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,
We do so many things collectively
and have too much in common
to always get along.
Only testing the temperature of the water
with the parts of ourselves
that are the furthest away,
the end bits,
toes and fingers,
the most commonly lost
in work-week accidents
and engine repair holidays.
So we drink to finish ourselves off,
claiming the day is done,
the lights are almost out
and the spark that once lived like a flame
is now ready
to become darkness.
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.
At the base of distance,
leaning into the membrane
an edge waits,
it preys on the hesitant,
to swallow their flames
lapping up the air like wild dogs
in orange and blue light.
When I feel like giving up,
my reasons to breathe hide,
like deleted scenes,
and the broken plans
for far away days.
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.
I’ve asked myself before
and like tips
my answers are always positive.
I never give myself
just the reflex
that keeps me smiling
and the tone
that convinces me
that I’ve never done anything wrong.