006p: pen

tried and true,
this blue fountain
pen glides ink
across the lines
of an empty page.
it’s summer–
broad, wet summer,
hanging over us
like an olympic
gymnast ready
to launch into
a routine.
this letter, a
missive to you,
to prove something,
to prove my hands
believe my heart,
to prove that
ink is complicit
in flights of fancy.
yet in all these
chicken scratches
no word is suffused
with anything more
than worry and
contempt about
myself; no honor
to you, no love
no decency. i am
afraid, and i
swerve to avoid
it, but the pen
never allows me
to lie.

005p: breathe.

my depression manifests as
“you’re not good enough.”
my anxiety manifests as
“nothing you’re doing is right.”
together they scream
a cognitive dissonance
like a banshee shrieking
into the pit of hell.
one line in a contract
that i agonized over
and was too nervous to
talk to the attorney about
because i ask too many questions,
i am over-burdensome
they are busy and important
and i am nothing.
i should know things,
every thing, all the time.
the sun reflects off koin tower.
behind it a wall of gray
dominion of clouds.
remove my glasses,
pull my hand down my face.
search through the labyrinth
for a fragment of solace
inside myself. something.
it’s friday, at least.
i’ve got that. i can hold that.
“this poem sucks” i think
as i write it. you might agree.

004p: stickums

bright vibrant colors on thin squares
–we draft notes in thick black ink
upon your waifish pulpy paper hairs,
bold medallions of what we think
in languid moments of lucidity,
between the mulchy drone of living,
acting with intense perfidity
to feign a penchant for forgiving
errant thoughts among the turbulence
of being alive. each thought a lesson
brought to you by the letter C,
the number 6, the papal blessing,
a twine-bundled copse of sage set free
with fire and oxygen and astronomy.
      we write this on you, you see.

003p: kissed

i was staring out
at the brilliant
orange sunrise when
i realized i hadn’t
been kissed in a
very long time.
suddenly the dryness
across my lips
felt more potent.
time flies when
you’re depressed.
next thing you know
it’s 2018 and
you glance back
at the hole you’ve
been climbing out
of. you imagined
several feet but
it’s just a couple.
and then, like when
you remember you
have a thick,
muscley tongue
in your mouth,
i remembered the
press of soft lips
against my own,
the half-open mouth
and awkward angling
of two protruding
noses. the innocent
occasional clacking
of front teeth.
the laughter.
the moment in-between
when you lock eyes
and share each other.
i realized i
missed that.
i felt embarrased
by it, like i didn’t
deserve it. tried
to shake it off.
the sunrise is just sun now.

002p: broke lament

they say
“trust your gut”
“travel more”
“follow your heart”
these people
born from coffers
of money.
they say
“take risks”
from a trapeze
over a safety net,
each failure
a tumble
into waiting arms,
a brief respite
into a savings
or a desperate
phone call
to a parent.
they get jobs
to see what
it’s like
to be people,
and quit as soon
as it’s hard.
they wonder why
you’re always broke.
not they–
always wonder
why you’re broke.
& it’s because
you never had
money to begin with.

3 five-syllable sonnets

dreaded emptiness
fills my vacant lungs
like absent ichor
desperate for nothing–
satiated by
the vacuum of my
loneliness. behind,
an anxious beating
heart continues its
vapid advancement
toward obsolescence.
and submerged in this,
a flailing brain, too
self-absorbed to care.

the beats of the heart,
prior to your own
death. impossible
to count, they ravage
onward toward ex-
haustion, and with them,
you. you had no say
in this, no power
over your own heart
and its context. you,
replete with feelings,
destined for the dirt
and meal for earthworms.

happiness eludes
me, perpetual
sand sifting through my
outstretched fingers. i
am obsequious
to lingering doubt,
held in position
by neverending
question, festering
through languid meaning.
i know nothing of
happiness. i trudge
through morose thickets
in eternal search.