the Cemetery of Love Gone By

Graveyard

In the cemetery of love gone by
in the cemetery
of endings
in the cemetery of tombs
and stones and
cold hard lifeless
heavy things
in the cemetery of love gone by
I am the Living

I have walked here
amongst the memories
swiss cheese specter holed
drilled through and bitter
wormy with questions
and shadows and doubt

if you bite into the unanswered past
bitter answers may fill your mouth
and you can never spit and spit and
spit it out enough

like traps
questions hang in living rooms
an impatient noose
waits for the stumbling
fool to wander in
and wonder enough
to ask

then slippery sling goes the knot
answers are clutched like
currency that can be
tendered for time
more time
lungs clench as oxygen
abandons the relationship
because
everybody knows truth will rot away
when it’s held in the dark for too long
and that ugly truth
will show its face
eventually
and scare
love
to death

I was in the dark
for too long
Truth was right in front of me
but I refused my eyes
it’s not so ugly
when you peel away
your own
expectations
it’s really just something
unexpected
it’s really just something to
accept
it’s only just an
inhale
an exhale
a blink of the eye
and now I am at peace
with the ugliness of Truth
I have acquired a taste
for the freedom it brings

and now I walk
amongst the cold hard
facts
that one didn’t love me
anymore
I never loved him
at all

I do not come here for comfort
I do not come here for compliments
I do not come here for companionship
those bones
those sockets
those empty shoes
that life
that fire
all ashes and dirt
bones bring no comfort
gnarled hands do not hold
buried feet do not accompany
there is no warmth here for me
there is only Truth

these cold hard facts
these skeletal tales
their rigid backs lie
subservient in dirt
faceless remainders
grey reminders
unceremonious headstoned markers
tick tock taken away
RIP or don’t
happily ever neverminded me here
in the cold hard
dirt
where love comes
and where love goes
by

these cold hard
facts
these cold hard
bones
these cold hard
headstones
turn to stepping stones
a path for me
a path for me
in the cemetery of endings
the Living walk through
upon the cold hard
Truth

Magician

I open up my fingers, my hands
and he doesn’t fall through
he was already
walking away

I guess I never did
need to let go
I was only ever
holding
illusion
and he never held on at all

in the beginning
it seemed as though
he were walking straight
to me

his eyes
his words
his reach
for me

but no matter how many times
he stepped toward me
he just kept getting further
away

and now
just now
I see it

from that very first step
in my direction
he was already
walking away
from the very first proclamation
of love
the future was blooming
in black
blooming along the path
that path that goes
in the only direction he knows

he only knows
the direction to go
to get
away

Where have you been all my…
All of your what?
Your ironic existence
spent waiting
only to disregard what you wasted all that time waiting for?

you
a sad magician
moonwalking backward
toward happiness

this
your grand illusion
and now I see

you were always, are always
walking away from
and never
walking to

Between Us

Love’s lasso
became a noose
encircling my neck
an ironic embrace

that choking
that clenching
that tightening
grip

it yanked me by my throat
and dropped me to my knees
choking me
from the inside out
that ending
that strangled
that burdened
that chained up
that locked down
void

Air
is forgettable
until you need it
and then you don’t need to be reminded
you can feel it
you can feel the absence
of air

the space between
was invisible
but I could feel it
I could feel the absence
of you
it felt like that stretch of time that can pull your thirst right in
to an empty canteen
when your head is thrown back
and your mouth is gaping

you could turn to dust
while you wait
for that one last drop
to fall
or evaporate
and all the while
is it there
inside that perpetual question
was it ever there
hope is dying an invisible death

a ghostly
a silent
dissolve
but I heard it
that sound
like the pause that is born
after a heartbeat
the pause
that contains
increasingly
meaningful
silence

so hope rests in peace
in the space between
heartbeats
and there is something new
in the space between
you and me
I used to think
that the space only existed
because you were not there to fill it up
it represented
your distance
invisibility
silence
and my gaping thrown back thirsty
emptiness

but I was wrong

from the very beginning
I would catch my breath
at the sight of you
even a glimpse of a photograph
and I would catch my breath
as if I had somehow inhaled you
and I could hold you
by holding my breath
but I was suffocating myself

I was choking on my emotions
trying not to let them out
because I was afraid
that letting go of them
would mean letting go of you
and letting go of you
would mean letting go of hope
I was strangling myself
trying to hold on to you
to hold in the feeling of you
so I could hold off seeing
that you weren’t really there

I don’t understand
how I confused you
with air and hope
and how I feared and avoided
that space between us
because it represented
the absence of you
and I didn’t want to be
where you weren’t

but now
I am right outside of that place between us
and I can see you much better from here
I don’t make you small enough to fit inside my heart anymore
and I can see that this place isn’t here because you are not filling it
it is bigger than both of us
you can’t fill it up
you can’t give enough
you aren’t supposed to
you never were

I was trying to breathe you
I was trying to get from you
what only exists in a place
that is created
for our letting go
for the ways we surrender
and release and exhale
everything here is invisible
and silent
and can only be felt
with the heart
a new way to know
and see
and feel

the space between us
is not empty at all
it has always been full
hope lives here
it is full of new beginnings
and inspiration
the fulfillment of dreams happens here
your own dreams and mine
it is where the exchange occurs
the giving and receiving of gifts
or smiles
this is where our moments stay
and everything truly important
where we write and read and share
there are new songs and better bad movies and new memories if we want
this place between us is full of more possibilities than these
and it is also full
of air

I needed to be reminded about air
when I was trying to breathe you in
I must have thought you better than air
and impossible to forget
but I won’t need to be reminded
about air anymore
because I feel the absence of it
when I try to make you take it’s place
and I’ll never need to be reminded about you
I don’t think I can even start to forget

I’m learning a new way
to feel close to you
it is in the air
between us