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When I Was There

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I want to shed you

of the path

you have to take like

it is an unwanted layer

of skin.

I feel like I need

to show you a side

to life that doesn’t exist,

or one that I want

to create.

 

I used to stay up

at night staring at

the digital clock

as though the darkness

was brighter than

the glowing numbers.

I want to bring you back

to when I was there,

to show you how

we rise up, come home,

and face the things

that throw us back

down again.

 

I want to pick up your

problems and throw them

the distance that the sound

of my heart is carried

inside of me.

I assure you the best

I can, but there will always

be that longing

for you to know for sure

and for me to be the one

that gives that comfort

to you.

 

 

 

 

When I’m looked at

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Photo credit: madamefromageblog.com

Photo credit: madamefromageblog.com

I want to tuck myself

away in some unmarked

drawer so I can’t be found

when I’m wrong

and when I click the

wrong button

and don’t remember directions

or what you’ve told me.

I want to be locked up

when I’m looked at

like I should have been born

with the knowledge,

should have walked in here

with the answers imbedded

in my common sense.

I do not want

to be sorted, or slipped

in a folder, or set apart.

I want to be tossed

in a pile that you refer

to as being miscellaneous,

and over time I want

to fall out.

First Time at the Casino

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Photo credit: article.wn.com

Photo credit: article.wn.com

Cigar smoke, lights, and old red carpets,

ringing sounds–people winning.

A drunk old man

turns to me and says,

“You know, you are as cute as a button!”

I say thank you, not knowing

what to do,

and he adds,

“That’s not a bad thing, you know.”

I smile, find my friends, and walk

far down the isle.

Pick a black chair–sinks in

with a hissing sound when I sit.

Penny slots–my best friend

picks the 50 row button.

Wins $60.

I lose the $10 I put in

quickly.

The winning sounds surrounding me

depresses me, and I want

my machine to light up,

And there is a message that flashes

If you or someone you know has

a gambling problem…

What do these addicts see?

They see the lights

flashing in their mind.

I imagine they see them

as they fall asleep.

The sounds pointing them

to the possibility that they

won’t keep failing.

There is a chance,

And they keep pressing on.

I get up off the sinking chair,

smile at my slightly richer friend,

and we leave.

She Turned to Me

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Photo credit: timeveritt.com

Photo credit: timeveritt.com

People on a train are a force,

squeezing in so tight

that you would think something

would burst.

I sit by the door on

The Green Line, and

a woman next to me is

standing in front of the door,

in as far as she can go.

She is on the phone:

“Thank you, thank you so

much, thank you,”

I hear, and I know.

That type of thank you

is in a category of its own.

I feel it

brush against me.

Her life has been changed.

She hangs up,

says, “Oh my God,”

turns to me

and says,

“I’m sorry,”

because she was

talking to herself,

in my ear.

She makes another

phone call:

“I got it,”

“I got the job.”

I wanted to hug her.

This woman, this stranger,

my neighbor on the train.

I felt like my chest was

pressing in. Then I burst.

I turned to her

after she hung up

and said,

“I’m sorry I eavesdropped,

but congratulations!”

I surprised us both,

but she said thank you,

and my stop was next.

I couldn’t reach the black

strip to request the stop,

and asked her if she could.

Instead, she asked the driver

directly, without hesitation,

because for that brief,

permanent moment

we had become friends.

Most of a lifetime

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Photo credit: livingwisdom.kabbalah.com

Photo credit: livingwisdom.kabbalah.com

The power of a second

can hold

death,

love,

an accident,

a look,

an idea.

A second is

an opportunity

to prolong

the brief hiccup

of time by

simply remembering

the feeling.

A second is a finger,

a limb,

your heartbeat,

the last blade

of grass a cow chews.

It took one second

to find you

after waiting

most of a lifetime.

But a second was 

too long

for you to notice

me there,

so you turned away.

 

 

What You Think

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Photo credit: weheartit.com

Photo credit: weheartit.com

Love is in remembering,

you think.

It is about

the way that he looked

at you when he

left you standing

on the edge

of the doorway

as your weight shifted

back and forth

on your tip toes.

As though you were

trying to make yourself

seem taller in his presence.

You thought that meant

he lifted you.

But really

he naturally made you

feel smaller.

You kept reaching

for his gaze to last longer.

You remember his eyes

because you made yourself

trust them.

You can’t admit

that your own eyes

failed you.

Or that he failed you.

Because you are

still waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Phase

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The Next Phase

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