Untitled


Outside the birds are singing
Desperate last chance crickets
Still playing a weary, feeble nocturne
To the forty watt dim rising sun
A fountain off in the distance
Burbling soft cheerful
But not really because it can’t
Cheer is something we ascribe,
It is only water behaving
As all liquids do under pressure,
The demands of gravity.

Here though, in here it is silent
Passing cars only the idea of a whisper
For once the voices are quiet too,
Still eloquent though in the pauses
Speaking in chemical signatures,
Describing blueprints for a broken machine
Strange gurgles, rumblings, factory churnings
I haven’t been eating well or enough
Too full of anxious gnawing
Coffee, cigarettes, failure, hardly a balanced diet.

I keep getting smaller, feel diminished
There really won’t be much left
Bone, ligament, when I catch my face in reflection
All angles, hollows, halloween mask rictus
Palid flesh beneath grime, pulled taut
A cartoon, just meat destined for the shambles
Fading, soon I think to be transparent
Until maybe at the end
I’ll just be an outline
The barest description of someone who was once
Smoke or dust that just happens to remember vaguely
That it used to be someone.

I seem to think I remember being someone
But it’s hazy, indistinct
Seen from long ago, smiling
I seem to remember there was such a thing
But only from a distance
Unfamiliar now, like trying to ride a bike after years and years
Awkward, forcing muscles into barely recalled shapes and orders
I think if I seriously tried to force
Even one more bare whisper of a smile
My face would crack, splinter
At the bending of my lips
My whole head caving in poorly fired clay fashion.

What I can’t remember is no pain,
Not hurting like pain was the same as breathing
Not feeling less and less and less…
I can’t look at people any more
Their faces are mirrors and
I can’t bear the reflection
The pity, the contempt that ripples
Across their smooth, alien features
Unable, I just can’t, it’s too heavy,
I’m tired, I’m cold, and I just can’t
I’m so very tired and I can’t stand up.

When I look at my wrists
I can swear I see them, wounds old, puckered
Already dead, autopsied
Lacerations clean, antiseptic, juiceless
Already dead, I’m already dead just waiting
There’s never any blood, just mortified flesh
No stains, no, I can’t leave a mark, make a mess
Any more than I have
And it’s always that way like I can’t think of anything better
Climbing up the Hilton to see what flying is like for 30 seconds
Stepping out onto Washington to kiss one of the busses
Maybe rob a liquor store and have someone take care of it for me.

I never know if I mean it
I think I want to mean it but can’t
The pain isn’t the thing, I can’t hurt much worse
Sucking on the abject failure of all of me
Cupped in my stinging palms
Running oily, caustic, burning holes in my throat, my stomach,
No, I’m afraid I’ll regret it
My last moments spent clutching gaping red lips
Begging them to close
Dying just slowly enough so that even my last moments
Are nothing but the desperate wish to take it back
To fix all the broken but can’t.

I’m scared
I had a dream once that you’d be here
At the end
You promised and I dreamed it so it has to be true
You said you’d take me home, you promised
I dreamt it
You took my hand
Your hands were always so small
How could they be so small
How could they ever make me feel safe
How the fuck are they so strong
I’m scared you won’t come
But you promised
And I’m so tired
I just want to go home
Take me home
Please.

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4 Responses to “Untitled”

  1. Michael Brewes Says:

    I am at school preparing for class. These new words tell me nothing new; I’ve been keenly aware of your situation and state of mind. For whatever reason, you will not communicate with me.
    I can’t let the students see my tears. I fear that we may never see each other again.
    The tiny hand you dream of has to be worthy of every last ounce of courage you possess; do not dare injure the wee souls in this way!
    To anyone reading this, mine is a large strong hand. It has been extended for a long time yet refused. How can this be changed?

    • Dad, it’s not something I feel better talking about. The writing makes it better.

      • Michael Brewes Says:

        I’m scared
        I had a dream once that you’d be here
        At the end
        You promised and I dreamed it so it has to be true
        You said you’d take me home, you promised
        I dreamt it
        You took my hand
        Your hands were always so small
        How could they be so small
        How could they ever make me feel safe
        How the fuck are they so strong
        I’m scared you won’t come
        But you promised
        And I’m so tired
        I just want to go home
        Take me home
        Please.

        This is my dream too! Whose voice other than mine would you consider as helpful? As I get older, stories of loss from other people pop up like weeds. Your situation has been like a knife on my skin for years. The distance and your silence is killing me!

      • Dad, I’m sorry, but some things I just can’t talk about. When it comes face to face I just don’t have the language. The lines you’re quoting are quite literally from a dream I had, about being in an accident…I woke up in a hospital bed and I thought I was alright but there was someone there with me in the room that said they were there to take me home and because of who it was I knew that I hadn’t actually made it, that “home” was not being used in the literal sense. This isn’t about going back to somewhere safe, it was just something ugly that needed to come out and it did. You always read my stuff with such a personal filter and I understand that, but what you’re reading isn’t always the intent. Sometimes you need to come to the work like you don’t know the author.
        I had a moment of crisis, but as long as I have a pen and paper I can pin these things down, make them concrete and concrete can be controlled, can be managed. It’s not always a cry for help, sometimes it’s just the scream that needs to come out, like letting excess air out of an over full tire, changing pressures, keeping equilibrium.

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