I’ve got slides on my projector that have been fading into the distance for some time.
So far, they’re telling me these lies so they won’t catch any resistance.
I’ve got eyes, cold and black like the heart I bought on auction,
Where each glimmer of light is a caustic reminder
Of the cookie-cutter box you tried to shove me into all these years.
You see me, but you do not see into me.
You see a pale canvas framed by strawberry-red originality.
You see red lips and a fashionable personality.
The rebellious child determined to make it on her own.
Beneath my beaten artery of coals I bleed black.
I know not from where this obsidian runs,
Like the heart of a madman,
I bury my leaky crux beneath the floor boards.
Because that’s not what I see,
I see a pretty package that got shaken by the stork that delivered it to your doorstep.
I see a troubled soul, flickering, clawing… dreaming, trapped.
Overwhelmed by thwarted manifestations lacking in their own conviction.
Blocked by the same weathered walls that claim to keep us safe.
I’ve got 10 dollars that says those scratches on my arms are a tellin’ of her dreams last night,
That girl finding shelter behind my eyelids,
Soaked in tragic puddles of self-destruction,
Running from the same demons that are ripping her at the seams.
She does not dream, she trembles.
Fearing that the memory of those gentle hands will again precede her.
She says that she loves me.
Yet, simultaneously I stand paralyzed
As she sets my coal-like heart onto the table.
Together, we breathe.
Sighing with new life as the flames begin to rise.
And suddenly, I’m floating on hot air…
It was across that thick black river,
Pouring from the eyes of a monster,
Under some godforsaken refuge they called my bed…
Singing my wounds, stricken and inflicted by the skeletons in her closet.
Things get a little messy sometimes…
But at the end of every day,
She folds up her dirty laundry,
And sets it right back inside that antique dresser, ready for tomorrow.
If I wake up tomorrow, I’ll do the damn laundry all over again,” she says softly.
Before I know it, it’s that same October night.
There is no reminiscing, only present time recollections.
I reach in, eyes closed
Pushing down the memories that begin to prick and mingle in the shape of my lips.
Like the sharp ends of the knives you flung at me with such conviction,
The love you could not find bellowed outward until what that little girl within remembers
is everything but your presence.
Threatening her every tick of life with your insanity,
He said it tasted like sweet like purity.
You’ve broken her.
Crumpled her up like pieces of a unwanted puzzle,
Attempting to remedy your toxicity with tape like misplaced tinker toys.
The mere representation of juvenile innocence,
All eyeballs and teeth and rosy cheeks.
Falling unused beneath the dust of that shelf where I left those things for days, weeks,
And even sometimes years.
Yes, instead I played with you.
All these cryptic recollections leading back to a single evening…
I must have stacked my block tower just a little too tall;
That last piece sent me soaring backwards, tinkering again.
Grasping at one final glimmer of childish jubilee
Fermented within your realm of unkempt mental sobriety.
I shut my eyes.
Speeding down the highway,
Always on my way to somewhere, but never knowing the end game.
Pressing my eyelids tight, picking teams for one last time — counting,
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5… 10, 11…”
Suddenly I lose control.
Eyes open once again,
Regaining vision of the white dotted lines
Streaming in the right direction.
The wheel turned to exit stage right and just like that,
We pulled into the light.
I walked inside her house,
Opened up that antique dresser, pushing and shoving all her dirty laundry aside,
Where instead of all this shit I carry with me,
I laid down my armor and simply said,