“Doing nothing is something; it means accepting that falling apart is as normal for us as breathing.”

I built you a home in my chest by clearing out everything that was useless. My skin was paper, so I cut it away into tiny shapes of cranes, and you smiled as my flightless birds floated on top of the bathwater. You watched them only long enough to see as they made their way from one end to the other, so I won’t blame you for not knowing that water and paper birds don’t exactly mix. My ribs were bleached chalk, so I turned them into the seasons. During the summer they became the white letters littering sidewalks and flat driveways. As Autumn soaked the leaves that shimmering amber of hard liquor, my ribs found root in your gardens and became your second bloom of pristine Candytuft. When winter gave you nothing but a bitterly bright tundra, my bones turned into powder, as soft as moonlight, to gently kiss your rosy cheeks. And when Spring finally came, I flattened what remained of my ribs into cherry blossoms. They were tinged the palest pink at the stem, but you didn’t seem to mind, so I ignored the color. Even as that pink began to run red, I didn’t stop. You were still smiling, with every petal that filled the air you were smiling so wide… so of course I couldn’t stop, couldn’t slow down….how could I, when I was making you smile?

“My heart feels like it’s swallowed up in Autumn, even as the first storm of spring is right outside my window.”

My body aches for Spring winds,

Their tips curled with cotton embers,

Holding just enough of a spark

To thaw the azure April sky.

I love watching that air jitter,

The crystals of swirling snow

Pacified into sleepy puffs

Of sailing Dandelion clocks.

My once bloated, spiked steps

That would crunch and crack

And crumble under my course

Are renewed as thin, mossy lines,

Graceful and unburdened,

And I am able to dance

In the thunder and lightning

Of blossoming beginnings.

In that wind I feel a hope,

So trying doesn’t seem pointless

And I can find myself,

Maybe even dream again.

The silence carries with it weight; oxygen now exists in my lungs as heavy air, my throat unable to swallow such a solid mass, unwilling to give passage to that last breath, as I wasted it on words you never heard.

I speak through my actions, louder than my words,

Yet my words seem to scream off this page in a way my body never could.

I write down the truth I’m either too afraid to verbalize or…

No, that’s just it: a fear pays me well to hold my tongue,

Demons, both real and living only in my skull, keep me buried,

And so I, and others, label myself a coward.

The phrase “I must change” translates from my pages into

“I can’t be bothered; I’m not worth the effort;

Some people have to be losers; I deserve this pain.”

Strangers don’t repeat this to me, unless the unknown eyes

Staring back at me from corporate purchased mirrors

Count as people unknown.

I’m self aware, for all the good that does me.

Again, actions speak louder than words,

So knowing equates to nothing if only notes,

Scribbles in blue and black, are the sole reaction.

This is the hardest part to explain;

Why would a self aware person purposefully aim to fail?

That fear is so great that it would eat away at success?

Yes.

My fear holds not just my tongue, but my chest,

Keeping my lungs from thinking they know how to breathe.

My fear fights back my senses and leaves me numb,

And I forget anything aside from the sensation

Of an devoid stomach despite it being filled

With empty pill bottles and unchecked guilt.

I can write down why I feel that guilt;

I have no tangible reason to want to die

Yet I always end my day wishing for it,

And I hate myself for that.

What does some 20 something punk know about death?

Pathetic.

My actions are a coward who begs for death

But can’t pull a trigger.

I can write down “I need to be different”

Then run down the halls and through the hills singing

“I’ll fail anyway, why fucking bother”

And so of course I lose before I even try.

I realize I am lacking and continue to be the same.

Am I just trying to give myself more reasons to hate me?

As if I needed that.

Perhaps just a tangible excuse for others?

Of course.

I’m a writer, so I’ll write it down.

I fear death, but what else will calm my soul?

I fear love, so why love myself?

I fear my inabilities, so just act as if I never realized.

I know I should, but that means nothing;

I get no praise for hollow words.

I left my life of black and white to feel the brightest red. But time cools hearts, leaving it in parts, and I’m left with this blue instead.

We used to talk every night; you never let me fall asleep.

A certain wonder enticing my eyes to refrain from closing in your company.

I would instead stray as the rolling thunder, masquerade as your thin visage reflected.

I wore you, yet what is it that you colored me?

 

When we started this you were my softness, my tranquil dawn,

My summertime siesta, a picture perfect minute,

The heavens above fields of dreams, where kites drift on a clear breeze

And rain never falls as the Sun never fades.   

 

But Suns always set, and so moments become memories,

And against that tide of a shifting sky,

Time revealed that softness to be such a frail thing…

 

My mornings turned into the sound of scraping ice.

The sight of my numb breath, frost laced kisses,

Caught in the dark of the far to early evening,

A rattling through my lungs that drives my body to shivering pieces

Across these unshoveled sidewalks of December, Ohio.

 

Yes, I was still draped in your color, but only now do I see

The never-ending shades that your blue could be.

Another day, another night, another wasted chance, another series of calls to apologize for the fuck-up that is me.

The cold bites away at already frost bitten toes while my tongue feels glued to the roof of mouth. My eyes are trained on the only source of light, the ever so bright sight of moving pictures; the modern marvel of television. They are meaningless sitcoms, containing characters nobody has ever been in “real life”. The noise goes in one ear and out the other. The shows are only there to provide different shades of lighting, pseudo-creative illumination for my mockumentary. Are the walls closing in around? No, rest assured, it is only the sound of your own hollow breath being caught up in your chest, no longer reaching your lungs, stopping the process of turning oxygen into carbon monoxide. Brain cells die. One by one by one by one… This really is a never ending process…

Ohio has a way of beating a person down, with winds that only roar during those times when I need the world to hear me scream.

I no longer get cold in the winter. That is to say I no longer care if I get cold. Of course I am affected by the wind as it hurts my face; I am blinded by the snow that covers my hair and shoulders, tripped by the ice under my feet, covering the streets, invading my fingertips as it travels up arm, shooting across my spine, burrowing into my chest, giving birth to one cold breath after another. I’m heaving and choking on the cold air that bites at my teeth and clings to even a dead soul like mine. Yes, I feel this winter, a ballad of walking death, beautiful in it’s whites and winds, bitter and forever in its icy glare, it’s frozen grasp over all it touches.