On Breaking Hearts

As I sit here, questioning my M.O.
I add another heart, broken
I think “How can I change this reckless soul?”
staring at this container, left open

I add another heart, broken
losing track of my count
staring at this container, left open
how could it get to this amount?

Losing track of my count
the pain I’ve caused that can’t be undone
how could I get to this amount
I never meant to hurt anyone

The pain I’ve caused that can’t be undone
why does this keep happening?
I never meant to hurt anyone
to start this cycle, unending

Why does this keep happening?
Am I just a shitty person?
Can I stop this cycle, unending?
or will my past be too great a burden?

But I’m not a shitty person
I’ve just hid from past hardships
but I’ll no longer be a burden
I’ll rip off these old bandages

I’ve just hid from past hardships
of an armed robbery and loving abuser
it’s time to rip off these old bandages
and finally heal this wound with sutures

Of an armed robbery and loving abuser
I will confront and conquer
and finally heal this wound with sutures
turning from victim to victor

I will confront and conquer
and change this reckless soul
I’ll turn myself from victim to victor
and slowly change my M.O.

Loneliness

As I stand in my room,
watching a pool of loneliness
drift through my blinds
like poison gas,
I think:

Researchers say
the perception
of loneliness can kill;
it’s like smoking
fifteen cigarettes a day

I think how rude it can be
sneaking through quiet pleasantness
like the sound of neighbors talking
in thinly-walled apartment complexes

Turning solitude
into solitary confinement,
introspection to isolation,
wonder to withdrawal,
self-loving to self-loathing.

I feel it envelope me
with cold hands
of an abusive lover

It lies to me, saying
I need no one else
before throwing me
onto a poorly-made bed
filled with salt and ice

And as I lie here,
numbness spreading,
I think how

I’ll share my stories,
my fears and worries,
my strange peculiarities,
my unique idiosyncrasies,

And end the cycle
of false loneliness

Elevators

My emotions function
like a faulty elevator
with mislabeled buttons

Most times the buttons
screech upwards to anger
a peregrine falcon seizing
an insignificant insect

It’s common, or so I’m told;
most broken elevator
default to this

Some days they miss
by a few floors
the button for ecstasy
going to a small chuckle
or deep sobs of sorrow
to a single sniffle

on the worst days
the buttons fail
leaving me stranded
In a painfully silent
box


Planes

Walking back home
on a cold winter’s night
I look up at the sky
as a lone plane blinks by

I become a kid again
in my parent’s front yard
watching that jet soar by
beating the speed of sound

I look down to a yard
filled with flickering fireflies
casting a beautiful cascade
of light over fallen leaves

I listen to the crackling wood
as the final flecks of fire
flick off the bonfire
before my parents call me in
for the end of a perfect fall night

I hear a crunch of snow
crinkling like lettuce leaves
crispy under my feet
I’m brought back to the present

my head snaps down
to the road to my apartment
a path lit by dim street lamps
highlighting the occasional
broken booze bottles in gutters

I hear the whoosh of cars
on this street with no sidewalk,
wind whipping through my hair

And I look up one more time
at that night sky, now empty
waiting for the next plane to fly

Just Drive

Today the thoughts run rampant through my head
they’re naughty children with nothing to do
until I decide to take them on a road trip

The drive’s surprisingly quiet and uneventful
as they sit in the backseat with headphones
moody music flowing through their ears
only acting up when I slow down
to park at our destination

As my thoughts and I hop out of the car
I study a deserted landscape of frozen sand
while they run off to play hide and seek,
leaving me with the sound of my heart

I observe a distant power plant
minuscule and insignificant
its smokestacks exuding exhaust
over nature’s beach of ice

And I feel my eyes well up
As I watch the steam drift
lazily towards the sun
before fading away
into soundless
nonexistence

What I Love About Christmas

It’s that time of the year! The holidays have rolled in, and while it may be dark and chilly outside, the holiday spirits have kept homes bright and warm. The Salvation Army Red Kettles are out ringing their bells, the airwaves are filled with all sorts of caroling, and the malls are packed to the brim with last minute shoppers.

It’s kind of overstimulating to be honest; I hate crowds, and sometimes all the flashing lights and sounds can be a bit much. Despite this, I refuse to say bah humbug and instead focus on the parts I really love.

I love that it’s a time when I get to see more of my family. We all live in the same area, but we’re all so busy that we just never seem to see each other. But then Christmas hits and everyone’s getting along and laughing together as we’re all focused on right now rather than what’s left for later. Jokes are tossed across the room like lights on a newly christened Christmas tree and an extra sprinkle of wholesomeness fills the room just like the extra dash of love (it’s actually just more sugar) added to the Christmas cookies baked each year. 

Speaking of which, I love all the food. Gone is the day of Thanksgiving turkey and here comes the days of delectable Christmas ham with pineapples on top for extra flavor.
And of course, the aforementioned cookies, marching in flavors like peanut butter with chocolates on top, butterscotch, raw cookie dough that you’re not supposed to eat, and, my favorite, Mexican wedding cookies, which I was shocked to learn came from the white part of my family and not the Latino side.
This is all washed down with eggnog that tastes fantastic as long as you don’t think too much about the gross culmination of what is essentially half & half and eggs.

After a joyful Christmas Eve filled with family and overeating, I get ready and often times fail to get much sleep for my favorite part – Christmas day itself. It’s not because of the presents, but because of the fact that, on Christmas day, everything

Stops.

.

.

.

.

.

Do you hear that? It’s nothing. The shop lights have all gone out, leaving the business districts like ghost towns. The once-crowded streets are now seas of asphalt covered in slushy snow. A hush of quiet covers the town as everyone implicitly agrees to stay home and spend it in peace. It’s the one time of the year I can truly relax and settle in for a day of rest.

My only gripe is that I wish every day could be like this, but then again that wouldn’t make Christmas special anymore, would it? So put on some old Christmas music or just kick back and enjoy the silence. Whatever you do, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Door

I came through a door today
as white as a baptismal gown
and watched a city rise
like a knocked down boxer
rising to finish the last round

Amidst boarded up windows
I saw life:
a store here with antiques
another with sweet treats
artists’ studios and music stores
along with various office spaces
where my next story could take place

Away from my dead-end job
that gave me only a fancy title
and sucked away my creativity
dry like a juice pouch
in the middle of July
all for money that
I couldn’t even enjoy

Away from a flatlining city
its homes robbed each night
where I was mugged at gunpoint
fear growing as I watched in pity
at where I grew up my whole life

So, I closed the door gently behind
sure to lock it from the evils outside
and walked into the town
to start my next chapter
this one filled with less pain
and more laughter

Plato’s Cave

Two years spent here
pushing carts in solitude
stocking milk in a cooler

Away from irate customers
whose misplaced anger
taught me to fear others

But the store’s closed down now
its windows painted white
lights inside the only sign of life

So I’ve left this place
with dimly lit mismatched bulbs
to confront my anthropophobia
and see people in true sunlight