The poet smokes an imaginary cigarette - a technique he has seen before and stolen from someone far more genuine,
Never trust a person who cannot own their vices,
There is something sinister here you are not allowed to see,
and sinners all the congregation voice their agreements -
The poet then waits for the audience to voice their agreements before continuing
With renewed vigor from this show of validation, the poet begins the descent into madness:
A former acquaintance who says:
"Man, you used to be so cool"
Reflections on this theme:
Consider: the hands of winter pushing their fingers into a mouth washed clean by bleach and hospital rooms, just to ruin it all over again, full reset, back to the top, just where the fall looks most appealing.
Consider: How little room there is in small Ohio towns for caskets and how I chose not to follow up two decades of suicide with such a dramatic final act more for the sake of convenience than anything else,
(See: Disorder, See: Broken, See: Dysfunctional)
Consider: The lines counted out, the hymns of junkies coming through stereos, the promises of futures rolled up and ignited, the pill bottles empty on a 9 month relapse cycle, the come up, the comedown, if this is supposed to be fun when is it supposed to start,
Consider: The weight of a switchblade tucked in a jacket, a flask in the back pocket of jeans, a flip top box of cigarettes to fidget with in anxious situations,
Consider: That if we all have such crosses to bear it's amazing that more of us don't develop messiah complexes
Consider: Humility, Consider: Dignity
(please, I haven't)
Consider: The faces of my enemies, all of whom I am sure will get into Heaven, and I hope they burn the bridge behind them,
Consider: The faces of my friends, and thank them for the ride from the drunken outskirts of a city called defeat to this very moment,
Consider: The last words my best friend spoke to me before he decided he would rather overdose than let the cancer eat his pride,
"There is no need for farewells here, you know what you have to do and so do I, and if I catch you at a better time, or a better place, we will have much to discuss"
Consider: The fact that I am paraphrasing here, and I will never forgive myself for that
Consider: The massive world shaking voice of a tiny girl who loved the forest so much she hung herself in it so she would never have to leave,
Consider: That because of light pollution there aren't very many stars I can see from here that I can name after these people in my memory,
Consider: The face of this land after we have left it - and try to forgive all of the people who walk across your scars without acknowledging them
Consider: That one day they will divine prophecies from the ashes of the fires you burn out
Consider: Making them worth reading
Consider: The goodnight kisses of crooked girls who have never truly seen themselves in the morning and can only guess incorrectly that it is not beautiful,
Consider: Where you are now
Consider: A place to rebuild
Consider: That everything I traded to get to this point has been survival instinct, and believe me when I say I have built shrines for every step of the way and I pray to the patron saint of each one every night,
Consider: That the poet still has no idea how to apologize when an old acquaintance looks him in the eyes and says,
"You used to be so cool"