POEMS FROM A BROKEN FERRIS WHEEL

JUST KEEP TALKING

Tell me something I don’t know
And then, keep talking.
Silence shared is hardly uncomfortable
but with you,
It is always the lesser of two possibilities.
 
You with the bugs in your hair
and a head that itches with ideas.
With opinions and an outlook that is
equally cynical and optimistic.
 
Lend me some comfort.
Let me pluck the bugs from your head
and nest them in mine.
They’ll crawl in my ears
and make the inside of my head their home.
 
On the first of the month,
I’ll ask them to leave.
 
Or
 
I’ll think to myself,
Maybe they don’t have to go.
Maybe they can stay.
Stay with me and
Tell me something I don’t know
And then, keep talking.

I WROTE THIS WHILE YOU SLEPT

The crash of a wave rings in my eardrum.
This crash wasn’t as loud as the last,
didn’t carry with it a reminder of its crushing potential.
This wave was soft.
Pleasing.
 
It was a footnote in a conversation about
living a life full of love
while still feeling empty.
 
What if you die alone?
To some extent, everyone dies alone.

Like a crawfish
pulled up in a net and stuffed into a drawstring bag,
we suffocate.
 
The late-night fishermen delight in that catch.
We’ll make 25 dollars on that one!
To an outsider, it looks disappointing,
but to them,
it is enough.
Enough to spend the rest of their Friday night
staring out into the void of the sea,
hoping it gives them something in return for their time.  

DEEP SHIT

My shit is a-flutter.
Not my actual shit.
What I mean to say is,
My internal shit is a-flutter.
 
Not the internal shit that runs through my intestines.
It’s in the pit of my stomach
but its not shit.
Not that shit.
 
This shit is butterflies.
Not actual butterflies.
I didn’t eat butterflies.
I had the brisket.
There is no butterflies in my shit.
 
This shit is looking at someone
For an extra second or two,
just because.
 
This shit is watching someone sleep,
but not for too long,
because then that shit's kind of creepy.
 
This shit is writing poetry
for the first time since that poetry class last Winter.
This shit is writing shitty poems.
 
Bad poems I mean,
not poems about shit.
I don’t write poems about shit,
at least not actual shit.
 
This is about other shit.
Sweaty palm shit.
Heart skips a beat shit.
Fairy tale shit.
Prince and princess shit.
One and only shit.
Happily ever after shit.
 
Happily ever after bullshit.
That shit is shit.
Real shit.
Smelly shit.
Intestinal shit.
Heart break shit.
 
Maybe all shit is just shit.
Even that a-flutter shit.

A BROKEN WHEEL

The Ferris wheel comes to a grinding halt.
In the lowest passenger car,
two silhouetted figures
sit under a façade of comfortable sadness.
 
When one smiles,
so does the other.
They take turns pouring happiness into one another
realizing but not acknowledging
they will never be full.
 
They will not reach the top.
 
The wheel’s peak
is filled with promises.
Promises from a world
waiting to be conquered.
Promises of a world that
overflows with happiness.
 
But the problem with the machine
is that even when it isn’t halted,
the promises of its peak
are only temporary.

CONCEIVED IN VENICE

Holding a white paper cup in one hand
and a microphone in the other,
a lonely man sings power ballads on the boardwalk.
 
That could be me.
I’m not familiar with the words of the song
but I recognize the melody of melancholy.
Heartbroken and lost,
consumed by that desperation.
Hugging a speaker like its vibrations equal life,
the piano less piano man continues
singing his song to a world that isn’t listening.
 
My mind wanders.
 
You tug my arm and pull me from the rain clouds in my head.
Let’s look at this stuff.
Rings and crystals.
 
You stop at a table and stare at a white crystal that’s shaped like a monolith.
This one is pretty,
You say.
It is,
I respond,
while looking at you.
 
An old man steps in between us and
grabs the crystal with his cracked hands.
This is quartz,
He says, lifting it to eye level.
 
I look at you.
You look at me. 
This is quartz,
He repeats while raising the crystal again.
We both nod nervously.

Quartz,
he says, setting it down on the table.
The admiration in his voice is not lost.
To you, the crystal is pretty.
To him, it’s something else entirely.
And even though it’s not something he can hold onto forever,
every second he holds it is a second he doesn’t want to let it go.
 
I slip into myself again as we leave.

Let’s walk on the sand.
The words pull me from my fogged reflection.
Your voice is soft.
So soft I can barely hear it sometimes.
So soft that when I think about it days from now,
I’ll struggle to remember anything more than a whisper.
 
We lay down on the sand.
You rest your head on my stomach.
This is nice,
You say.
I close my eyes and think for a second,
This is quartz.

THE WORLD SHEDS ITS SKIN

Pa que es la cuna si el niño solo quiere dormir en cama?
Duerme tan augusto, pero uno de estos días,
se va a caer y se le va a reventar la cabeza.
 
A princess,
With skin that glows in the Summer
and bones that ache in the Winter
stares out into the moonlit horizon.
Beneath her feet, the worlds surface begins to blister.
 
Ten cuidado niño,
porque con las princesas,
no es la cabeza que revienta,
pero el alma.
 
A Princess shops.
She picks up a blouse.
She unfolds it and admires its beautiful lavender tone.
Then, without folding it neatly back into place,
tosses it back on the shelf,
a crumpled mess.
 
Niño,
Regrésate a tu cuna.
Escóndete en la seguridad de sus bordes.
 
Boy meets princess.
Like the blouse,
his life is separated into
the time before her
and the time after.
 
Beneath their feet,
the world sheds its skin.
It will never be the same again.

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