I’m faithless and unashamed
For God did not give us grief.
Love manipulated our trust
So that chance could gamble
With the futility of our existence,
Ripping the tense velcro bonds
Of hearts grown together.
I applaud it’s gamesmanship,
For it doesn’t laude it in our faces
By any means other than simply
Gathering the grim and gaunt
In coats of greyed gaberdine.
Long coats hanging as if empty,
Made black from the heart’s rain.
I am faithless and entirely alone,
But still gesticulating to the air:
An open chested final demand
To give back the gift of grief
That greeted me at this graveside.
Need I be a god-fearing glossolalist
To return this heartbreak?
My Dearest Armistead, I hate saying you were right, But you were. The smile on my face Was a temporary mask That has been peeling away Ever so slowly. My insecurity has bled through The white linen robes of my naivete And caused me to run to dark corners To bleach them clean before anyone sees them. Perhaps one could blame Our re-acquaintance; Nonetheless, I fear this feeling, It, would be dreadfully lonely without you. My eyes feel extremely drowsy, But they are failing to rest. My mind feels heavy and intoxicated By the recurring nightmare of emotion, It haunts my every waking hour. And my heart is too preoccupied With its' reminiscing Wo live with the rest of me. Armistead, You have trailed us back Through every corner of our suffering And imagined them feats of ink. Do you not see these moments Are open wounds? They are the episodes in our life That we wrap up in neat little stories To hide the scars they are transcribed with. Yet, for some reason, I have removed the bandages And allowed you to lick and To gorge at the fresh lacerations. That grief you see Sat upon my shoulders It is ours to share. Are you prepared to split the burden? Because Armistead, It will continue to grow. Lovingly, Armistead
Images move animatedly across the tv screen, Sounds are blended into the background noise, The foreground filled with heavy breathing, The satiation of pleasure between two, Summed up by title of ‘Netflix and chill.’ The sequel, a follow up on two series merging, Finally born, gendered by the pink onsie, The gentle curves of tassels and bows, And the growing basket of perfectly painted, Single expression, pose-able dolls. Years of playing courting, marriage, Nuclear house, one ken, one barbie, and baby, Of traditionalism imposed in playtime, destroyed. The babe who once played with dolls, Becomes the doll in the tent playing with her bae. Within a flash, the two are married, Both taking and barrelling their surnames, Living equal in their roles, life, and love, Until the hourglass is empty, And the grieving hold their umbrellas in the rain.
I had spent many hours with her, Both young and grown. I had grown beside her kin, With a mother who shared her blood. She was reckless in my mother’s eyes, Wild as the wind that she flew on. A woman who lived by no law, But by principle of her own heart. She near always smiled at me, And she laughed at my cynicisms. We drank several nights away, At the bar, or on the step of a shop door. Like many young, I fled the nest, Spread my wings for lands afar, Leaving them all behind me, But visiting with growing infrequency. On my return there would be happy reunion, Drinks, songs, smokes, smiles, laughs. Gatherings of the now grown and their young, Besides our elders now older once more. But time did fly by quicker, And 15 months seems to blink fast. And soon I am beckoned back, Returning to see her again. My mother, as always, Holding the hands of my family, As a means to hold their souls, their bodies, And their strength, in an upwards fashion. Me, smiling through, as taught, Showing that the living are not afraid. I hold her hair 'twix my fingers, And braid in flowers as we laugh. I roll her smokes, before my own, The legality of them questionable, As she waves between here and there, Jittery with fear of being wedded. I paint over the hollowing skin, Lighten her sunken eyes, With a mixture of tones, pigments, Creams and powders, brushes and sponges. The clocks strikes and the camera clicks, She grins as she is wheeled along, I press the button as she makes vows, Promises to be short lived and kept. We drank, we smoked, we laughed, I sang, for she couldn’t any longer, I walked for her, towing the chair, And navigated with care and fear. Family gathered, united, strong again, Smiling at the simple pictures I captured, Wondering at the beauty of her, Of her soul, of her love. The woman wore purple, As a bride, draped in purple and white, As a mother, through waking night, As my aunt, when hugging me tight. The woman wore purple, And when I saw her last, she wore it still. Though I’ll never see her again, I know the woman wears purple.
The unborn soul haunts me, Digging claws in deeper. Pulling my feelings into contortion. Why aren't they in Heaven? Has she brought them here? I wanted to be a good mother, I wanted to hold her when she cried, It was my fault I couldn't, Not hers. I was careless and stupid and young. Are there cradles in Heaven? Does a better person rock her to sleep at night? Do they tell her she is loved and cared for? Does she know I love her and I'm sorry? Do they tell her I'm her mother? Or am I the devil who left her there forever? It's hard to be a woman When you should have been a mother. I'm in no high regard with God, I'm written on none of the entry lists, I accept this duly. Has she grown at all? She'd be older now, right? Or is she cursed to her prenatal form? Does her daddy visit her? Does he look into her eyes with love? Or does he avoid her gaze from hating me?
We used to sit and talk, Until the late hours. But tonight I sit alone, A cold void next to me, My only company, A cigarette, lit of strawberry, Like the ones we ate in the summer. Tonight no laughter, No giggles at the trivial. You used to stroke my hair, And say 'Baby, 'You should get some sleep.' I'd laugh, I knew, Really you were tired. We'd lie on the bed, Gazing at the ceiling, As if it was a star lit sky, Repeatedly say goodnight, And laugh between. Perhaps exchange tender kisses. But no kisses tonight, No repeated good-nights, No childish laughter. Just emptiness, void. Maybe I'm always looking, To find you again, To have those times. But I won't find you. I need to relearn love, It's differences, it's newness. But I won't open my heart, Not yet, I'm not ready. I've loved others, Made love with others, But the depth, complexity, Is missing, empty. My whole heart buried, Beneath the grass we led on, One day I'll let go enough, To take it back. But I find solace, In the void it leaves.
For so long I've formed pain, Held it within my four walls, Within the structure of myself. I learned this to be unhealthy, Destructive to my personality, So I believed expression was key, To let it all flow freely, Unfiltered, from my lips. You encouraged me to talk, I reciprocated such action, Believing you willing to listen, And knowing my ears are open. As I learned to open up, Began to find release, I faced judgement, more pain. You couldn't deal with what I held back. I'll be no fool again, like this, All previously thought progression, Now clearly regression. So I apologize for my blindness. I'll not let the world know my pain, I'll keep my internal anguish, Even if I crumble inside, then out, It must be less than external hate. I'll retreat back to myself, Keep in my bubble, where I'm safe. Never to be scolded again, By a fire that others fuelled. I'll embrace my internal anguish, Understand it as my only companion, Never to be betrayed by tongues, Relaying information untrue, Or turned, or twisted, or even honest. People cannot cope with my pain, So I'll no longer seek advice.
We enter the room. Car running in the center, Fuel tank pierced, Petrol dripping. He sits in the driver’s seat, You sit next to him. I find a match, A small piece of wood And with the first I light the second. Wood, unlit end first Pushed under the car. I get in the backseat. I cry, I'm scared. You look back. You nod. Smoke. No flames. No noise. No end. We enter the room. Car running in the center, Fuel take pierced, Petrol dripping. You take my hand Comforting my cries. I nod. He sits in the driver’s seat. You sit in the passenger’s seat. I light a plank of wood, I place it below the car. I sit in the backseat. I wait and wait. I'm crying and crying. You reach back. You give me your hand. You tell me you're sure, That you'll be there, You'll hold my hand to the end. That you've seen it, The cruelty of the world, That it's enough. We wait. No smoke, no fire. No end. We enter the room. Car running in the center, Fuel tank pierced, Petrol dripping. You hold me close. Lead me to the backseat. I sit, crying and broken. You sit beside me, Warm, comforting. You hold me while the pain Escapes through the silent, Distraught, and shattered sobs. He used the wood, To trail, Line, Trace. The petrol, his instrument, The final piece of art. He lights the end. He walks to the car. He sits in the driver’s seat. You stroke my hair as you watch Flames dancing in smaller circles That stop. Too Early. No continuance. No End. We enter the room. Car running in the center, Fuel tank pierced. Petrol dripping. You tell me it's okay. I listen. He takes my hand. He leads me forward. He knows what comes after. You sit in the driver’s seat. He and I trail the petrol. One straight line. We light the end. He sits in the backseat. I sit next to him. Calm, collected. You say nothing. You mean nothing. You show nothing. He holds me in an embrace. Kisses the top of my head. Tightens his grip around me. I know he loves me. You mean nothing in your silence. I look at you, Silently beg for a word, A murmur, a mumble. I ask for your hand. You move. You open the door. I beg you with my tears. You put your leg out. I crumple into him. You leave the car. His grip holds me. I call out your name. He comforts me. You walk away. He wipes every tear. You pause once. I look up. You walk on. He pulls me closer. You leave the room. The fire spreads, Engulfs - Consumes. You close the door. You regret. The car explodes. The flames dominate. He guides me on. He knows this place. He tells me he missed me. I grip his hand. This is it. The End.
If it were only possible, I would put it in a way, A concise, simple way, Then you'd understand. Then you'd know the fear, Of drowning with no water, When no droplets are present. Of feeling the air, empty, Leave your lungs, With no replacement breath. Then you'd see, That black shroud of an umbrella, I carry around with me. It doesn't close, won't or can't. I'm always under its covers. Then you'd notice it, When the sun shines through, I reach for it, try to grab it. But also how I hurt, When I can't take any with me. How terrible it is to see joy, Knowing how good it feels, But no feeling it. Then you'd feel the terror, The pure horror of loneliness. The madness it ensues, The longing it forms inside. But also the pain it causes, When the mind turns to itself, Filled only with hate, Wishing for pain. Then the guilt, Not for sin, for selfishness. Knowing others would be better At living this life than you, And yet, wanting so badly, Not to have it anymore.
My Darling, Please don't hate me, Blame my mind, not me, I want life, please, My emotions don't understand. My Love, Don't listen to the past, I know I nearly broke the promise, But not this time. I won't break the skin. My Darling, As empty as I feel, I won't, I couldn't, I can't, No matter how much, I want to see you again. My Love, It dances in my mind, Now and again. But no! Not a blade, or a pill, Not a jump, or a rope. My Darling, I won't leave here early, I'll let you collect me, When my time is right, To return to your arms. My Love, But I want to so badly, Please don't hate me, It's just a desire, I'll fend it off. My Darling, I won't do it, I'll keep the promise, I'll wait. Don't hate me.