Our parents are crying, regardless.

                        I'd say somewhere, we sit,
together,
            sipping on the universe. This one
                                                    or another.
        If we don't, then they do.
And they're having the best time.

        But in our past,
        the same one we share now,
        a version of you stiffens.
She glazes her eyes, sugary.
Holds out her palm, fingers to the sky.
And he matches her thumb first,
before the four digits.
                                    Her face bursts, all rosy.
His turns away.
First full thing in a while. I re used a line. ******* its my line to re use it.
Sean Flaherty Aug 2016
I really miss
24 hour super-markets at
around 11 PM
on a Saturday night
in July

I miss the t-shirts on strangers
from Super Bowls long-played and
done-over. I wonder if they'll go
home to the same houses
they watched the
wins in.

When they've finished
with their shopping, do
they read magazines, or just
fall asleep.
Sean Flaherty Mar 2016
I've been yearning for a future I
had around me four years ago.
I would pace, and you would
sip your coffee.
We were both falling-in. Before
our falling out.

A black hole, a sentinel, shoots
through the space, above the
apartment.

Time bends. Twenty-different, endings.
Cursed to see them all. Granted,
as a gift.

The path leads, not back, but away from
the car door. A martyr for secrets, each time
that I'd shut it.

Over a short hill, I caught my breath.
Fixed my eyes on a snake, and
inhaled the devil.

(If love is for losers, I'm
****-sick, and winning. A laugh-
it-off stab wound, for each
failed beginning.

The noise in my back just can't
drown out my brain. The one-
volume-voice lies, and insists
I'm sane.)

But I burped up a bottle, betting to
blur my vision. And, I burned down the house,
trying to warm-up my hands.

I try not to look
back-past-two, or
further than eight.
I remember "what comes after four?"
I'm just hoping to forget.
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