Sun shower

I walk without direction

with little to guide me 

upon a street so solemn

but a silent blue sky 

within a frame of bruised darkness 

The patterns of the approaching clouds

a puzzle without solution 

My feet planted firmly on the ground

existence uprooted

escaping with the wind 

into the certainty

of the oncoming rain

In between the rain drops

I wasn’t sure if she knew I existed or if she was sure that I didn’t. I would walk past everyday like clockwork. She happened to be on my route to work and appeared in a hundred fragments, every day more beautiful than the next. I was usually dressed the same, in my work clothes having achieved a false sense of purpose in my walk. My intents and ambitions had long faded and I wasn’t sure if there was any fire left within my dulled, tired eyes.

Still, I would walk and look over, embarrassed but mostly curious. Beauty had long surpassed my understanding. I stared without knowing, giving away what little I could hide from the world in those moments steeped in my slow march. She was a clear patch on a day where clouds were the norm. I thought I could appreciate her like wind blowing through on a warm day at the beach, just enough to let me know that there was a little hope yet to spark a small fire in my belly and bring back the beat to my slowly ticking but long-buried heart. All I ever had to do when I saw her was straighten my shoulders and come out of my slouch, just for a few seconds so I could stand tall and walk past absorbing the rays of beauty the day had to offer.

Ghosts

We spoke a language that was strange to them. When the words came out, very few understood what was being said. We liked it that way until there were few of us left, few of us who really understood what it meant to be what we were. Time heals all wounds, but the scars remain underneath your clothing, in places where no one can see, where there is little left to show what we once were.

Aside from a few phone calls and sporadic letters that arrived postmarked months prior to their actual arrival, as if needing to be quarantined to sterilize their contents, we stopped making contact. We never saw each other like we used to. I heard recently that some of our ancestors and our history made it into the mainstream media and we were even honored with our own museum exhibit. Most of us wanted to kept quiet but there was an uproar about our exploitation. We called each other under the guise of the controversy stemming from our backyards. It was really to hear words and sounds that never came across our televisions, words we never saw printed in the paper, that we rarely felt anywhere anymore but in our hearts.

For every breath saved

Some use words as weapons
others weigh their sentences by the syllable
words can be used to empower
or be used by cowards to belittle

Words can hit harder than bricks
especially when delivered by those we hold dear
we are often marked with invisible wounds
most crimes are committed by those we consider near

Some speak when spoken to
others are silent until enraged
a few can talk to no end
unable still to find people that are really engaged

There are some who are wise with words
many talk for the sake of banter
teasing and laughing much to the distress of others
hate speech is not free speech it’s slander

If we didn’t have words on our tongue
we’d find other ways to argue through our lives
we’d judge people more by the weight of their actions
There would be other ways to abuse power and make up lies

People say their word is their bond
others say words are the way to their heart
a few try to keep their mouths shut and ears open
only to search through others’ words for a way to be smart

To be brought to life

The flames of withered fire still burn in a furious gasp
refusing to be extinguished by cold hands
calloused by the axe of the executioner’s eternal duty

I look up to the moonlight of brighter days
deflected by the sun
in my search for white light

I run my fingers across her contours
hands digging into the dust
to bury fingers into the cold of the night

Burrowing in darkness
the light she offers is never truly hers
only borrowed to appease me for the passing minutes

On the cusp of awakening
I examine the speckled dirt for signs of life
only to be reminded of the source a million miles away

I cannot touch this pleasure
I cannot recreate its image at whim
I can only protect this flame for the sake of passion

Pondering the origins of my beautiful universe

The stars are speckled
swallowing sunshine
upon the dimpled cheeks of my lover

I reach for her face
covered in angst
a celestial chaos
among the cosmos

My fingers feel
across the folds
of wrinkled skin

The creases
around her sparkling eyes
orbit around her pupils
for the sake of pleasure

The universe in endless
or so they say
Rome wasn’t built
in the span a day

My love is as free
as the hopes of tomorrow
birthed today

The decades it takes
to build upon her beauty
can never be stolen
or truly taken away

Made vs. Designed: A brief history

If I walk under the whim of the weather
the cover of darkness
is no longer a guise for shelter or vibrant color
but simply a soulless shade
made from a uniform
unfitting to my character

Many times, I have seen
clothes “designed” in the West
and “made” in the developing world
in sweat shops
and factories
where people squeeze and trample
over one another
for the sake of food and shelter
and without anyone knowing
that this is all
for you

They receive no credit
no overtime
no insurance
simply a bed to sleep
and children to rear
for the sake of a family
and a piece
of something that vaguely resembles
what we call a life

We, as mammals, are made to eat, sleep, and reproduce
we, as people, are designed to believe
that we are not absolute
unless we suppress and surpass competition
with the depths of our intelligence
and the pieces of rectangular paper
that we know and accept
as money

But if you think money is only paper
you are a fool
If you worship money
…you are a bigger fool

Designer clothes are simply cotton
but name brand gear and stylish people
are not quickly forgotten

The followers on your social media
are simply inflated statistics
just like the billions of people in the third world
who do no bear your magnificent characteristics

If we turn a blind eye
we’ll never have to wonder
about the politics of wealth and world trade
but if we are curious by design
even if it’s only polyester and twine
we may someday learn how things are really made

Empty orchards

The green of her eyes
is unlike the apples
of orchards heavy
with ripened skin

The cold color
in simmering warmth
soothes me
but the flesh
that I cannot taste
sits heavy
inside the hollows of my heart

Without touch
a lifeless feel
without expression
revealed
my desires
are frozen cold
upon her gaze of steel

I simply stand
concealed
observing
existing outside
until I am invited in
for the mirage of her meal

Tell me why
it is impossible
to eat from her hand
her disappearance
a further weight of reverence
for the heights
where she should stand

Within the emptiness
of infinite eyes
I now understand
the orchards are bare
torn and ill prepared
for the greed in my sight
for which there is nothing
but madness and despair

A broken land

I swallow mugs of mist
topped with hints of morning dew
inhale the intricacies of nature
while the branches grieve the passing
of their abandoned homeland

There is feast consuming the gift of foliage
once abundant upon the lips of animals
a famine cultivated by the hands of humanity
the delusion of gain and prosperity
warped like patterns of demise upon the heads of old tree stumps

The blades of blunted knives
once carving the initials of young lovers
upon blossoming bark
are now chainsaws and axes
professing a deep desire for agendas and quotas

We are the ailment of our stifled breath
disappearing with the fortunes of flora and fauna
subdued by machines of the future
in endless pursuit of innovation
no longer able to choose between creatures and creations

All the lovely children

When I was a child
I believed that babies were born
when two people loved each other
from the bottom of their heart

I did not understand
the meaning of this love
I did not comprehend
the particulars of touch and intimacy

I only learned
that this notion of love
created little children like me
all around the world

When I looked at girls
I did my best not to love them
fearing that a child may appear
simply from the burden of my gushing thoughts

When I grew older
I was relieved to discover
that the power of thought
was inconsequential to the creation of children

Now I am certain
that I understand how babies are created
but I am no longer convinced that I understand
what love truly is