Day 92 – Little Brother

do you remember you used to
squeeze open lizards’ mouths
and hang them on your earlobes
you cried when you accidentally
killed one and I promised
I wouldn’t tell mom

do you remember when I was
leaving a school is when you were
just getting into it and it was
always easier for you
fitting in and
when we finally were both
in high school you had
many more friends than I

do you remember we used to
talk about our dad
at night after mom was asleep
and try to remember what he looked like
and wonder what this new dad
did better

do you remember all the yelling
before I left, I couldn’t take it
I couldn’t take you with me
you didn’t want to come

do you remember me at all
now that I’ve been gone so long
or am I one more painful thing
to be forgot

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Day 90 – Faceless Man

Faceless man
I have no feelings towards you
but a vague recollection
of something gone
I want to get back

Faceless woman
I have no hopes for you
but a vague impression
of something incomplete
I was meaning to do

Roofless house, pathless wood
empty, directionless fog-
I have no words to give
except the sounds of
silence, still.

Day 87 – Two Sweaters

I remember the same two sweaters-
one plum and the other maroon-
that had to last the whole winter
and how it bothered me
that my old Lion King sneakers didn’t match
and how it bothered me
to think everyone would notice.

I remember being so pleased
at being allowed to invite over a classmate
and taking her to my closet
to show her my outfits
and knowing those two purple sweaters I hated
were the best I had to show.

I remember the girl who came over;
her sneakers didn’t match, either.
I don’t know where she is
but I have so many sweaters now.

Day 84 – Where the Cattails Grow

Where will you be tomorrow
if the feeling finds you out,
discovers you’ve been on the run
for too long?

Will you be running back
to where the cattails grow,
to the falling snow,
to your quietest moments
wrapped up and
thrown into the sea?

Will you give my best
when you get there,
to the places I can’t go;

will you be there tomorrow
where the cattails grow?

Day 77 – Remember When

Remember when your friends
were not your coworkers,
when you didn’t have to play
every game on easy mode
because you don’t have the time
for all that effort?

Remember when you didn’t count calories?

Remember when your mom
sent you to bed
without supper,

remember when you didn’t have teeth?

Remember when you were dead set
on being famous,
when you weren’t scared,
when you drank Red Bull,
when you got arrested for burglary,
when you ate shrooms
and ran over a cat?

Well stop.

I’m not going to use your memories against you,
the ones you have and
the ones you don’t.

Some day you might remember this;
and it won’t matter if you do.

Day 45 – Welcome to the Junkyard

It only would’ve lasted
until I knew for sure-
fascination ended by
an answer, at last-
a thirst for the truth
to settle things
in their right place:

“What happened?”

The gears would turn,
try to paint it in different lights-
the liar, the troubled, the confused-
which mask would it come down to?
But I didn’t expect

the least interesting mask of all.
The least helpful, least true
this mask of spared feelings-
to dishonor with lies
for fear of the hurt.

“Was any of it real?
Was it always in my head?”

A half-truth implied for protection.
A flimsy excuse to keep using.

I placed no blame on the blameless heart,
but the mouth who said nothing
and kept eating, who kept
accepting gifts, so easily
erased…

You were just an open box
I couldn’t pack away
because I didn’t know what
to put in it.

No friend should ever lie
so effortlessly;
no one who needs
should use so much.
This, now
I know.

I put a flask
and a pack of cigarettes
and a mask-

Be well
and

welcome to the junkyard.