I had a dream that the sun couldn’t touch me,
so I carried a cardboard cut out
just to look real enough to cast a shadow.
I must have looked funny,
because people kept laughing
and between those smiles
I caught myself,
eyes glued to the pavement,
and defending myself
in a flat,
the attic in my mind locked
me out years ago, forcing me
but as luck would have it
the only part of me to
you’ve given the road a taste
and the anger inside now sleeps
I remember when you left your raincoat at my apartment.
It hung there for a month and a half of sunny days,
draping down and giving the coat rack a quiet personality
and at night it would give me the chills.
For that month and a half I couldn’t hear your voice,
you kept it in other places,
filling the ears of stranger with better bar credit than me
and even when I called you
there was only my signal ringing out,
like a flashlight
into the dead of night
where it would fade into nothing
without something solid to reflect it back.
You remembered that you left your raincoat at my apartment,
because the skies have hidden the sun today,
the shadows are less pronounced
and your eagerness to stay warm and dry
brought your knuckles to my front door.
Now the coat rack reveals its stained oak,
but we sit together like old friends
beneath the protective cover of my front porch.
You jokingly tell what you think I want to hear
and we avoid all the topics that deserve to be addressed.
I must subconsciously believe
that my fingertips are delicious,
now every day is a waiting game
while I eat myself alive.
The only known cure for this
rests somewhere calm,
secure from what splinters me
and if I ever find that place
I will be cured by changing the taste
of the things I touch.
My hands will grow back to normal,
no longer hiding in the pockets
where I pretend to look for change.
There’s more beneath the skin,
some unwanted secret
The only promises that come at the end
are laden mistakes.
I always wish
that I’d never given my word,
but nothing stays hidden
when it grows like a hangnail
to either run its course,
or be ripped out with your teeth.
It all comes down to the voice,
that one moment
when the tones come clear,
the names we go by
and silently keeping
all those secrets
that we only tell ourselves
in our dreams at night.
This splinter’s are already stuck
and the wood has grown rotten to the point of infection,
taking its time with the way I feel
and knowing that I’ll never notice
until it’s already inside.
There are times I scream
for reasons like this,
but this time
all I do is realize…
when the moment strikes
that it will be days
until I walk the same way again.
I can feel my body changing
and my clothes are telling me
that the best I can hope for
are wider selections of clothes
to wrap around my sweating frame
and hope I will forget to notice
when I see myself in the mirror.
The clock’s ticking
and I’m running out of time,
the waitress already wants me to leave
but I’m only getting started,
starting this late night late,
like so many others
who’ve only now
come to this place
to finally come out of their shell.
I keep trying to remember
who I was when I was a child, but
the blanks in my head
still sound like gunshots
and the scars in my skin
still tell stories
that I can’t remember.
There’s just the overlapping thoughts
that take me back to almost,
almost a part of me left
where out of sight
means out of mind
and being out of time
means being left behind,
just this walking whisper
still trying to be heard
in a room that’s still rumbling,
like vibrations and echoes might come together
to create an image of sound
that could show me
who it was
that I’ve always been.