with always being someone’s backup plan.
with never being A. with being dangled
like a puppet leg trapped between stay and stray.
with being strangled from dead-end to halfway.
with linear plotlines. with -scaled-to-fit
stratagem of a congruent design.
with serene niches tucked into apple-pie order.
with breathing within badly hand-drawn borders.
with chisels and hammers gonging
the flattened tin of your sternum.
with beating yourself up
like you were a shaman summoning rains
in the skull of a conga drum.
with crying like your lips were a half erased punctuation mark.
with laughing like an arthritic’s handshake.
with talking like your mouth was full of earthquakes.
with the arrogance of a shipshape aftermath.
with the history of being hanged, drawn and quartered
by the legion of loneliness. with hoarding your pain
like you were a cactus bred from the bosom of a sand dune.
with making choked sighs your signature tune.
with the invisible tariffs placed on the toll-roads of your ankles.
with living like a landslide through copper mines.
with rusting the iron fortress built from your bone
to a shanty-town of piss-stained begging signs.
with dreaming your love
spelled only inside a parenthesis.
be done. with the guessing games
of those who shame you your messes.
be done. with anyone you won’t accept
your lesions for the lessons they are.
be done. with being told how
to shroud your scars.
be done. with the bidding
for a finesse that won’t dress itself
a little in the err of your essence.
with the arrogance of knowing without growing.
with building battlefields instead of bridges.
with this snowballing portfolio of illegible sorrow.
with only being comfortable with a pain
for which you would burgle, beg or borrow.
with turning the curvature of every prayer’s cope
into the heavy hand of a hangman’s rope.
with testing the sharpness of shiny, stolen things
on the fainthearted skin of a small hope.
with learning to live like a shoplifting shoot-out.
with learning to walk enfeebled by the polio of doubt.
with putting a silencer on your tongue
every time you wanted to shout.