Crush

Riddle me with your incomplete sentences.

Crease the last letter
you thought to leave beneath
the mattress
a secret admirer
only found between
changed sheets and
fingers tipped with
daydreams
afternoon interlude,
faded release.

Face me like a heart.
Open and close at the rate
of bus fair handed
to the driver who
sees you run
and stops to
tie your shoes into
a fatherly knot.

Give me the soul of your last sleepless night.
Pour it slowly into my cup
such that I can smell each yawn and
caress every droplet of the words you

only sell to yourself.

I know.
It is worrisome
to let it drum
bit by bit at the bottom of the glass
moments stretched, bare,

uncut grass.

How are you to know
I’m not just another mower
hired to snip at your growth, or
step carelessly on
your most closely held
solar?

I am the breeze.
I want to feel each feather of you
bent, perfect, blessed or pressed thin, overgrown, under rested. Tied and left in backroad gardens, exposed and erased, rewritten in jargon.

The way you fly…
I sing it.

I could write to you
every summer melody and
pardon my reality
the simple rain and drought of green
It will never render me

water,
but dive in–
dream.

Innocent Distance

Tripping over my own indecent socks
I admonish my toes in alpha numeric order
I don’t know which one I stubbed first but

it definitely did not happen

while I was reaching

for the swing set smile

in your eyes.

 
the blatant disturbance
between your shoulders
reeks of lost walk ways.
we drank Gatorade
as a method of supplying
our eyelids with brighter colors
and
being so young
who could know
electrolytes aren’t used
in defibrillators.

Bring me back
to your blue sheets.
Teach me red
and don’t starve,
blink.

My hands used to be
so content with
keyboard racing but
now I can’t seem to regret
holding you captive in my head
wrapping arms around
a frame of the mind’s design
enticing smiles and
feeling the lips turn
against my skin–
red
touched
lips.

Your collarbone is a roadmap
upon which my fingers could
scout out every landmark
sending the coordinates
to my mouth.

Create with me
a single night.
Let us both collide
maybe
the stillness of your feet
will fall away at the
whispers underneath
your neck.

I
can sing to you
with nothing but my tongue
inciting
harmony
deep within
your stomach
notes strolling casually
up through the throat
greeting your hot breath
as you decide
to allow the refrain
a taste of its own
chorus.

First of course
those legs of yours.
hiding behind nets and
cages of silk.
One hand remains free and
bought tickets
to your knee.
Those fingers have
been dying to hike
the snow covered summits
leading to the
single flower
where symphonies can be strung along
by tongue as well as tone.

The hips of you
begging to be
jailed by palms and tips as
locks and keys
suddenly there
isn’t air
it’s pressed from you
your garden blooms
filled
with a new warmth
refreshing like sunlight
rigid as river stone,

you

moan.

The Earth of you
collapses
revealing the core
[as we both rain–
but what is rain
when stripped
of atmosphere?]

Dear,

walk me to your window.
The breeze will cool
the sunset pools
lain bare
between the tresses
of your heavy lashes
and sunburst sighs.

Ember eyes,
burn me away
so I might live again
to douse you
with the songs
of “stay”.

#FlyMyLoves

Singing to a thousand faces

I toss every voice I know into

a void of endless smiles

of pains, felt along the crevices of

otherhood, womanhood, manhood.

The misplaced fist of oppression

deigning itself an authority

as if the very fact that it is a fist

gives it power.

 

I feel your lips,

opening to release any amount of faith

into this unforgiving plane of

anonymous palms,

knuckles laced with

ignorance

and iron.

 

I see you all there,

still smiling.

You’ve been hurt too many times to

release such blooms of

every single color

that ever made

a heart swell.

Yet, here you are.

Perhaps your mouths aren’t

spread, but pursed.

You can’t fool me, loved one.

You’re still smiling.

Beneath your glowing face

is an even brighter being of

calm acceptance.

 

“My time has not come.

I cannot soar as easily as those

born with the ‘correct’ structure,

the ‘optimal’ wingspan,

decided long ago by birds

too tricked by their own ‘flight’

to consider swimming

to even whisper the word, no–

they would rather the world had no water at all

than accept there are those of us

who swim.

And yet here I am.

The sky is no longer out of reach, for

our hearts have become the sky.

Together, we swim in our own

grinning, multicolored ocean.

For you see,

you silly, two-winged, single-beaked birds,

There was never flight.

There was only travel.

You put that name there

to keep us out

to make us feel as if

we could never touch the clouds.

 

I say this with love–

fuck you.

We will bring the clouds down here with us

and playfully dress them up

as your enraged fists.

Watch as they burst into nothingness

against the waves crashing

over our pool party.

Maybe once you accept Travel,

and calm down about your

traditional wingspan–

which NO ONE is attacking, by the way–

maybe then you can come to our party.

 

But you had better bring

a shit ton of floaties

and be prepared to accept

that every single one of us

was born beneath this sky

and none of us have the right

to define

‘flight’.”

 

(Pluto Poems 4) Corona

I don’t want to orbit the sun anymore.

 

Her warmth is poison to me

you see its easier to simply

float alone, frozen than

pick away at the nitrogen ice

 

in hopes that one day

you’ll find the central core of life

that hasn’t been there all along.

 

I am rigid.

Her mere closeness

breaks me.

If I were to crash land into

her Saturday and

stay a few nights with

arms to caress and

cheeks to kiss, then

perhaps learning to swim

in my own chest

wouldn’t be so maddening

 

but there is no Saturday on Pluto.

There are no ponds, no lakes.

Streams or creeks, whispering sweet

lullabies to the moons.

 

I am forged of broken, stiff

glacial indifference.

 

Please, you wretched hydrogen star…

 

My fingers are not even flowers

yet they wish to bloom

along the fields of your

corona.

(Poems of Pluto 2) Setting with the Sun

“Well fuck being a planet.”

Pluto is one asteroid

known for being in denial.

 

If you had ever sat by a creek

for three hours with the sun

in the middle of the night

you would agree.

 

If you had walked on sore feet

introducing the sun to edibles

forgetting you weren’t floating

you would know.

 

Bought the sun

pizza from its childhood

and given her that extra piece

you would ache.

 

Watched the sun get sleepy

beneath a Charmander blanket

while Rick and Morty played

you might understand.

 

You cannot.

You’ve never been

a planet turned asteroid.

Have you?

No.

Watch all the sunsets you want–

you will never know

what it is to be the clouds that surround

as the sun sets to rest.

A Dwarf Fell for the Sun

Yesterday, I closed the space

between the sun and I.

Matter and planets apart, the light

too faint to feel, to taste–

to trust as light at all.

 

I hugged the sun,

the warmth of her filling every vein

making my blood feel

as if it were more than ice, rock.

 

The sun looked me in the eyes,

and I saw Home.

Familiarity

long since buried

in the tresses of my backlogs.

 

You could never know

the skin tone of the sun

like I do.

My eyes

took every opportunity

to devour what they could

before the setting,

before my melting.

 

When one sees the sun from afar,

checks on the sun’s snapchat

browses

old pictures of the sun

that didn’t make you fall long ago–

you at least had the distance to keep you safe.

 

Closing that space is

dangerous, painful,

intoxicating, immeasurably

hot.

 

I used to have other stars

who filled what they could of my skies.

Don’t we all eventually

settle for the light pollution

calling that warmth?

 

My hands had been numb for every orbit

to have them thaw

only emboldened

that long dead need

to touch.

 

I wanted to burn myself.

Give my body to the sun and

entwine myself within her limbs,

get lost in my

Tombagh Regio

as the galaxy charred and

fell down around us.

 

It goes without saying

the sun doesn’t date Pluto.

Though it made the trip,

the purpose was only to finally meet a planet

who, in fact,

did not obsess over the solar flames

falling around the face

of nova

of birth

of the beginning of life.

 

Pluto keeps their distance

shaming itself into not needing heat, when really

it would kill to be Venus.

 

“Pluto would surely be destroyed

if it were closer in the solar system.”

The thing is,

Pluto believed them.

But as the sun drifted away

promises of return on the

lips of God herself,

Pluto had naught to reach for

but his own hands

grasping at the leftovers

Flinching at the re-freezing

of subsurface oceans.

 

They say Pluto experiences

its own unique weather patterns.

That it does not rain.

Today, Pluto looked in the mirror,

phone at 10%,

eyes purple, misty.

 

Today it rained.

Each droplet punctuated

by a slow simmer of thunder

dripping from the shaken dwarf

Pluto, glacially fissured, realized

 

“I’m not even a planet anymore.”

Phone Poems Meaning

Alright, we will start with the first, “A Mess of Me”.

Really, to me, these poems are all about the somewhat complicated relationship Cassie and I once shared. It was a friendship fueled by…a lot of things. We needed each other. We both had neglected hearts, and though we hurt each other on multiple occasions, we were there for one another when no one else was. Don’t take that as a time thing–there were certainly times we weren’t there for each other. It was more of…emotional spaces. Places in our souls we wouldn’t share with anyone. Places we felt vulnerable. That was really the heart of it. We each allowed the other into the most vulnerable parts of our hearts. It isn’t an easy thing to do, and if you’ve ever done it you’ll know. It took time. So, now, you can apply time.

My point is, however, that we held a bond outside of time. How is that possible? Well…late night phone calls. Teens don’t need much sleep anyway, right? (They do. Parents, make your kids get proper sleep. It’s important.) You wake up, you go to school. Interactions are blurry, filtered through insecurities related to all of the open eyes and ears around you. Adults, the bane of our existence, ready at all times to silence any sort of conversation, regardless of how it could affect us to have finished, to have had that time, that exchange of words one can only share with those they hold close. After school? Parents, either forcing us to do things we didn’t want to do, or coming home early to interrupt, as if the sunlight of the dying day were etching a warning into our skin, “whatever safety you feel, it is temporary, and I will see to it.”

The moon. It gave us a light in the darkness, to be cliche. It realized, even in the shadows, there are those that need a night-borne warmth. This is where we hid. This is where we convened. Cassie was probably always the initiator, calling me in the dead of night. I would awaken to a ringtone I had set for her number alone. Either my heart would race, or my mind would set aflame, depending on the luck of the draw when it came to my mood. I would respond angrily, and Cassie would joke until I was in an okay enough mood to talk. Or, I would respond sweetly, so relieved to hear her voice, her true voice. There is something to be said for hearing the voice of a person so dear to you, when all other sounds are far away and asleep, when all lights but the moon’s have finally decided to give you space, allow you peace. It could be nothing at all, that we spoke of. It could be the most meaningful string of sentences ever related. It really didn’t matter in the end, because it was all equal. It all occurred in our world. No one could touch those words, and no one ever did. It was the one piece of our lives that wasn’t ruled. Our secret. No one and no thing had command over the beginning or the end, aside from our physical capacity. It was a world outside of time, inside the space between our hearts.

The problem oftentimes was…well, hormones. Among other things. I wanted more out of the relationship, ignoring the clear signs that this would, in fact, ruin everything. Cassie knew this. Both sides of it. She used it to her advantage at times, and I fell for it. There is nothing to hold against either of us there, mind you. We were kids. We were kids who were in love with the idea of someone else being there, who would truly be there. She experienced loss like I could never imagine, and abandonment beyond. I had no one but my mother, who, for a time, emotionally abandoned me for a man who hated me. No other friend could understand. No one knew the kind of loss Cassie had been through, and certainly any male friend I told about my problem would respond with something along the lines of, “maaan, I would just beat the shit out of him”, as if I could punch away the one person who let my mother live without the aching hole of loneliness. No, we were two kids–people, really. Only limited by our age and, consequentially,  developmental processes–who finally found someone to trust. No matter how angry we would get at one another, how painfully we would lash out…we still knew we had each other. Through the failures and the silences, if the world were ending and asking for blood, we would die for one another. And, at the very least in our minds, this was more than anyone else on the planet was willing to sacrifice for us. I wish I could explain the feeling…but true love, in all its various forms, has always proven difficult to translate.

I believe that covers it, at least enough to understand what I’m talking about when dissecting these poems, which weren’t even written by us. Our phones seem to be pretty wise, or the universe in all of its infinite randomness just so happened to make sense for once. Here we go.

 

 

“I wanna be the best friend

and you can be

a mess of me.

A forever,

and I never repent your heart.”

 

It is important to note that this first poem is one of two voices, mine and hers. This part, I believe, is in my voice. I would profess to want to be the best friend to her, forever and always. For that to happen, she would have to deal with everything that was me and my issues with commitment. It is clear, here and back then, that I wanted more, even though I would say I only wanted friendship. One has trouble hiding their heart, especially as an awkward teenager. The last line goes into how I believe I never hold it against her heart that it never reciprocates these “hidden” emotions.

 

“…but,

you know “that” would never dream.

You have to be the god of me

to be a mess

because, God–

Mother is my life.”

 

Her voice. In response to mine. “That” being the idea of me never holding it against her heart, she clearly knows is not true. I expressed anger towards her many times, and some of these times were certainly due to the frustration with our relationship not going where I thought I wanted it to go. She is at once putting me in my place, and consoling me. It would never “dream”…she keeps it in the night, our safe space. “to be a mess” in this poem translates to being in a fullblown relationship. To be in a mess with her, I would need to be the god of her. I would need to be everything and beyond to her. Which, whether she knew it or not, was simply something I could never ever have given at the time. Not even a little bit. “because, God–” she shouts to the heavens something that is the most true part of her soul. She needs redemption. “Mother is my life.” Motherhood, her mother, her being a mother. All of these things, in one. It spells death and life intertwined within her timeline, on multiple occasions. She needs to be a mother, to be the mother she never had, to give a child the life and the love a child deserves. Otherwise, her heart will never truly be whole. As such, she professes this to me, knowing full well I am not the man to help her realize this yearning in her soul.

 

“You will make my day,

(God bless her).

and, I hope you’re happy too, because,

I am

eventually, happy.”

 

Both of us. The first line is hers, the second mine, a soliloquy. The rest are shared. She lets me know that any particular day will be made brightest because of me, but as a whole, I am not the one to light up her entire life. I concede this, hoping the God she may or may not have faith in, blesses her as he/she has failed to in the past. We both realize the other is not truly happy, and that we can only do so much for one another at this point. Time has passed, clearly. But we assure each other, that happiness will be found, at some point.

 

You came, you.

So I could be happy too.”

 

The old Harry Potter/Voldemort duality, but much more sweet and much less “rawr I’m a bad guy look at me and my evil!” Both of our voices. Thanking one another for their respective existence, for coming into being as nothing more than who we truly were as naked, vulnerable individuals. If not for the time and secret space we shared, we might not be alive. Yes, we lack true happiness where things stand. But, despite that, because we had each other at one point, and still do to some extent, we have a real chance at happiness. We helped forge each other’s hearts to live this long. The poem ends with mutual appreciation.

 

Now, onto the next poem. The response, “Those Games”.

‘Those Games” really is a response to the feelings I felt that went without reciprocation. It is an acknowledgement of her desire to be what I wanted, and also that she could never be that, or trust me to fulfill my role that would be much needed in such a partnership.

 

“I wanna play those kinds of games.

haha…

That’s been my life.

and,

I was wondering

what you want.”

 

The first line on its own is a playful response to me wanting more. Emotionally, sexually, she acknowledges it, and lets it slide away with neither reciprocation or, really, true affirmation. Maddening for the teenage boy, necessary for someone who wants the love of a nice young boy but doesn’t want to push him away by outright telling the sensitive little miscreant, “I do not want you in that way at all, not even a bit”. Then, she laughs a humorless laugh. Her life has been  a series of “games” for her, because all she can do is play her part and hope she survives. She says and does things she doesn’t truly believe in, just to survive. It is truly a modern and tragic appropriation of the human condition, in all its unfortunate failings. She allowed me the knowledge of this pain, the existence of it. Not the full story, but the effects. It was all she could part with. I was lucky to have that much. Then, she addresses the real problem with my “desire”, but also asks a question from the modern day us. “What do you want”, teen Billy? What do you really want? What can you provide, in exchange? How do you think it could work? You haven’t considered it much, have you? Just your dreams. Blurry, unrealistic, unsolidified feelings. “What do you want”, modern Billy? What do you want out of life? What drives you now? I am as lost as you, and as one whom I allowed so close, I was just wondering what you thought of life, and of your purpose within it.

 

“…and then I get home and honestly,

I think it’s best to

listen to your heart, and

soul into

…a lot of patience.”

 

She falls back into her comfort zone. Her home. Her family, with her reliable husband, her adorable child, her faithful dog. A perfectly non-perfect zone of normal life. One must simply listen to their heart here, let it release its secrets. Then the soul, and the verb form of soul, “To afford suitable sustenance”. One must fuel the patience in this regard. It may, and will, take a while to find what needs to be heard…but the pause. The pause gives pause. Even she is not certain. What if no amount of listening, renders her dreams truly heard?

 

“With me–

and we have a lot more than “once”, so

I can just stay by you and I love you–

I just don’t think

I’ll ever play this game, though.”

 

She explains her point of view on the entire issue of “us”. We have had more than one altercation, concerning this issue. I told her my feelings, and she hugged me, telling me she didn’t want to lose me as a friend. The time we were on the phone, and everything I said was right, and the way she said “…Bye”, with a slight pause, with a voice that said, “in this moment, on this day, I am yours, and you are mine”. The time I was in college and we confessed more physical feelings. It all dances around, teases the notion, of a real, tangible, all-the-way connected relationship with one another. Because of this, all that we have weathered, she knows she can trust me enough to stand by me, to always feel confident in looking me in the eyes and saying, “I love you”…it just goes back to the game. The game she played with me. Now we playfully call back to that. It isn’t a game she is playing anymore, and…the true form of the game? Us, actually together? It isn’t something she will ever do. Hell, it isn’t something I would do. I’m sure, reader, you want to know why. Well, let’s look at the next lines. The final lines, of both poems.

 

“I was just hoping to get to

the secret of the world.”

 

We…were unlike anything else to one another. The secret meeting in the moonlight. The unresolved curiosity. The lovers who were not lovers, yet loved deeply still. This part can actually be from both of our voices. We saw true beauty in one another. Unending. Something we saw nowhere else. The secret of the world, written between late night conversations.

So, the answer?

The answer here is the answer she gave my silly desires.

No. No, and. Do not ruin true beauty just because your base desires long for more. If you want to find what makes life beautiful, keep looking. The secret of the world is written there, somewhere, in between the lines. Let your heart break, let pieces that should fit together fall apart. Nothing is so simple. Love is the path to the secret of the world, but what they don’t tell you is all of the twists and turns love can really take. Let them. Let love, in its infinite beauty and chaos, leave your life in its wake. Keep doing that, until you find the answer we are all looking for. And then–only then–report back with your answer.