A Poem Called “Burned Bare”

I’m not home.

There are few places you can see the stars as fully as here. A coat of smoke covers them, but it’s nothing I’m not used to. Suffocated beauty was my disguise. Our disguise.

But now we’re here. All of us. Chance claims it raised us together, but we know better. We see our own logs scorching in the pit we’re circled around. Hands are raised, the burned bark twirling about fingers. We don’t let it grab hold.

Embers illuminate ashes before they depart. Each star is clothed, but we stand bare. Pride claims it was by our own accord, but He knows better.

Our hearts are here.

But our souls are elsewhere.

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A Poem Called “The Five Senses”

Finally,

There’s nothing.

Pounding vibrations shake my core and shatter my essence

As other soulless bodies sway to the same soundless beats.

I hear nothing.

Smoke swells in my chest,

Engulfing everything in its path from the inside out.

I smell nothing.

Black is periodically pierced by paralyzing white,

Momentarily searing into my skin the somethings I’m trying to escape until I’m relieved with the absence of light.

I see nothing.

Shards of glass bottles slip across my cracked lips

As liquid amnesia slides down my throat and around my thoughts.

I taste nothing.

Sweaty skin suctions to mine,

And I am reminded that physical proximity and emotional confinement are directly related.

I touch nothing.

 

I’m willing to pay the price,

A lack of senses for a life unfelt.

I feel nothing.

I am

Nothing.

I’m collateral damage in the war for sanity.

A Poem Called “A Premonition”

You found me in my best state

Joyful, confident, unafraid

A state that you’ve helped craft

Like I’m a piece of clay and you’re the pottery-maker

Running your hands along my sides

Smoothing out all the bumps and bruises with a simple touch

But smoothing isn’t healing

And my scars run deeper than the surface

Eventually you’ll have to sculpt the inside

Where shards of abuse and nails of self-loathing are found

Don’t ignore the DO NOT ENTER signs

Their brilliant red will transfer to your hands

And blood will trickle down your arms

Where you used to hold me

But where you now wipe clean

The truth you didn’t foresee

 

Just as you smoothed my surface

You cleanse your own

 

You’ll leave me in my best state

Smiling, understanding, still caring

As my shards and nails sink deeper

To make room for more

A Poem Called “A Knot Around My Finger”

I was given a key in a bathroom stall.

A strange hand reached out to me, my back flat against porcelain at the sight,

Only turning so tears could turn to vomit before hitting the water below,

My face so close I could see a reflection,

But it wasn’t my own.

 

Fingers stretching, palms soft,

Unfamiliar, inviting,

I couldn’t stop myself.

I reached back.

In a moment, my fingers desperately clung to her wrist,

And as she placed the key in the center of my hand and guided me to accept what I hadn’t in so long,

Unintentionally, but willingly,

Warmth traveled from her fingertips through my veins,

A surge of light I had forgotten existed.

 

After further inspection, I noticed

A heart carved into the center of the key

Open

I laced a chain through it and around my neck,

Putting the heart on display for more strange hands to grope,

Some kind, others not,

But you can’t have one without the other.

 

Before the key,

There was a lock,

But before the lock,

There wasn’t need for a key.

No magnifying glass, no scalpel, no detective nor doctor necessary,

Watchful eyes blinded and prodding hands punctured,

Shocked out of existence by the freedom I granted my story.

 

Open then and open now,

But now there’s more spilling out.

Without a sleeve strong enough to carry my ever-bleeding heart,

I use that key instead,

Resilient by the warmth given to it on the day I was reminded of a feeling called

Hope.