I break the rules.
Conditionally, of course
And within reason
And only if the rewards
Outweigh the risks
To a certain far-reaching degree.
Only then will I consider it.
You see, I’m not what you would call a “daredevil.”
I am Middle C. Epitome
Of a Tête-à-Tête with the “4 out of 5” who agree.
Even energy drinks give me the shakes.
But I still take them
Because much like a shot of tequila
I like the way it makes me feel
Despite the fact that it’s bad for me
And tastes like pissed-out jet fuel.
I don’t remember what I said out loud, but
He replied, “I’m down with that.”
He’s reading The Hobbit.
A book I always found too dense
He likes it like one of those
War documentaries he always plays but I
With its cover’s corners pulled apart,
Revealing its paper white insides like,
An eye looking up,
Exhales in time with his slow blinks.
The page turns.
He wears his shoes in bed.
That’s why I sit in the chair.
Published in Syracuse University’s literary magazine Verbal Seduction, November 2011 (updated)
I wear a dress of chalky pewter,
On a clear and sparkling afternoon.
I don’t belong in such a lovely place,
Where everything is clouded under a veil of lace.
Strangers dance in the glass-stained chapel,
Their sonic smiles beaming at the new couple;
She looks radiant in white,
An ivory glow playing upon her face,
The perfect compliment to her partner’s black,
Refined and regal with an ebony grace.
And then there’s me- the shade of gray.
My hands are folded,
Rigid and still,
At a single table paled by poise.
I’m joined by a glass goblet cradling deep red wine,
Sharp and smooth as steel on the lips;
The closest thing to a kiss.
While everyone else sees sprawling skies,
Sun gravitating towards the modest church,
I see a heavy steel cloud that crushes,
Raining shards of glass that cut,
And I seem to be the only one
Who feels the breaking bones and burns and bloody drips
That trail down my arms like spiders casting webs,
Staining my lunar dress.
I watch two people who believe in something invisible
That’s supposed to strengthen what they already cannot see.
To me, that’s too much faith to put in something unlike the
Steel and the glass and my moon-dust dress.
What vows would bind those of us
With bones of steel and hearts of glass?
With frigid, rusting goblets clutched in our ashen palms,
And our shadowy silver eyes fixed over stained lips and slate dresses?
I’m trapped behind these walls.