Strange comfort: you see into everywhere
and, though you're fragile, I trust what you feel.
There are two types of secrets
the ones sworn under oath never to tell anyone
whispered in crowded hallways
and while getting cold water from the corner store
and the ones you weren’t supposed to hear
the ones tossed in the dark, the ones forbidden
under the fingernail sensitive
top of the tongue scalding, threatening to
taser your skin with the weight, the electricity
that these words hold suspended in thick air
every Sunday evening I would listen to the
perfect consonants through the wall
the sacred sermon my mother and father would ritualize
the stories from before child, B.C
it would start with a question, so daintily pressed through
and he would bellow triumphantly about the hero within him
the time he intervened between two bloodied men with
pulpy faces touching with the grace of dancing gods
his fists gracefully gliding between a pool of face
and can’t we calm down, and can’t we breathe the hot asphalt
of the day, the gravel of car exhaust sucking out
our sweat, I think you can
and these men with missing teeth and missing souls
would spit but their heads would level and my
heart would soar up through the ceiling, flutter right out
but these fairy tales were also horror stories
about the time the man was a boy and his father would
chase after him with a crowbar never to return home,
running barefoot through the hot concrete of the streets
causing blisters to appear like water balloons
popping them like the lungs that burst that day
but nothing but tears exploded out of them
and I thought I understood
the legend of the damsel in distress
my mother waiting by the door, waiting for the burns to fade from
her skin, waiting for the roof to cave in like the feelings
she promised she would swallow with cough medicine
and funerals are only birthday parties when you’re surrounded
by death, oh to be young
but then the secrets started to venture out of the confines of
my home, spilling out of my bed to become
real stories I told myself at school when I didn’t have
a Band-Aid for the scorching burn of sitting all alone
so I started living them, as I sat huddled in the bathroom
envisioning a toy cowboy stranded in the middle of the
bathtub, repeatedly soaked to make his clothes almost sun
bleached and his smile submerged, blotting, erasing
teaching myself that there’s no such thing as free will
when decisions are made for you
and this toy cowboy with his gun perched politely on his hand
Ready to deal some bullets or a handshake,
I never knew which but it didn’t matter
when there wasn’t conversation exchanged and
I wondered if he tried to escape when I wasn’t looking
did he feel like a goldfish in a bowl
his reality distorted, the glass too thick to realize
there was more than loneliness, more than
constant drowning, that being cold wasn’t a
state of being
no I don’t think so
that was the big secret you see
listening when one has nothing to say
you pick things up like lost puppies
or thumb tacks left on the floor
or you lose them like bobby pins and self-made money
my memories, my worst enemy
coming to an empty house at age 13
no home-made meal like pressing my face against
the carpet, being stealthy quiet
until I heard sound downstairs
the neighbors, the clatter of dishes being distributed
around the dining room table
laughter and television news about the murder of a
teenager being shot outside his front yard
and this was my bread and butter
screaming of kids wrestling about who gets the
bigger piece of cake
the movement of chairs, the kissing of feet
walking from one room to the other
and although these mumbles didn’t tell their story
it told mine
the living room turning from bruised peach
to melancholy blue, solitude buzzing
through the creme brulee walls of my parents
the tapping of a faucet, the slight erratic breathing
of a pipe leaking gas nearby but I survived
there are two types of secrets told
the ones you’re supposed to listen to
and the ones you forgot you knew
We proud few on the fringes of mankind,
Who see the world as others imagine,
Those who choose to leave stale safety behind,
To pursue life with reckless abandon,
Warriors who fight their inner demons,
Scholars who dive headfirst in the unknown,
Ones who see beauty within all seasons,
Who seek to travel where the winds have blown,
The weirdos who defy society,
The oddities who change all perspectives,
Ones who wage battle against anxiety,
And choose to follow their own directives,
We noble outcasts who bring about change,
The world keeps spinning because of the strange.
There's something swimming down there.
Unseen, subcutaneous under layer and layer.
Malice in that silence,
venom in that stare.
laying in wait, to strike, break,split tear.
Peace as a siloullusion of the swelling act.
Waiting on reality's organic nascent,
Whatever it is that swims waiting for a chance,
in your terror askance.
Will soon break on out, too real for fiction:
to swallow you whole in it's gruesome glory.
We were lovers before we were friends.
You wanted to build a nest in my tree
before bothering to climb it
or learning me
to see whether or not my branches
could hold your home
filled with things upon things.
You wanted big things
shiny and expensive things.
You didn't want to decorate me,
you wanted to use me like a coat rack
to hold your winter coat
You never asked if I liked things.
that there are things I like
and things that I don't like
but it isn't things that I want -
It's everything that can't be bought
that brings me joy.
you were so sure
that if you filled my mouth with
it would mute the sound of my discontent.
But it only made me creak louder.
And when you tried to keep my hands busy
with the job of holding the things
you bought for me,
it would stop me from
pushing you away
when you whispered at night
that you loved me,
and now it was my turn to say thank you
by doing things
written in fine print
at the bottom of your receipts.
But you can't pay me to stand tall,
to hold your things high off the ground
when the flood waters rise.
You can't place your coins in a slot
to make a tree bend to your wind
or let you tether off your boat
to weather a storm beneath her limbs.
You slipped me so many tips,
but I don't have a price.
We were lovers before we were friends,
and we were strangers long
before we said goodbye.
I’m starting to feel strange in my own life.
Time’s grains won’t slow down, they’re drowning me.
I forgot who I was again today,
But no one knows, perhaps I’m still okay.
I used to be the one to call for a good time,
They would dial One for
One time out, bring her back
And be done till the next week
But now I am out of touch from them,
I am gone from everyone who once danced around me.
I loved a guy once,
And he was scarred like me
Is he still?
I wouldn’t know
He is now a stranger to me,
Another page of a notebook no one wants to read.
I forgot who I was again today,
But I read that I was a writer.
I am starting to feel strange in my own life.
Now don't get me wrong,
This whole time that I was trying to understand
What you wanted, I couldn't help but notice
That I can't make sense of it all along.
This and that, blind tales, you have my full
Undivided attention, filling my head with
Strange and odd promises, telling me that
Although it seems unreal, you could just
Let them all in. If I took your "sound" advice,
If I'm alone, I could sleep with people on the street,
Put all of my food and drink upon
The ground, drag food around, your obsession
That I should feel fine to just pick it up and eat,
To try to defy my "religious" obsession, always
Try to be the one in charge, look for opportunities
To go off and put away or slay the "baddies" at large,
Become the person of the hour, or a follower,
Get a job where I can sweep floors and wipe tables,
So that I'll really be excited for the first time doing
What I do for a living, even if I'm not really able.
Who cares if this life throws everything bad at me,
I'm ready to attack all of the things that hold me back,
Even go for the things that don't interest me, instead of
Letting them be! YES, I believe "everyone" should work,
Even if they are really lost, psychologically unwell,
Major transportation issues and other real
Problems, No matter what we've been through,
No matter the actual real life hell,
We were all brought into this world to be
JUST LIKE YOU as well!