The Council of a Coward

I lost the words that I was seeking
And with them, any meaning
Of the cowardice that plagues me
And the meeting in my head

Of all my paltry virtues
And their tyrants, and the fortunes
Of failures that ever seek me
And the mistakes that keep them led

And the demons that I’m keeping
And every grim that does a reaping
And every chance that almost meets me
But then finds that I have fled

To a place worse than the last
A darker mirror of the past
Endless reflections staring back at me
Endlessly filling me with dread

But I find I cannot look away
(Or else will not — who can say?)
And the only thing that’s clear to me
Is the glass and what you said

That the choice is mine alone to make
The power, mine alone to take
But the only truth that stays with me
Is that when I broke the glass, I bled.

Second Draft

You’re trying to find perfection;
But life gets no second draft.
Still, you go on thinking
You’re a failure to your craft:

You should have got it right by now,
You should know what to do;
But trying to rewrite it
Won’t make that first draft untrue.

It will be what it will be,
And still there’ll be no second draft;
So why not take a breath and read
The story as it’s meant to be, at last?

Not Me: Thinking Out Loud

I’m so sorry… Of all the things I could have been, I became this. I could’ve been like my brother and reached out and made a life for myself where I could.

But instead I’m here. Still just sitting here. Waiting for something to befall me, be it destiny or accident.

Probably accident. Screech, crash, bang, and then I’m gone, in all likelihood. It would be just like me to not be paying any attention and accidentally step in front of a car. It wouldn’t be on purpose, of course. But it wouldn’t be exactly unwelcome.

I sometimes like to pretend that I can see the future. The prediction is always the same: I’m going to die alone. It’s not even a future anymore, it’s a fact. I’m going to die alone. So what’s it matter if it’s distant or soon?

I’ve lived nineteen years, going on twenty. So young, and often much younger than I should be. And yet those years, these days, they crawl by like an eternity, and they’ve never changed in form, not really. The world is still a distant thing, and I am still… what I am: The person who walks on the path before me. And it’s still a circular one.

My brother sees this. He sees us all going in circles, ducking our heads, diving into whatever we can to hide. He wants it to change. He wants it to change — but he doesn’t want to change it. None of us do. It would be like organizing a junkyard… while being attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Nobody wants to take that on. Especially when the thing we’re taking on, is the nothingness of never taking anything on. Someone has to start. But each of us vows, it won’t be us. 

The Saddest Song

I wonder, if you saw me now,
If there’s anything you’d recognize:
It’s been so very long
Since I’ve looked you in the eyes…
I don’t even recognize myself sometimes.

Am I still the same little girl you knew?
Or have I darkened through and through?
Could you ever care like you used to,
For the one who didn’t seem to care enough to be true?
Or, would it be only a chore to you?

I wonder now if it was pity;
Years of friendship born of a sense of duty.
Maybe this is something you could see;
Maybe even then, the signs of what’s inside me
Introduced themselves to you as some instinct — maybe.

Or maybe, this is just life
Where some people move along
And others still are hanging on
To the memories that become the saddest song,
And wind up buried like the deepest knife.

Leaden Heart

I wake with a leaden heart
On a day that isn’t worth the start
And I’d fain watch it all fall apart,
But it isn’t worth the effort.

Instead I grasp at wisps of dreams,
Hoping they’ll hide me from all the things
I do not know, or will not seize,
And will only leave untouched or burnt.

Your Little Fool

Bear with me,
Watch me patiently:
Try to read my story,
Though I know I am a fool.

There are times I’ll say
More than ought to cross your way,
And then there’s times I’ll say
Almost nothing at all.

And if you try to stay,
It might be me who turns away;
Mad with the fear I might not see the day,
I verge so nearly upon cruel.

But if you try to see,
And accept even the worst of me,
I don’t think I could be anything
But your lucky little fool.

Not

I am not the paragon;
This story isn’t mine.
I can pretend it is all day long,
But in the end I still am lying.

I am not the prodigal;
I’m not coming to return.
I come to leech until I’m full,
And then I’ll watch your carcass burn.

I am not the beauty;
The beast is all I know.
People always think they see —
Until they learn what makes my roses grow.

I am not the monster;
I am just a human being.
But I can’t tell any longer
Which is the worse feeling.