“These are just some dumbs poems that I wrote when I was incarcerated. I recently unearthed that time capsule and I just thought hey man you can ignore how dumb you feel about these and just submit a couple so they at least exist outside of some sad story about spending chunks of my life behind bars (not that they are in any way relative to incarceration).”
Find the Time
My perception of time is small, like pocket watches with chains. Metal gears grinding. Silently clinking, endless ticks. Measured happiness. Just when I think the battery is dead and time will cease, some unknown force pushes years past my blinking eyes. Every sneeze, a decade. Every sleep, a century of lost time. Queen Mab keeping tabs like some bartender who mixes my sleeping pills. Powder-coated, vodka/cranberry colored raindrops in my throat. Lucid dreams where you fight in slow-mo. When I awake, I’ll be eighty-five. Never remembering my waking life. When did I get there? Lost keys in a parking lot of dreams, dyeing my gray hair.
Perpendicular parables of the way things could’ve went. Sour. Like those candy kids, and their sugar drugs. Binge. Microwaved lies, exploding. Red. See what you want to. Denial. Heart like a funeral. Pain. Hurt me like you always do. Brave. Cut like fingers searing. Paper. Brown bags of jealousy. Green. Every basket planned, weaving stability. Sane. Duck-billed sputterings of what you really meant. Deceit. Cross country train rides in the snow. Dreams. Hugging Santa under mall cameras. Cheese. Shopping for summer shoes in the winter. Cheap. Like when I saw them hugged up on you.
I’m strapped in, like at the dentist prepared to get a cavity pulled, waiting for your words, which won’t be new news, like that local station that repeats the weather every ten minutes, never forecasting correctly when I really want to go to the beach in the rain and it’s hot as fuck outside but feels like winter compared to how you make me feel somewhere deep in my chest, pumping like a fish tank airator pushing life through my watery eyes when I’m floundering for words to describe how much I want your soft hands on my hardened heart kneading my worries down to nothing, like some baker at three a.m., working endlessly for people who never give thanks on a holiday that makes you sleep like the gods who once ruled if only through the mindless wonderings of simpler people in easier times, when working the earth was worth it, and I’m ready.
When these eyes first rested, that day, on your face —I forgot who I was, and where, and faint grudges against myself, and the more obscure grudges against the world, and my childhood and my grandmother’s house. It was of course, only for a flash. Next moment I was once more my ordinary social self; flushed and confused to find I’d been staring rudely into your eyes. You appeared to be like sunlight and gold. And now you were addressing me. All the things I’d wished to say to counteract the absurdity of my un-actions failed. Useless utterances of good afternoons and the weather parted my lips. But you were courteous. I was so fixed on you that my attention defeated itself. Your every tone, every glance, every gesture was imprinting itself upon my memory, and it was not until I realized you’d stopped speaking and were awaiting an answer that I’d found I’d taken in so little of what you’d been saying. I wished then, that I could stop blushing. A dozen words died on my lips. Words, soft and chastened. I was shaken: I was actually shaking. Intense hope not to cry, or be unable to speak, or do anything silly; for my world was unmade: Anything might happen now, here with you. Suddenly, I was in a deep calm, like the stillness at the center of a whirlpool, and I saw the truth, and ceased to think of how my words might make you think of me, and asked through the clear beauty to the colors and proportions of you - Could you love me?