“Shut up and die”
recalling a statement his mother never knew he heard
uttered through clenched baby teeth to a room full of strangers
“I want to live with my mother”
an even split of joy and anguish
hateful eyes never wavering between the two
“Don’t be scared”
What a crock of shit
says a child’s voice in his own mind”
You’re safe now”
how can this be true
when the ground no longer takes any weight
“I don’t want your name”
your legacy dies with you, old man
you dug your own grave
“Life goes on”
easy to say
when you’re not trembling with a razor
“Turn to prayer”
there is no god
6:59AM; the bus arrived. Finally!
Nervously, I guided Gabi on to the bus and found ourselves a seat at the front. A faint smile sketched across my face as I watched the trees race by. The trees caused my mind to wander and I thought about how mine and Gabi’s life used to be.
I recalled how two years ago, Gabi and I lived in the Avenues. It’s a part of Salt Lake known for the Victorian houses and giant Oak trees. The trees branches reach out across the streets as if to embrace each other with us in the middle. It was beautiful. I especially loved it when it rained.
Mine and Gabi’s favorite thing to do was go on walks in the rain. For me, it was about being cleansed; reaching up towards the sky and letting it wash away all of your worries. For Gabi, it was about the drama and being impulsive. Many times, we wrapped ourselves in raincoats, rain boots and headed out in search of being in the moment. Gabi would jump in every rain puddle she could find. The trees provided shelter when we needed to catch our breath, then we would run off in search of more puddles.
The bus came to a sharp stop, bringing me back to reality. The dissonance of life then versus now rang sharply in my head. Back then life seemed so predictable. This summer, the events that unfolded would not have been predicted by anyone. There was now a new variable in my life; another person to regulate my fate.
Mirages in the desert become my reality
Echoes from this concrete, ricochet insanity
A bucket of curses I’ll pour on your head
A boulder of granite may welcome your death
An ellipsis from my slumber awakens me to fear
The people I’ve hurt unknowingly, the lives I’ve degraded slowly
A quicksand of grey matter sieves through my brain
It’s a bleak recollection down memory lane
I’ll despise my being for this uncontrolled foolishness
I’ll never forgive, my mental unruliness
Is my body, walking dead?
Is my body, walking dead?
The darkness of my mind drinks the fountain of my youth
If you unlocked your mind, you could heal me with the truth
up all night…again
collected on the couch, talking
soaking in moments thirstily
like sand just beyond the tide
the three of us are not rich, or in love
but we do know how to keep moments gently in our hands like
birds, pinning wings against sleek bodies—
feeling their silky urgency press into our palms
we crawled out through the window, just before the sunrise
to sit on the scratchy shingles above the garage
we drank green tea, and laughed for no good reason
and felt good about life, knowing—no matter what
we would always know how to calm the frantic pulse of things and
take the time to watch pale color spread among the clouds
like too-good secrets among friends
our hearts, like those held songbirds sat,
perched on rooftop mornings.
as we opened our hands
time slowly stretched its wings and
with a graceful hop