Question Touch

Do you have to scrub your skin too?
Scratch off it’s surface over and over
Until twenty burning layers away
From the tracks of unwanted caress?

Remember as the acid seeps through
And you lose that arrogant composure,
That I am only just beginning to play
With these things that helps me ‘process.’

Have you ever had to show your face
When no-one knows the predator won?
Force a smile, a dead eyed, dull grin,
Hoping when friends hug you don’t flinch.

Centre of the tooth, with nerve in place,
I’ll drill a hole through every single one,
Thread through each a fine steel string
To pull them slow with a hand crank winch.

When you’ve walked passed each other
Have you been filled with complete terror?
Did you grasp tightly at your fabric clothes
As though they’ll protect from the shame?

It’s so gratifying to watch as you suffer.
The chemicals turned your skin to leather
It’s time to cut that wailing tongue into rows
I hope I don’t strike a vein, I like this game.

Does the night bring back all the memories
That weigh you down with its terrifying grip?
Do you hope that by the morning sunrise
Your heart would stop it’s painful beating?

I’d quit the whining, there are no remedies
As I watch you choke behind glued lips.
I can’t stand to be devoured by your eyes
But a pin prick will remove their seeing.

Are your days filled with asking why?
Blaming yourself for being the prey,
Breaking yourself down ‘til you barely exist
Pretending it never hurt you that much.

I’m sure you’re all but ready to die?
But you don’t look like your inner decay!
I’ll let you decompose in your own shit
Because a touch is not just a touch.

Tar Kiss

I can stare you dead in the eye
But only my hands are fixed in Jute.
I play no longer as your equal
In this demarcated, lonely space,
But as your possession, obsessed.
Today the lungs ferment a tartness
That you’d planted years ago,
But as I cough up curdled astringent
So it may salve your wounds,
I renounce my previous control
And embrace your oblivion invitation.

Reach In

Reach in
These ribs need twisting until
Feathered out.

Reach in
This heart needs crushing until
Cleaned out.

Reach in
These lungs need stretching until
Wrung out.

Reach in
This blood needs cleansing until
Dried out.

Reach in
These nerves need burning until
Pushed out.

Reach in
This soul needs vilifying until
Pulled out and redeemed.

75ml Measures

We got plastered on the mezzanine.
Giving even less shits than before
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

Splitting prescription amphetamine
Into servings of six, eight or four,
We got plastered on the mezzanine.

Supplementing lacking dopamine
Pretending we wanted to feel more
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

On the childlike side of something-teen
With store rooms of baggage to ignore
We got plastered on the mezzanine.

Steadily making more of a scene
Baiting ourselves to even the score
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

These moments dipped light in sertraline
Revisited in flashbacks galore
We got plastered on the mezzanine.
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

Buried Under the Rose Bush

We never mastered houseplants.
Above and beyond, but a foot to the left.
A green thumb was never our best asset.
If you didn't shoot, the leaves would be green.

The potted plants thrived on the terrace:
In the house they just repeatedly cried uncle,
Their roots wiggling like an old b-movie.
Do all new killers go blank in the stare?

Gardening was worse than getting an instrument:
Another substandard, low average hobby
Intended to expand the pointless talking points.
Maybe your urge is due to seasonal pollen?

The effort level of the cactus was minimal.
Yet in a humidity it was still kindling to burn.
Should never have made them my central focus.
The hardware store had a shovel clearance.

I have to straighten literally anything out
So I don't pace 'til the hour of judgement!
You think I could pretend I wasn't here and hide?
If you go down, will you bargain for my pardon?

Poly-Cotton Shield

Don’t pull the covers away;
I’m not ready to face the world
And all of its sharp edges.
I’m warm under this comfort blanket,
Safe under my safety net,
Hidden from those peering, prying eyes.
I’d rather be smothered in poly-cotton
Than drown in the darkness out there.

Don’t pull the covers away;
I’m not prepared to face the world
And all of its harsh voices.
I’m calm under this comfort blanket,
Safe under my safety net,
Hidden from those intrusive, prying eyes.
I’d rather be veiled in poly-cotton
Than exposed the judgment out there.

Don’t pull the covers away;
I’m not equipped to face the world
I’ll just crumple at its feet.
I’m serene under this comfort blanket,
Safe under my safety net,
Here I cant be vilified for being.
I’d rather be concealed in poly-cotton
Than pretend I want to play this game.

Having ‘That’ Conversation Again

My Dearest Armistead,


Is life a perpetual cycle? 
Because everything seems 
To be happening repeatedly. 
I found myself, again, 
Engaging in 'that' conversation. 

The conversation where 
I hold another person's life. 
The conversation where 
There is only one chance 
To do the right thing. 

I can only hope 
I made the proper choice, 
But I dread that with each cycle 
I am a step closer 
To getting it wrong. 
It seems inevitable that 
I will have blood on my hands 
From being unable 
To do enough 
Or get there quickly.

Every time I have 'that' conversation; 
I am left empty, 
Wishing I could have spoken to him. 
Wishing that I could have soothed him. 
Wishing that he was here, 
And it was all a horrid nightmare.

Why can't someone else 
Accept the burden for a while? 
Why does it have to be me?

Yours,
​Armistead.

You Were Right

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

Introspection

I am years of depression in the making,
A broken concoction of self-help and self-hate.
Progress, the weapon utilised to silence the audience,
Is just as fake as the smile I paint on in the morning,
To hide the desire to either laugh at my suffering,
Or to will my heart to cease beating.

I am composed of trauma’s melodic refrain,
And I am played over my own disturbed backing,
Pretending every moment is a blessing,
When really I am gluing my pieces back together,
Finding discarded shards all over my psyche,
Pretending I am on a journey of self-discovery.

I am bursting at the seams with rage,
Sewing myself a harness to contain my mania
With the snapped threads of my heart strings.
The blood thirsty fever dripping from my jaws,
The seething grit that sits in my grin,
Aims as inwardly as it does outward.

You’ve Returned

My Dearest Armistead,
​
What has kept you for all this time?
Has the pen weighed too heavily in your hand?
Did the words seem too fleeting to write?

I hope you were happy.
We shared such dark times before,
Times that only a writer and their mask can share.
Are we picking up where we left off,
Broken and shattered?
Or have some pieces been reassembled?
Let’s hope this glue is stronger.

I see your life is very different now.
You carry more grief upon your shoulders.
I worry Armistead, will those shoulders hold?
And your smile, how long 'til it fades again?
Aren’t you scared?
We tend to bring out the worst in each other,
Focus on the wretchedness of your life,
And rip the last bandages away,
Exposing the emptiest parts of your soul.

Oh how I have missed you.

Now, Armistead,
Let’s get to work again, shall we?

Regards,
Armistead.