my life is like a painting
where i keep re-working the images
ever so slightly,
so that things appear a little different
life has a way of fracturing the heart
and trying the soul.
the stamina of youth refers not only to a certain physicality,
but also to the health and strength of ones spirit.
the blissful naivete and idealism of youth
gradually gives way to a certain cynicism,
a numbing acceptance,
just as summer gives way to fall
each day becoming slightly cooler,
each leaf slowly changing color
drying out, shriveling up,
one by one dropping to the ground
scattered like fallen soldiers.
but for the few resilient souls
who refuse to be railed by the blunt and bludgeoning
hammer of society’s cloned and listless dream;
for those beautiful, unreasonable children of light,
the world is a playground,
stretching out before them
like an endless canvas.
all of our possessions are full of heartache.
the kitchen table and chairs we bought together
at the consignment store on south Lamar in the drizzling summer rain.
the bookshelf i recently found while on the job delivering groceries,
and that we had needed for some time;
our books having been strewn about scattered and dusty
upon the fake laminate wood floor.
the dresser drawers i painted sky blue
with the leftover paint from the bathroom,
which never really worked for the bathroom walls,
but somehow worked quite well for the dresser drawers.
the red velvet garage sale art
depicting an image of the Golden Gate Bridge
framed in dilapidated wood that we found while riding bikes
through the rolling southside neighborhoods.
the coffee table that Todd and Mel gave us
with its small center drawer where we used to keep the Mary Jane.
and the bed, that old saggy hand-me-down
that came with the apartment
which always left us spooned side by side in the middle by morning.
all of our possessions are full of heartache
as we load them into the bed of the big, red, borrowed pickup truck,
moving them all to Joe’s new apartment
sweating in the oppressive July heat
up and down the singing streets of Austin.
up and down the staircases of the ant farm apartment spaces
we trudge our belongings,
and they sit there quietly now amongst the white walls
and popcorn ceilings of Joe’s new apartment
feeling abandoned, alone and terrified of their uncertain future.
and we leave them there with Joe our good friend
whose new possessions are all full of heartache.
i pick up the pen
press it against the paper
words rise up from the page
they rise up like blood
seeping through a new bandage
revealing me to myself
saving me from myself
for a moment
most people don’t like to hear
about how things really are.
rather, they want to hear about how
everything is going to be just fine;
how everything is going to work out for the best,
and how everything happens for a reason.
these warm, reassuring affirmations serve one single purpose;
to bring order to the chaos,
and they are the most important lies
we will ever tell.
God and i had an agreement,
arrangements had been made,
only he hasn’t held up his end of the bargain.
i tell him he keeps making mistakes,
but he says that’s impossible,
that he’s God and doesn’t make mistakes.
i say what about this weight and this darkness,
and he says what about these wings and this fire.
i say what about this death and destruction,
and he says what about this new day.
i think he may have lost his mind,
that too many prayers for too long
may have taken its toll on the old codger.
i tell him i’m praying all the time,
but he’s not listening.
he tells me he’s speaking all the time,
but i’m not hearing.
i ask him why it has to be so damn hard.
he says it’s a cakewalk if i would just let go.
i say you made me this way
and he smiles.
the sun is about to come up
you can tell by the color of the sky
how it begins to change
from that deep, dark, saturated blue
becoming ever so gradually brighter
passing through all the colors of birth
like a flower opening
like falling in love
what am i to do about this aching heart
that shallows my breath and weakens my will?
what am i to do about this waning spirit
that walks along the edge of extinction?
what am i to do about this darkness
that falls upon me like a thousand silent hammers,
and no matter how cleverly i hide
still finds me like the evening shadows find the forest floor?
what am i to do about these memories that haunt me
holding me down
in so many tender regrets?
what am i to do about this endless hope
that drives me onward towards oblivion?
what am i to do about this death that forever follows me,
my constant companion upon the rising road?
what am i to do about this love that won’t die
but is killing me slowly?