papier-mâché

I walked those halls

on feet of papier-mâché,

unsure, unsteady, unknown,

folding in on myself

with every frightened step;

always running in

through the out door,

searching for the girl

erased on boards of black

by the cruelty of

made-up minds

and history 101 

Desperation

have you felt it?
creeping through your senses
like decaffeinated desire

a simmering insanity,
drawing you deeper into its depreciated flavor,
like a silicone squeeze
or double A lover

you drink it down,
this bitter cup of desperation,
then spit it out in
staccato rhythm to
wet the tongues of
the also dying

seeking a kiss of kindness,
or a keystroke of affection

then the sun comes up

all is lost to
the blinding reality
of loneliness

Streetwise

lonely and cold,
the streets she walked
as a hopeful child

face pressed to
storefront windows,
searching for a life
she might one day
make her own

avoid eye contact
they told her,
read the signs,
learn the smell,
need to know who brings light
and who brings hell

same old asphalt beneath
her teenage feet,
nothing had changed,
but she was finally streetwise

Damascene

count it not brave
that I fight to keep my soul free;
neither count it courage
that I stand taller in the face of oppression

oh, but count it extraordinary
that I surrender to love, and
expose my heart on the path of friendship –

for those are the true miracles

new fruit from a once dying heart,
evidence of my Damascene experience
on the road from child to woman

the rest?
merely a refusal to die
the same way twice

Poets of the Night

I know you long to see me
plant myself in a field of melamine roses,
face always toward the sun,
my mind drinking from the fount of who cares;
but I’ve a heart baptized in terror,
sanctified in the darker side
of human will

it’s the poets of the night,
who sound reveille for me,
with their words of brutal truth,
shot forth as flaming arrows
to pierce the marshmallow skies,
dripping apathy on the heart,
syllable by syllable,
in rheumatic rhyme

for you, it’s a sadness,
a weight unmanageable;
for me, simply time served
in the hell of life’s reality,
in hot pursuit of true liberation –
the soul of real celebration

A Feather Removed

rocking gently your small, cold frame –
drawing from it the wisdom of Death

you are free and I shall be too

I will not die clinging to memories
of pain or loss, my love

no, I shall fade from sight
a feather removed;
a spirit free to fly 
to where you are