Lingering phantoms Dancing with these old vices The boy I was died
keep me warm at night, ghosts of forgotten lovers. graveyard valentine.
Don't think like that. I'll be gone by the morning. Smell my favorite sweater, forget what you always try to remember. "you're beautiful" are my clever words because the camera turns and you're inevitably hurt. You play with fire and expect to get burned. You always said I was thinking of her. Don't think like that. You said I was your addiction. Ghosts of valentines past whisper this same affliction. Quit me. Say it with conviction. In three months, I'll ask you how you're doing and you'll tell me that you're fine. Such a pretty, busy mind. We're all doing fine. Such a pretty, busy mind. My gentle mermaid.
These memories are steel shackles around my feet. I am bound to you.
Hush. Let's play pretend.
Dig your claws into my neck.
Mark me, so I can remember what I should forget.
Bathe me in your scent.
Remind me, which part of you I should regret.
Hush. Let's play pretend.
Say it again.
seventeen text messages.
left on read.
you still haven't texted me back.
i nestle my pseudo lover.
i wrap my hands around her neck.
a bottle of Honey Jack.
something, anything to shade
this gray into black.
i've always been chasing
that which you lack.
i wonder who you're with,
and where you are.
these privileged thoughts
are for the naive.
i chew five xanax
for my nightly reprieve.
i hear five knocks at my door.
"sawyer, it's me!"
the onset of vertigo.
my feet betray reason
as i walk to the front door.
both hands press
against the wooden door.
"you can't keep doing this to me"
my words slur in my pathetic state.
"let me in already, i want you right now"
and just as a puppet dances with string,
i unlock my door and invite you inside.
you're wearing a black,
faded denim miniskirt.
you reek of liquor
and cheap cigarettes.
"have you been using again, sawyer?"
"you already know the answer. why are you here?"
"you're my boyfriend, duh!"
"love isn't supposed to feel like this."
"what is love supposed to feel like then?"
"i feel like i'm dying"
"baby, why don't we die together then?"
remember when we would get high,
just to have fun?
Why, am I so cold? I visit a headstone of a man I used to know, a faint realization of fragmented ego. I am so cold. I drop a bouquet of cheap roses onto filthy soil. Collapse. My fists pound the petals to make them bleed. Violence and pain comfort the parts of myself isolated to shame. Why, am I so cold?
My naked body suspended in a glass chamber. The water is rising. Blue knuckles beat on prison walls. Futility. I see a strange man point his finger. A smile so crooked and ugly. I hunger for violence. For I could shatter his porcelain veneers. Mercy is an allowance for the weak. His face would be an empty page on which I would write three stanzas of vengeance and penance with the tip of my Damascus steel blade. Fantasy is sobered by the icy bite of water swallowing my abdomen. I don't have much time left. The more I struggle, the larger his eyes become. Bastard. If I close my eyes maybe I'll wake up somewhere else. Somewhere far, far away. I stand in defiance. I will no longer give him the satisfaction of my anger. As the water dances along my nipples, I can see my mother faint in the periphery. She is wearing her favorite floral sundress. Black stilettos and the necklace I gave her for her birthday last year. Her skin shimmers in the darkness of my caged eyelids. A single tear runs down her cheek. She mouths the word "goodbye". Water floods into my lungs. They burn like I swallowed cyanide. I am relieved that my eyes are already wet. I hear her voice again, echoing that same word. "goodbye". I love you too, mother.
As the smoke settled,
I could see fire;
crimson blazed in her irises.
I was but ember and ash
flashbacks of that same shade
twirling in my fingertips
as if I could see fallen spirits.
All of these separate faces are
itching, biting and writhing.
Who am I inside,
but another part to hide?
Pause. Rewind. Mine.
Chills split my spine.
I can still remember every God Damn time
I thought I didn’t have to hide.
Who am I really?
And, most importantly, why?