nothing in return

I asked for erasure and was given life. I asked for painlessness and met that man. I prayed for god and saw death. I begged for so many things and was given everything else besides. But when I asked for nothing, I received you. And you asked for nothing in return. So what could I do? I gave you everything I had. I became full again. Until I wasn’t.

These days nothing comes easy, but eventually. I loiter a lot. On thoughts about my history. I think about all the days I memorized from 2008 and how all the other years became a blur. I think about why that is. I recall the few people that liked me despite how unlikable I was, how difficult. How I cried about all my secrets. The birthdays I spent alone, driving along PCH chain smoking my cigarettes at midnight. The bag of empty green cartons strung along my gear shift. The piles of unpaid parking tickets. In San Diego once, a man tells me how bad he felt for all the jobs I had in college. I stretch my mouth into a stunted smile: It wasn’t as bad as it seemed maybe. Fuck that, he whispered. You were always working somewhere.

And even long before that, I sliced my palm with a pairing knife in a weed-filled kitchen in San Diego. In another house not far away, I drank carlo rossi for the first time and watched the black ocean waves rush into the quiet cove where I sat. A lifetime ago, and all I can think is: of all the people I so brightly remember, who are the ones I’ve so conveniently forgotten? How many memories have I been wiped from? When I stop breathing will anyone talk about the days I spent in San Diego? The uninsulated garage in Fountain Valley? All the nights I walked the downtown streets alone.

there’s a universe inside of you

I should’ve said a lot of things considering all the things I did say. All those times we drew out our dreams, didn’t we mean “I love you”? Somewhere inside of us we think this is the unspoken thing. That it was more special because we never had to say it. Because we knew things in secret. How many secrets make a lie? How often can you tell the same lie before it becomes truth? How many lies have I told?

I have said so much. I have never said anything you didn’t already know. I told you about the days in the hospital. How much of that story sounded familiar, as if I had implanted the idea in your head long before we met? And the songs? All that poetry? Books left unfinished. Didn’t everything feel like deja vu? You told me the dream you’ve never admitted to having. Funny, because it was mine too. Once, you told me that you wished other people could see me as you saw me. Inside I thought, that’s a lie. And I think you knew it was a lie. Because how much of this was different because it felt untouched by the rest of the world? Sometimes I wonder if you ever told those secrets to anyone else. Secrets I covet because of their bondage. But what if all the things I thought belonged to me, didn’t? How many secrets make a lie? What if I had said I loved you? 

strange cruelties

For months I avoid the poetry to suppress the crying. No more lines about the suffering. No need to make it any harder. Sometimes I think about what would have been if I hadn’t. Some strange cruelties in a man gets to go undiscovered, forever un-surfaced. Strange happinesses too, though I can’t think of any right now. When I think about you, I conjure words I’d never use in public. Like “alas.” Alas, maybe it was destined to be this way. Alas, you’re so far gone now, did I ever really know you? When I used to think it’s all I ever really knew? I am older now. Old enough to feel my force. To know that that kind of energy can evict everything else in my path. Years ago I convinced myself that being too much was too much. Yelling revolution, too much. Demanding that the shoe drop, too tiring. Sometimes if you will something hard enough it will happen. Sometimes if your will is too hard you will push everything away. You lose so much at times you wish you were somebody else. You lose enough that it just makes sense.