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Aug 8 · 76
I’m afraid
as you hold me here,
shaking in your arms,
I’m afraid
to tell you, I’m afraid
that if you relax your grip
intentionally or accidentally,
if you let me go,
I’ll be ripped away by the wind,
never again to find
a place to rest -
if I leave your orbit, I’m afraid
I’ll go spiraling, directionless and destinationless
with only my fading memories
of you,
the way you
pin me down
and smooth me out,
absorbing my tremulous shockwaves
calmly, evenly, always
reminding my erratic lungs
of the gentle rhythm called breath.
Your decided pace makes cyclical
my erratic nature;
you breathe steadiness into the
desperate urgency that
seizes my unwilling chest.
Without even knowing,
you refine me
just by being who you are,
by occupying the space you have always held
in my past
and present
and, with every ounce of hope I have,
my future.
Jul 30 · 87
Tiger Striped Jul 30
Something found its way
from your veins to mine,
too difficult to name
pulsing with serene desperation
that flows freely
in a perfect circle through
space and time, from
you to me to you to me to you to me to -
you get it. And the thing about perfect circles
is they have neither beginning
nor end,
and more importantly, they don’t exist.
Not in nature - well, maybe that’s not important at all. I’ve been thinking in circles
around you, how we don’t really
exist in nature anyway
unless there is some way to substantiate these thoughts pinging around in nonexistent shapes,
unless there’s a way to make them tactile, to touch them, change them in your hands -
but there isn’t. Therefore, I contend
we are supernatural, at least in some capacity,
like a heartbeat I can feel
miles away, yet still the same distance
as the arbitary space
we assign between seconds.
We do not simply exist in nature:
we think, we believe, we long, we love
on a different plane, one that supercedes nature,
one we don’t and could never
fully understand
but I like it better that way
and I belong here,
I think
so do you,
circling me circling you
perfectly, endlessly, impossibly.
Apr 28 · 87
the race
Tiger Striped Apr 28
Memory is not acquainted with the beginning
nor imagination with the end
of the race.
I remember how it used to feel
sprinting, endorphins surging,
nerves singing, scorning pain,
the thrill of being ahead,
never mind the
unending stretch of runners in front of me,
never mind that
nobody knows where we finish
our guide is precedence
Once I felt good,
thinking only of my pride,
how good it felt to be fast
how good it felt to be moving forward
and sometimes, when I pause for an instant,
and glance behind me I
see a face or two
far in the distance,
we were once running together -
but never mind. The more I
run, the better I'm getting
my feet are lightning, thumping
quicker than my heartbeat
outrunning my lungs
almost ripping me apart.
I remember how it used to feel,
when my mind, my heart, my body moved in sync
when it once listened to me,
and did what I said
but never mind. I will just do
what I've only ever done
because it's all I can do.
Sep 2022 · 357
They left me
Tiger Striped Sep 2022
over the balcony,
just me and a snide breeze
mocking any pretense I
once held that
life was anything
but a self-checkout line.
So get on with it,
keep stealing
from the big men and
higher ups
now that I know
I'll always only end up
on top
like a wet towel over the railing
stiffening slowly,
Here on the thirteenth floor
my fate is
an ironic harbinger
of an ending we'll all share -
of an eternal love -
or an infinite numbness -
or ubiquitous unimportance
whatever it is we share
that they tried to leave
up here with me.
the irony is -
they left me,
but they carry my fate.
It doesn't matter where they are
or I -
we are all the same.
Tiger Striped Sep 2022
butterflies in a net
wings beating for resolution
but good art would never be so kind.
And that is
the great secret of it all -
we thread our magnificent tapestry using
strung-out pain
woven between our veins.
That is
why the artist's story is
a tragedy
why the crowds swarm the
gladiator stadium
and the boxing ring.
Sep 2022 · 73
too much is never enough
Tiger Striped Sep 2022
hold me again.
Your skin is humming
I’m sick in
cold sweats
ethereal healer,
I love you.
Say it again
you miss me
you could lie
but you won’t.
Let me trust you
not again,
it’s my first time:
pull pain from my
lungs until
I’m spluttering,
my faith splayed across your
perfect chest
my own
deflated like
old promises
forgotten by their giver,
remembered by me.
But you
exhale into my mouth,
carbon dioxide like
effortless anesthetic
I dissolve until all of
my atoms hit your floor
splattering ***** and crude
and somehow
you see each one,
you know them
and name them
and love them
and hold them
Tiger Striped Sep 2022
My hair still covers my ears
though I begged my hairdresser
for shorter.
It would make me look old
she said.
Maybe that's what I want
           something new
maybe anything.
           I've got to see someone else
in the mirror this time
           someone who doesn't leave
the door unlocked
           who doesn't get left
           in the rain
no umbrella.
Not the long blonde girl.
She was a liar, too -
           I think -
(is it still a lie if you believe it's true?)
but she found the solution
She was...
dissatisfied, we'll say
she grasped in the dark
           to recreate herself.
And she fit right in
with all the people trying to stand out.
New is better:
modern is the definition of progress
           isn't it?
And now
I see myself
standing just where she stood
and wonder
if you met her,
would you know me?
           Beyond the mirror
a generation of people
uniformly unique
           like me
I close my eyes
I am only individual in isolation.
Aug 2022 · 70
rough draft
Tiger Striped Aug 2022
look at me.
I’m wretchedly uninspired
mouth dry
tongue drab
you: droll
as ever, pelting
me with erasers
while I impatiently
demand paper,
peppering me
confetti sprinkles
this time.
They stick to me
sugary and sweet
just like you -
I fluster and flush
red. Colors
run down my skin
in a melty, childlike mess
you laugh
and I want to scream
for everything unclean.
Sprinkle sludge
inches closer
to the words I
haven’t yet written
I press my lips tighter
together until
I can’t hold it in
and I’m laughing too
surprising you
surprising me
infuriating me
distracting me
what was I doing again?
Tiger Striped Aug 2022
I glimpsed you
for a moment
miles away,
across a tangled knot of time.
In front of you,
shadows melted into obsoletion
obscured by sweet rays
radiating from every surface
of your skin.
I didn't realize
I was grinding my teeth
until I felt you
in the enamel of my teeth
so I dropped my jaw
to let you in.
And you entered,
stage left,
the impassioned playwright
determined to turn my past
from a ledger of mistakes
into the prologue
of a beautiful, convoluted fairy tale.
Aug 2022 · 70
unsolicited ingression
Tiger Striped Aug 2022
seeping in between
moldy ceiling tiles and their
blissful indifference,
reaches me with rueful claws
and ***** my unsuspecting eyes
I don't have room for thirst
I'm tired of water:
my feet are shriveled past prunes
from standing salty puddles
in which I'd hoped
I might drown.
Aug 2022 · 70
retired author
Tiger Striped Aug 2022
The lights went out
with my pen mid-stroke,
and me
mid-page, mid-chapter, mid-book:
I had thousands
of words left to write
moments hoped for and
testimonies yet to be shaped.
At first I convinced myself
it was an error of chance,
that I could write a beautiful book
I could make a happy ending,
if only I had more time.
But I had already written
too many indelible words
and the tear-splattered pages
dried bitter and resentful
devoid of life and love
and begged of my fingertips
to leave them alone.
Aug 2022 · 99
Tiger Striped Aug 2022
Could I please
read you
before you write me?
I'm tired of being the first to care
and the last to know.
The world wraps
my heart around its fingers
like rings of red
and pushes its pain
in my mouth
and I'm coughing
and crying
and aching to
feel an ounce
of the love I've donated
to last causes and
apathetic souls.
Hear me, this time, please
look me in the eyes and
listen: see
how the thumbtacks tremble
trying to hold my skin
please, please
let me read you and find
you're a seamstress
you'll write me in cloth
and wrap me in words
take out each pin
and start again.
Jul 2022 · 96
in the museum
Tiger Striped Jul 2022
I want to fold at your feet like
from your mouth.
You care
you know I’m thirsty and
you decorate me
you plate me; you’re precious metal
you encircle my neck, my wrists, my fingers
like jewelry.
You put air in my lungs, gently
you watch me breathe.
I could not
I cannot
tear myself away
from your doorstep:
you warm me
like nothing
and no one
I know.
You think it’s funny
when the blood runs from my fingers
you hold them, cold and white
and I can’t help but laugh
with you.
And I forget that I’m cold
I forget where I am
I forget that there was ever anything
before you.
Jul 2022 · 84
Tiger Striped Jul 2022
and in an instance,
time sits still
Or rather,
it lays on its back
and stares at fan blades
frozen between moments
of air.
It closes its eyes
and forgets how to listen
for ticking
and beeping
of second hands
and alarms.
It forgets
its personification,
a dehydrated runner
who knows nothing beyond
the ache of concrete
against its ankles
and the quiet screaming
of its muscles.
It forgets
what it is or isn’t
supposed to do or be
and suspends the world
in a flash of serenity
too quickly forgotten.
Jul 2022 · 73
one flesh
Tiger Striped Jul 2022
I love you most now
as I kneel on bathroom tile
cold and vomiting, your palm just
above the small of my back
spreading fire and forgiveness
and hope and healing
through every trembling muscle.
I love you from
the sixteenth floor of my apartment,
as I careen towards the pavement below
because you've always been there
with open arms
even when you aren't here.
You wondered one time,
what would it be like
if we started over?
But I know now more than ever
we need every broken bone
and every sawed off cast,
with our Sharpied signatures
in high school handwriting
in order to love each other
as fiercely and messily
and fearfully and soulfully
as we do.
Because you hold all my mistakes
and all my forgiveness
as you envelop all of me
and I you.
Apr 2022 · 77
Tiger Striped Apr 2022
I saw her
climbing the stairs,
outrunning the blonde cascade
tumbling down, down
down her shoulders
outrunning me. I should have
known I’d never be safe
or good,
or sensible, not
with her in the room
I can’t move,
I can’t breathe,
I can’t speak.
She has me liquified
she’s an artist,
so I let her do
what she does to me
because maybe this is
my highest purpose,
to be her paint
for I love the feeling
of her brushstrokes
so I let her
muddle me into elemental puddles
and I’m glad of it, too.
Apr 2022 · 65
Saint John
Tiger Striped Apr 2022
You are evil.
Did you know?
Or were you blessedly unaware
that you exceeded the limits
of Earth?
This is not heaven, honey
this is the closet
where saints run
to cry.
And you are here
which makes you
holy and broken
and a lover of mine.
Apr 2022 · 64
Heartbreak hangs
Tiger Striped Apr 2022
like a wreath, wretched over
my front door.
Pray, do not enter
nor seek to tempt fate
(she showed me her hand long ago).
It begs me,
always pleading,
listen, listen, listen.
Words cannot heal
the wounds they painted on your skin
and as you turn your shining
eyes toward mine
and you waver
on the precipice of past tense,
and the beating on the door grows
louder and louder.
Apr 2022 · 56
Tiger Striped Apr 2022
I’m tiptoeing around
my tsunami,
the same one
that drowned you.
I dried that bouquet today and
cried for the day you gave it to me.
Forgive me, darling,
for all my tears that should not
have been yours.
I want you
but I’ll settle for words
that dance around your likeness
teasing to capture
the beautiful face
I crumpled.
It gets harder
every day
to tell myself
it’s not my fault.
I’m cowering
six feet under you,
trying to look away
and let you live.
I will shrink myself
every day,
if it means you blossom
and with dripping cheeks,
I will tell myself
I am watering your garden
from three hundred miles away.
Apr 2022 · 51
Tiger Striped Apr 2022
I’m too in love, honey,
I can’t breathe when I see you
I’m flattened by you
and I stare at the sky
like I’m pavement
created by man
and screaming for more
than calloused tires.
Mar 2022 · 87
fourth floor window
Tiger Striped Mar 2022
Floor to ceiling, glass
I stand on the sill
and lean forward
facing the ground
suspended over construction,
beautiful nostalgia
and a hundred people who don't
know they're being watched.
I belong up here, I think
always wondering if
it will crack beneath my forehead
and I'll go tumbling –
in slow motion, I hope –
towards the earth. But
I can't decide
if I'm meant to be down there
the watched, instead of
the watcher.
Who is happier?
The doer
or the observer? I
think the answer is buried beneath a little
and I don't have time
to search for it. I'm busy for
looking out the fourth floor window.
Mar 2022 · 76
Tiger Striped Mar 2022
This forest is dense
redwoods loom balefully
I run my hands along their bark

My breath comes too quickly
it sounds like laughter
I can feel your eyes on me

The fog surges in our open mouths
I'm facing you now
I don't think I can turn away

I don't remember stepping closer
we're standing on quicksand
my fingers clutch yours

It's not dangerous like I thought
I can breathe between grains of sand
I like it underground

I step into your body
I can't feel anything but you
I don't want to leave
and I can't.
Mar 2022 · 84
Until It Rains
Tiger Striped Mar 2022
This porched morning stretches
until it rains.
This is no happy summer:
it is weighty pondering
it brings heaven to earth
in a bolt of lightning
it electrifies the sea and
casts airbrushed stripes
of light atop the horizon
but it does not rain
The shore is
damp from the night before -
a thousand half-thought words
pattered down
smack, smack, smack
little bird feet running
towards and away.
They smell rain,
coming soon again
they love the wind preceding.
The air is expectant,
whipping pages
back and forth and back
and forth
the book will finally
snap shut when it rains.
The ocean rears and curls and sways unsteadily
nature inhales and bites cold.
It feels almost wrong
to be here, now,
without sun
awaiting the rain.
Mar 2022 · 512
Tiger Striped Mar 2022
I'm waiting, chasing pavements
the ones that kissed your tires
impatience found my failures
and lit my head on fire.
My mind is racing to you
my eyes are burning still
these smolders send me skyward
and flatten me until
I'm falling on my doorstep
gray and less than real
you crush me as you're leaving;
my sweet achilles heel.
You left me calm resilience
a scent I can't erase,
rose petals drooping gladly
I sink down in the vase
and ponder you, like fresh air
willing me to breathe
and be with you again
as if you'd never leave.
Feb 2022 · 75
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
Love is not fire.
It burns, in the beginning,
to be sure
fire is not sustainable
like love.
Love is crescendo and
it is passion and quiet comfort.
I have loved you since you put
red in my cheeks
and tears in my eyes,
and I love you still
now that you are my rhythm,
my heartbeat.
The beauty of it all
as the summer cools into fall,
I still mean every word I’ve said
and you
have never been less beautiful
than the first sunrise
we burned beneath
and now
you are my patience
in the pitch black nights
we spend apart
easing peace between my breaths
with the knowledge that
you’ll be there,
on the horizon,
like clockwork
Feb 2022 · 67
between the lines
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
If you read this
carefully, you’d know
it was about you
and you’d mention it
the next time you saw me
you’d say just the right thing.
You don’t love to read
or even like it at
all, sometimes.
It's in the reflection of your
eyes, glassing over as
you trudge through
your morning news articles
but you finish them
If you read me
carefully, you’d know
I am all about you
even when your eyes
glass over as
you pick me apart,
trying to figure out
what makes words
so **** important.
I’ll tell you later
that you already know,
if only you’d read
between the lines
of me and you.
Feb 2022 · 55
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
I sat by your porch and
watched the flowers I left
wistfully wilting with every
passing hour
of the time you couldn’t spare me
and it felt like tar
on my tongue
when I wanted to say I loved you
and instead swallowed
of snot and tears.
Feb 2022 · 47
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
I want you
to be in my skin,
holding me as
my tears spoil my cup of coffee
outside the cafe.
I want you to be good
at comforting me,
I want you to tell
me what I need you to say
wrap me with your words
like a blanket when
I'm shivering in the snow
but you're not even in the
same city,
and you can't bring yourself
to understand why I'm cold.
Feb 2022 · 56
no karma
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
you can scream at the universe softly
to please, let it happen
just this once -
that you would get what you want
you can stomp on the ground
slam both feet into the Earth
and it won't move
you can try to tell the sun
just how badly it burns
but when it finally sets
your skin will be red and
you can try everything
and you will
but maybe some things are
and wishing never goes away
maybe you have bad luck
but you can never fix the world around you
Feb 2022 · 44
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
I'd love to
create something beautiful
from my pain,
but it's not a skill you can learn.
I wish I knew how
to do anything but
cling to you when I'm hurting,
desperately hoping you
will lift me up
but every time, you fall
with me, and then we're
slamming into concrete
and I think to myself,
it's really rock bottom
this time
and it's my fault
and you don't know
how to help
and the only thing
I can think to do
this time
is let go of your hand,
watch you drift away
and lay here
Feb 2022 · 71
I'm not a writer
Tiger Striped Feb 2022
an overthinker
and overtalker and
sometimes when I speak I spit
and it lands on
a piece of paper and
the longer you stare,
the more it starts to
abstract from reality
into modern art.
It isn't amazing. It’s
a diversion,
something to look at
while museum wanderers whisper
behind the back you've turned.
That's vain,
right? Not to mention gross -
embarrassing to
put your saliva on display,
but when you
frame it and see
your reflection in the glass,
shame cracks over your head
and dribbles down
with a twinge
of pride and
you think to yourself, maybe
I'll make another
if only for myself.
Jan 2022 · 88
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
Our souls were made of
the same stuff, perhaps literally
I can feel it when you cry
or hit the brakes too hard.
And you -
you've always known
what I needed before I did.
You would trip me and
break my fall in the same breath
and you knew I'd
do the same for you.
But somehow decades of
sharing clothes and video games
kitchen fights and hospital visits
twin beds and ***** dishes
brought us here
to an airport
and even after you leave,
it won't be real
I'll still be waiting for you
to walk through the front door
and tell me to do the laundry
and you'll be in a bigger bedroom,
wishing for the chair from
your parent's house.
But we'll still watch the same movies
and I'll be there when
you break your leg or
your heart and you'll
still call when
you can't remember what that
one song is called
or just to say goodnight.
Because without you
I couldn't have ever been
myself, and we
know somehow that we
haven't really
ever been apart.
Jan 2022 · 45
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
I'll find her one day, years
from now
sketching wildflowers in a field
two states over from
where we met
and it will be the first
time that I realize I
truly lost her. I never knew her
to care about art, though I knew she would
paint houses with her generosity
until she’d given her whole world away.
She put everything she loved on
an altar and watched the smoke
swirling towards God
closed her eyes, inhaling
a promise that she would receive blessing
in return. So she did:
everything that happened
had to be divinely ordained
but me - I was not.
I was the earth she
was called to leave behind,
on her journey higher
and I watched her footsteps smudge
the lines drawn in the sand
and questioned how
you could ever tell someone they
weren't going to be happy
when every ounce of their being
believed they were.
The truth is,
I never found the answer
and I can still only
pray I'll ever
find her.
Jan 2022 · 61
The Librarian
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
The obsoletion of libraries
dangles ominously like
one big ice stalactite
just above his head.
He needs books, the real ones,
soft paper to clutch
between his fingers as he
searches for the right answers
to all the questions he
can't find,
the how-have-you-beens,
and sometimes
He can't keep track of the time
but he can categorize catechols and bird calls
and remember to be worried about
a greying Earth
and cling to its pole
letting it spin him round and round
until he gets too dizzy to distinguish
the letters from reality.
And he reads the fantasy novels alongside the
news, it
is all too entertaining to peer down
from his box seat
on the fear dripping from the ceiling
onto the audience.
Neither is scary to him -
fiction nor nonfiction,
not on their own, anyway -
but his blood pressure begins to rise
as he raises his eyes
to the stage
and watches them
obliterate one another.
And there he decides,
if libraries will die,
he will bear their sentence
he will fold himself into every page
and melt in between the lines of ink
and they will settle into dust
Jan 2022 · 58
wish you were here
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
I'm alone this weekend
just me and the echo
of a plate breaking
on the ***** kitchen floor.
I wish you were here.
I spent the day sideways
wishing for your upside-downness,
how you'd peak at rock bottom.
I'm thinking of inviting you here
so you could take up enough space for
the both of us,
so my pain would no longer be
mine, it would
be you.
You'd ask me to
slow dance through
your field of landmines, because
only you
knew all the right steps
and I'd
trip one
so you could scream about
things you could never understand.
You'd feed me curses
and when I got thirsty
you wouldn't know how to be water
until I was
a grease fire.
But in the end,
I'm alone here because
the only person who loved to see
me hurt more than you
was me.
Jan 2022 · 226
I broke my own heart
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
when I gave all my love to you
and had none of it left for
Jan 2022 · 82
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
We've found my pressure point it
seems, it's
every inch of my paper skin.
I'm sorry I
look like this,
my red cheeks slick with
tears that freeze
before I can follow them upstream
and dam the corners of my eyes.
I'm sorry I crumple
and can't stop apologizing.
They'll tell you love is
hard work, but
nothing of the weight of fear
hanging over the time
we spend apart
and woven into words I want
you to say but you
I'm sorry, sweetheart,
I'm a writer and a pessimist
reflexively narrating
everything unspoken between us and
I don't know if it's your fault
or my fault
or neither or both
that I flinch at uncertainty, expecting
it to strike me in the most painful way:
when the fear is as bad as the thing itself,
it can't really get any worse, can it?
The scariest part is the
Maybe there is
no such thing as enough
no such thing as certainty
that it will be okay,
that you love me,
when I've lost
what it feels like
to love myself.
Jan 2022 · 78
deadly armor
Tiger Striped Jan 2022
I wore you with hope on my chest
and all you could ever give me
was the naked, baleful weight
of your own self-importance
and in the end, it crushed me.
Nov 2021 · 56
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
Last decade, Jenny was jumping on
trampolines after softball games
and teaching all the girls new curse
words. She’d spill Sprite in her
fiery hair and cackle until her
eyes welled up, then she’d sprint
all the way home and pull a dusty music box
from under her bed and squeeze
her eyes shut so she didn’t see
the tears splatter on the little ballerina
twirling away naivety. She never knew
the scent of old mahogany
would slam into her
on lonely Thursday evenings, years later,
in the bowling alley where she
sits by herself and watches
the pins fall over
and over. She never was
as graceful as they.
And the scent makes her head
spin and her breath shake and her
knees ache and her eyes water and
when she squeezes them shut
all she sees is every drop of herself she
spent in youth, now dried up
like old Sprite in her hair.
Nov 2021 · 59
I see us
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
in the night sky,
the way the crest of the moon seems to kiss
Venus; how you’d never know they were
miles apart.
I see us
in the morning fog,
the way the clouds brush the dewy
grass, how they don’t know they’re supposed to be
in the sky - or don’t care.
I see us
in old couples
pacing the beach after crowds trickle home,
filled with conversation,
still learning about each other after decades
I see us
in the
air between my fingers,
always moving, always there.
I see us
in pairs of teardrops descending
imperfectly from my eyes,
falling together
hurting together
turning to mist and
returning to the sky.
I see us everywhere beautiful and chaotic and
tragic, and
I want it all.
Nov 2021 · 53
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
Of course I cry into the hollow
space between my stomach and happy
there is little else I can do.
Don't pretend to understand how it aches when I breathe
you, who have trained your tongue to do
what it should
do not let it curse the smoke stuck to mine; I
know the contempt in your eyes better than I
know my own reflection.
Nov 2021 · 2.6k
You died
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
in the
dry air between
the beauty of poetry
and one too many
poetic licenses.
Nov 2021 · 59
it's my fault
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
and suddenly we are two
acquaintances who don't know how
to have a conversation
walking four feet apart
back to where we had our first date.
Nov 2021 · 60
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
you're not going to ask me why
picking away the scab on
the back of my hand,
though you can see in my eyes how
it hurts
as they spill salt water into
my open wound
because nothing has changed
I still won't let myself get better
Nov 2021 · 119
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
There's an inch between
sunrise and sunset:
the sky's walls flatten
me, stretching my skin thin,
taffy turning interminably
over the earth.
Another inch between
this bated breath and the next
almost enough space for
a claustrophobic prayer -  
my occluded wheezing
heralds the marriage of
laughter and sobs.
When my cheeks wetten, I
watch them wrinkle
as the years drip down my chin
one inch lingers between
my face and the foggy mirror,
as I contemplate giving
an inch of love to the girl staring back.
Nov 2021 · 53
long story short
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
It took a lot of convincing, but
after a few years she finally believed
that I was only staring because she was beautiful.
Nov 2021 · 56
love unearthed II
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
Your shirtsleeves are wet
with every word I wish I didn't say
and I look away, hoping that if
I don't see you, then you won't see
But you stare,
and you do what I should,
thinking hard before you speak.
When you finally do,
I could cry all over again
because I still taste love on your lips
after I've ruined myself again and again
and again you show me
you are heaven on earth
as the dirt from which my soul was made
is flooded with the stardust in yours.
Nov 2021 · 53
love unearthed I
Tiger Striped Nov 2021
and blood is shrieking in my cheeks
a concert of passion, ushering tears
the sudden pressure suffocates every
word trapped in my throat
and I desperately want to scream
at you
in hot pent-up pain
that if I didn't love you
with every ounce of myself,
I wouldn't care -
I wouldn't get angry
or speak before thinking
or cry into your shirtsleeves -
but I do care
enough that I can't hide
the mess you make of me.
Sep 2021 · 55
Fingers Crossed
Tiger Striped Sep 2021
Hope runs down your skin in waterfalls
begging for my hands
puddling on the floor and flooding
the air like light.
The first time it touched me,
it shocked me at
the small of my back,
tingling and spreading to my
mouth. It was the
electric taste of
Eden’s apple, the choice
that rewrote the future.
It knocked wind from our lungs
a half-breathed epiphany,
the blessed assurance of symmetry:
darling, everything exquisite comes in pairs.
You are everything I
spent years on my knees for,
praying with my fingers crossed.
Aug 2021 · 75
Tiger Striped Aug 2021
Autumn is an expired favorite
of the sad lovers, sitting apart
with forearms stuck between
forehead and tabletop.
Tired souls shake off old skin
with the shifting of the seasons
and some call it a fresh start, but
it only ever feels like wasting away.
The desperate optimists grasp for beauty in
changing colors, but every leaf falls with a tear,
a dreary reminder
of all the once-lovely emblems
that decorated the golden days.
"Once upon a time" no longer evokes
the sweet nostalgia of fairy tales,
but carries the melancholy weight of
better days fading from
memory to myth.
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