i often wonder if
when you sleep at night in a room by yourself,
you still feel as if
you’re locked down in a cell.
no longer 6 x 6 x 6
but really, what is your existence?
my heart feels trapped in jail with you
and i miss visiting hours often–
sometimes i get turned away because
my clothes are too tight or my attitude just ain’t right
or i can’t beat the traffic of nightly rush hour.
this sentence is sour.
you are free, but an inmate
and if i remember correctly,
your # was 98028618
but i don’t remember the exact date
when i decided i couldn’t love you anymore.
at times i feel torn,
knowing that you walk free and i am lonely
and that your dream is you and me
and as a result,
my curiosity fuels me to drive down dark alleys
that are dead ends.
i can no longer pretend that we have a future.
i look at the present
and see the ramifications of the past
and cry over wasted youth and good times
and silly mistakes and getting by
and tattooing our skin to show our love lines
and covering up the one of you that was mine
and replacing you,
erasing you with new memories and new guys,
some who hurt me worse than you
but at least they are fresh wounds.
baby, i miss you
as much as i act like i don’t
but i missed me more,
didn’t even recognize myself after i walked in doors,
was an empty shell whose spirit was piss-poor
and i ain’t rich yet
but i ain’t fully switched yet
and when my new channel comes through past the static
i won’t forget what we had.
my first love, free jailbird,
my old siamese twin lovebird,
if i could say one word to you right now,
as much as it hurts me inside,
i would finally say
at night, i feel hesitant
about the confines
of tomorrow’s business suit.
i’d rather be barefoot
or better yet swimming,
traveling laps as i count
the waves of the sea.
but we don’t always get what we want,
my pinstripes are jail stripes
and i wish to break free
but it’s hard to wave goodbye to benefits
with today’s economy.
so to my cubicle cell i report early in the morning,
knowing that the stars will soon come
and i will join my nebulous family
in the galaxy–
we will soar past impossibility,
bursting in the heavenly skies to be seen
right now i am discrete
as to not alert those around
that they have a comet in their midst.
i keep a low profile, smiling politely
all the while knowing that when evening comes
i might be flying…
in my dreams i am climbing,
eyes closed because even i
am not yet adjusted to the shining.
i am stepping on the footstools of regularity,
grabbing onto the rope of extraordinary,
making my home high up in the atmosphere
and saying goodbye to everything
that rests here.
it’s hard for me to
get my hopes up
because i’m used to hopes bringing me
through dark alleys
that i don’t want to go
and leaving me
without a road-map to get home.
i’m used to the positive being negative
and the negative becoming neutral
so that sadness is not out of the norm,
but considered natural.
i’m trying to reverse the meaning of hope,
redefine it in my dictionary of experiences
so i can fully experience this
concept that takes audacity to achieve.
to believe that good is going to happen
is so much more scary than expecting the worst.
but still i beat the dust out of my traveling pants,
hoping for the delights of life
and dances in the rain,
life without the feeling of being insane.
hope will change
my outlook and help me get past
this redundant page
in my book and onto the next.
i command you at this exact moment to
don’t think about it–
just do it…
let the floodgates open
and allow the tears to rush through your eyes
and onto your face
and into the wails of your voice.
don’t think of what to lament for–
just cry until your mind explores
all of the reasons you should shed
cry for every person who should still be here.
cry because you have full use of your eyes,
cry for every time communication wasn’t clear,
cry for every store that didn’t have your size.
for every child born without a mother or father,
cry for every homeless person you’ve walked past with dollars
in your pocket, and the fact that you didn’t bother
cry for yourself.
cry for the pursuit of love,
cry for a connection to God above,
cry as if the only way to make it to heaven
was to pour out a blessing
of your own tears.
cry because you are still here.
cry until reality is clear and all that is false
cry for every word you should have said but didn’t.
cry for every hug you should have given,
for every “i love you” that you’ve hidden
in your heart.
cry as if this is the start
of your life and you have just entered this world
naked as the day you were born
and you have just been torn
from the safety of an umbilical cord.
cry as if this is the day you are dying
and you still haven’t figured out what you lived for.
release all that you have pent up
that has kept you stuck.
it doesn’t matter if you haven’t done it since your were 5,
today i order you to cry.
cry like your dog just died.
cry like your best friend lied
to your face.
cry as if a plane crashed.
cry as if the love of your life just said goodbye
cry as if this is the last
possible time in this universe
for you to explode with an expression of your hurt.
and after you’ve poured out so much that
the water doesn’t come any more,
wipe your eyes and your snot,
inhale and exhale and realize
that it’s not the end of the world
just because you took a few moments
to acknowledge what is inside.
that you can’t walk around
with all that frustration in your mind
and not expect it to influence your life.
and after you feel the relaxation from the sensation
of purging all that will be, is, and is gone
and only after you have done
all that you can to fully embrace this moment,
i command you
to move on.
i am so frequently on the edge
of inconsiderate acts
that if i got my act together,
i’d get my facts together
and proceed to jump off the cliff
of “I don’t have to take this”
and lightly land in a place
where foolishness doesn’t exist.
i am so tired of being taken advantage of
that i yawn disappointment
and dream resentment
and if i were a cartoon, i wouldn’t snore Z’s
but a never-ending sequence of “Negro, please.”
i don’t want to be a mean but
i’m so used to the hurt person being me
and i wonder just what about my identity
causes me to be more prone to this activity.
is it my smile?
perhaps it is too inviting.
or maybe it’s my honesty
honesty is so rare these days that
most people treat it as if it were fake
or hold the truth-teller to the same standard
of that lie-teller who played with their mind the last time.
so here i am left feeling
when that person has moved on
to the next interesting pawn
in the chess game of their intentions.
i don’t want to be captured anymore.
just let me be
because these arms are sore from extending love.
this throat is raw from opening up.
this mind is exhausted from pondering the possibilities
that could never be
and my heart is bewildered that i even bothered
to risk again.
so goodbye, my friend.
i bid you farewell for
it is time for me to depart from this height
to a new land where i demand
to be treated right
and hopefully one day you might
muster up the courage, consciousness, and capacity
to be able to join me.