Sick Or On The Moon

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  • Published: 24 Jun 2015
  • Updated: 17 Jun 2015
  • Status: Complete
Just something I never actually showed anyone. I didn't intend for this poem to be this long but it just kind of happened.


1. Sometime New

Remember that assignment we all used to hate?

Cross-analysing, dividing what we all thought the poet would say if

she was still alive today.

Did blue mean depression? Did red mean oppression? We fit

these words into confinement, replaying them in haste to sound better than

the next, like we actually knew what the hell was going on.


(We didn't.)


I'm beginning to think that's what happened between us all.

Thought the green light meant go and red was to stall.

We stayed vigilant and careful - the way our parents told us how. 

We held hands when we crossed the street and closed our eyes to things we didn't want to see even if seeing them was

a necessity. Even if our instincts screamed now

And I wonder: did all those stiff-necked teachers think everything was

a cubist painting? Though that if you rearrange our

vital pieces

you'd end up with a

masterpiece? But some of us

can't be artists and make beauty any more than we can finish homework at one o'clock

in the morning.


Take all those mornings.

Take them and rip them and scrub them away

until your fingers are raw and you can feel your skin peeling.

Those mornings late in February when everything was pure like

untouched snow

and the only thing that was red and burning were

our cheeks and

not our hearts.


Take them.


Find something beautiful

and mess it all up until you can't find all the pieces. That's what all those teachers were there to teach us. 


And remember that song we all used to play on mismatched instruments, pleading for a melody?

Yanking notes that'd never fit into something of a travesty?

The conductor on high waving his arms like a mad man, his jerking movements jerked our movements into something as smooth as a ballet with its dancers missing (which is to say, not at all).

That song was our soundtrack played forward and backward and inside out.

It would be the song that'd be sung when

we're all sung out.

Your eyes mirrored that song.

Took the cadence and the rise and turned it into pupils and corneas.

That'd be a habit of yours: taking something and making it your own,

like you had a monopoly on where things belonged.

But sometimes the reds went with the blues, the sheep slept with the wolves.


And sometimes I belonged to you. 


What brought me back was the flaking gravel crunching under

our feet. It was painted gold,

and red like precious stones, waiting for you to find them

in shoes, in pockets, in backpack holes.

Popping up like nightmare monsters, we threw them over our shoulders like, "Who cares?" 


I care. 


We threw out the gravel like they brought on the plague, didn't see them as healing stones

weighing us down

so we don't float away like party balloons on sullen ninth birthdays. We didn't see them as buttons on our skin

keeping insides in

We plucked them out like offending eyes then cried when there was nothing of us left.

We didn't use them as stepping stones, getting us from Point A

to Point B,

lifting our sights when we thought we'd never see, and so we saw nothing. 

I didn't see you or me. So we stayed blind, oblivious to inevitable reality.

Throwing out gravel stones, weighty in our pockets

like tombstones,


dearly departed. 


But the departure wasn't dear. 

How could it be when everything blew away on the green lawn that day?

The uncut grass swayed loose like they'd been drinking too much,

lulling me to sleep like a gentle lullaby,


sweet dreams.


The lawn that saw past thunderstorm-and-sand glass, that peered at us through spectacles.

Soft like they kissed the palms of your feet and I guess they did as you ran away, but we didn't bother to see that. 

Too busy thinking ground was only something to walk on.

Not thinking that maybe we should be wary of the promises we break even as we make them because they stick to you like wet grass does

to your skin if

you're standing in the rain waiting for something that'll never come. 


And I wonder between these cracked plaster walls if you look out at night

and see more than just a couple stars. 

I wonder if you're fine. 

Or if you're just biding your time,

listening to the same song on repeat, wondering if

that ounce of magic you had is gone now

because you can't pull the rabbit out of the hat and your assistant's out sick.  


The show's over.


All there is are empty rooms, bottles upon bottles of stuff that'll make you feel sick.

Or on the moon.

Depending on your point of view. 

But I'll still quote you from time to time,

down by the river I'd hover my fingertips over the mirror surface,

conjure your face even if I don't want to see it

in this forever.


(I'll probably see you never.)


But I'll think of all the growing up I have to do, all the places I have yet to ruin,

All the best words I saved for someone new, and I hope we are alive 

Until that time. 

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