Not A Christmas Poem

your smile stays hidden
behind a thousand snakes;
scales glistening in the spotlight
you force yourSelf to stand in —
so tall and manly (as you put it)

I still remember the color of your soul
& how warm it felt to the touch
when it was yet within my reach
not all that long ago

your eyes are filled with hope
when my fingers brush the last shred of dignity
off your starched collar 
& I realize
this is not a christmas poem.

Once Were Warriors

you used to cover the walls
with pictures of times long past &
between the wooden frames
there was no breathing space
for the present & the future —
but in your eyes
neither the stone grey of perseverance
nor the creeping chill of stale memories
lingered.

For Miles

I have been traveling for weeks now
on this (dreaded) path you called a symphony
back
when I still heard the rustle of my mother’s clothes
& tried to suck the warmth out of her shadow
in passing

I will (never) get used to being
the one who waves at you
in the rearview mirror, determined
not to look back —
I guess
life is funny that way.

Phoenix

are you stronger on your own
dragging yourself forward
with broken fingers

& does your voice not matter
while your words
fail to impress?

time flies
and so will you.

 

Paper Skin

it is a fractured version of
fortitude that floats
to the surface;
neither bound nor held —
but ever straining
against the tides

my thoughts form pale flowers
born too soon —
not fated to survive
the cold Sun of March

one moment too long
is all it takes —
and then

you are gone.

Unsung Melody

long nights (pro)cured the protagonist’s echoes;
those hours when we were too afraid of dawn,
too afraid to count out the seconds
& let time run its course

intricate shells were cracked wide open
by yet another clumsy footfall
& a lopsided smile, jauntily misplaced
beneath the floorboards

our teenage dreams stayed
rubber-stamped & swept away,
our secret a tangible thing —

(or was it)

From Dust ‘Till Dawn

clouds crawl steadily
over your limp form; cracked & chipped
after the dismal desert storm —
it seems like yesterday
has not happened in ages

plastered to the dry dirt, transfixed
by a hyena’s lullaby
you wilt & wait
for forceful hands
to push you deeper

through clotted lips you conjure
a string of allurement, no wider than
a hair’s breath —
but sturdy enough
to get tangled up in.

you never intended
to drown alone.