The Empath

My heart is broken.

But I hardly know if it’s mine, or is this my soul simply weeping for the fears and lost hopes of so many beloved friends?

My mind is racing.

But I hardly know if it’s mine, or are these the racing trains of thought of so many desperate souls fighting to be heard?

Oh compassionate soul, are we feeling this? Is this our own anxiety coursing through our own cold veins?

I hardly know.

Are these the birthing pangs of greatness or the maddening cry of our death?

Is this our own mouth screaming?

I hardly know.

Broken and Damned

Be we, the broken and damned, divided?                                                                                                             To be tossed upon unforgiving shores with no hand to hold?

Once, our arrogant allegiance to this dream and each other                                                                   brought us hope in the despondent darkness of our humanity.

Are we now to be abandoned by our brothers? Our sisters? Our fathers? Our mothers?

Where is that harsh light of our unity to illuminate our infant nakedness and the narrow bridge forward?

Why now have we replaced the blade of compassionate honesty and understanding love with the fires of polarizing hatred and intolerable cruelty? There can be no truth here.

Is there no way forward?

Is there no way forward?

Truly?

Is there no way forward?

Logan

I never meant

to not be there

when you needed me.

 

I’ve wanted to,

call?

or write?

for some time,

but I know you’re gone.

 

And I am so very sorry

that when you reached out for me,

my back was turned.

 

I carry you in my heart always.

I regret not reaching back.

You’re never far from my mind,

and sometimes I can almost feel you next to me.

 

My soul longs to see you smile,

or to hear you laugh.

 

I want you to know,

for so long my world was whole,

just knowing that

somewhere, you were in it breathing.

 

I love you.

But I know you’re gone.

 

But…

I know you’re gone.

Dark Love

I had never been so captivated as I was that night, just by the look of her. I can’t explain it, but even hidden in the dark her skin held an iridescent glow. It was like the universe needed to be inside her as desperately as I did, and it illuminated every inch of her from within. There are other women to fill the void she leaves in me when she’s gone, but none have entranced me as she has. Blessed Sorceress, I was at her bidding, if only she’d stay a couple of hours later.

When we were spent; when she’d had her fill; we laid motionless, bathed only in the light of her. Her silken charcoal hair caressed the skin of my cheek.

She stirred and my heart broke to feel her rise. Harsh light from the hotel bathroom cut through the darkness as the last of her starlight faded away. I sat up to watch her dress, drinking in the last moments I had with her for the night. It was never enough.

She left without a word and I sank back onto the firm mattress that only moments before had been my forgiving heaven. I worshipped her, but her husband could never know.

Poem For Franklin

If happiness were golden,
and you were gray;
I would choose you.

If there were blue skies,
and you were the rainy day;
I would choose you.

When you’re grown,
and your footsteps fade,
from the length of my hall;
And your hand prints are larger,
than the ones on my wall,

When your hair no longer
falls in your eyes,
and doesn’t stick up silly
on that one side,

Though you will walk away,
a man,
I will still choose you.

For your gray
is that quiet moment
right before dawn,

And your rainy day
washed me clean
and made me new.

No matter what you do,
I will always,
always,
Choose You.

Will You Love Me Still?

I feel inadequate;

not quite up to the task at hand,

like I will fail, and fall,

without a safe place to land.

 

Is my heart so visible?

I never meant to give my vulnerability to you.

My every insecurity is laid bare,

and I am not sure what to do.

 

Will you love me still?

 

Naked, I am yours,

my soul before you and on offer,

limbs shaking with fear,

my every nerve on end and raw for,

You.

 

Will you love me still?

 

 

Choosing Self

For a moment, I could almost feel sorry for him as he sat across from me, with down cast eyes, he fingered the rim of his coffee mug. The diner  around us was crowded, hot, loud; the clinking of silverware surrounded us. The laughter of the other guests could have drowned me with its irony. I was sad to make this choice, I was sad my love couldn’t be enough to save what I’d thought we had.

“I understand you don’t think there’s a future between us…” The moment of pity was gone the second the words left his mouth with all the arrogance his stressing of the word think conveyed. He sat there as though I didn’t know my own mind. He sat there as though I had injured him.

“Oh, no” I replied, “I don’t think you do understand.” I felt the venom drip from the words. How could he sit there acting so wounded? Anger clawed at my chest while years of pain rose behind it to seize my heart.

“For so long I held on to this tortuous longing for you and who I thought you were. I didn’t think I could ever be good enough.” He met my gaze and there was sadness in his eyes, I could also see the lack of kindness creased between his brow. How long had I missed this act of his? My heart skipped to notice the storm swelling in his eyes, it was so obvious now. I was taken aback, but I had to continue now that the words tumbled free.

“For so long I was off balance as I compared myself to the vision of who I thought you needed, and how I could never be worthy of you.” Tears welled in my eyes, and I wasn’t sure from which emotion, but I paused to glance at the white tiled ceiling above me hoping he wouldn’t see the effect he had on me. I couldn’t compose myself and gave in to the multitude of feelings washing over me instead. Damn him, I felt so exposed and humiliated.

I loved him. How could he understand what it felt like to reject him after all this time, even if only for my own sanity.

A sob escaped from my lungs as tears like rivers ran down my face and neck. For a moment, everything was quiet. I had interrupted the joyous calm of each person around me and as repayment they stopped to stare. I could feel it.

I looked back down into fathomless eyes, the same eyes I had known for years. His brow was still furrowed, his lips turned just down at the corners; I was always certain I could read his expressions, but even as my eyes cleared, his expression remained unknowable. His eyes blocked me from his true feelings. He seemed so far away across such a small and endless table.

“I offered you every part of me. My total devotion. You said ‘no.’ You told me you didn’t want me. You can’t just take it back.” The words rushed out in a whisper. He wanted me now, but I couldn’t trust the will of such a fickle man, or the gaze meeting my still wet eyes. “I can’t risk my heart on you again.” I said as I rose to leave, feeling the irony of my already broken heart giving up on loving him.

“I’m sorry.” He said in dead voice as I pushed past his chair on my way to the door. I did not look back as I lifted my hand to brush away a final tear. That would be the last one to fall for him.

 

Fire

 

You need me, though you fear me.

I start life small, but with each meal I become more fearsome.

I never bathe for fear of dying.

My smell overcomes passersby, choking the life from them.

The enemy of water is my friend;

I’ll admit our friendship can get quite heated.

I could be your warmest companion.

I could bring bright light to your life.

Spurn me and I could burn you or leave you cold.

Short Asides

My brain is turned to soft tallow.

Words drip through my pen

like the slow leak of a faucet.

But I am a writer,

and I must write.

My body is plagued by exhaustion.

My hand drags across the page

like snails moving across hot pavement.

But I am a writer,

and I must write.

Wrote a new stanza at work over 12 hours later. Updated the poem to reflect. This is what being tired does to my writing. Love you all. ~Amanda H.

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