When We Were Young

Once upon a time,
Joy poured from thick, gray clouds.
You and I
Cheered.
I kicked puddles at you,
And you tried to push me into them
As we screamed,
Wild beasts that we were
When we were young.
My straight hair
Frizzed
And curled around my rosy cheeks.
Your glasses
Fogged,
And you abandoned them
And all caution.
The others
Ran inside.
We stayed.
We lived
In the mud and grime,
And we were free.
Today,
It rains again,
But what falls from those clouds
Is sorrow
As you put up an umbrella
To protect your vision
And hurry inside.

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Lost in Smoke

Hold it in,
The smoke and the fire.
Never breathe out
And risk the destruction
Of all that is so dear to you.
The memories these relics hold
Will billow in thick, black clouds
From the ashes,
And you will find yourself
Lost in the darkness.
And where do you turn
When you know not
What you are already facing?
But how do you step forward
To reach it either?
Turning in circles
Until the end of time,
And you cannot even
See yourself spinning,
The clouds all around you
Too dark to look different.
Until there comes a day
To wash away your sorrow,
The smoke that suffocates you
Washed into the dirt.
And on newly budding grass
That has pried its way
Through the pile of ashes,
Dew will shine
With brilliant clarity.
And, at long last,
You will take your first steps
Out of the forest clearing,
Having finally chosen your path.

Venomous

If I bit you,
You would die.
You would see your life flash
Before your pathetic eyes.
You would know the heartbreak
Of being betrayed.
You would want revenge
And fuel it with your hate.
Do not believe
I have left you alone
As the only soul
To bear this.
I bear them too,
And all for you.
It remains unclear:
Why haven’t I bit you?
–yet?

With so many opportunities?
You have already bitten me.
I felt the sting
Of your venom in my back.
I fell victim to hate.
You can be sure I went mad.
But I recovered,
When the winged angel,
Forgiveness,
Approached me in my sorrow.
At first, I fought her
Out of fear.
As I said, I was mad.
But I grew to understand her
And in the end
I surrendered my hate.

If I bit you,
You would die.
But I refuse to give in
To such blind fury.
Do not think
I spare you out of kindness.
I spare you out of
Unwillingness to lose
Myself in your destruction.

An Invisible Monster

In the midst of the night
My bedroom light is on.
Would have sworn I’d turned it off,
But perhaps I was wrong.
I shake beneath my covers,
My eyes flicking from
The shadows in each corner
As though they might come
Alive, to get me.
No, it’s not possible,
My mind reassures me,
Until, comes upon the table,
A steady three knocks
As though from a fist.
I am alone in this room,
So what causes this?
Now, from the walls,
It pounds in my ears.
Knock! Knock, knock!
How I wish there was, here,
Another to confirm
That these things I feel
Are not some mental illness;
They are actually real.
I need someone here
To cradle me and say,
“I feel it too;
You’re not insane.”
Now, a sudden weight falls
Heavy, upon my legs.
I can feel it crawl
‘Cross the surface of my bed.
It lays on my chest
And I cannot move.
I could not get up,
Should I even want to.
Somehow I still feel
The illusion of safety
In hiding beneath my covers
Despite my, now, facing
The invisible monster
Who strikes in the dark,
His alcoholic breath
Enough to stop my heart.
I pull the covers closer,
Leaving no room for air,
Hoping the intoxicants
Can’t get to me in here.
I have sudden fear
That it has crawled under
The covers, to join me.
I begin to wonder
If I can ever escape
A monster I can’t see.
A scream begins to build
Deep, inside of me.
But no sound emerges
When I open my mouth.
I’m trying to get help, but,
If I can’t scream, how?
I grab the pocketknife
From my bedside table,
Struggling to keep
My shaking hand stable.
I wait for the monster
To make it’s next move.
As soon as it does,
I shall strike it through.
But the monster does something
I did not expect:
It seeps into my bloodstream,
Intending to infect
My thoughts and my actions.
It must come out!
I make my next move
Without a shred of doubt.
Blood creeps from my skin;
I swear I can see
The monster, with it,
Crawling out of me.
At last, relief.
The monster is gone.
I try not to think,
But for how long?

Defeat

Bright red,
It slips down my side.
Into my head,
It plagues my mind.
I want to be dead;
Why am I alive?
I don’t have the strength
to make things right.

Boiling,
It burns through my flesh.
Soiling
Anything I have left.
Always toying
With wishes of death.
To you, whom I love
it can’t be expressed.

Shaking,
I can’t stand straight.
I keep waking
To always be late.
Inside, I am breaking
Beneath the pressure of fate.
There is not enough time
to fix my mistakes.

Eyes closed,
It’s time to leave.
Blood flows
From under my sleeves.
How I hope
That you will not grieve.
There’s just nothing left,
in which I can believe.

Different Eyes

There is nothing I enjoy
So much as being lost
In an unfamiliar area
With unfamiliar faces,
Not knowing how to return
To my safe, secure home
And knowing
I only have to keep moving.

I am someone else—someone new.
There is no pressure to stick
To my usual safe, secure choices.
My eyes are now widened, taking in the world
Rather than narrowed in speculation of it.
I can see things now from a different point of view
As a different soul, seeing, feeling—
Experiencing it.

My mind is refreshed and cleaned
Of the sorrow and hurt that clouded it,
The impressions and experiences that altered it,
The hatred, vengeance, and distrust that distorted it
In a former life
As a different person
With different eyes.