Today, I decided to stop being miserable. I know it’s really not as simple as making a decision to feel one way or the other. The reasons for my unhappiness still exist, they’re still very real. But I can do something about it, and only I can make it better.
I start today.
i thought you were the most
the way you smiled like
you knew all my terrible secrets
and the way you touched
my hand anyway, like
it was perfectly okay
not to be perfect
and then you got even more
beautiful when you laid down
on my bed for the first time
and i saw you in a new way
with your hipbones pointing toward
the ceiling i had stared at
so many nights when i couldn’t sleep,
and the curve of your back tickling
the bed sheets i had lain in
night after night
fearing they would never be touched by
another body, and you
were surrounded by so much of me
you smelled my pillow and
looked at the pictures on my wall
and you smiled because you knew
all my terrible secrets and you
The exceptional thing about us
is not that we survive binge drinking
after three days of all-nighters,
fueled with Adderall and coffee,
in houses crumbling beneath our feet.
Nor the fact that we passed classes
we studied within a library, socialite
hub of all that sought procrastination.
No breakthrough was ever to be made
in regards to diversity,
despite furious opinion pieces
and sitting through debates on inclusivity.
We named every house a color,
though house parties, dead, inspired
homage, paid to bar gods and goddesses.
We subtweeted a little every day to please ourselves.
It’s impossible to forget, though,
the seventeen, 13th planks, leaving behind
legacy, lore, and legend in hopes that those
less-than-legal activities live on
longer than the Rustic Bridge and
chalk-scribblings atop the brick paths toward success.
Dear Eternity, suppose we don’t know better.
Forgive our trespassing and stolen lawn decorations.
Remember that it is always cloudy,
or about to snow, and yet without,
we’d have no Gheny Problems or common enemy,
but only a sullen reason to live
and inferior reason to outdrink our past weekend.
It flows out, agitating the
pain brought from impatient and
unprotected thrusts of the spear
which brings forth the warm spoils
of conquest taken without permission.
Let me chase you. Hot. Let me chase you through desolate fields of shriveled
fruit. Fields that provide no sustenance. No fruit. Let me chase you fruitlessly.
I won’t give up. I give up. Let me chase you as a prize. For care.Wit.
Attention. Wet my appetite as I chase you, not looking at me,
dusting the untilled and desolate dirt you leave behind.
Come back. Don’t run. Don’t spit.
Accept. Acknowledge me with a fleeting glance to acknowledge my angst
and hopelessness and sleep and love and attention and who knows what.
Still not love. Why? Who knows why
I chase you, tilling the dirt that has been unplanted for far too long
barren of attention and full of emotion you once took.
Emotion you don’t need lends me emotion I don’t want, only to rip
attention away from me, chasing you, before it is ripe and in possession of sweet
decadence that attention can give, but desolation cannot deter from,
to melt what I cannot give up on, and grasp what I cannot.
I’ll give up chasing you. Hot. Sulk. Drop. I’ll drop to the dusty fields of desolation
and garnish my hands with dirt of my newly fertilized life and acceptance
from lands unknown and reasons you’ll never know. Attention flows like river under
your house. My house. Acceptance. Blossoming. Love. I love flowers. I have flowers.
Cold is the water
Which you have pushed
Into my Summer.
Torn from adoring
Flees; springing passion
To the wanton dance
Of hate, and desire.
When Fall’s upon us,
You run for the warmth
Which Winter can bring.
Dance with me once more,
My wanton woman
Of Winter and Spring.
Last night, at a party we said goodbye
to a bottle of Blue Coat, top shelf liquor for one month
of work. Poured deep into a crystal glass,
we strike a match and smolder the cigar.
At first struggling to relax and enjoy,
deep contemplation engulfs, watching smoke
dance up over the glass, while the alcohol
parades into the liver.
Sometimes the record
goes quiet, a body that we’ve forgotten
entirely about, a voice out of which music
will come if she’s a dancer running amiss, if she’s
strewn like emotion in my mind, a frame
where logic disappears, sensual dancing without desire.
Then the alcohol warms, stealing thought to Sleep.
One of the most beautiful moments in my life was immediately following the death of a friend. He was a Brother, and the long night after he took his own life was escorted away by a sun rise that will never be rivaled. Four of us sat on the roof, huddled up underneath three blankets, watching the sky try on twenty-seven different colors of four different outfits. Although it was hiding behind a changing-screen of trees, its naked beauty was ever so visible and warm. It showered over us as we tilted our heads back and soaked it in. Reassurance of some kind was granted, and I do not know where it came from at all, in the darkest moments of those days.
We went inside to light some more candles, escape from the grim reality that was Saturday morning, and taking comfort in one another, this time over a pot of coffee and stories. Perhaps it was the coffee this time, but warmth (again) and comfort took ahold of my body, oh so welcome in a time of need. With the best company, what can one do but laugh and smile? Perhaps it was the exhaustion, or perhaps it was you, Brother. Perhaps all along, you were there. All night while we grieved, searching for answer we would never get, and crying until all that was left was beads of salt to drip down faces and clink on the hardwood floor, perhaps you were there trying to warm and comfort from your place of peace and happiness. And perhaps you finally succeeded when that sun rose, washing away the tears and grief and sadness, showering us with a kind of warmth that will never be able to create.
At times, though, I do try to emulate that warmth, but perhaps only you were able to give us that warmth; a warmth that reassured our tired eyes and minds, saying, “Brothers, it’s OK I’m OK Rest easy, as I will, and one day, we will all sit on the roof to watch the sun rise with no trees to obstruct, and surrounded with warm laughter, company, and bliss.”
Chase me. Chase me dry. Wet. Chase me through fields of water.
Water that is dry from tilling of fruit. Chase me fruitlessly.
Give up. Attempt to chase me for prize or scholarship or wit.
Or invest. Wet the fingers of the investors chasing you
who chases me, tilling the fertilized ground you plowed.
Leave the ground. Fly. Spit.
Deny. Request to chase me out of angst and weariness
and hope and sleep and love and boredom and who knows why.
Not love. Why? Who knows why
you chase me, tilling the over-fertilized ground with manure
that reeks of money you don’t have and emotion you don’t possess.
Permission you don’t have lends you emotion that you don’t possess, only to rip
investments from the ground you chase me on before it is ripe and in possession of sweet
decadence that investment cannot buy nor water dilute,
to permeate what you can’t give up on, and grasp what you cannot.
Give up chasing me. Wet. Sulk. Move. Move on from the drowned fields of water
and plant new seeds in other investments that fertilize your life and fly you away
to lands undiscovered and reasons you never knew. Money flows like the river under
your house. Your house. Happiness. Blossom. Dread. I dread flowers. I need flowers.
In coelo queis est.
There was nothing, I thought, still think,
you couldn’t do. Bring warm gifts
of smiling and hearty laughter -
uncork the bottles, bandage the wounds,
help scholar, write condolence letters,
write in many languages, laugh distinctively,
pull pond-soaked Brothers from Old Mansion Ponds,
and listen closely to long-winded stories.
But when the song began to end, you said:
I just can’t do this, Brother. I can’t do it.
And you meant living. Struggling for who knows how long
through the loose sand, searching for a handhold.
And you did find it after all, at last, my Brother.
And later, on the Shores, We’ll find you.
Please let us find you, my Brother. You can do that, yes?