There’s an Open Pack of Cigarettes

There’s an open pack of cigarettes in the glove box.
I haven’t smoked them.
I found them,
left behind,
in the office.
So I took them,
my fingers itching to steal,
lungs aching to burn,
brain wanting a release.
I have never smoked.
A lie.
I smoked once,
half of one,
passing the still-lit cigarette to a friend,
singing loudly into the night
as she double-fisted the burning sticks
out the car window
doing sixty.
But I want to.
Which is why,
weeks later,
there’s an open pack of cigarettes in the glove box.

Drowning

I’m drowning
in antiseptic apologies,
clever words disguising
a poisoned tongue,
your tongue,
laced with hydrofluoric acid that,
at first,
cuts with no bite.
But bitter words leave bitter wounds.
And they fester,
burrowing,
until your blood and bone burn
and they become your very being.
It’s a barbed wire tongue
that lashes and cuts,
wrapping around a mind
until it’s yours,
you’ve won,
nothing exists.
Except empty apologies,
flawed balms,
and twisted words that become true.

At The End

At the end
or perhaps, the beginning,
there was me
and you,
a boy,
a girl,
stuck on the edge
of a wheel,
feet skimming the grass,
hovering,
staring.
Hands itching closer,
closer,
fingers stretching
as much as fingers can,
bones pressing at the fabric of skin
until nothing
except a spark,
static,
the universe itself,
lay between the outstretched hands
And the wheel turned,
grass brushing
bare feet,
soft skin,
and the distance grew,
shrunk,
melted away
in the mist of the day
that had become night
in the time it took
for two hands
to touch,
for fingers
to brush,
for a beginning to end
and an end to begin
and a wheel to turn
the cycle again.

I Can’t Sleep

Something’s wrong.
I can’t rest, can’t sleep
can’t find comfort
in a bed and sheets,
or warmth, safety,
a pillow beneath my head.

I can’t sleep.

I’m in a perpetual state
of pure exhaustion,
eyes a desert,
on fire,
burning eternally.
My mind stops,
a fragment of thought a refrain with no end,
half-finished stories, prolonged ideas,
persisting,
day in, day out,
no rest for a wicked mind,
and
I can’t sleep.

The City Is Quiet Tonight

The city is quiet tonight.
No noise, no life.
Just starlight
And us,
Two heartbeats in a city
That calls to us,
Beckons us,
Becomes us.
Two souls wandering alone,
Fingers itching to touch,
To hold,
To map out your body,
My own city,
Always quiet, and calm,
No others but us.
The city is beautiful tonight.

I also posted this on my Instagram, and I sometimes post small poems there, too.

Thank You Cards

Thank you cards I’ve left, forgotten,
cast aside,
packed with blank stationary,
an afterthought,
because surely you know,
you’ve always known.
How your words and your gifts
become stars in the sky
that light up the path that I tread.
How the packages and ribbons
mean nothing
compared to your arm in mine along the shore.
How a fake smile and a laugh
at a terrible gift
only disguise the love and affection
and joy at being remembered.
Sure, relatives and far-away friends
who send their gifts in post-office wrapping
and cards littered with stamps,
they should get a thank you card.
But a phone call has replaced the written word,
and can convey much more
than ink on paper,
and so half-finished thank you cards
are discarded and pushed aside,
because you don’t need my words to tell you
that you are loved
by me.

Love

Love
I wish I could describe it,
the taste on my tongue,
the bitterness,
the sour,
the hurt.
The way words cut deep,
whittling away
at a soul,
at a mind,
at a heart,
until it is sharp,
stabbing,
a razor in all of its harsh edges,
one that only hurts its owner.
I wish I could describe it,
the aching,
the wanting,
the need for approval,
for belonging to someone,
something
greater than yourself,
how it sits heavy,
the taste familiar,
something long gone and faded.
I wish I could describe it,
how I need you here,
with me.