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Saturday mornings growing up
my mother made me clean the bathroom

. windex . bleach
. scrub brush . rags
. mop . bucket . broom . dustpan
. lots of paper towels

she insisted I clean the bathroom
every Saturday morning
before I did anything else
with absolutely no chance of an allowance
she paid me plenty she said

. shelter . food . clothing
. television . internet . video games
. books . some sort of education

not to mention

. life

“do it because you love me”

so waking up Saturday
meant cleaning the bathroom

it meant my hands wreaked of chemicals
while my friends enjoyed games I couldn't join
it meant I missed the best of all
the cartoons everyone else watched
it meant I didn’t feel like loving my mother

for years I begrudgingly

. scrubbed . wiped . cleaned

that bathroom
until it sparkled - until it shined
like the top of the Chrysler building

. sink . mirror
. toilet . tub
. floor

all of it spotless
love you mom

then in college
there's this woman that I'm living with
this woman that provides me with

. shelter . food . clothing
. television . internet . etc.

and she makes me feel alive
so I clean her bathroom
and when she asks me, “why?”
all I can think to say is

“I did it because I love you”

and it feels like that's the truth
In Autumn when the leaves thin:
The way along the sidewalk is
Easier to navigate. I barely duck
Or change direction
Where I’m used to hitting my head.
Nov 2018 · 95
7 August 2018
Austin Sessoms Nov 2018
There is a self
that is my self
but not just mine
it is us all
and in that all
I will meet you
Oct 2018 · 186
A Little While Longer
Austin Sessoms Oct 2018
I hope someday
to be the trees
I saw just out the window

they'd grown together
twisted fondly
trunk caressing trunk
branches tangled in each other
making it impossible
to know which branch
came from which tree

I knew there were two
separate trees
but they were one

they were dependent
on the same resources
their food and water
came from the
same ground
they were rooted
in the same foundation
each needed the other
to stay standing
so they supported each other

and while they weren't
the largest
or even the most beautiful
trees around
they were strong enough
to serve their purpose

and it was obvious
that they would be there
at least a little while longer
Oct 2018 · 123
It Must Be Made
Austin Sessoms Oct 2018
to think that love
could be made and
that we could make it
we two being
what we are
hopeless romantics
worshipping an ideal
we've been the
gods of all along

too long
have we settled to take
whatever came our way
too long
have we waited
in silence
hoping that
would run its course
when "destiny"
was in our hands
from the very beginning

they say
the world is ours
for the taking
but anyone
can take the world
it's a ripe piece of fruit
dangling over
the public side
of a fence
all we'd have to do
is stand on tiptoe
and wrap one hand around it
but what would we do
with the world?
take a bite
and leave it to
a swarming anthill?
the world
is not for us
to have

we are not
after all
we are
and while our
are limited
you being everything
that's mine
and I being all that's yours
we manage
to make
what others
Sep 2018 · 556
Get Some Ice cream
Austin Sessoms Sep 2018
you can do that whenever you want to
and you probably will
if just to prove you can

activities you love are still worth loving
and you realize that
your appreciation of
ice cream and literature
while shared with her
is uniquely yours

separate from her and your love for her
Aug 2018 · 72
30 August 2018
Austin Sessoms Aug 2018
here in this city
again, we have potential
my neighbor and friend
Aug 2018 · 168
Knife Flash
Austin Sessoms Aug 2018
walking home at something like one o’clock
this man has his belongings
spread across the width of the sidewalk
spilling over into the grass on either side
he’s standing right in the middle of the **** pile

so I get to him as I inevitably would
thankfully protected from conversation
by audio-technica
I sidestep him and his specialty garbage
smiling broadly at inaudible snarling
and shouting I blissfully ignore
for several blocks
until this car’s lights flash
as it passes me on Fremont

a blue smudge floats about my right eye
I blink and the smudge begins again only clearer
again quickly
again again
blink blink
is that a knife?

a spiral of increasingly recognizable knives
swirls about my eye
pivoting with my left
I swing my right foot clockwise
to turn around and pause
my right heel against the pavement
with my toes pointed up

I carefully adjust my headphones
as I gaze intently toward a figure in the distance
he doesn’t feel so distant


I take a couple steps backward
not breaking my gaze
then turn abruptly forward
hastening my pace
I don’t need to run
he’s not that close
just walking quickly, maybe briskly
should be enough to make it home
I don’t know
he won’t follow me
not all the way at least
Nov 2016 · 1.4k
Austin Sessoms Nov 2016
inside me are organs
inside my cells are organelles
inside me are organelles
they are mine
they are me
they are composed of atoms
they are composed of protons, neutrons, electrons.
protons are mine
they are me
neutrons are mine
they are me
electrons are mine
they too are me
electrons and mitochondria and kidneys
are me
I am me
bone comprises skeleton
marrow comprises bone
bone and skeleton are me
marrow too is me
I feel this in my self
I feel this in my bones
bone feels this in my marrow
bone and I share marrow
Mar 2013 · 531
22 March 2013
Austin Sessoms Mar 2013
are streetlamps heaven or hell?
I walked beneath dozens tonight and each held
maybe hundreds of moths. assorted insects
found the light they sought after and died
from the intensity of its glow.
is it heaven they found or hell?
it consumed them. it was everything they could hope for,
and it consumed them. brilliant lights burning
above them gave them hope of a better place.
are they in a better place?
I can't help but wonder. they don't look happy,
but nothing looks happy
when it's trapped in a cage,
burning up bit by bit.
Dec 2012 · 1.7k
Oh Darling
Austin Sessoms Dec 2012
oh darling
it is you who cries too often
and leaves nothing inside herself
it is you who purges
and blood
and *****
to the gods of self and society
sweat and blood and *****
to void and nothingness

grinning insanity of grief
cries to know and chooses not to
it is pain that you know
and pain that won’t release you

do not forget the heat of what fills your *******
your arms
your *******
your sweat is burning
your blood is burning
***** burning
it is hell inside

empty your hell to me my love
empty your hot and heavy
loaded words and baggage
neverending flow of **** and ****
you are full of fire
and the molten gods of self-sacrifice
refuse to relinquish you
to holy happiness

empty your hell to me my love
I will cool your brow
with lips and hands and water
I will wash you in my love
I will know you with new love
I will fill you with
this serenity
that you can

cool the fires of fear
and pain and loss and betrayal
with new fires of passion
that are exuberant acts of ecstasy
we are human after all
- only human
and holy holy holy to each other

this is what we are
beings filled with fire
molten images craved
even worshipped
created by gods
to serve as successors
we must stitch ourselves together
and quench this hell with heaven
a reclamation of scars
and scar tissues
we may build our own city
entirely of gold
Nov 2012 · 2.3k
Austin Sessoms Nov 2012
she calls it
the BIG V
a ****** name
but accurate
it is
stretched out
sold for such
a low price
****** deviant
not exactly
a role
not some
by any means.
I've seen it.
perhaps I will
never have
if other women
look like that
like gaping holes
holes so large
it makes your
seem superfluous
a thin branch
against a muggy
night sky
"did you bring
she asks
I can only imagine
why she should
ask me that
am I in danger?
what monsters lurk
in that
bottomless cavern?
I want no part
in this expedition
I do not want to go
Oct 2012 · 720
Austin Sessoms Oct 2012
press your hand in mine
tight enough to feel you there
loose enough to breathe
Sep 2012 · 4.8k
The Rewards of Our Labor
Austin Sessoms Sep 2012
if all I was supposed to be
in your life
was an extra
I would happily pass you
on a street corner
if that meant I was somehow a part of your life
but I am more than that
to you
and you are more than that
to me
we are both heroes
of different epics
striving toward different goals
who have lifted each other up
rather than simply passing each other
on street corners
you didn't just serve me coffee
I didn't just catch your eye
we are more than that
whatever that means
and I love you
it is strange I should say so often
'I love you'
but it is my
constant reminder of
superlative ability
and camaraderie
we are neither military men nor animals
we are the rewards of our labor
you of mine
and I of yours
Sep 2012 · 1.2k
Spots of Fire
Austin Sessoms Sep 2012
you are the lit tip
of one cigarette pressed
against another
you are the reason
I burn
Aug 2012 · 673
Austin Sessoms Aug 2012
drip drops through my mind
freezing and thawing to
expand my perception
Jun 2012 · 1.0k
Neil Perry
Austin Sessoms Jun 2012
to live a life so brief as this
and beg for less
is to acknowledge
that life must be beautiful
or else death take its place
rendering the body immaterial
the soul inconsequential
only the circumstances remaining
to form a memory
of our brow-beaten brothers
who felt for so long and hard
that their passionate resistance
of oppression
became nothing
May 2012 · 3.8k
The Marlboro Man
Austin Sessoms May 2012
here's to a package of
Marlboro Reds
in the hands of
someone other than
the Marlboro Man
standing in
for those slack-jawed outlaws
my heroes now lack jaws

I swear it's been too long
since I inhaled manhood
The Great Darrell Winfield
and filtered
into the only thing I know
that makes a man a man
the essence of
cowboy boots and farmer's tan
in every drag

see, I inhale my heroes
all the dusty red-necked
Darrell Winfield
and my dad
men whose lives
went up in smoke
to coat my throat
in my own self-righteousness
I'm frightened this
is all that I'll have left
of him
lung cancer
and the lingering stench
of cigarettes

he always smelled
of cigarettes

he'd pull me into these
firm embraces
he held so long
that he'd suffocate me
in tacky business
and cigarette smoke
masked only
by a poor man's
still I breathed him in
until I'd start to choke
it was too much man to handle

my grandpa told me
“smoking doesn't send you
straight to Hell,
but it sure does make you smell
like you've already been there”
he was
a grown man
dying by himself
trying to drown out the inferno
with a case of beer
but sobriety finds you sometime
and I'd rather suffocate in cigarettes
than lose him altogether

and even if he smells like Hell
at least that means he made it back
May 2012 · 479
Austin Sessoms May 2012
this is a haiku
I don't think you will like it
it is very short
May 2012 · 889
Remarkable Love
Austin Sessoms May 2012
remarkable love
death to depression I sing
wings do grace me still
May 2012 · 814
Love Everlasting
Austin Sessoms May 2012
love everlasting
everfeeling. unending
a burning desire
a passion. heated
if only it lasted
but wasted instead
because we were silent
in love. yet. so lost
we fight. we forget
we die
May 2012 · 750
Hearts Are Not Quite Warm
Austin Sessoms May 2012
open air is cold
youthful love embraced for heat
hearts are not quite warm
May 2012 · 3.6k
Choir Turtle #11
Austin Sessoms May 2012
there once was a turtle named Otto
who called all the Mexicans "vato"
but now he's in heaven
choir turtle eleven
with a rather nice little vibrato
Apr 2012 · 1.3k
Fruitless Passion
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
the culmination
of passion - disappointment
and ***-stained bedding
Apr 2012 · 946
16 November 2010
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
water droplets mean
nothing to windshield wipers
one swipe and they're gone
Apr 2012 · 914
The Moon Can Wink
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
the moon can wink
I swear it's true
at least I think
it winked at you
I wish the sun
could wink as well
but on the sun
it's hot as hell
and with that heat
his eyes are closed
and cannot open
I suppose
Apr 2012 · 595
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
passive indulgence
over, under, and again
never dying down
Apr 2012 · 598
The Bird Was Eaten
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
silence in the skies
plumage floats in little tufts
great cat stalks away
Apr 2012 · 710
No Thank You
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
smiles fade
into empty couch
late nights
talking about
the future
reduced to
the idea
that change
is only
gum wrappers
litter the floor

     "would you like
      a piece?"

but offers
made on winter
nights hold
now the sun
burning my eyes
as I roll off
the couch
the impression
of that
clinging to
half of
my face
Apr 2012 · 705
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
it would be nice to
be French - no one would expect
you to be friendly
Apr 2012 · 1.3k
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
sleeping while there's sun
makes me feel like a vampire
waiting for nightfall
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
down from the sky
came Jesus Christ
robed in glory
framed in all that
is holy
holy and unholy
corruption of society
cried for forgiveness
take us to your glory
let us in your *****
love us
like you love your own
oh God
we are hopeless
and depraved
wicked sinners
as you have called
for us to be
who are we to live
in righteousness?
that is not our place
our place is in Hell

down from the sky
in a blaze of glory
came Jesus Christ
our Lord and Saviour
with flaming sword
and no forgiveness
a burning hatred
for a wicked world
condemning them
to eternal damnation
in a lake of fire
as they screamed
take us
oh God
into your *****
forgive us our sins
and accept our
inspired by fear
as it may be
and all went black
and darkness prevailed
but for the light
of the fury of Christ
as we
a lost and dying world
desiring whatever
we thought he had to offer us
were destroyed
were cast away
and forgotten

down from the sky
came Jesus Christ
with hope and love
and grace and forgiveness
for those
he had predestined
to accept his hope and love
and grace and forgiveness
and he
and he laughed
and he let the world
Apr 2012 · 496
The Flower is Old
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
the flower is old
splashes of pink are not so
petals fall away
Apr 2012 · 377
Nine Line High
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
here, we make money
last. the same twenty dollars
buys a nine line high.
Apr 2012 · 1.2k
She Smokes Cigarettes
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
the first free minutes of the day find me
scrambling for the lighter that will ensure my
good standing with a
young and dumb, restless addict
of the two-years-older-than-me generation

her cigarette hangs limp from her lips
waiting for the fire that I promised her
I had to offer
eyebrows arching
fingers followed by toes tapping
in an anxious less-than-patience

so I fumble through the pockets of my jacket
tapping fingers into gum packets
doing what I can to keep from laughing
at the whole

until at last I find the lighter
for the babe who's smoking Marlboros
and says she doesn't care who knows
that she smokes cigarettes
Apr 2012 · 419
I Was Looking for Words
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
I was looking
for words
on the day that
you left me
I'd been looking
for words
for a while by then
and I guess
you expected
that saying
you'd leave me
would spark
some epiphany
but you left me exactly the way
that I was
and searching
for words
that would fix
everything but
nothing was perfect enough
and hours
to days
to weeks of thinking it over
left me standing there
with nothing to say
to you
but that was the
you left
in the first place
I couldn't stick
two words
on a line
I couldn't speak
into existence
I couldn't speak
I couldn't feel
and when words finally came
they came
first came
and then
I guess two was
Apr 2012 · 1.7k
That's What Friends Are For
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
soft spoken kisses
buried in my neck and
across my face
remind me of happiness
joy I found
in a golden shock of hair
and two lips stuck red
on the face of a woman
who swore that she loved me

tight tight nights
of hold-me-close sensations
remind me that
I haven't always been alone
and even more
that I don't always have to be
but I am
touching skin to skin
and passing witty banter
for flirtation
takes our minds off
the fact that we aren't
each others soul mates
or lovers
or anything more than friends

we are distractions
from the painful reality
that we have no one
to pour ourselves into
no one to cradle
no one to ****

for just this moment
we pretend
we can be that for each other
supplying what we can
to keep up with demands
of love

after all
that's what friends are for
Apr 2012 · 1.2k
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
cowboys without
mustaches are just dusty
illiterates. yeehaw!
Apr 2012 · 577
Snow Angels
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
they can say
what they want
about us
but while
the snow
may be cold
our hearts
are warm
our socks
are thick
and our
jackets make us
look obese
the thing
that makes it
is the fact that
we don't care
because the snow
gives us a chance
to play God
we simply lay on our backs
and make
Apr 2012 · 2.2k
The Rest They Deserve
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
little birds work their way up her neck
as if her ear would give them
the rest they deserve
their colors are fresh
ink is set
clearly their flight
has not been long enough
to make them fade
but hidden by hair
not quite long enough
to obscure them
just long enough
to give them shade
from time to time

I long to give those birds
the rest they deserve
to lend them my lips
as a momentary resting place
on countless occasions
in the years to come
I long to give them hope
to show them that their flight
their constant motion
is unnecessary
and that it is ok
for them to settle down
Apr 2012 · 895
To Feel the Way We Do
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
there's something to being happy
smiling with all twenty-eight pearly whites
laughing so hard
that our abs begin to burn
and choking
and crying
as we tend to do
looking away every time our eyes meet
and giggling to ourselves
because we know it's not that funny
it's that feeling of euphoria
an abnormal feeling of
buoyant vigor and health
a feeling we cannot control
but we welcome that helplessness
because we know it can't last forever
and no matter who we pray to
or what we say
or what we accomplish
we only have this moment
to feel the way we do
Apr 2012 · 3.2k
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
metaphors are
rubber bands
we may extend them
as much as we like
we may shoot them
at our classmates
we may impress
our professors
with the shapes
we can contort
them into
but the more
we extend them
the more we
wear them out
and its very possible
that with all of our
stretching and extending
we could render
our metaphors

— The End —