a loneliness grave.

I spared him a quarter

alone where he stood

next to the Madonna

as if she’d do him good.

He gave me a blessing

gentle and aware

the wind it was violent

messing both our hair.

While Girl Scouts are selling

cookies for the troop

a week ago maybe

someone died on that stoop.

But don’t tell their mothers

as if they would care

no you don’t get the badge unless

you’ve sold your soul there.

My eyes they grow weary

still I can’t look away

at the hummingbird dancing

a loneliness grave,

still I’ve got this feeling

that there’s no escape

am I ok to drive? I guess or else just look away.

Am I ok to drive? I guess, if not well either way.

At the cafe I buy coffee

either iced or cold brew

the barista he tells me

nothing’s ever new.

But still I ask questions

like how do you do

and she recalls my name

it’s the least she could do.

I don’t mean to sound faithless

I’ve just seen enough kicks

see the old man he died, well

some things never make sense.

It’s slight of the hand, it’s

a scam with three cups

you follow the ball then

it’s gone where it was.

My eyes they burn red with

the heat of the day

it’s winter in Burbank

what more can I say,

still I’ve got this feeling

that there’s no escape

am I ok to drive? I guess or else just look away.

Am I ok to drive? I guess, if not well either way.

Now I take to the bar, where

Happy Hour’s till 6

Scott the tender he knows me

pours my whiskey then gin.

What’s the good word? Pal, tell me

do you think that you could

spare me knowledge like change would

do me some type of good.

I don’t stay past the hour

happiness never lasts

after shame there comes flowers

then of course there’s the past.

You’re a good guy he tells me

see the pain never lasts

I assure you it does, Scott

he just nods then he laughs.

See there’s beauty in living

it’s just hidden by stars

who illuminate sidewalks

like two subtle hearts,

still I’ve got this feeling

that there’s no escape

it’s an obvious cycle, one I’ll never break.(?)

Am I ok to drive? I guess or else just look away.

Am I ok to drive? I guess, if not well either way.

Look at me lovely

Look at me lovely this here is I guess

a mixture of meanings which help to make sense

of the past which gave us nothing but suspense

with fearful longing and a mother’s defense.

Look at me lovely with eyes in full bloom

now imagine a child alone in his room

the covers are pulled tight warm as a womb

his head full of static his heart thumping doom.

Look at me lovely take into account

these present day feelings are years gone without

comfort or closure confused full of doubt

exchanged for composure now deep underground.

Look at me lovely two decades gone by

and please ask yourself to whom do you cry

an eye for an eye I used to imply

now I want nothing more than to sleep through night.

Look at me lovely with infinite jest

this smile is armor for that I confess

in daydreams I make up reasons quite complex

for nightmares which haunted that boy in his bed.

Look at me lovely it’s lovely in fact

walking down sidewalks avoiding the cracks

though sometimes it feels like breaking your back

the pain that defines us with love cannot last.

Look at me lovely with harlequin eyes

for we are not wells that dry up inside

and take with you this last line then decide

his failure’s your lesson, her nurture’s your pride.

strangers to ourselves.

My eyes burn

with exhaustion

scanning the airport

for any sign of life

though heads down turned

there is none

just a few lone stragglers

who look around

the same as I

unwilling to accept the courtesy

of pleasant conversation

we remain

strangers

and

strangers to ourselves.