The Box

At first he thought,
Somewhat presumptuously,
That the box contained
All of his words.

He had been silent
So many months
That he assumed that
His thoughts had been dragged
From his lips
And placed into the box.

For what end, nefarious or otherwise,
Well in truth he hadn’t considered.

He longed for the box to be opened
And had tried all the keys he could find.
He had opened hidden boxes before.
Many mysteries had been uncovered.
But this one was stronger,
More resolute.

Finally she came.
The key bearer.
She who would open the box
With it’s intricate carvings and inlay
And release his words
For him to use.

She was so beautiful.
She brandished a small, bronze,
Heart-shaped key.
It had to be her.
It had to be…

The key slipped in the lock.
It turned noiselessly.
She lifted the lid.

He peered in.

The box contained nothing.

But not just nothing;
Less than nothing.
A void-less, soulless, sleepless nothing.

And too late he realised
That the box was not a box of words,
His or anyone else’s.
It was a box of silence.
Complete silence.

The lid closed
With the slightest of clicks.
Footsteps faded away
On roughly hewn cobblestones.
The ages gathered.
The box remained silent.

Wringing

This small wooden boat,
A dark stained rosewood,
Rides this wave of doom,
Of rising guilt.

We are perched precariously aboard.
Every time I reach out to touch you
It is out of fear. But the bruises I leave
Are dark with infatuation.
It seeps into your skin
Leaving its discoloration
for a week or so.

But once again my feet are predictably growing cold.
Water seeps into the boat and we are sinking.
You are sobbing thick disconsolate tears.
I try my best. I take a hold of the oars and pull.
The wood comes away in my hands.

Finally though, after many years,
You take them in yours,
lean down and close your eyes.
I do the same and the world
is suddenly dark.
Quietly we survive.

Peisinoe clicks her tongue, dangles her feet and complains

I can’t say I haven’t considered it,
Your cold white thighs sliding open
as easily as a book falling to the floor.
A book of poems, of sketches of stretched contorted faces.

But I too often stride waste deep,
Or shoulder deep upon occasion,
Through the mists of impatience and lust.
Too often I fall victim to the
Siren’s song, the cuckoo’s call.

Not tonight quietless one.
Tonight I will not be drawn by any tacit cacophony.
Your woe filled lamentings fall upon ears
Deafened by emotion and
Stoppered up by the belief
That good things come to those who wait,
And those who wonder.

Child

When they got back
the door was ajar,
the handle smeared
with some dark, subtle substance.

The boys were still asleep
and her light was on
but she had gone
screaming out of that place.
You could feel it ringing in the walls
and on the smooth, mark-missed floor tiles
with not a thing to tell their heavy, searching eyes
if she had struggled,
if she had even tried.

Stay Awake

Until the sun has
slunk away behind the world
like a sullen child
and all of those in the know
have sunk their deepened faces
into some soft surface
or another.

Stay awake until the
screens have all gone
white and voiceless
and cursing those
still open eyed
and breathing in this
bitter night.

Stay awake
until your eyes burn red
and the room draws in tight
around the four corners of the bed
and all is lost
forever and is gone.

But still
stay awake.

Moving too fast across the Moon’s face

Drums pound.
The world is dark
save for the moon
and the clouds
moving too fast
across its face

Hours pass and years
mistakes are written
and erased, written and erased
and rewritten again.
Life fritters away
to nothing but
a dozen or so
cheap party tricks
without punch line or
any discernible moral value
and what it all comes down to
in the end
is how many times you’ve
held your breath
and prayed for
a single moment to last
for all the rest
of the moments
you have left.

Isn’t that living?

A Stranger Stranger

Howdy there, my stranger.
Please don’t come into my hole.
It is dark and it is lonesome
and it don’t feel like no home.

The kids are fast asleep
with their eyes all tied up tight.
So don’t keep your hand a-knockin’
or you’ll wake them with a fright.

I know the night is darker
than the blackest black you know
but I’m feeling rather foolish
and I don’t have far to go.

So hold it there, my stranger,
‘fore you knock against my door.
Just stay a stranger, stranger
or you won’t knock any more.

Old Lady with her Lottery Ticket

Hunched over your
little piece of godsent,
scritch-scratching away
like your life depended on it.
Like a hungry rodent
peering around with those
desperate, suspicious eyes
for what?
Who might snatch this
thin sliver of hope,
that you might wash away all you know
and return it a hundred thousand fold.

But paper is a five folding game.

What if I,
full of my own self righteousness,
were to take it
quick and tear it
into the wind and away
saying
“Go. Live. You are free now.”
?

It was a lonely night.

the other night
I cried myself to sleep.

I felt pretty miserable 
real lonely.

not your normal lonely.
the sort when it hurts
because you’re not around.

unexplainable pain and need and want.
ouch ouch ouch.

it’s the sort of pain where
you can’t do anything without them
and you have no idea if they’re thinking of you
but
you don’t think they are.

that’s why i make sure to say to you
‘remember,
someone is thinking of you’

I say that to reassure
so that you know
I’m thinking of you
and that’ll maybe make the night seem ever so slightly less dark,
this cage ever so slightly larger
and my love ever so slightly stronger.

And I am thinking of you
in one way or another
because I feel that if someone’s thinking of you
if even in the tiniest, littlest part
if even if it’s just next to nothing
it makes you feel better

like I matter a little to someone.
like I matter a little to you.