…and we wade in oil, step on broken glass

There is no loss
No forward momentum
The streets are flooded with mosaics
Glass murals stained with flesh and blood
Of our mothers’ belonging and who knew
There were so many shades of red and
Who knew that a scene one thousand one words screaming
Could be sewn shut,

There is loss
There is movement without
But we are not worthy we believe
We are not worthy
It’s not worth it to suffer for the greater good and
We do not properly acknowledge the deaths that come
Knocking at our doors that whisper
Under our treads as we drive ignorant
Drive daydreaming,
No, it’d be a needless sacrifice
A contradiction for we the luminaries
To suffer for one another

There is no loss
Only a life abandoned;
The rotting smell of our mothers’ remains

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An Uncertainty of Importance

Pine pitch feet dangle

Splash of water proving
Only that this is where I am
That I can distinguish between hot and cold
And this water is black tea
Floral bouquet basking in a setting sun warm

and I smell like shit
Like gay masturbation
Like a nicotine and divorce bonfire

Still surrounding
Amongst familiar paths of a childhood
Long since passed no one speaks

Letting inner sadist run free
I play hooky with mosquitoes and smother
The embers nearly allowing flaxen glitter
To perish before breathing back just enough life,

Another splash
I am here
Feeling only water and diluted rays
Of sunshine stretching sapling liquor thin
Along shallow canyons breaking surface tension
Sink and sink oh liver of mine
One inch at a time,

Translucent wings carry a plump bug away
Leaving an itch and drip of blood-
So this is why the rivers of the Upper Peninsula
All resemble rusty cinnamon- that colour of bad dreams
Lost concentration
Distance a dilemma
Lost in thought
Still getting in places I shouldn’t be
Is it bad timing if I was going to find out regardless?

Kicking a submerged boulder
Tumbling, plummeting
Into turbid tranquility

Could I ever outrun such a burden as this?

To Identify Time of Death

Mostly diluted
Ever so
A tad bit acidic
I was given a chance to feel
Instead I got intoxicated,

Left knowing but distant
Always unable to conceal intention
Drowning in vegetative stories
Remember when?

Loss is a virtue often experienced
Yet so rarely noticed-
Does nature understand
That I feel death as ferns in freezing weather?
As blissful white clouds floating
Such that heaven seems earth-bound?

A shoulder to breathe
Sober up nestle nude against cedar tree trunk
Ever so fleeting
It makes sense doesn’t it?
It is absence that becomes the burden
The memory that provides relief
And this body of mine
Is nothing but never present,
Stuck turning rich nectar
Into watered-down interpretations of flowers
In bloom, delaying impact inevitably
A world concocted with jaded connotations

Life has been made
Continues to exist
Going to cities and learning to keep secrets,
People have spoken to this face of mine
Loves lost and renewed
Though a daydream it seems

Waiting to wake up
Upon the snap of two brittle fingers
Will I remember the past four years?

Black and Red

Wary of internalized predation-a step forward
Towards the dimly lit kitchen
To gaze at a river whose movement
Appears to have been reversed,
To watch a cat sneak beneath
The eyesight of an unsuspecting bird-

Lunge and tear
A swan song sung
Briefly by warbler

What honesty comes from nature?

Puff of feathers floating I fell asleep
In the time they took to hit earth

In truth I felt more sorry for the cat

As It Is

Joy consummates the soul, sews the ragged seams of one’s heart shut, cleans the wound and filters that putrid mud which has soiled the liquid purity of blood. All to often however, failure is accepted- falling asleep to Parks and Rec. caked in sweat with the volume up so damn loud your own dismal conceptions drown without a second thought, whispering compliments into whiskey bottles hoping they’ll return the favor with friendship become hobbies. When not working or studying for twenty years of debt these are the things that occupy us. No more do we dream of grand fantasies or shout impossibilities to the heavens as if we ourselves are the gods the oceans answer to. No, we are but human, idle and defeated existing under ironbound weights; our skin a canvas of lacerations exclusively okay, never better, never worse.

To find joy, fleeting as it always is, is to realize that the innocent idea of “infinity” lasts a measurable amount of time. A first kiss unexpected and rushed on a school night walking briskly home before Mother realizes that you’re thirty minutes late for dinner, a road trip in rust lasting a week of curse words and cigarettes- I left my accent in West Virginia, the smell however, stayed for another ten days. Each petty attempt at holding back a smile that would strike a sun in the darkness of my gut remained for as long as needed. For a measurable amount of time the chains were lifted, arteries were allowed to heal, the heart allowed to beat. Let this body be a map of cuts and bruises, perpetually determined to convalesce as much as I suffer, I will find my way home cleansed and honest if only for a moment.

Sediment In A Wine Bottle

Estate sale personified
As swigs of sand dwindling through
Kaleidoscope irises, slipping sunsets into palms cut
Acting in assumption that such wounds
Close, fade and then ambiguous definitions of normalcy
Can be resumed again
Acting in assumption such pain halts
And forgives the body it accumulates,
Clothes become too big
Fabric promised protection
Sworn, left unnoticed
Dedicated life to living beneath stale socks almost
Visible but kept dark and almost given a chance,
Embraced auctions for relinquishing redemption
Based offers observed pretended to be valuable,
Feign colour polarity
Pallet set
Sleep on hoping prosperity flourish
And wither slip into an unintentional hibernation
Waiting for-but wake up it’s time to move on
Waiting for-but wake up
Quoted as in decline
Liquidate property as hospital visits

What Joy, To Be Here At Last

Water finds its way under ice avoiding
The cruelty of freezing temperatures, the roar
Of spring rapids breaking over limestone shore,
Smooth and glass
And trying to be something else I am reflexive
Breaking apart when leaves fall,
Finding solace in smothering virtue with grace,
Similar to how six inches of snow inundates
Evidence of decay then, the following day
Tumbles so tender and whimsical

Jagged mirrors of cedar menhir separate
Caught against the rough space beneath crow’s feet
Call and pray upon the frayed fabric of wildlife
A bandanna becoming beating heart snagging
Tattered on overhanging branches:
Everything is unraveled into its simplest form

Trail path formed above the fragility of forgotten Spring
Recedes flowing north instead of south,
Ash warped and leather wrapped turns
A river bend into a log cabin
Resting atop a widow’s crest
And we all run and wander,
Looking for what-
The lost warmth of birth
While trying to avoid the burden of being
Lost and wild-
Home is a whisper spoken
On soft winter afternoons
Slithering through broken boughs of bramble buds
Indifferent to parallel occurrences, stumbling
Through a delicate image unknown and
Unaware