The Stranger Who Stood Next To Me

I don’t know
who will read this,
but I know you
never will
but there’s this alarm
sounding throughout my system
signaling that it’s time
for me to wake up.

I need you to know
that I will miss you
and everything
I once believed in.
I’ll miss the times
when life was simple
and I looked toward
the future
because it was us,
together,
taking on the world.

I have been dreaming
of those days,
hoping they would return,
but as I’ve been lying
in my dream state of mind,
I’ve found it hard
to open my eyes
to a you that I’ve never known.

But as I’m slowly waking,
I can see the truth– you
have never been you.

I needed you to be
who I thought you were,
so I closed my eyes
and erased all of the signs
that could have helped me realize
that you were just a dream,
a figment I created
out of the stranger
who stood next to me.

The Plunge

image

My fingers are turning blue from the cold.
The numbing,
aching,
unable to move your body
more than a shiver, cold.

Crystallized droplets
softly touch my bare skin.
I stand, ankle deep
in the white snow
surrounded by venturers
ready to take the plunge.
As I’m thinking to myself,
what have I done?

I wrap my arms around my naked stomach-
freezing from the gentle breeze,
waiting for the whistle
to signal movement.

Fweeeeeeet!

I trudge through the cotton-laid ground,
Splash-
quickly burying myself in the sea
of ice and fear.

Once the waters reach my waist,
I can no longer bear
the bitter bite of the frost.

Turning around,
I head back to the solid ground
to find warmth and comfort
in the knowledge
that I will never try that again.

The Wind That Blew Me Away

I could feel it in my bones that day.

The once gentle breeze
picked up and tossed itself
toward me, blowing away
every shattered piece of myself
that sat on the surface of my skin.

I had never brushed off
those broken pieces.

I wore the shrapnel
of my own war–
I wanted everyone to see
that I arose from a battle.
I wanted them to know my pain,
my hurt, my anger.
I wanted an excuse to barricade
myself from the world
so that I no longer stood a chance
of ever breaking again.

But that day,
the calm draft
suddenly turned bitter.
The wind swept away
every last remnant
of all that had once
been fractured.

I tried to capture the pieces
as they floated away.
I reached up
and grasped at the air,
but all I caught
was dust.

Internal Nature

image

As I stood on the embankment,
glanced over the edge,
and watched the water careen
through the narrow creek,
crashing, lightly, as it fell
over rock,
over rock,
over rock,
all seemed still– except
that glistening cascade,
humming its constant gurgle.

The skeleton trees
lurched over the creek,
shielding it
from the eyes of the world,
concealing it
from everyone, but me.
I, under those bones,
stood atop an old blanket
of dry leaves, and clung
to the bark to keep steady
as I leaned with the dirt,
with the trees,
with the water,
and for a moment,
I felt those stones inside
begin to wear down,
as the stream
flowed down my cheeks,
along with the creek.

The Flock

image

I saw it perched
outside your bedroom window–
just sitting there, searing
its beaded, black eyes
through the pane.
Its slate wings slowy waved
back
and forth
as it crowed over its view.
The utterance of that wicked
sound drew another to its side
and that pair of feathered omens
gave hint that something
as dark as they
was on its way.
Their calls to the others
echoed through the bitter air,
freezing my lungs
and numbing my body–
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t move.
Standing next door
on my porch,
glaring across the yard,
I could do nothing
but watch
as they waited,
patiently,
for the murder to arrive.

The Question of Perception

image

Maybe it’s all just an illusion–
A facade set up
for my eyes, solely
and when I turn away,
everything changes,
everything transforms itself.
It molds and configures,
it adjusts and adapts
to accommodate
the next viewer.

Maybe the world isn’t composed
of what we choose to see,
but what chooses to be seen.
Do we hold the controls
of our own perception,
or is it guided
by everything around us?

If so, what happens
when no one’s looking?

I Hope It Rains On New Year’s

image

I hope it rains on New Year’s
to muddy the ground
that I’ve been treading,
forcing me to create new paths
and to leave what once was,
stuck in the past.

I want to hear the sounds
of beads trampling on the roof
as we count down to midnight,
each second, each moment,
renewed by the drops,
washing away the pain,
regrets, mistakes,
and heartbreak
of the year before
and remove the stains
on my heart.

I hope it rains on New Year’s
so I can be refreshed
and my life can bloom
as bright as I plan
in the year to come.