Alterations

I prefer sketches of you.

They let me live in the negative space

Near creased corners.

Your expression cannot change

From brave to faint

when left as coal on a page.

 

I remember the first time you wore that dress.

It covered you and the air in equal portions,

Losing itself in the waves of shaded hair

And unknown sources.

Each subtlety in the way you moved reminded me

Why children believe wind can whisper

And shadows devour.

 

That dress doesn’t fit now.

Time gave you a new understanding of the word brittle.

 

Hour and hour and hour drew past towards our last decent moment when you said I need you and I said I don’t and I said I can’t mask how empty I am anymore than you can pretend you aren’t made of glass and you started to crumble and crack in ways I hadn’t thought possible.

 

You shattered in front of me,

Fragments sliced my skin.

I felt no pain before or during,

Only after your ruin.

I avoid seeing you now

Because you will shatter again.

 

That is why I prefer sketches of you.

That is why I collect sketches of you.

That is why I talk at sketches of you.

Pagliacci’s Cage

You appear to me like sun’s golden clouds.

The fair heavens enjoy subtle company.

The light breaks through your perfectly placed shrouds,

With the ease of a softly played symphony.

Your rays of beauty flash quickly through my mind.

 

Our pasts swiftly collide, crash like thunder.

Forceful feelings of allegiance leave me blind,

Precisely how lightning yields me in wonder.

 

But, your infidelity left me no choice.

Quiet rage took away every lone breath.

Each lying word took credence from your voice.

Uncontrolled wrath led me to gift you with death.

While in my cell, the future stands uncertain.

My last chance at freedom fell with the curtain.

Lost Hallways

While the world lied about us,

I explored.

I took lost hallways wherever they

Led me.

Places where tar fades

To gravel.

Fields harboring birds I don’t know the

Names of.

To canyons that would have let your laugh

Echo loudest.

 

While the town forgot me,

I left.

My rearview held cities known for

Ninety-degree angles,

Fake glass windows and the peeled paint of

Main street.

 

While you ignored me,

I traveled.

oOa I carried constellations in

My head.

Neons, and stories from strangers

Nearly missed.

 

I traded speckled tile floors

For roads, and you for open air.

Sometimes I still can’t breathe, but now I know where to find my lungs again.