Wide Awake

Hide these tired eyes
from sunlight
spending the night trying to learn how to say
goodbye
It has taken some practice
we didn’t think we were meant for this aching
tried not to imagine
how this would go
how we should go
how we needed to
leave
all of this behind
we didn’t stay up all night learning how to say goodbye
We were trying to stall time
and grab by the shoulders
saying “just wait
please”
I need to see
just once more
the roads to that horizon that we dared to follow
need to remember what lies beyond it
the stars
don’t need to shine too brightly
I need this to be like every other night
Unspectacular
but so full of promise
Don’t worry about the sky trail
I know my way back home

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The hats we wear

I always wonder
about the hats that we wear on our heads
I’m curious to know
which ones are worn and crinkled
and which ones stay hanging on the rack most days
which ones we never wear at all
and which ones we hide
deep in our closet

Thank you is a word I use very often
I like to think that I live life with open hands
searching for the rain water
to wash away the blood from glass wounds
gratitude comes from a hand marred with experience
and mine are scarred

But sorry is a word I use most days too
reminiscent of the way I hide behind the shadows of my ideologies
I’m standing here
peering over the edge
My bravery is measured by how much of my saliva I can swallow
before it dries

And confidence is the word that remains unused
still unsure
if the hats I wear were meant for my head
or if I am worthy of any crown
I know that Pia believes the hands of destiny to be the one to coronate her
the value of my self-belief is correlated to the purpose I keep
most days it is tiring

And the pride in oneself is one I never wear
at least not where anyone can see
nights spent in front of the mirror
imagining
stuck in my head
the thought feels heavy
It is difficult to wear without feeling

the hat of guilt
the one that lingers there sometimes
like the smell of smoke even after the fire
a presence
perched on steady shoulders
to cause unsteady feet
I do not know what I am doing sometimes
and these roads are so dry and the sun is so hot

But I have a hat collection
and there are those I wear most days
those that stay on the wall
those that I never wear at all
and those hidden deep in my closet
I have worn them all
at one point or another
but I would much rather let destiny
choose my hats for me

Her

Look at her
Isn’t she beautiful?
I can think, with more than my ten fingers, how many think the same
How her irises are like mirrors; you look into them
and you see how beautiful the world seems in her eyes
how they shine so brightly
The way her hair frames her face
warm and elegant like her embrace
comforting
The way her lips purse so delicately
her kiss, as lingering as the water that meets the shore
glistening from the words she speaks so brilliantly
The way her curves seem almost molded by master sculptors
soft but clear and defined
How her mind is a wooden chest
and all the thoughts in her head are treasures
that for years have been kept
from the light of the sun
deemed almost
invaluable

And I can think, with just as many, of people that don’t feel the same way
that care not for the glitter in her eyes or the curtains of her hair
that think her lips do not glisten, and her words aren’t interesting
that her curves aren’t as smooth, and her mind isn’t precious
and they say this to her out loud
almost proud
that I have to wonder if they really thought that what they said mattered?

Boy, I tell you, your hate won’t make her break
Her eyes won’t suddenly shatter, she won’t lose her wonder
Her embrace won’t lose its warmth
she is prepared for the coldness of your winter
she’s already lit the fireplace
And don’t think her kiss will not be as magnetic
despite your massive ego, you don’t have enough gravity
She will not stop speaking, she will not stop writing
her words won’t untangle themselves to be the silence you try to make of her
Her curves weren’t made for your hands to hold on to
her softness isn’t there for your insecurities to sink into
And have care how you see the treasure that she keeps
the gold won’t rust to dust no matter how deep you’ve buried them

Boy, I tell you, there is no glass case big enough for all the woman that she is
and no platform tall enough to trick her into your false words of praise
Do not make a trophy of her
Do not think you can cage her
and do not think you can change her
Look at her
She is so beautiful
but your frost has fogged your eyes
and so you fail to recognize
that she is more than that

Empty Faith

Wasted words and wasted prayers
preachers on their knees, but murderers in their sleep
Laying bodies down to rest, as if passing some divine test
Rejoicing in the blood sacrificed for the Lord
They would say “a great flood is coming to wash away the dirt”
while their hands pulled down the lever on the dam
standing on top of pillars, no one gave a damn who got hurt
Forgiveness, they say, is the way of the divine
but confession now involves a gun and a body thrown aside
But no matter, this is holy, because for their sins they must atone
we forget that virtue doesn’t rely on good intentions alone
Watch them now as they preach their cause, they give medals of honor based on how much bodies you’ve tossed
They claim to cleanse this land of sin, protect the people’s lives
no matter if we preach the will of the Father, through a bullet and a knife

Set Sail

I am conflicted
With the reality that all of this is temporary
The rising and setting of the sun is a routine
but lately it’s been feeling like a countdown
and we are all waiting for the fireworks, for the hats in the air
for the flashes of cameras hastily trying to contain time
All waiting for the end

How nostalgic it is
to say things like “My last first day of school”
We are always beginning things and ending things, never knowing when they will happen
But occasionally you’ll know when you’ve begun the end
It halts me sometimes, and I have to take a breath
I realize in my head that the sands of time are slipping between my fingertips and there are things that I no longer hold the same way I used to
things I no longer see the way I used to
things that no longer feel the same
It saddens me sometimes
I ask myself how I could ever cope when present becomes past
and I walk a different shore, holding different sands
Where the ocean sways in a different way
How could I ever cope when the scenery’s changed?

But I realize too how beautifully contingent everything is
that everything is unnecessary in this life
and how the smallest change in step, the slightest shift in thought
how the meeting of eyes, and hands, and hearts
how the tiniest thing could have made everything different
But this is what we have
We sailed a ship and docked on these shores
and we have become different people
We almost never want to leave
But you can only walk this island so much before your feet shape the ground you walk on
and you’ve left all the marks you could leave behind
till all you have learned and become
needs to set sail again

So yes the times are changing
and seasons are passing by like sunrise and sunset
the days feel like a countdown
but despite how much I cling tightly to the sands of time
I know a time will come when I will have to leave and set sail
carrying nothing but the memories and an eagerness to look for new ones
And always remembering that the fruitfulness of journey, lies in the promise of returning
so that when I no longer have the strength to thread shaky waters, and when my feet long to feel the sands of home
I will come back
and dock my ship here once again

Horizon

How long has it been?
I’ve lost track of the days
Time is not something you can keep close
It is always horizon
Every now is instantly a back when
You have only just thought of touching the water before it becomes a thing of the past
and suddenly you are drowning

How time flies
it sings its lullabies to lull you into a loss of perception and then it darts away
How long have the days been? It’s never been here, just always there
and the moment you think it’s here, it’s already somewhere else
Don’t look over your shoulder now
and don’t look so far ahead
All you’ll see is horizon
but look down at the way the river rushes beneath your feet
at the way your socks soak with each moment that passes
Time is ever changing
and so are you

Paper and rain

There had been times when I felt like I was paper
And she was rain
There I was just soaking up as much of her as I can
never noticing how I was ripped into pieces

I loved the way she filled my senses
It might have been drowning but I called it catching a different air
so easy to confuse poison and perfume
I loved the scent of a rose filled with toxic thorns
How tempting it is to pick it up

I saw her even at night when my eyes were already closed
I called dreaming what was probably haunting
I let her slip through my walls and leave her presence
Let her spirit move with mine in a dance that was always a little bit one sided
I gave her my hand to hold and she gave me her wrist
and the dance looked more like tugging
I didn’t realize that she was always taking and I was always giving

I was paper and she was rain
and loving her only washed always the lines of my identity
and left me in one soggy mess

I’d rather love a girl that is fire
and be the reason she burns brighter
My bones are so cold now
I have spent too long in her presence