Home > Poetry > the way a soul burns

the way a soul burns

I don’t want it to mean anything,
but it does. I’m bent over
examining every moment, fingers
trying to return the broken pieces,
they no longer have a place
(tell me, do I? I can’t remember.
I’ve forgotten how home feels).

no, I’m fine.
yes, I’m okay.
nothing’s wrong.
everything’s five-by-five.

these are the lies
easily told, while dinner burns
and a keen pain
jack knifes in the emptiness,
this is how I take the blame,
not because I want it, but it’s just
sitting there, looking at me,
eyes wide, wondering
where it belongs,
if it belongs,
and I –
I feel kindred.

yes, I’m okay.
no, I’m fine.
everything is right.
nothing’s the matter.

these are the lies
people expect, paraded out
like marionettes, dancing
to brighten up the afternoon,
it’s summer, and the days
are longer than I ever anticipated.
then, suddenly, things stop
happening. whole days
vanish like a lie
trying to protect itself,
and I’ve stopped saying things
out loud, because
all these graceless feelings
are famous for the wrong thing.

this situation is familiar, a space
where something larger
used to sit, and now I worry
that absence is a place
I’ll need to repurpose:

i miss you.
i miss you.
this is my fault.
this is my doing.
i brought the knives.

I have been faithful to beautifully shattered things.
I have honored the fight.
I have stopped breathing.
I have shown up at the wrong door
covered with defiance, laughing
at regret. I know
the way a soul burns
without expectation; I know
how to make promises
that someone else cannot keep.
I know.
I know.

I don’t want it to mean anything,
but that’s the last lie.
what I want
and what is –
these are heavy, elusive
and opposite things.

the heart has one or the other:
gravity or grace.
one is buried,
the other burying.
guess which kind of fool
i am. i am. i am.

quick, before my swallowed rage
makes a coward out of this,
out of us, out of the
absence that is unknind –
tell me that you know
how much I am asking,
tell me that you know
what I am willing to give:
the taste in my mouth is yours,
right there
on my tongue, a kiss
for the taking.

Categories: Poetry
  1. simplyblake
    August 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Once again, so may lines strike a chord. Today, these seem to resonate the most:
    “… I’ve stopped saying things out loud, because all these graceless feelings are famous for the wrong thing.”

    So perfect. ❤

    • August 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Blake! I really appreciate it. Your comment totally made me smile. ❤ xoxo

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